Stop Calling Suicide a Selfish Act: Thoughts on Suicide From Someone Who Has Battled Depression by Dawn Taylor
Two very high-profile deaths by suicide, designer Kate Spade and Chef Anthony Bourdain, have brought mental health illness and suicide back into the spotlight. This is a good thing. What isn't good is the never-ending comments about what a selfish act suicide is.
Let me tell you something, I have suffered from debilitating depression at different points of my life and had thoughts about ending it all. Serious thoughts. When depression has you in its ugly grip, nothing feels good. Nothing feels possible. For me, having kids has kept me alive. Exercise keeps me alive. But truthfully, some days just barely.
When people truly hit that point of no return it is not selfish to lose their battle. They are not able to fight anymore. It would be wonderful if they had the courage or strength to reach out to someone and get help in that worst moment, but please do not think that this is an easy thing to do. To be in that state of mind, the last thing you want to do is talk to anyone. You want to disappear.
I don't know what the answer is to the epidemic of depression and hopelessness. What I do know is that to criticize people in what was their weakest moments is not helping.
Photo: Anthony Bourdain Twitter
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Don't get me wrong......my heart aches deeply for the family and friends who are left behind. But not only do I not consider suicide "selfish", it takes my breath away to try to imagine their thoughts in those final moments (or hours or days or weeks or months some suffer through). Life can be heartless in so many ways, and hope is sometimes the only thing we have to cling to. The literal hopelessness they must feel is unimaginable and absolutely heartbreaking.