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whywhywhy

whywhywhy

Member
Jun 11, 2021
63
I do understand what you're saying about the teenagers and I agree with you. What changes would you expect to see here?
You think the teenagers can't just Google how to kill themselves and find the information on other websites?
You really cant find much using google. You need duckduckgo or something similar.

Not OP but I also think this sub should be less encouraging for teenagers. Its my personal opinion but I think suicide should only be done after thorough and careful evaluation of ones life. I dont think most teenagers hold the level of maturity that comes with life and that allows you to go through this kind of decision. Life changes a lot until your late 20s-30s (jobs, people you know mature, yourself, etc...) and many teenagers problem are often something short lived that comes with that age.

On a personal note I think that what gives power to my decision to CTB is that I tried to challenge it as much as possible but it still held on its own.
 
๐Ÿ‘

๐Ÿ‘๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ƒ๐Ÿ‘๏ธ

Enlightened
Aug 14, 2022
1,292
You really cant find much using google. You need duckduckgo or something similar.

Not OP but I also think this sub should be less encouraging for teenagers. Its my personal opinion but I think suicide should only be done after thorough and careful evaluation of ones life. I dont think most teenagers hold the level of maturity that comes with life and that allows you to go through this kind of decision. Life changes a lot until your late 20s-30s (jobs, people you know mature, yourself, etc...) and many teenagers problem are often something short lived that comes with that age.

On a personal note I think that what gives power to my decision to CTB is that I tried to challenge it as much as possible but it still held on its own.
I agree with you my friend. Many people here believe anyone should have the right to go at any given time. I disagree. I believe many of teenagers are emotionally immature and a lot of them are just going through a period or a situation in their life that will pass. A lot of them are acting on impulse. I know I've been there before.
 
Pluto

Pluto

Meowing to go out
Dec 27, 2020
3,404
I believe many of teenagers are emotionally immature and a lot of them are just going through a period or a situation in their life that will pass.
There is a legal age limit, but beyond this it's a mindset of caveat emptor. Questioning people's self-reported choices is usually avoided because of the slippery slope of gatekeeping who should or should not be given support in relation to an end-of-life choice.

The ideological stance of universal support implies that some preventable young deaths is preferable to a chaotic environment in which everyone's bodily autonomy is being constantly scrutinised by outsiders, negating the very nature of the unconditionally supportive community. And yet, some survivors of suicidal ideation are secretly wanting to be saved despite their former words and feelings to the contrary, and feel immense gratitude after being steered back towards normality. It is a very sad situation.

Then again, I was a suicidal teen and it turned out that I would have evaded decades of poverty, isolation and misery had I been able to go through with it back then... but for many people the same situation would turn out very differently. I wish that there could be a middle ground which would make the community less of an outright pariah in the eyes of society. If there is a reasonable way to achieve this without opening the can of worms of excessive gatekeeping, I am all for it.
 
DeathoftheAuthor

DeathoftheAuthor

A story with a bad ending.
Oct 12, 2022
1
Young people being irrational is something I agree with in principle, but it's hard to quantify. If you set a specific age, you'll immediately realize that any specific number is arbitrary. If you say you have to be, for example, 25 to truly know whether you should CTB, why not 24? How much of a difference does one year make? I chose 25 as an example age because that's the year the brain is fully developed for most people, but maybe it should be 26, so you can have a full year with a matured brain? But that number varies from person to person. For instance, people with ADHD are delayed by a couple of years. So I think the legal age limit should be whatever the age of majority is, but philosophically, emotionally, and subjectively, it might be a case by case basis.

The idea of rationality (as in the "rational" suicide) is debatable and overall subjective, but that's more of a philosophical argument. (I wrote a whole essay about that as a response to the blog of some psychologist saying everyone should try to live, even if they had already been on medications and tried therapy. I could post it here, but I don't want to do that and then nobody reads it. And if you mean intelligence by rational, intelligence correlates with depression too (and a whole range of other psychological disorders). If you mean maturity, there's no objective measure for that. A debate with no real conclusion.

But if someone is older, they won't use that argument and instead pick a different one. They simply aren't arguing in good faith; they already have a conclusion in mind. Any number is arbitrary, but I feel like you have to pick an age; I don't think a 12-year old can really make that choice. It was my 16th birthday when I first started feeling depressed, and 6 months later, I decided I wanted to kill myself. I just turned 18 on the 27th; is every day for a year and a half not enough? I don't know. We know more about ourselves than anyone else ever will. I know I can make this decision, yet I would (somewhat hypocritically) be skeptical of another 16โ€“18 year old (as some people really do regret an attempt or change their mind), even though I would never deny them the right to choose.
 
H

help56

Student
Oct 4, 2022
121
Beautiful thread. I love the so called value of life arguments . I wish that society would consider very much the right to choose argument . In essence even if people want you to live , they don't are not in your head , they can't go to sleep for or live your thoughts for you . When I lost my mom everyone said how sad they were and left.

Then I was left with my thoughts. No matter how well intentioned no
One can live your life for you.

So why this instant desire to keep me around when day to day none really can help me . I am distressed at the moment because I find it all very selfish . I can't have an honest conversation with people about not wanting to live because I am
Immediately a) asked to see a therapist I am seeing one b) asked to look at others and how bad their life is and c) I should hope some future

I s as m trying to ctb but I can't find the stuff working on it . I need someone to help me please . I am begging this pain I can't handle . I can't go out because I have panic attacks
 
Kattt

Kattt

Ancient of Mu-Mu
May 18, 2021
798
You can really covered that comprehensively and very eloquently.
It's an ongoing debate I have with my psychiatrist.
My ex died from MND/ALS which is the poster child for suicide.
But at the same time, I appreciate that there will always be those who abuse it.
I must say I find a certain hypocrisy in the ultimate value in human life when the death penalty is enforced. Consider some of the "crimes" globally that are punished by hanging/stoning/firing squad and worse.
 
H

help56

Student
Oct 4, 2022
121
everybody . Mental health is no joke. No matter what we do suffering is our and ours alone . No one can be in your head with you. No one can exieruence the pain with you . They can help but it is for you alone in the quite moments when your brain isn't cooperating to feel sane . Of course you can be held in physc wards to force you numb you but outside that it's ours alone . I feel that it's unfair to expect people to suffer year after year with mental health

the society must have better answers

I am not well haven't been for years . No amount of medicines and conversations has solved it โ€ฆ.
So am I condemned to this life forever ?
 
H

help56

Student
Oct 4, 2022
121
Is there a way to get assisted suicide ? When your mental health cannot improve ?
 
J

Jessica5

Specialist
May 22, 2019
347
Nobody in the mainstream opposes making tools for a peaceful death almost impossible to obtain, and I've honestly seen more opposition to sex offender civil commitment statutes than I've seen opposition to civilly committing suicidal people.
 
Tired and Done

Tired and Done

Member
Dec 14, 2022
20
Suicide used to be thought of as a criminal action, but in modern society, the view has softened into seeing suicide as a result of mental illness. On SS, we often affirm that committing suicide is a decision we have the right to make because we have dominion over our bodies and lives. However, those who oppose pro-choice ideas often believe that people own their lives and bodies yet come to very different conclusions about suicide. This is due to operating under a different value system.

In this post, I will go over two related suicide topics. The first part of my post will address the value of life, suicide from the perspective of autonomy, and the rationality (or irrationality) of ending one's life. The second part will address the harms of standard suicide prevention tactics.


The Value of Life


Sheldon Solomon defined the cultural scheme of things to be "a shared lens for viewing life and reality that (a) gives life meaning and significance (b) is perceived as permanent and enduring over time (c) establishes the standards of values for individuals with the culture to live up to" (3). The cultural scheme of things can be thought of as the "symbolic world" that exists in each person's mind that not only gives people a means to integrate and process their experiences but also posits the nature of reality and lays down a framework of values and standards.

One value that is near-universal, so much so that it is thought to be self-evident, is life. To most, life is thought to be inherently valuable, an end rather than a means to an end, and requires no justification or explanation. There is often little philosophical reasoning provided for this idea that life is inherently worthwhile and valuable; for most, it is merely a feeling. This belief is, in essence, part of one's cultural scheme of things masquerading as objective reality. Anyone who disagrees with this idea is not only seen as wrong but as being pathologically out of touch with reality. There are, however, a few asymmetries in life that those arguing for its inherent good should answer for.

While some may regard life as a gift, it is undeniable that life comes with striving, and in many ways, this striving is asymmetrically tilted towards suffering. Negative states such as thirst, hunger, and old age (with all of its accompanying pains) come naturally, while one must strive not only to stave off or remove negative states but to reach positive states. In addition to this, one often spends far more time striving for positive states in relation to how long the positive state lasts. One pertinent example is the amount of energy, time, and oftentimes animal suffering it takes to make a meal yet how ephemeral the ensuing gustatory pleasure is. It is rarely denied that life is inculcated with striving, yet this view is often mitigated by arguing that one misses out on the pleasures that life brings when they die. But just as the time before one was born was not a deprivation, the time after one dies will not be either. In the words of Nabakov, who put it far better than I ever can, "The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. Although the two are identical twins, man, as a rule, views the prenatal abyss with more calm than the one he is heading for" (1).


Not only must we strive, we strive alone. A fundamental part of our inner selves is separated from others and while this gap can be indirectly bridged through the use of language, touch and other symbolic means such as art and music, every individual is ultimately alone in their own head. There is no one but them alone who experiences the suffering (or pleasure) that they are experiencing. We may share moments with someone else, yet they are never in that moment with us, ie, the qualia of those moments is something felt by us and us alone. Ernest Becker touched on this when he wrote, "We touch people on the outsides of their bodies, and they us, but we cannot get at their insides and cannot reveal our insides to them. This is one of the great tragedies of our interiorityโ€”it is utterly personal and unrevealable. Often we want to say something unusually intimate to a spouse, a parent, a friend, communicate something of how we are really feeling about a sunset, who we really feel we areโ€”only to fall strangely and miserably flat" (207). It is therefore fitting that each individual should be able to ascertain whether the current costs of existence are worth it and how valuable the potential for future pleasure is relative to current suffering.

Mainstream suicide prevention

Suicide preventionists like to hide their paternalism under the guise of protecting a suicidal person's (or, in many cases, a suspected suicidal person's) "real, future self" from their "mentally ill and pathologically out of touch with reality current self." As I addressed in the previous part of my post, the view that suicidal people are pathologically out of touch with reality is unsubstantiated.

Perhaps the most vile method of suicide prevention is forcible psychiatric detention. In essence, this involves subjecting a suicidal person to what would otherwise be considered abuse, violence, and kidnapping if not committed against a suicidal person by medical authorities. Despite the good intentions of medical authorities, the phenomenological experience of the detained person is that of kidnapping and bodily violation. The voice of the suicidal person does not matter. If they try to resist, they will be violently forced into submission through either brute physical force, being tied down, or being drugged. Any other values that a suicidal person may hold, such as bodily inviolability or autonomy, are rendered null. The indignity of being forcibly detained is considered worth it by others if it saves a life, regardless of whether the person who is being subjected to forcible detention values their life more than dignity, autonomy, and bodily inviolability. This line of thought insinuates a deep lack of respect as respect entails allowing someone to act in their own best interests in accordance with their own values and not forcing them into following their "best interests" as defined by others. This also applies to many people who are mentally ill, as mental illness does not necessarily render someone globally irrational and all of their values (besides life) null.

As much as the mental health movement likes to talk about destigmatizing suicide, there is very little that is more stigmatizing than taking away someone's voice and violently forcing them into submission. Medical authorities have their hearts in the right place, yet they are subjecting another human being to cruel treatment on the chance that they will be grateful for it some day. Without a doubt some people are grateful, but it comes at the cost of making the dignity, autonomy, and peace of mind of a suicidal person disposable.

This is less of a suicide prevention tactic and more of an attitude. We all know this attitude well; it is the idea that suicidal people ought to keep living, and anything that is not prolife content is encouraging suicide. While suicidal people are often implored to choose life, there is no true choice unless one is allowed to do the opposite. By not allowing one to opt-out of life, pro-lifers see life not as a choice but as an obligation. If an adult cannot make an autonomous decision about what to do with their own body and life, then they do not own their body or life. This is an odious conclusion. I have had friends on this site who I deeply wish were still here, yet it was their life to take and do with it what they please, not mine to keep.

The zeal in which society wants to prevent suicide is fascinating because one is allowed to do many things that are analogous to suicide, such as cutting off all contact with loved ones or making life-altering irreversible decisions. This incongruence is once again caused by seeing life as inherently valuable and worthwhile.

I have written this post hoping that it will explain the "why" behind many of the ideas often expressed on SS. For anyone who has gotten this far, thank you for reading.

Postscript

It should be noted that I am not against suicide prevention - only the coercive means of doing so, such as throttling information and denying access to peaceful methods of suicide and locking someone up on the chance that they will end their life. These tactics cause someone to stay alive not because they voluntarily choose to live but because they have to. I am not pro suicide, I am pro voluntary life.

References
Nabokov, V. V., & Boyd, B. (1999). Speak, memory: An autobiography revisited. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Solomon, Sheldon. Denying Death.

Solomon, S., Greenberg, J., & Pyszczynski, T. A. (2015). The worm at the core: On the role of death in life. Penguin Random House.
I am very very new here and reading what you have written has put into words a lot of varied thoughts I've had. I have never been subjected to institutionalisation but I've always known to hide a lot of myself and how to pretend to mostly be ok. In a way I've been forced to stay alive because there has always been someone I've got to look after. A responsibility that I am privileged to uphold but it is heavy. Even now, typing these words here, I fear to say certain things. I hold back everything. I am terrified of losing complete control of myself, though I slip sometimes in the darkest moments and let my inner rage full self out for a moment. But I am quick to cover it up. I don't think even I know who I really am. It's all just wrapped up in this big ball of rage and sorrow and fear and a deep deep hatred of myself. And so much pain. I am 40 and I have spent 35 of those years in such despair. I have thought about ending it all nearly every day of my life but I haven't, mostly because I do not have the means to do it painlessly. And an irrational fear of hell. I am not religious but my childhood was very religious and that itty bitty small part of me stupidly clings to that fear of hell. But as I get older I am being pushed to my limits once again and I am closer to just giving up. I am very done. But there is my mother, who has no one to look after her but me. I have thought of taking her with me but I just don't have that right. I am like a cornered animal right now
 
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P

patanjali

Member
Nov 20, 2022
16
I was considering going to a rehab center in Australia, so I called one place and talked a few minutes. I expressed that I was struggling a bit, but I had no suicidal thoughts. 30 minutes later the police came and forced me to go to a hospital because of duty of care. That was embarrassing and extreme, an abuse of power.
 
T

tootired4life

Member
Mar 7, 2023
8
true, however: if you have any friends or family, any at all, suicide is totally selfish. will this stop me? no, of course not. but at least i can admit that its a horrible, selfish act
 
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A

affinity

Member
Oct 8, 2021
73
I'm just posting this here bc I didn't see any sense creating a new thread. This does touch upon certain themes covered though, so not totally out in left field.

Just to provide some context, this creator originally stitched a video wherein the OP posed the question: "For those of you who do not fear death, why not?" and she goes into detail about a supposed NDE she had (sounded like painkiller induced euphoria but whatevs) and she talked about how pleasant it was. Okay, super. Others have commented the same and many docs have explanations for why this happens.

Someone in the comments inserted their 2 cents about how they feared her video would end up on the wrong side of Tik Tok (apparently TT has a pro suicide side?) and of course she replied with this horse shit:



Read the comments. I nearly went through the damn roof, not just based on principle alone, but because there are loved ones in the comments who are terrified that their family member who committed suicide is stuck in their own "person hell".

Of course the OP tries to walk it back by saying the loved one can still get out of it, but it will just take time and effort <insert eye roll>.

This person has well over 300k followers and gets pretty decent engagement. This is just my personal opinion but: when you have a sizeable platform, you are under an obligation to be responsible with your content and yeahโ€ฆ I was livid.

โ€ฆโ€ฆ

With that said:

This is admittedly my one true fear and is primarily what is holding me back. I have a friend who I have respect for (they're "spiritual", whatever that means and a practitioner of a certain practice): they told me that if I killed myself for any reason aside from medical reasons, I would be stuck on earth until all of my loved ones had gotten over my death.

One thing that does scare me is that there was a comment in that video that described a suicide attempt being dark, lonely and scary.

I've mentioned this before: but I had a pretty traumatic experience with shrooms and yeahโ€ฆI do feel that I experienced what death would feel like if I committed suicide. It was like God or the universe was showing me "coming attractions". Everything was black and all they was my thoughts on a loop. It was terrifying and I've never touched psychedelics since.

I'm not saying this to scare or dissuade anyone. I just needed to get this out and needed someone to talk to about this video bc few get it.
 
JJMaynard97

JJMaynard97

JJโ€™s Dead Inside, Time to Say Bye Bye!!
Mar 17, 2023
100
Very well written.

I think most people are delusional in the sense that human life is far more important than every other life form on this planet. We are no more important than the ants beneath our feet.

From a lot of people i've spoken to, involuntary commitment has done far more harm than good. For me, it really didn't do anything, I had a more neutral experience but it still was far from good.

Until we treat the problems at hand instead of the symptoms, we will continue to repeat the cycle as a society.
 
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L

leavingsoon99

I'm at peace... Finally.
Mar 16, 2023
722
This is VERY well written. I'm late to the party, but I'm so happy that I found my way here. I wish I would've found this years ago in its early version. Suicide is so censored in this culture. It's almost as if there's something about it that either frightens the masses or those in power don't want you to know. Early civilizations didn't have such an attitude toward suicidality. It was actually respectable and honorable in some societies. Yet, in a society that doesn't mind if you're starving, homeless, struggle with illness, and the other ills of this life, it doesn't want you to take your own life. For a species that is so individualistic and unconcerned with each other, humans want you to 'hold on'. It may just be that death scares people. My problem with suicide prevention is that it sort of insists that there's a 'right' way to die. A 'human sanctioned' way to go. Humans want to control everything, including conditions on death. This is very disordered because, after all, death is inevitable. To attach such an abstract, arbitrary value to life is nothing short of human ignorance... if not madness.

I love this post and I'm glad I'm amongst kindred souls.
 
dunwitit

dunwitit

Im really tired and I want to go home.
Mar 26, 2023
10
I also am one that agrees suicide is a personal choice and I belive there should be peaceful ways to do that. Sadly we all end up on this site trying to find the least horrific way to go.

We are all human, and as a adult I feel that we should all have a right to a peaceful death. It angers me that serial killers in certain country's get this right. But the innocent and genuine hurt, destroyed people are left to suffer and die in the worst imaginable ways.
So very true. Thank you for your words..
 
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she

she

๐ŸŒบโœจ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒบโœจ๐ŸŒธ
Apr 9, 2023
54
As much as the mental health movement likes to talk about destigmatizing suicide, there is very little that is more stigmatizing than taking away someone's voice and violently forcing them into submission. Medical authorities have their hearts in the right place, yet they are subjecting another human being to cruel treatment on the chance that they will be grateful for it some day. Without a doubt some people are grateful, but it comes at the cost of making the dignity, autonomy, and peace of mind of a suicidal person disposable.
This is so true. A large part of the problem around conversations about suicide is just how stigmatized the topic is. More so, the fear of what will happen when we do in fact choose to try to engage in meaningful conversations about suicide. Our society will strive to prevent people from committing suicide, at the expense of those they're trying to "help".
Perhaps the most vile method of suicide prevention is forcible psychiatric detention. In essence, this involves subjecting a suicidal person to what would otherwise be considered abuse, violence, and kidnapping if not committed against a suicidal person by medical authorities. Despite the good intentions of medical authorities, the phenomenological experience of the detained person is that of kidnapping and bodily violation. The voice of the suicidal person does not matter. If they try to resist, they will be violently forced into submission through either brute physical force, being tied down, or being drugged.
Suicide prevention-ists and our society have done absolutely nothing to help us in the slightest, and it can be described as nothing short of utterly infuriating that the normal course of action in our society has become to subject suicidal individuals to kidnapping and abuse by medical authorities. Only all the more reason for me to lean towards CTB, considering it's a much better alternative to existing in this society where authoritative priorities are out of sync with basic morality.
Very well-written post. Modern standard suicide prevention tactics are extremely harmful indeed and do absolutely nothing to help anybody.
 
S

Splender09

The Stronger wins, so become stronger.
Apr 11, 2023
8
I do respect your opinion.
But I beleive human life can not be compared to an ant life. Humans have historically shown rapid civilization improvement while ants are the same.
Humans have emotions, a well developed brain and ability to do nearly anything.
Humans can change and adapt while ants will always work the same way, according to their roles.
Humans have changed the world from what it used to be some thousands do years ago while ants are just a part of the ecosystem runing in a cycle.
Also, a single human has the ability to bring revolutionary changes that can impact other humans aswell (Like scientists or influencers have). While ants don't.
Also humans have the ability to make their own goals, love people and have dreams while an ant does what it is supposed to do.
Humans can also affect ants while ants won't be able to affect human beings.
That's why I beleive that humans have way more value than ants.
But I do respect your opinion and this is not to be taken personally.
Till we talk the next time then.
And something I forgot to mention. Hey! Love yourself more, you are way more valuable than an ant. When an ant dies, none of its subordinate care while you have people who love you and your condition affects them.
So chear up!
Very well written.

I think most people are delusional in the sense that human life is far more important than every other life form on this planet. We are no more important than the ants beneath our feet.

From a lot of people i've spoken to, involuntary commitment has done far more harm than good. For me, it really didn't do anything, I had a more neutral experience but it still was far from good.

Until we treat the problems at hand instead of the symptoms, we will continue to repeat the cycle as a society.
 
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RedDoor

RedDoor

Tired... just Tired
Apr 13, 2023
56
I never understood how locking and chaining up a person like a feral animal is supposed to be helpful for him. They way i see it locking up a suicidal person will only make him further believe that he doesn't belong in this world anymore
 
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Lefttounge

Lefttounge

Jill Valentine
Apr 6, 2023
12
For me suicide isn't even a mental health issue, just because you want to die doesn't make you quote on quote insane. In fact wanting to continue to live an unchanging life is more insane than the latter. Suicide is a way to make the pain go away, and end it.
I feel like life is ours to do whatever we want with it, it's not right for the government to tell us to 'suffer' with our crappy life.
If God wants our life to get better, then He'll make it better for us. But if it just doesn't get better, then it's our choice to choose to die.
For the government to tell us we can't OD on fent and die, is like forcing somebody on a hospital bed that's been in a vegetable state for 14 years to live, and not pull the plug. What is their quality of life? At that point it's just selfish to keep them alive. You want somebody not to kill themselves? Stop making people's lives miserable. God come help the people crying out to you. And America stop ruining peoples lives, help people find jobs and solve joblessness, stop domestic violence, throw criminals in jail. Help people find their better halfs, encourage positive companionship.
If you are unwilling to do anything to solve these things then suicide is the only way that can make the pain go away.
 
HelloReaper

HelloReaper

Member
Apr 21, 2023
35
"Suicide was thought as a criminal action" By who? I guarantee you only the government and certain people thought of it as a crime. Because they didn't want anyone to do it.
 
A

Ayloy

Member
Apr 13, 2023
29
Suicide used to be thought of as a criminal action, but in modern society, the view has softened into seeing suicide as a result of mental illness. On SS, we often affirm that committing suicide is a decision we have the right to make because we have dominion over our bodies and lives. However, those who oppose pro-choice ideas often believe that people own their lives and bodies yet come to very different conclusions about suicide. This is due to operating under a different value system.

In this post, I will go over two related suicide topics. The first part of my post will address the value of life, suicide from the perspective of autonomy, and the rationality (or irrationality) of ending one's life. The second part will address the harms of standard suicide prevention tactics.


The Value of Life


Sheldon Solomon defined the cultural scheme of things to be "a shared lens for viewing life and reality that (a) gives life meaning and significance (b) is perceived as permanent and enduring over time (c) establishes the standards of values for individuals with the culture to live up to" (3). The cultural scheme of things can be thought of as the "symbolic world" that exists in each person's mind that not only gives people a means to integrate and process their experiences but also posits the nature of reality and lays down a framework of values and standards.

One value that is near-universal, so much so that it is thought to be self-evident, is life. To most, life is thought to be inherently valuable, an end rather than a means to an end, and requires no justification or explanation. There is often little philosophical reasoning provided for this idea that life is inherently worthwhile and valuable; for most, it is merely a feeling. This belief is, in essence, part of one's cultural scheme of things masquerading as objective reality. Anyone who disagrees with this idea is not only seen as wrong but as being pathologically out of touch with reality. There are, however, a few asymmetries in life that those arguing for its inherent good should answer for.

While some may regard life as a gift, it is undeniable that life comes with striving, and in many ways, this striving is asymmetrically tilted towards suffering. Negative states such as thirst, hunger, and old age (with all of its accompanying pains) come naturally, while one must strive not only to stave off or remove negative states but to reach positive states. In addition to this, one often spends far more time striving for positive states in relation to how long the positive state lasts. One pertinent example is the amount of energy, time, and oftentimes animal suffering it takes to make a meal yet how ephemeral the ensuing gustatory pleasure is. It is rarely denied that life is inculcated with striving, yet this view is often mitigated by arguing that one misses out on the pleasures that life brings when they die. But just as the time before one was born was not a deprivation, the time after one dies will not be either. In the words of Nabakov, who put it far better than I ever can, "The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. Although the two are identical twins, man, as a rule, views the prenatal abyss with more calm than the one he is heading for" (1).


Not only must we strive, we strive alone. A fundamental part of our inner selves is separated from others and while this gap can be indirectly bridged through the use of language, touch and other symbolic means such as art and music, every individual is ultimately alone in their own head. There is no one but them alone who experiences the suffering (or pleasure) that they are experiencing. We may share moments with someone else, yet they are never in that moment with us, ie, the qualia of those moments is something felt by us and us alone. Ernest Becker touched on this when he wrote, "We touch people on the outsides of their bodies, and they us, but we cannot get at their insides and cannot reveal our insides to them. This is one of the great tragedies of our interiorityโ€”it is utterly personal and unrevealable. Often we want to say something unusually intimate to a spouse, a parent, a friend, communicate something of how we are really feeling about a sunset, who we really feel we areโ€”only to fall strangely and miserably flat" (207). It is therefore fitting that each individual should be able to ascertain whether the current costs of existence are worth it and how valuable the potential for future pleasure is relative to current suffering.

Mainstream suicide prevention

Suicide preventionists like to hide their paternalism under the guise of protecting a suicidal person's (or, in many cases, a suspected suicidal person's) "real, future self" from their "mentally ill and pathologically out of touch with reality current self." As I addressed in the previous part of my post, the view that suicidal people are pathologically out of touch with reality is unsubstantiated.

Perhaps the most vile method of suicide prevention is forcible psychiatric detention. In essence, this involves subjecting a suicidal person to what would otherwise be considered abuse, violence, and kidnapping if not committed against a suicidal person by medical authorities. Despite the good intentions of medical authorities, the phenomenological experience of the detained person is that of kidnapping and bodily violation. The voice of the suicidal person does not matter. If they try to resist, they will be violently forced into submission through either brute physical force, being tied down, or being drugged. Any other values that a suicidal person may hold, such as bodily inviolability or autonomy, are rendered null. The indignity of being forcibly detained is considered worth it by others if it saves a life, regardless of whether the person who is being subjected to forcible detention values their life more than dignity, autonomy, and bodily inviolability. This line of thought insinuates a deep lack of respect as respect entails allowing someone to act in their own best interests in accordance with their own values and not forcing them into following their "best interests" as defined by others. This also applies to many people who are mentally ill, as mental illness does not necessarily render someone globally irrational and all of their values (besides life) null.

As much as the mental health movement likes to talk about destigmatizing suicide, there is very little that is more stigmatizing than taking away someone's voice and violently forcing them into submission. Medical authorities have their hearts in the right place, yet they are subjecting another human being to cruel treatment on the chance that they will be grateful for it some day. Without a doubt some people are grateful, but it comes at the cost of making the dignity, autonomy, and peace of mind of a suicidal person disposable.

This is less of a suicide prevention tactic and more of an attitude. We all know this attitude well; it is the idea that suicidal people ought to keep living, and anything that is not prolife content is encouraging suicide. While suicidal people are often implored to choose life, there is no true choice unless one is allowed to do the opposite. By not allowing one to opt-out of life, pro-lifers see life not as a choice but as an obligation. If an adult cannot make an autonomous decision about what to do with their own body and life, then they do not own their body or life. This is an odious conclusion. I have had friends on this site who I deeply wish were still here, yet it was their life to take and do with it what they please, not mine to keep.

The zeal in which society wants to prevent suicide is fascinating because one is allowed to do many things that are analogous to suicide, such as cutting off all contact with loved ones or making life-altering irreversible decisions. This incongruence is once again caused by seeing life as inherently valuable and worthwhile.

I have written this post hoping that it will explain the "why" behind many of the ideas often expressed on SS. For anyone who has gotten this far, thank you for reading.

Postscript

It should be noted that I am not against suicide prevention - only the coercive means of doing so, such as throttling information and denying access to peaceful methods of suicide and locking someone up on the chance that they will end their life. These tactics cause someone to stay alive not because they voluntarily choose to live but because they have to. I am not pro suicide, I am pro voluntary life.

References
Nabokov, V. V., & Boyd, B. (1999). Speak, memory: An autobiography revisited. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Solomon, Sheldon. Denying Death.

Solomon, S., Greenberg, J., & Pyszczynski, T. A. (2015). The worm at the core: On the role of death in life. Penguin Random House.
Made this in audio form
 

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composingthefuture

composingthefuture

Member
Apr 30, 2023
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extremely late to the party here, but this is amazingly written. i got put in a partial mental hospital for suicidal ideation and it was like fucking DAYCARE. someone had to follow you to the bathroom, you couldnt seperate from the group, blah blah. all of that just to prevent that, besides the people i met there, i hated every single moment in there
 

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