• Hey Visitor,

    In light of recent events, all community members in the US should reach out to their representative in regards to the Stop Online Suicide Assistance Forums Act that has been introduced in congress. This bill, if passed, could criminalize this community and hold it liable for simply hosting information.

    You should be able to locate and contact your represenative by going to this website. You can also contact Lori Trahan, the one spearheading this bill by calling her office at (202) 225-3411 or by leaving a message on the contact form on her site.

    One of the best ways to combat this is to make your voice heard. We're not political activists, but we made this notice to let you know that you do have a voice and that you do have representives that represent you in congress.
grungeCat

grungeCat

Awkward & weird
Jul 5, 2020
1,111
Very intelligent and well-written text. Thank you for your time and commitment.

I have a question. I really like this text and I want to translate it into Polish and publicise on polish pro-choice website. Can I do it? Obviously I will state that this is just a translation and I provide the link to your original text.
 
Circles

Circles

There's a difference between existing and living.
Sep 3, 2018
2,051
After so much pain and uncertainty that life throws at us there’s really not much we can control. Almost everything is out of our control, but suicide is one of the few things in life we can control. If only we had more control over our lives then maybe suicide wouldn’t be such an irresistible answer to all our problems. I’m tired of having no control of what happens to me and I am tired of worrying what’s going to happen to me, Suicide and having the control over your own death is the one of the most powerful feelings in the world because it’s like finally having a bit of freedom. That bit of freedom has helped me not go through with it yet because I feel as though I can go any time. I don’t know what the answers are or what can be said anymore, but that tiny bit of freedom and control has helped save me from myself.
 
GideonVandaleur

GideonVandaleur

Envoy of the Silence
Dec 15, 2021
123
@Meretlein I think your post is the best thing I've ever read! So good in fact, that it moved me to break my cardinal rule of silently lurking to post this! Now that my outburst is out of the way I will slink quietly back into the shadows from whence I came. I am the night!
 
R

ReluctantSeeker

Member
Mar 5, 2021
33
This is an outstanding, well-written and well-defended post. It should be submitted as a rebuttal (under a pseudonym?) to the news agency that wrote the attacking article. Unfortunately, I realize the impractabiliy of that as it would attract more unwanted attention, and that those 'news' outlets aren't the least bit interested in thoughtful discourse or reporting.
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. O
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 interiority—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 are—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.
Yep. I'd say 99% of those who think otherwise have never seriously considered, for a single moment, themselves in a similar situation, or experienced firsthand a loved one in that situation. It's interesting seeing how fast people reverse their position when their skins become the ones on the line. The problem is, that those experiences aren't highlighted in the news because showing people the depths of human suffering isn't good for ratings.
Good post.

My belief is that to force someone to remain alive against their will, is akin to torture. Everyone should have the right to say "enough" and to be able to relieve themselves of the burden of being alive.
 
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Meretlein

Meretlein

Moderator
Feb 15, 2019
1,194
Very intelligent and well-written text. Thank you for your time and commitment.

I have a question. I really like this text and I want to translate it into Polish and publicise on polish pro-choice website. Can I do it? Obviously I will state that this is just a translation and I provide the link to your original text.
That would be fine with me. I am flattered.
 
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D

drew

New Member
Feb 7, 2022
1
After so much pain and uncertainty that life throws at us there’s really not much we can control. Almost everything is out of our control, but suicide is one of the few things in life we can control. If only we had more control over our lives then maybe suicide wouldn’t be such an irresistible answer to all our problems. I’m tired of having no control of what happens to me and I am tired of worrying what’s going to happen to me, Suicide and having the control over your own death is the one of the most powerful feelings in the world because it’s like finally having a bit of freedom. That bit of freedom has helped me not go through with it yet because I feel as though I can go any time. I don’t know what the answers are or what can be said anymore, but that tiny bit of freedom and control has helped save me from myself.
why have you not got freedom any way ? freedom to do what though what's the point ? - nothing stopping you doing something different ? just why ?
 
Circles

Circles

There's a difference between existing and living.
Sep 3, 2018
2,051
why have you not got freedom any way ? freedom to do what though what's the point ? - nothing stopping you doing something different ? just why ?
K tell me then what actual ‘control’ do we actually have over our lives then? If you’re the type who believes in free will then I disagree as I am more inclined to believe in determinism.
 
R

raindrops

Good at assumptions. Can write long dull posts.
Mar 29, 2020
317
So well wrote!
How I wish I had a friend like you in reality.
Seems you could have deep conversations, I like that.
 
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Meretlein

Meretlein

Moderator
Feb 15, 2019
1,194
So well wrote!
How I wish I had a friend like you in reality.
Seems you could have deep conversations, I like that.

Thank you for your kind words. My inbox is always open if you want to chat about something.
 
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C

ceserasera

Member
Dec 17, 2021
39
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 interiority—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 are—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.
Interesting piece. I think a neglected side of all this is those people who did seek out help, but were deemed to not be 'seriously suicidal', whose suicidal feelings were not seen as legitimate. Where do those people fit in?
 
G

Graytaichi

Wizard
Feb 14, 2022
607
Too much to read. Keep it simple ,suicide is pro choice. Living w more pain and there is no wrong . There is no need to justify or explain. Imo, there is no wrong n right to ctb.
There is no need to care abt how the world views. Infact 90% are anti suicidal which is a complete nonsense
There is no need to care abt how the world views abt suicidal. Full stop.
 
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W

whileIstillmatter

New Member
Feb 16, 2022
3
This is one of the most eloquent and measured things I've ever read. It's infused with calm and deeply considered thoughts and arguments. And I think it's hard to see and lay out the logic when everyone is screaming that it's SO illogical. What I appreciate about this is that it honors a holistic view and value of life not just the one that supports and fuels capitalism.
 
gr1lledcheese

gr1lledcheese

-
Dec 18, 2021
142
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 interiority—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 are—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.
Beautifully said! Thank you!
 
lili

lili

Experienced
Feb 17, 2022
264
Thank you.

I’m a new member of this site, and ironically discovered it through a New York Times article about it. And it made me want to join because I’ve always desired to end my life.

Your essay about this is very meaningful for me. As a person who has committed so many failed attempts, there’s nothing worse than the aftermath and having to deal with everyone finding out you committed suicide and the hospital. The way the people at the ambulance treat you. With annoyance, because they claim there’s people who have way worse problems in the hospital than someone like me who just attempted suicide ( which to be honest I did not want the ambulance someone else called it so why are they nagging the whole point is that I want to die not be cured)

Then all the people who claim sadness over your passing. The guilt and peer pressure one feels to keep being alive just because of them. It’s selfish inherently. Because their not going through what your going through. And the worst is where we’re they when you really needed them anyways? It’s inherently a taboo to tell people you want to kill yourself because people get scared or freaked out, but then I see them sharing all those stupid posts on Facebook about suicide prevention whenever a celebrity dies just to feel like their doing something to help.

But then this site has been such a treasure, to see people talk about this so openly. Same thoughts I’ve always had that I’ve had to keep repressed because no one else understands. This is really important what this group is doing, and to be honest, way more helpful than any psychologist to read a lot of the posts from here.

I hope it can keep going and honestly fuck everyone else who goes against this. Just doesn’t understand what it feels like to be philosophically suicidal for long spans of life.
 
K

KimKevorkian

Experienced
Feb 23, 2022
212
Just an observation of appreciation...there is more thoughtful brainpower on this forum and site than in the entirety of the NY Times editorial staff or Board of Directors! I am so impressed with the amazing insights and eloquence on exhibit over and over throughout most of the threads. Man. All those morons elsewhere should dive off a cliff. We're the ones who deserve a better world and to live in such. But they're too busy with their "reality" t.v. and latest celebrity gossip or sports score. Damn. Anyhow, thank you all for sharing your brainpower with us all. I feel I get a little bit brighter as a result. That's purely subjective though. Otherwise, changing my name to "Gump."
Just an observation of appreciation...there is more thoughtful brainpower on this forum and site than in the entirety of the NY Times editorial staff or Board of Directors! I am so impressed with the amazing insights and eloquence on exhibit over and over throughout most of the threads. Man. All those morons elsewhere should dive off a cliff. We're the ones who deserve a better world and to live in such. But they're too busy with their "reality" t.v. and latest celebrity gossip or sports score. Damn. Anyhow, thank you all for sharing your brainpower with us all. I feel I get a little bit brighter as a result. That's purely subjective though. Otherwise, changing my name to "Gump."
One more thing that is very important for me to say..this is the only place/community wherein I can even express safely and fully the ideas surrounding self-deliverance. My best friend completely shut it down b/c it riggers his own issues from the past. No family to speak of (without curse words), therapists will call the po po and have you cuffed and delivered to the beastly "system".

Society is primitivistic and callous and does not seek a more enlightened approach nor understanding of the drivers that move one to that fatal consideration which bonds us all here on SS.

The people here are for the most part light years ahead on the empathy and intelligence scale than the "plebes" and mouth-breathing troglodytes and thugs that are the majority, sadly. Thank you non-existent evil god for this site!
 
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Deadly_Intention

Deadly_Intention

Member
Apr 10, 2021
79
It's telling when an article seeking to vilify something ends up drawing people who need it, at least in my case. Too often does talk of suicide wrap around to how others feel about it - it often focuses on the family, the friends, the people around them - but then rarely if ever does it ever actually talk about how the person themselves felt. Or if it does, it's wrapped in these coddling and infantilizing remarks about "not in right mind" or things of that nature. It's not even about free speech at heart, it's about individual autonomy and the absolutely humiliating and dehumanizing treatment suicidal people face in regular counseling, and being able to say things that would otherwise result in expensive and horrific treatment.

In the end, even non suicidal people will say someone who took their own life "made a terrible choice" - if you admit it is a choice, why then would you deny people to talk about it as such? So strange. Thank you very much for the thoughts, just wanted to add as someone swayed in the completely opposite intended direction of the article.
Yes to this comment on all levels for me. I agree. People are allowed to talk about the most vulgar things and have opinions on said matters but once someone mentions suicide it's game over and becomes a topic all about the other person. How is my choice somehow become something that is so hard for the other to understand? This is mainly why I am here, yes I was drawn here to research suicide more in-depth etc. But actually being able to say the word without getting attacked on is most welcome.
the biggest deepest fear people have about destigmatizing suicide is that it'll eventually turn out to be a double edged sword.

I have said it before. humans will eventually end up using this against each others.

like family members who claim that one of their relative is crazy or insane to gain conservatorship or to force them into psywards and forcibly drug them. If suicide becomes a norm, it's guaranteed that people will end up using it against each other in some way. Like we now use mental illness awareness to completely take away the rights of mentally ill people.

Also, there is the fear that people will start resorting to suicide too easily without considering other options. Of course, in my ideal world, that wouldn't be an issue. But since we're composing with people who value life, it's important to understand and take into account and come up with a solution to avoid all these concern they have.

I value prolifers opinion of suicide as much as I value my prochoice stance. I think this balance is necessary. Pro-lifers do have a valid point about the importance of life, not because I think life is valuable, but because cooperation and meeting them halfway in their opinions and convictions is important to me.

What I say here doesn't apply to the people who are vilifiying us in their articles or these immature relatives of suicided people who attack us. I have zero compassion or respect for them.

I'm talking about prolife philosophy in general and it's necessity and it's indeniable value and the importance of meeting respectful prolifers halfway and admitting that their concerns are real and valid.
I can understand where you are coming from. I think I have just personally had so much hate on me from so-called pro-lifers that I have disregarded any opinion coming from any person like that. But what you say makes sense and it can be valuable to see their opinion if it was presented to you in a loving caring way and not as a means to make you feel like the villain of your life as most of us already feel like constant shit and don't need the extra reinforcement of that idea. Balance is key.
 
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xxxbmw

Member
Apr 19, 2022
57
Every one should understand this by now my body my choice. People who are against suicide are like spoiled brats who never experienced what like to go through more than what you could handle.
 
R

Releasefrompressure

Member
Apr 29, 2022
44
Truth is. Nobody wishes to die.

They wish for their situation to be better than what it is.

Suicide is the result of their situation not being able to improve or being a premtive move to protect people they love/ Mitigate pain/ stop something bad happening.

Other reasons too of course. All equally valid.


Whatever the reason is.
The only way you can make peace with your decision is by acceping the fact that there are forces in the world that would always fight against you.

Hope
Will to survive
Wanting to stick it out despite all odds.

This in a 'normal situation' is a positive. Your brain is wired to have this as a default setting no matter what happens.

Sadly when things are wrong and there is something dreadful happening in your life, these forces will stay there no matter what, these forces of hope in my case remain.

Even though If I know that it is no longer possible for my situation to improve and if I stay, I will cost my wife everything we have worked so hard to earn.

In my personal case these forces of hope etc are tone deaf and they are selfish at times because they are perminant in the human condition.


I have come to realize that these feelings will never go away.

In my case what made me have peace with the fact I am dying is acepting this and understanding in my reality I have a duty to die and not bankrupt my wife and my family.

Society is another aspect of why people wish to prolong their life so much. The media and society has cultured a feeling of materialism, this has replaced traditional values such as love, honor and dignity.

Pain and grief and issues in peoples lives are unbearable. In previous generations this was accepted, we are not more smarter than these people who in our past generations dealt with life better.

I would argue they where more in course with nature and did not have the fear of dying so much as the tribe, the people you love, the forces of good go on.

This is what is important, we've lost that over time.

A suicide is not cowardly, it is honorable and in many situation for the good of other people.
 
F

flametrees

Member
Nov 22, 2021
16
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.

This is a good article and raises some interesting questions. There has been much attention drawn to 'mental illness' due to the recent pandemic (and in particular how lockdowns affected people's mental health), but all the attention drawn to 'mental health' has really not assisted anyone in a positive or productive way. Who decides who is 'mentally ill' or 'mentally well' anyway? It is often said that: It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society

The way 'mentally ill' people are labelled and treated by society is demoralising, disgusting and cruel. Locking certain people up in mental hospitals (usually just because they have different views compared to an average person), medicating them against their will, removing autonomy from them, allowing others to make decisions for them. These things should all be considered breaches of human rights and be banned. Even words used like 'committing suicide' imply there is a criminal element to doing it- like committing murder or committing arson. It is the wrong approach to take. So-called 'mental illness' needs to be reframed as the terminology is offensive. Just because a person may think differently or not want to participate in society does not mean they have any type of illness.

I personally blame the medical industry that is run purely for profit and forcing drugs (and hospital stays) onto people. I do not know one person who has become more 'mentally well' from taking mental medication (and I have worked in both the legal and psychiatric fields). How people think, how they perceive the world, and what their views are (whether they want to live or not) has very little to do with 'health' and is more to do with other things like their upbringing, life experiences and attitudes.
 
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N

niki

Member
Oct 10, 2019
65
I'm from Indonesia. Sometimes I wonder, why it seems that only human beings have this sort of 'ironic & tragic' capability of ctb (suicide/killing themselves), while all other animals don't seem to have such capability? Isn't it ironic (& tragic) of how the supposedly most apex predator at the food chain, or the most advanced being as far as we know, can still do such 'non-progress' or even 'backward' thing, eg: ending their own lives.
 
LastRide

LastRide

Specialist
Jan 23, 2020
375
Well done ! Let me just add a funny little story from my life relating to the whole "mental illness" issue....about two years ago I became rampantly suicidal again. I don't realy know why, but this time I decided to go and see a psychiatrist - not to be convinced I should live, but rather than why I've always had the desire to CTB, and why it becomes more urgent and pressing in certain periods of my life. I wanted to analyse my relationship with suicide rather than be talked out of it. So I had obviously prepared and start citing all the reasons I think suicide is the way to go for me. And you know what happens next? The psychiatrist agrees ! Believe it or not, she actually says that I am right, suicide is the best option for me, she hopes it all goes well, if I need to come back to talk to her I'm welcome, but otherwise she's not able to help me at all, or provide any form of treatment, so she does not see the necessity of me coming back to see her on a regular basis. Isn't that great? What an amazing reaction !
 
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Aerodactyl

Aerodactyl

Dwelling within darkness
Mar 18, 2021
16
I read all your essay... I must say that I really, but really love this post! Is just written like a literature review on a scholarly work, even including references at the end of the essay, which is something I don't see very often on forums and some articles! The writing style demonstrastes that each sentence and the syntax is carefully thought out. Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information from a perspective that gets barely discussed!

This brought me some deep insights about this topic, even some that I haven't heard or thought out of before! Would be difficult to find this kind of information elsewhere using the simplest and common words in a search engine like Google, when done looks up a lot of "suicide prevention" articles, threads, webpages and other content related to it at the first page, even implemented a suicide hotline section with ways of contacting it at the beginning of suicide-related searches without having to restrict the results using filters.

That's the blessing of having a platform where we can talk and discuss about this topic without being looked down upon ❤
 
B

Bombastus

Member
Jun 5, 2022
34
Preventing suicide is morally equal to, keeping a torture victim alive, just to torture them a bit longer in the hopes that it will benefit others.
 
VivantMort

VivantMort

PleromaKenoma
Jul 28, 2021
35
Mark Twain's response to those who regard life as a 'gift':

"Life was not a valuable gift, but death was. Life was a fever-dream made up of joys embittered by sorrows, pleasure poisoned by pain; a dream that was a nightmare-confusion of spasmodic and fleeting delights, ecstasies, exultations, happinesses, interspersed with long-drawn miseries, griefs, perils, horrors, disappointments, defeats, humiliations, and despairs -- the heaviest curses devisable by divine ingenuity.

But death was sweet, death was gentle, death was kind; death healed the bruised spirit and the broken heart. Death gave me rest and forgetfulness; death was man's best friend; when man could endure life no longer, death came and set him free."

~Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth
 
Euthanza

Euthanza

Self Righteous Suicide
Jun 9, 2022
1,181
Well done ! Let me just add a funny little story from my life relating to the whole "mental illness" issue....about two years ago I became rampantly suicidal again. I don't realy know why, but this time I decided to go and see a psychiatrist - not to be convinced I should live, but rather than why I've always had the desire to CTB, and why it becomes more urgent and pressing in certain periods of my life. I wanted to analyse my relationship with suicide rather than be talked out of it. So I had obviously prepared and start citing all the reasons I think suicide is the way to go for me. And you know what happens next? The psychiatrist agrees ! Believe it or not, she actually says that I am right, suicide is the best option for me, she hopes it all goes well, if I need to come back to talk to her I'm welcome, but otherwise she's not able to help me at all, or provide any form of treatment, so she does not see the necessity of me coming back to see her on a regular basis. Isn't that great? What an amazing reaction !
In the US, physicians have the highest suicide rate of any profession (28 to 40 per 100,000), more than double that of the general population (12.3 per 100,000). What's more, of all the medical specialties, psychiatry is near the top in terms of suicide rates.

Psychiatrists are killing themselves at a higher rate than people serving in the military.

Let that sink in for a minute.

 
Alive4now

Alive4now

Trying to get by until I say good bye
Jun 29, 2022
6
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 interiority—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 are—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 think this is a great article. Well thought out & written with compassion. Pro voluntary life... what a great line. Thank you for sharing.
 
O

obafgkm

Experienced
Jun 3, 2022
219
Suicide prevention is just hiding one's head in sand, trying to bury the symptoms and not face the problem, a common tactic of repressive regimes. The fact is that people want to commit suicide because they find this world hopeless.