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Joined: 8-01-11
Jul 21 2017 19:02

A common retort against those who commit suicide is they are selfish. It seems selfish to me to order someone *else* to live *their* life which they find utterly intolerable. Even if they have children, if they're over 18 and thus old enough and ugly enough to look after themselves, I fail to see how it is.

Joined: 8-01-11
Jul 21 2017 19:12

Joined: 25-11-16
Jul 21 2017 19:54

A touchy subject and I guess you could argue persuasively from both sides, though I find myself in agreement with the latter, that's it's generally not a selfish act, depending on the circumstances, and deserves more of a mournful and inquisitive response that an offended one. (Since we're on the subject, that guy from Linkin Park took his life yesterday -- sorry to be the bearer of bad news for anyone who liked them.)

Joined: 13-10-05
Jul 21 2017 21:08

people are rightly emotionally invested in others, so while I don't see it as selfish, it will cause wreckage. this is a consistent theme among those left in the wake.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Joined: 5-10-07
Jul 22 2017 08:43

I'm with you Woj. I've heard people say that and I find it quite deeply offensive - quite dismissive of the pain and trauma that would drive someone to suicide.

Generally, I think it's more of a reflection of a blaming those suffering from depression instead of dealing with its social, personal, and biological causes. Worse still, it discourages people who are feeling suicidal from speaking to those around them and (hopefully) alleviating those feelings.

All that said, Woj, this isn't the first time you've posted stuff on this topic. So if you're feeling a bit down, by all means, we can discuss it on libcom, but a sympathetic ear IRL goes a long way.

Fozzie's picture
Joined: 4-12-03
Jul 22 2017 10:05

It's an exchange. The person who is committing suicide gets a resolution to their pain and trauma. The people they leave behind get new pain and trauma for the rest of their lives. Also in some cases this trauma can be spread to others around them, including their kids. And of course the person who has commited suicide will never see any of this.

That said I don't think selfish is the right word as it assumes more agency than some people have. It also suggests maybe that people should "man up" and rise above their issues which is part of the whole stupidity of why men commit more suicide than women anyway.

Suicide is an individual solution to a problem that can only really be solved collectively.

Joined: 15-08-11
Jul 22 2017 20:03

Peuchet: On Suicide

Useful on subject if a bit out of date

mikail firtinaci's picture
mikail firtinaci
Joined: 16-12-06
Jul 22 2017 20:44

I agree with Marx and Pouchet, the unlikely police officer who wrote this:

What kind of society is it, indeed, where one finds the profoundest solitude in the midst of millions; where one can be overwhelmed by an irrepressible desire to kill oneself wthout anybody being aware of it? This society is no society, it is as Rousseau says, a desert inhabited by wild animals

In our society suicide takes the form of a collective murder. The blame cannot be put on the those who commit the act. Those who commit suicide are not "selfish" or "coward". On the contrary:

“Madame de Staël, whose greatest merit is to have expressed commonplaces in brilliant style, has attempted to show that suicide is an act contrary to nature, and that it cannot be regarded as a deed of courage; she claims in particular that to fight despair is more worthy than to succumb to it. Such arguments little affect souls which are overwhelmed by misfortune. If they are religious, they look forward to a better world; if, on the contrary, they do not believe in anything, they seek the calm of Nothing. Philosophical tirades have no value in their eyes and are a poor refuge from suffering. It is above all in bad taste to maintain that an act so frequently committed is contrary to nature; suicide is in no way contrary to nature, since we witness it daily. What is against nature does not happen. On the contrary, it is in the nature of our society to produce many suicides, while Tartars do not kill themselves. Hence all societies do not have the same products. That is what we must tell ourselves, so as to work for the reform of our society and make it rise to a higher stage. As for courage, if it is considered courageous to defy death in broad daylight on the battlefield, under the domination of every form of excitement, there is nothing to prove lack of courage in one who administers death to himself in dark solitude. Such a. debatable question is not disposed of by insulting the dead.

Rommon's picture
Joined: 23-03-17
Jul 25 2017 06:54

Here's waht I would say, I don't know anyone personally who has commited suicide, so I do understand that emotionally I do not understand what that is like. However, I would say that arguing whether or not suicide is selfish or not is the wrong question; if someone does take their own life either their life was unbearable to live due to some external factors, or they had serious mental Health problems or even physical Health problems.

I would NEVER support or advise anyone to take their own life, I believe People who are at risk of taking their own life deserve all the spiritual, emotional, material, and physical help and care that anyone around them can give, and those around them have a moral obligation to care for that person.

Other than that I don't know what more one can say about it other than it is a tragedy and horror.

Tom Henry
Joined: 26-09-16
Jul 25 2017 12:25

Emile Durkheim observed that modern society was the first to suffer from the epidemic of 'the suicide of sadness'.

This sadness is not due to physical hardship, it is due to a feeling of a lack of control over ones own life, an existential feeling of alienation.

The communities that suffer from it most today are Indigenous ones. Suicide in these communities, across the world, is huge and increasing.

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Joined: 9-02-06
Jul 27 2017 17:17

I think the claim of selfishness has a relatively simple explanation it culpabilises the person so that we can be angry with them (instead of sad or sympathetic) and it allows us to cut off emotions, as they obviously "didn't care" then why should we.

Suicide is a very complicated act and I wouldn't condemn anyone for it (aside from those who murder their families first, that is pure egotism), I think that many people hold off from committing suicide for precisely this reason and while for some this might be the delay they need to find a way to improve their situation for others it won't.

wojtek if you are feeling suicidal please send me or someone else a message we might be helpful. (I am going on holiday tomorrow so don't wait too long) Or try to get some treatment, you're in the UK right? It can be a bit hit and miss but for depression services aren't too bad, especially if you are working,

Suicide is extremely impulsive, minor barriers a bridges cut suicide numbers, as do blister packs of drugs and only being able to buy 30 pain pills at a time and so on. So while many suicidal people might have been thinking about it for a long time the actual act is usually spontaneous and a very small change stops it from happening.