Thought Catalog
March 24, 2015

27 People On Whether It’s Selfish And Cowardly To Kill Yourself

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Flickr / polmuadi
Flickr / polmuadi
Found on AskReddit.

1. Cowards.

Cowards. Have several friends that have committed suicide in the last year. They left children that will always wonder what they could have done.

2. They are just passing their pain to other people.

They are just passing their pain to other people.

3. I don’t pity them, I don’t envy them, and I don’t think they’re cowards. But I understand why.

Really, it’s just sad acceptance. They’re gone, and there’s nothing we can do to bring them back.

I’ve had friends kill themselves, and I’ve been down that dark road very recently. It’s where you reach out for help, talk to people, and it doesn’t help. It’s where no matter how hard you try, things don’t get better. It’s where you don’t see a future.

People who kill themselves, it’s an absolute last resort. They’ve exhausted every other option and can’t fight anymore.

I didn’t know what came after death, but frankly, I didn’t care. I just wanted life to stop hurting so much.

I don’t pity them, I don’t envy them, and I don’t think they’re cowards. But I understand why.

4. Suicide is not a selfish act.

Suicide is not a selfish act. People who are suicidal believe they are doing their loved ones a favor by ending their life. They believe they are burdensome. My uncle killed himself for various reasons ranging from crippling depression, past trauma, and guilt because he realized his life insurance would keep my aunt financially afloat since his construction business was suffering major monetary blows.

In the end, I believe people who commit suicide think it is an altruistic act, even though they are not burdensome as they believe they are. And, for that, I feel immense pity as well as empathy.

5. Saying that someone is selfish by committing suicide is selfish in and of itself.

Saying that someone is selfish by committing suicide is selfish in and of itself. It’s like saying, “Hey can you not relieve your endless suffering so I don’t feel bad for a little while?”

6. They must have been both brave and truly suffering to make that choice.

A lot of people think it’s cowardly, but the truth is, the survival instinct is incredibly strong, to push past that and to choose to end it is actually pretty remarkable. They must have been both brave and truly suffering to make that choice.

7. No one owes anyone else their existence.

No one owes anyone else their existence.

I hate how people blame the person that committed suicide and say that they selfishly took themselves out of existence. No, the people that think that are the selfish ones.

8. I just assume that the pain they felt was 1000 times worse than what they left me with. So I don’t blame them.

My mother and my brother both committed suicide. So you could say that I have more experience with this topic than your average Joe. It’s painful, but I just assume that the pain they felt was 1000 times worse than what they left me with. So I don’t blame them. Would be nice to have them around for my life milestones, such as my wife never knowing my mother or brother. It’s really odd that my wife has never known this entire chapter of my life. My brother shot himself in the face when I was on my first deployment when I was 20. And my mom shot herself in the chest when I was 18. Had a voicemail from that night on my phone for a good year and half. “I love you pumpkin.”

9. A lot of people think that suicide is about wanting to die, but I feel that it is more about trying to get rid of the pain that you feel.

A lot of people think that suicide is about wanting to die, but I feel that it is more about trying to get rid of the pain that you feel. Suicidal people are in a lot of mental agony, and I think that if you are in a paroxysm of depression, you feel like the pain will never go away.

Even though death is not a favorable alternative, it sure is better than suffering every day.

10. Some people just have genuinely shitty luck in life.

I was a suicide hotline counselor for a while. I heard a lot of horrible stories. Some people just have genuinely shitty luck in life. Suicide isn’t cowardly. Sometimes I think people forget that other people are humans, too.

11. I had a family friend kill himself, and I was furious at him.

It depends really. Usually I feel sympathy, or sadness that they were in such a poor mental state that they resorted to that. However, I had a family friend kill himself, and I was furious at him. Mostly because he had a young daughter, and she was the one who found him. In most cases I believe you have the right to choose to die, but if you have young kids, I feel like you should find help and do whatever you can to prevent yourself from going through with it.

12. Suicides aren’t cowards. They often get called that, but mostly by people who never felt as low as they do.

Funny you ask.

A friend of mine committed suicide maybe…5 years ago now? On March 31st. I think of her a lot, but especially around this time of year. I always remember because I have the memorial card from the funeral where I keep my booze.

I was angry at first, but I think everyone is.

But I’ve been depressed too, too many times. I just had some pretty dark thoughts today…thinking of her helped steer me in another direction.

Suicides aren’t cowards. They often get called that, but mostly by people who never felt as low as they do.

Suicides are people who made a choice. They believed that the pain of living with whatever darkness they had–the anxiety of existence, the stress of continuing day after day feeling the way they do–was worse than the pain of death.

It’s an inherently self-centered thing to do but I wouldn’t call it selfish–another common reaction. But then, I personally think it’s selfish to react with “you hurt everyone around you with your decision. Think of your parents!” I’m sure they thought of their parents. I’m sure they thought of their friends.

My friend, she put a blanket over her head before pulling the trigger. That’s thinking about your friends; she knew the body would be found and traumatize someone.

I think it’s a choice. It’s not a good choice, but it’s a choice.

Had another friend, he tried and failed at ending it. After that… he made another choice. He chose to change his life instead of end it.

Sometimes people make bad choices. Sometimes people choose to end their own lives. But like every choice, it probably felt like the best and only choice at the time.

It’s a shame that this low hits people so hard. It’s a shame anxiety and depression hurt so much.

That’s my opinion. I feel for those who did it but I no longer judge them for it.

13. It’s tragic that their pain was so unbearable that they were willing to give up every potential good day to make it stop.

I feel sad for them. It’s tragic that their pain was so unbearable that they were willing to give up every potential good day to make it stop.

I’m sad for their families or anyone left behind.

What really makes me angry is when a person has been bullied or abused to the point of suicide and then acquaintances come out of the woodwork and say “____ was a wonderful person. I loved them so much.” Why not tell them that when they were alive and struggling?

14. It’s unfortunate we don’t yet understand the human brain enough to effectively combat depression.

The poor person must have struggled for too long under an unbearable weight.

It’s unfortunate we don’t yet understand the human brain enough to effectively combat depression.

15. People with depression and contemplating suicide are in such a pit of inner darkness you could never understand it unless you were them.

When I was a little kid (about 5) I found my sister after she had shot herself. Story behind it was she was 18 and had gotten pregnant by a not-so-great dude and was already struggling with depression. My parents had been very understanding with her and made it abundantly clear that they would always be there and she could ask them for anything. Unfortunately her inner battle with her emotions was too much and she had killed herself anyway. I was so angry and hurt by the whole thing. How could my sister do this to our family? I started to hate her for it and would say she was selfish and a coward for choosing to leave us like she did. But as I got older and saw more people choose the path she did it totally opened my eyes to how sinister depression can be. I now know that even if you think you know their situation, even if you think you’re providing them with all the support they could need, even if they act like they’re happy, it’s just not that simple. People with depression and contemplating suicide are in such a pit of inner darkness you could never understand it unless you were them. It hurts my heart to know that people feel that dying is the only option that they have left. I would strongly recommend that if you know someone who is thinking about killing themselves or you yourself are considering it, please please please, reach out. Seek help. Dying isn’t the answer or the solution to your problem. Life is precious at every stage, even if you feel you’re alone, you’re not. Millions of people are fighting that same battle. You’re never alone.

16. I only feel pity for them that in the darkness the only light they could find led them to their end.

My stepfather shot himself when I was about 15 years old. I used to feel that suicide was a selfish, callous and cowardly act. That the people who did these things to themselves had little regard for the ones who love them. How dare they leave behind that kind of mess for everyone that they supposedly loved? How dare they cause that kind of trauma? Do they not realize the ripples this act would cause? Did they not worry that someone so grieved would follow their example and check out as well?

But over the years I’ve realized it’s an act of desperation. To be so pained that the only solution is self-annihilation. I only feel pity for them that in the darkness the only light they could find led them to their end.

17. The choice to die is the most personal choice one can make.

I think suicide is a perfectly acceptable and a personal choice. We get so hung up on the idea of suicidal people needing help. We assume they had a mental illness or could have been “saved.” We tell them they are being selfish for considering the act because of all the people who would be hurt, hoping to make them care about how others would feel. Why do we ask people who are already carrying a heavy burden (emotional or otherwise) to add to their burden in the hope that they will be “better?”

I refuse to believe you are mentally ill for making a choice to end your own life regardless of your reasoning or situation. The choice to die is the most personal choice one can make. People have a right to choose how and when their lives end. Just because it isn’t “normal” doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

18. I don’t like the trend of romanticizing it.

I don’t like the trend of romanticizing it. Calling it brave, sob stories justifying suicide, etc. I mean—I get it, you’ve had tough times and depression can pull you down that lane, but goddamn. And I mean no offense to people who’ve had relatives commit suicide, just my personal opinion.

19. It is sad when someone’s illness ends their life, but that is all it is: illness.

The same as my opinion of someone who has a heart attack or a stroke. It is sad when someone’s illness ends their life, but that is all it is: illness.

20. People don’t do that unless they find the perfect storm of terrible things in their life and nobody around to help them through it.

At the shortest, “tragic.” People don’t do that unless they find the perfect storm of terrible things in their life and nobody around to help them through it.

21. They are in an immense amount of pain that cannot be seen, heard, felt, or in any way perceived by anyone but them.

My opinion of people who commit suicide is that they could not deal with the pain anymore. They are not cowards. They are not selfish. They are in an immense amount of pain that cannot be seen, heard, felt, or in any way perceived by anyone but them.

22. The ones that do it in public? I sympathize with them but they’re assholes for doing it in a way that traumatizes other people.

The ones that do it in public? I sympathize with them but they’re assholes for doing it in a way that traumatizes other people.

The ones that do it in private? I think it’s their right to decide when they want to die. That said, I think they need some help and support to see if death is really what they want.

23. They didn’t “kill” themselves, they died of complications of having depression.

If they had depression, they didn’t “kill” themselves, they died of complications of having depression.

24. Suicide is one of the ultimate assertions of personal liberty.

After reading Schopenhauer’s Studies in Pessimism I am of the opinion that suicide is one of the ultimate assertions of personal liberty. I have no problem with suicide.

25. If you say you could never kill yourself, be thankful you’ve never been in a bad enough situation to truly understand suicide.

I feel like just about anyone can kill themselves. Everyone has a breaking point, push them past that and you’ll see all sorts of crazy.

If you say you could never kill yourself, be thankful you’ve never been in a bad enough situation to truly understand suicide.

26. People who are suicidal are sick. Their illness makes it impossible to be anything but selfish.

Suicide is a selfish act. I can ruin the lives of those who are left behind, and even cause them to do it themselves.

However, people who are suicidal are sick. Their illness makes it impossible to be anything but selfish. They are in a place where it is basically impossible to see or give a damn about anything other than what’s going on in their own head.

People who want to end it need help first and foremost. Sometimes they seek it out, sometimes they need someone to drag them to help kicking and screaming, but you owe it to those you care about to fight for them even if they don’t want to fight for themselves.

Here and here are lists of hotlines for various countries, in case anyone reading needs them.

27. Everyone’s greatest enemy is themselves.

No matter how bright your surroundings are there will always be darkness in your shadow. Everyone’s greatest enemy is themselves. TC mark

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