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Mistress of all she surveys
Sep 7, 2018


I began to feel anxious, overburdened by a life that seemed impossible, threatened by a world that seemed to want me, personally, to fail. Part of me honestly saw everything as a dark personal attack by the world itself. But part of me also knew that it was my brain that was making me think that; that it was my brain that was giving me those thoughts and emotions. And knowing that my brain, the part of us we rely on most, was turning against me, was worse.

To save myself from my perceived threats, I thought of escaping the world by escaping my body through death. Not to evade responsibility or duty, but to survive. I saw my body as something that would destroy me by keeping me in the world that was closing in on me. If I escaped my body, I would be free. I would be safe.

In suicidal moments, there is a strong removal of self from body. The body, other people, and the physical world seem strange, almost as if you had been watching it out of focus and it had suddenly become sharp, but with the colors darkened and the shadows lengthened. The self takes on a very strong identity that is completely independent of all things physical. The body becomes disassociated from the self, and thus unimportant and irrelevant.

Part of the natural aversion to suicide is the pain that will inevitably come with it. But when you are in the moment, you don’t care. Pain ceases to become a factor. It’s not simply that you refuse to let it bother you—there is no emotional connection to the thought of pain at all. There is no emotional connection to anything. Because you have already become separated from your body. All logic ceases. All Catechetical training, all natural instincts to survive, are gone. They need a brain to sustain them, and the brain is exactly what has turned against you.

Thankfully, in my first and hardest moment I had a brief realization that I had to live, and nothing bad happened. I told a friend about it, and a few months later when I had recovered he told me that the chance of suicides going to hell was greater than I had thought. At first I was terrified by that knowledge, but later, when I was facing all the same feelings again, that knowledge is what saved me. As much as I wanted to escape earth, the chance of never escaping hell wasn’t worth it.​

So Eileen Wittig, the young woman who wrote the article, recommends telling suicidal people that they will go to Hell if they ctb ("Suicide should be assumed to be a mortal sin so it can be a deterrent rather than an escape", as she puts it)? Even though (as she explains later in the article) that people should "not assume they are in hell. Only God can know what was in their heart at the time. There is still a chance they are in heaven, or at least in purgatory."

Arrgh! I don't think that telling suicidal people will go to Hell if they ctb in order to keep them from ctb is a good idea. If a suicidal person does not believe in an afterlife, then saying that people who ctb will go to Hell will only invoke contempt, and if a suicidal person does believe in an afterlife, it will just mean that the suicidal person will be evasive and no longer trust any person who pulls out the Hellfire card on him or her. If one wants to prevent ctb, there should be a better way than saying "you're going to Hell!"

This article was published in 2014. I wonder whether Ms. Wittig has had any other episodes of severe depression since then, and if she told herself not to ctb because she was afraid of going to Hell.


Sep 30, 2018
It’s extremely cruel to tell a suicidal person that in addition to of all the terrible anguish that led them to the conclusion that dying is preferable to enduring any more pain, the God who created them is sending them to eternal torture in hell.

There is no mention of this in the Bible and it’s simply a sadistic human idea that these people deserve to be punished.