T Nation

What's with Suicide???


Can you see the irony in this thread - Get a life and "suicide"? lol

Anyway, there's been sooo many deaths in my town lately (population = only ~10,000). Some of which, suicide.

I never really paid that much attention to the subject as much as lately because a close colleague of mine (of which I was often a "shoulder to cry on") lost her boyfriend to suicide. I used to see/speak to this guy every week...it's been a proper shocker to most at my work.

Depression seems to be ripe right now though, everywhere I look someone knows someone with some form of severe depression (especially in this part of the country - North Scotland). My family for one, has had a bad history of it (including myself but I manage it better nowadays).

I just don't understand those that take their own lives. My colleague had a row with her boyfriend (bear in mind that they're both in their 50's), and he went home and hung himself...


Combination of medical condition and the glorification of attention seeking behavior. It's a shame to lose someone close to you, but anyone who goes down that road because "life was hard" should have just sacked up and dealt with it.

With that being said, it'd be very nice to see a real initiative taken against preventing people from going down that path but since it's near impossible to pin the cause down to even a handful of reasons, I don't see anything changing with suicide rates continuing to rise.


Depression has been rampant recently. I personally believe that human thought like that can spread like disease. Not in the sense that it is medically contagious but people are empathetic in nature and you need look no further than the human yawn to see that. The average person sees behavior and unintentionally imitates.

...Just my theory I guess.

Everyone has to deal with depression every now and then though; the strong use it as a catalyst while the weak dwell in it and sabotage themselves.




That is oddly fucking brilliant. Always count on some gems in the dirt from the collective that is anon.


I've had this EXACT thought. Love it. Fuck people that want to kill themselves. If they channel it right, they can attempt (and probably achieve) anything, because their other option inherently has a 100% death rate.


Ha, that sounds great!

Only problem with the (severely) depressed is that they don't FEEL anything. It's such a pain in the ass trying to cheer someone like that up lol


I lost my cousin to suicide a couple years back. She hung herself. Never even made it apparent that she was suffering from depression. Nothing. Didn't leave a note either, and outside of being bullied at high school years back she really had no reason to.

Life might be a cunt sometimes, but suicide should never be an option. To me it is the ultimate selfish act.


My grandfather committed suicide in the late 60's. It affected my father, the eldest son, incredibly; beyond simply loss and pain. It was the catalyst that sent him overseas to meet my mother, get married and eventually have me.

The foundation of his depression was that he had been struggling with his sexuality for several years, probably decades. He was a doctor at the time and troubled, turning to morphine and whatever else to, I dunno, numb his secret feelings I guess. His 'coming out' and subsequent seperation from his confused family lead to an intentional overdose which obviously had a massive effect on his children and the generation that followed; people blaming themselves initially, blaming each other and generally just not understanding what must have been going on in his head to leave what he did behind. I mean, who could really? Who can? Here he was - a married man with a large family, a doctor and addict, in his 40's and gay...in the 1960's. Who could possibly place themselves in those shoes and understand, or advise, or pretend to think they have the answers someone like this needs?

I personally see it as a darkness you can't fully comprehend unless it's actually enveloping you and I try not to be judgemental regarding it, despite the effect it had on my family.


That's some rough stories Teledin and Stern.

Some people get quite angry when it happens to them (relative/loved one takes their lives).

I can relate to the sexuality thing causing severe in-ward trouble. My brother "came out" about 6 years ago when he was 17 years old - really difficult thing to do when you're from a very strict religious background. There were some times when I had to talk to him because of suicidal phases. He still hasn't acted on his sexuality yet and likely won't...especially while living at home with my parents.


Some people commit suicide to escape incurable overwhelming pain or terminal illness. Some others do it because they are literally insane.

I agree that in many cases it is a selfish cop out, but in some it is the people that are left behind that are selfish for having wanted their friend/loved one to live on in agony.

EDIT: This is a general thought and not intended to address your specific story, in response to which I have nothing but sympathy and condolences.


Isn't it selfish to demand that someone else continue living so you wont feel bad?


I don't know what its called but isn't there a psychological phenomenon where a place with one suicide suffers a spike in suicides the following years? There was also a jump in suicide rates after Kurt Cobain's ticket got punched.


Sorry to nitpick...but he's 23 and living with the parents? Now THAT would make me suicidal.


In this particular case (in the OP) no it's not selfish to want someone else to live. Life has it's moments, and mental illness like depression doesn't have to last "forever".

A little background: this guy had a few children and grandchildren (some of whom I saw, really cute). One of his daughters was going to get married this year. There was no major sign of suicidal tendencies. The pain of being on and off with his girlfriend was what tipped him over the edge (the final argument).

These things are temporary and heal. So yes it is selfish. Understandable maybe, but it's still self centred.

In the case of the terminally ill, that's different. They cannot change - a person with depression can be greatly helped.


LOL, I moved out when I was 17, couldn't stand to live at home any longer.

Same thing happened to my siblings too (5 of them) except my brother who's the youngest - he has aspergers syndrome (a form of autism). Although it's mild, it still makes things complicated.


That would make sense.

A nearby town to us actually had 18 cases of suicide! I think this was all within 2 years. It made it into the paper because people speculated that a pact was made or something (most of the individuals knew each other)


I'm 26 and still live at home. I dont quite understand why I would want to work two jobs to get "my own place", so most of my money can go to rent and I can have very little time to enjoy it - while my mother can be lonely and have to pay for things I do for free (yardwork, moving, shoveling, etc).


Good for you, each to their own. When I was 17 my financial needs weren't all that great (still managed to pay for rent etc), sure I had little money at the end of it but you make do with what you've got.

If it makes sense then do it. My parents were all up for us moving on and out lol


I had a close friend who took his life many years ago. A first Gulf War veteran. A man whom I had know since childhood. He was suffering with PTSD which included recurring nightmares to the point where he couldnt sleep for more than two hour spurts at a time; and numerous other health complications, including being in almost chronic pain from back injuries sustained from a helicopter crash. He had also seen the breakdown of his marriage, lost his job and had been forced onto living on disability. His quality of life was zero. I knew he was severy depressed, perhpas even more so than usual, during the last and final time we spoke when we met up for beers, and as I sat there sympathetically inquiring about medications, and wether or not they were working, and as he described then his suffering in more and more succinct detail, I suddenly felt a wave of upset come over me at the realisation that I was utterly powerless to help my friend.

Bill hung himslef one early October day in 1994. I believe it was a Tuesday. About three weeks after we last met.

His apartment's maintanence manager discovered his body some two weeks later when some of the other residents complained about a stench in the hallway......

It really is a damn shame that you, and that other teenager (I assume you are of similar age and maturity), were not there to give that him pep talk. I'm sure that you, with your enduring and wordly insights, could have convinced him to man up and 'channel it right'. It's also a shame you also couldn't of given your opinion to his family, or some of the members from his old unit. I'm sure the choice words of your generalisation would have gone down well with them.

Understand, suicide, like most other facets of human behaviour, is staggering complex. Perhaps, it would seem, too complex for your average American.

With this in mind, simplisitc and infantile chastisisms like - "It's a selfish act", "It's the cowards way out", "How could they do that to their family", "It it never an option" - demonstrate not only a grand failure in logic and perspective, but also a thouroughly self-serving, and therefore illegitimate deduction.

If any of you who so readily demonize suicidality would actually have the perspectivity to go beyond your socially conditioned prejudices and do some reading into the biology, psychology and sociology of the subject, you might find yourself with a slightly more encompassing and empathetic viewpoint.

Also understand, and this is the most salient point I wish to get across, suicide is rarely chosen, nor often do the suicide wish to really die. It primarily a result of when aggreagated pains exceed available coping resources. The suicidal want to negate that pain, and when coping resources on offer in their social sphere fail to deliever, then cessation of mortality and consciousness, (and therefore suffering) becomes a viable option.

Sometimes it is indeed a failure of rationalism and perspective on their part, to see the real, viable alternatives, and a mistaken view of permanace to their current circumstances. These are the more tragic cases where adequate counsel and a realistic inventory of problems could have led to mitigation of the feelings of powerlessness that permeate suicidal thinking. Other times it is the end of result of cold, relaisation that life is indeed not worth living, becasue there will only be more misery and pain, and that misery and pain will outstrip the capaacity to feel or recieve any joy.

It is our great American cultural myth, that one has and should be able to draw upon limitless amounts of stoicism, and that one always has the personal volition to change one's circumstances for the better, if only they are motivated enough. Anyone who has experienced the more sinister side of life or visited some darker corners of the globe knows that life is far more random and cruel that we would ever like to admit. Some people truly get dealt a shitty deck even in a materially opulant sociey such as ours; and whilst certainly due to genetics, upbrining and social resources, some are better at dealing with the arrows that our inevitabley slung at us in life, none of us are invincible. There is a breaking point for all of us, some reach it earlier than others. That's why the "his/her problems werent that bad" (the ones that were of been apparent to you, the onlooler, at least) becomes redundant. Everyone has a breaking under accrued weight, and what broke the camels back was just that - the final blow. That breakup, job loss or something as innocuous as a broken fan belt was just part of a long line of accrued and (more than likely) silent miseries, so for blaming a suicide on a persons lack of will in respoinse to an apparent circumstnace, is incredibly short-sighted.

I miss Bill.

Before things got bad for him - before Saddam invaded Kuwait, before that chopper suffered a rudder failure and crashed, before his wife couldnt deal with him waking up screaming in the middle of the night, before it hurt Bill too much climb a step-ladder to repair a light fitting - he was warm, optimistic a pleasure to be around. The type of friend you could count on at a moments notice to help you out. I would very much like to him again. I'd like to drink some Sam Adams on my back porch with him, or go lift as we we did in our first forays into the weightroom in high school, or just cruise around in my car like we did as teenagers checking out the girls.
I also know that my friend was suffering physically and mentally in such a way that I feel no human should have to go through. He had endured enough bad luck and misfortune as far as any realisitc person would agree with.

It was dissapointment after dissapointment as one medication would improve one symptom for his complications but give him two extra side effects. The guy couldn't get a fucking break. Am I upset that my freind committed suicde? Yes, to this day. Did I, along with his family members, feel such terrible greif, anger and guilt when he passed? Yes, also to this day. I am in the back of my mind, also relieved that he is no longer suffering, that he no longer has to go through the agony of another day?, that is also an unequivocal yes too.