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Sobriety over everything else • 30 • Midwest
Mar 24, 2021
This is a website run by suicidal people; for suicidal people.

It is a safe space where suicidal people are able to speak without fear of toxic positivity, gaslighting, diagnostic stigmatization, involuntary hospitalization, and other forms of oppression used against them. This forum meets the unmet needs of suicidal people that are largely ignored by society, the medical community; and suicide prevention advocates.

However, some mental health professionals have recognized our true needs.

Professor of Social Work; Alexandre Baril, proposed to create an ethics of responsibility based on a harm-reductive, non-coercive approach to suicide, and suggested that assisted-suicide should be an option for suicidal people. He argued that the voice of suicidal people is viewed as illegitimate, and that there are 'injunctions to life and futurity', where suicidal subjects are oppressed and silenced. Baril suggested the word "suicideism" to describe the oppressive system (stemming from non-suicidal perspectives) functioning at the normative, discursive, medical, legal, social, political, economic, and epistemic levels, in which suicidal people experience multiple forms of injustice. He suggested creating safer spaces, and listening to suicidal people without forcing the 'will to live' upon them. He also believed that respecting the wishes of suicidal people would lead to less violent; and less lonely suicides.

Professor of Psychiatry; Thomas Szasz, presented suicide as a moral and ethical issue. He defended every individual's right to choose death. By maintaining statutes that determine voluntary death as illegal, Thomas Szasz believed that our society is forfeiting one of its basic freedoms, and causing the psychiatric establishment to treat individuals in a manner that is disturbingly inhumane. Society's penchant for defining suicidal behavior as objectionable has created a nightmarish system that exerts far too much influence over how—and when, we choose to die.

Szasz compared suicide to other practices that were historically sins, became crimes; and are now seen as mental illnesses. In Western ideologies, suicide has evolved from sin; to crime; to mental illness—and is currently seen as a semi-legal act.

A legal act is one we are free to think of, speak of, plan, and perform freely; without penalty by agents of the state. While dying voluntarily is ostensibly legal, suicide attempts—and even suicidal thoughts—are routinely punished by incarceration in psychiatric institutions. Although many people believe that the prevention of suicide is one of the duties modern state authorities owe to its citizens, Szasz argued that suicide is a basic human right, and that the lengths to which the medical industry goes to prevent it from happening is a deprivation of that right.

Drawing on his general theory of the myth of mental illness, Szasz makes a compelling case that the desire to voluntarily terminate one's own life is a decision—not a disease. He presents an in-depth examination and critique of contemporary anti-suicide policies, which are currently based on the notion that desiring death is a mental health problem. Szasz meticulously lays out the consequences of treating suicidal ideation with psychiatric means. If suicide is a problem, it certainly isn't a medical one. Managing it as if it were a disease; or the result of a disease—will only delegitimize medical institutions as a whole.

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Nelson Borelli, agreed with Szasz's criticism of popular "suicide-prevention" programs, and suggested that programs like this may actually increase suicide rates since they challenge an individual's right to personhood.

Even international human rights and constitutional courts are recognizing the right to suicide. The European Court of Human Rights within the Council of Europe (47 member states and 6 observer states; including Israel, Canada, USA, Mexico, and Japan) have already recognized the right to suicide:

"The Court considers that an individual's right to decide by what means and at what point his or her life will end, provided he or she is capable of freely reaching a decision on this question and acting in consequence, is one of the aspects of the right to respect for private life within the meaning of Article 8 of the Convention" (Haas vs Switzerland, paragraph 51).

The German Constitutional Court went even further to say:

"The right to a self-determined death is not limited to situations defined by external causes like serious or incurable illnesses, nor does it only apply in certain stages of life or illness. Rather, this right is guaranteed in all stages of a person's existence. Restricting the scope of protection to specific causes or motives would essentially amount to a substantive evaluation, and thereby predetermination, of the motives of the person seeking to end their own life, which is alien to the Basic Law's notion of freedom. The individual's decision to end their own life, based on how they personally define quality of life and a meaningful existence, eludes any evaluation on the basis of general values, religious dogmas, societal norms for dealing with life and death, or considerations of objective rationality. It is thus not incumbent upon the individual to further explain or justify their decision; rather, their decision must, in principle, be respected by state and society as an act of autonomous self-determination."

Coercive suicide prevention policies force suicidal people to pursue a violent death. A policy that is aimed at doing everything possible to prevent suicide without taking into account the will of the person concerned, violates humanity. Whoever enforces or creates these policies are forcing people to bring about their death in a violent manner, and accept the responsibility of the inhumane risks associated with these actions.

Is it humane to force a person to achieve their will by attempting something such as this incident? Here is an alarming plea from a young man in England who e-mailed DIGNITAS in 2008:



My name is J.(xx) H.(xx). I am 19 years old, and live in Scotland, UK.

About 2 months ago I attempted to commit suicide by jumping off a multi-story car park. My attempt failed, and instead of dying, I write this e-mail to you from my hospital bed.

I crushed both of my feet, broke my leg, broke my knee, broke my sacrum (part of my pelvis) and most devastatingly, broke my spine, in 3 places, which has resulted in a degree of paralysis in my legs. I spent 6 weeks in hospital in my home town of Edinburgh, and was then transferred to a special spinal rehabilitation hospital in Glasgow.

I am told that I will need to spend 6 months at this hospital, and that I will be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. I now have a loss of sexual function, which seems unlikely to return, as well as huge problems managing my bowels and bladder (I cannot feel them moving).

I was already suicidal, and now that I will be disabled for the rest of my life, at such a young age, I truly cannot bear the prospect of life. I am only 19, and I now have the grim reality of 60 years in a wheelchair. The physical pain I am in alternates between bearable and completely unbearable. Perhaps the pain will ease off with time, but this is not a certainty. There are times every day where I scream with pain, due to being moved in bed, hoisted into the wheelchair etc.

I would like to ask if I could be considered for an assisted suicide, as I am completely certain I would like to end my life, and believe I should have the right to do so.

I would be too afraid to try and kill myself again, given the devastating effects of my first failed attempt. It would also be much more difficult to attempt suicide from a wheelchair. I only wish that my country was humane enough to let a person die.

Please consider my letter, I hope to hear a response,

J(xx) H.(xx)


In this message, the author never shares the problem that motivated him to commit suicide in the first place. However, one thing is certain—if this young man was given the opportunity to talk with other people about his problem without having to fear that he would be admitted to a psychiatric ward, his fate may have been drastically different. People may have tried to show him that there were solutions other than suicide for his problems; and it may have given him a real chance to solve them without resorting to violence against himself. He wouldn't have had to accept the risks that have now turned his life into a nightmare. He may have had an honest chance to overcome his suicidal tendencies if he had received the proper support.

In this context, it is important to ask why it is ethical to put down a suffering animal, but unethical to allow a suffering human to do the same. Why should anyone have to accept the inconceivable risks of failure that a suicide attempt often involves?

This peer-reviewed article suggests that suicide can also be rational if the individual's decision meets certain criteria. This rational criteria, according to Siegel, is:
  1. the individual possesses a realistic assessment of his (or her) situation,
  2. the mental processes leading to his (or her) decision to commit suicide are unimpaired by psychological illness or severe emotional distress
  3. the motivational basis of his (or her) decision would be understandable to the majority of uninvolved observers from his (or her) community or social group
Ironically, having the option of suicide can also inspire an individual want to continue their lives, according to this article from Sky News.


Quotes supporting the idea that suicide is a philosophical issue worthy of discussion and contemplation; and not a mindset that humans arrive at only when they are mentally-impaired, or in distress:

"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest — whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories—comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer."

-Albert Camus

"The literal meaning of life is whatever you're doing that prevents you from killing yourself."

-Albert Camus

"They tell us that Suicide is the greatest piece of Cowardice... That Suicide is wrong; when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in this world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person."

-Arthur Schopenhauer

"Life is a constant process of dying."

-Arthur Schopenhauer

"It would be better if there were nothing. Since there is more pain than pleasure on earth, every satisfaction is only transitory, creating new desires and new distresses, and the agony of the devoured animal is always far greater than the pleasure of the devourer"

-Arthur Schopenhauer

"Human life must be some kind of mistake. The truth of this will be sufficiently obvious if we only remember that man is a compound of needs and necessities hard to satisfy; and that even when they are satisfied, all he obtains is a state of painlessness, where nothing remains to him but abandonment to boredom. This is direct proof that existence has no real value in itself; for what is boredom but the feeling of the emptiness of life? If life—the craving for which is the very essence of our being—were possessed of any positive intrinsic value, there would be no such thing as boredom at all: mere existence would satisfy us in itself, and we should want for nothing."

-Arthur Schopenhauer

"The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night."

-Friedrich Nietzsche

"A prison becomes a home if you have the key."

-George Sterling

(To further elaborate on the meaning of this quote, George is referring to his body as the "prison", and the "key" refers to a vial of cyanide he eventually used to take his life.)

"Death is not an evil, because it frees us from all evils, and while it takes away good things, it takes away also the desire for them. Old age is the supreme evil, because it deprives us of all pleasures, leaving us only the appetite for them, and it brings with it all sufferings. Nevertheless, we fear death, and we desire old age."

-Giacomo Leopardi


Philosophical ideologies that can be percieved as suicide-adjacent (placing less importance on the value of life, and questioning whether some lives are worth living; or being created in the first place):

: A philosophy that assigns negative value to existence; suggesting it contains more suffering than pleasure, and is imposed upon the individual without their consent.

Nihilism: A philosophy that views all life as meaningless.

Promortalism: A philosophy that assigns a positive value to death, by suggesting that the lack of desires that comes with it is a viable solution to our earthly problems.

Libertarianism: The belief that the individual is the owner of their body and has the right to dispose of it however they see fit.


On a final note, it is just as important to recognize that suicide may not always be the correct the solution for everyone. The decision to end one's life is not to be made lightly; or with a lack of conviction. It is up to an individual to determine if suicide is the correct choice based on an honest assessment of their life experiences. To commit suicide is to release one's self from the suffering that life can bring, but also to forfeit any potential pleasures that may arrive in the future.

Hindsight is 20/20, and no one can guarantee whether things will get better or worse throughout their life's journey. However, what is almost always guaranteed (as a natural consequence of modern attitudes towards suicide) is the use of violent, painful, and unpreferred suicide methods by people who choose to go through with it. Because of the risks associated with these methods, people may decide to continue their unsatisfactory lives in a perpetual state of misery, rather than resort to the unsafe methods that suicide prevention advocates have provided no alternatives for. Many individuals will spend their entire lives hiding their true feelings to avoid involuntary hospitalization (and the psychiatric meds that are forced upon them against their will in these institutions), and resign themselves to responding with inauthentically-brief statements like "I'm fine." to any inquiries regarding their lives or mental state.

People like this (who have determined that suicide is the correct option, and find their lives in a constant state of purgatory), will have suicide survivors weaponized against them. These survivor cases will be used by the media and doctors as an excuse to justify coercive interventions for those who have firmer convictions about death being the correct option for them. There are many people on this website who are not pleased with the fact that that they failed their suicide attempt—they just don't want to try it again due to lack of effective suicide methods; or trauma experienced from their fist attempt. Therefore, it is easy to dispute the claim presented by suicide prevention advocates that suicide survivors always regret their suicide attempts.

Disclaimer: The authors and organizations mentioned in this post are not directly affiliated with the forum.
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