I never really understood why people speak so callously about suicide, some people say it’s a very selfish thing to do to one’s family, I’ve heard people say suicide is a cowardly action, that it’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem, I’ve heard remarks about victims like ‘he was always a little different growing up’ and ‘she was a problem child’.
I think there is a very warped mentality about suicide victims in society; suicide is talked about as an option people take, a premeditated cry for attention, a way out for failed businessmen, or a mistake after a night out drinking.
What’s ignored in all of this is that there has actually been a victim, not a victim of oneself but a victim of society and more than likely a victim of depression.
To understand a victim’s actions you must stop looking for a reason, it’s not because they lost their job, or because they broke up with their boyfriend, or because they didn’t go to church, etc. Rationalising suicide creates a bias in your own mind which ignores the root problem, and that is that the victim was severely depressed at the time of death. For many victims depression is a daily battle, for others it may be a blitz they never expected and could not overcome alone.
Talking about suicide without talking about depression is pointless. It only further marginalises victims who may have very isolated thoughts and it will compound their guilt about hurting loved ones. Without being able to talk about their depression they don’t have a way out.
No one chooses suicide, it’s a very dark place in someone’s mind when they can’t face living, when their world collapses and an imbalance screams ‘death’ so loud that they can no longer think clearly. No one commits suicide without being in intolerable psychological pain. Don’t rationalise suicide, it is not a selfish act. Suicide is complex; don’t simplify it by providing one simple reason.
Help fight depression and you will help prevent suicide. Talk to your family, to your friends, to your neighbours, help people talk through their problems or to seek professional advice. Know that we all have our own struggles, rely on your friends, be a friend, don’t suffer alone, don’t ignore those who do.