suicide is selfish

Speaking As Someone Who Has Attempted It, Suicide Is NOT A Selfish Act

It's selfish to even think that suicide could be selfish.


Content warning: Suicide.

Recently a discussion was brought up in my Philosophy Morals and Ethics class that I can't seem to quit thinking about. The discussion was on suicide and one of the topics was whether or not the act is selfish or selfless.

A fellow student immediately spoke up and gave her argument for why she believed it was selfish. Including the idea that when one commits suicide, they are just passing on the pain to someone else who was affected by the death.

I immediately began to feel rage.

I understand her feelings were probably brought on because she was affected by someone else committing suicide and this was why she felt so strongly for her to speak on the subject. And as someone who has also been affected by someone else's suicide, I can understand her reasoning.

But speaking as someone who has been affected by my own suicidal thoughts and even attempts, I can't agree with her conclusion.

I've been thinking about this constantly for the past week and have been filled with so much discomfort that her reasoning was so small minded, it pissed me off. How could she sit there and say that it is selfish, of all things, if she hasn't experienced the excruciating pain of the constant battling with yourself over suicidal thoughts and depression?

I was so pissed that she would even be so selfish to say that suicide is selfish.

I began writing this as a "are you f***ing kidding me?!" article. But then my therapist's voice crept in and I was reminded to always consider all sides of all stories. I do not know if she has or has not dealt with her own suicidal thoughts. But if she truly had, could she really be able to just sit there and claim that it was selfish?!

Every single case of suicide and depression are entirely different. But personally, I believe that when someone attempts or commits suicide is because they deeply believe it is what is best for them, and others, and there is no other option. You believe that you are such a burden to those around you that you feel your death would better other's lives.

There is no talking to someone about it, there is no getting better, there is no other option. You are so consumed by the intense dark suffocating thoughts, that you can't see any form of light. You can't see that there is any other way out of the soul-sucking thoughts.

You see death as your only option out of it.

As I know now, that is not the case. There are ways out and you can get better. But that still doesn't make suicide selfish because the pain is passed on to someone else.

Merriam-Webster defines selfish as "seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others," and a selfish act as "arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of others."

Seeking well-being for oneself without regard for others.

You can't label suicide as selfish because when you truly battle with it, you know the weight it bears down on you. It steals every last breath you find the strength to take.

You can't label suicide as selfish because, in it, you believe that you are a burden to others and the world would be better off without you in it.

You can't label suicide as selfish because you think that someone ended their own life to hurt those around them.

And it's even selfish of you to even think that you can label it as selfish.

Because if you can't stop to remove the blinding curtains from your own eyes to see how much pain they were in to think that suicide was their only option, for them to feel like they had no one and that they were no one, then that makes you selfish.

Not them.

Suicide is a very real topic and action. And I am not saying that I am an expert on the subject simply because I have stared it in the face and was even unsuccessful at meeting its need.

No, I am not an expert on suicide or depression, but as someone who has drowned in the same waters as about 1,400,000 other people, I feel the need for you to know that it isn't just as simple as black and white.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Suicide Is Not The Only Way Out, We All Have A Savior

There is someone out there wants to help out. Do you realize it?


While depression is a mental illness in itself, suicide is not. However, suicide is a serious potential consequence of those mental disorders. The many warning signs and triggers for suicide include major depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and substance abuse.

The most common cause of suicide is that someone feels like that no one can help them...or save them.

Believe it or not, someone's savior is out there every day willing to help them. People don't enjoy asking for help because they are reluctant and resistant at first. That's the first step to recovery: realizing that you're not well and that you need to talk to someone. It's next to impossible to advance in today's society if you neglect the fact that something in your head is telling you to talk to someone and see them on a regular basis.

Here's the one thing that people are afraid of when they want to ask for help: how do they do it effectively? How do you impose upon people without making them feel imposed on? As mentioned, your first step is to get over your reluctance to get assistance, but there's more to it than that.

In order to get over this mindset, you need to understand that some of the most common ways of asking for help are really unproductive. This is because they make people less likely to want to give it. The easiest way of overcoming the personal demon is realizing most people are more than willing to lend a hand and relate to what is wrong with the person.

A big example is myself. When I first moved to my community, I was about 7 or 8 years old. I went to a different school district, met new students, new kids, new teachers, and it was really intimidating for me. I struggled to fit in, often bullied, and did everything I could to isolate myself from everyone. Those actions for me carried all throughout elementary school, to the final weeks of my senior year in high school.

That's right. For over a decade, I had been a loner, not wanting anything to do with anyone or anything, and refused to get help because I was depressed with the thought that no one would want to help me. During twelfth grade, I began to admit that I was depressed but never really came to terms with it. I often denied it even though it was pretty obvious I was. It wasn't until years later that I came to terms with my depression and started seeing my therapist on a regular basis.

The key to a successful request for help is to turn your focus to the benefits of realizing your problems to the person you want to have helped you. You want to persuade them to be helping because they want to, not because they must, and that they're in control of the decision.

This is why suicide seems like the best option for people struggling to find help. They are in a mindset that because they are unwilling to help themselves, no one will ever help them and that they are better off dead. Saying things like, "Nobody can save me," or "What's the point of going on?" are scary signs that mean bad things.

Never believe that suicide and running away from your problems are the best answers and solutions.

Whoever made the phrase "suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem" was a very wise person. Someone out there does care about what you are going through and how much you struggle. It is up to you to break out of your shell, conquer the demons that hold you back, and get the help that is necessary for you to live the life you want to live.

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