On Suicide, “Selfishness” and Ending Stigma

It’s not right to call someone “selfish” whose died as a result of suicide. The person who is dead was in a lot of pain, maybe not physically, but mentally it was painful and that mental pain made it seem like that was a viable, and only option. Yes, it’s hard to get that if you’ve never struggled with depression, anxiety or some other form of mental illness. BUT some of y’all just need to try and do better about understanding mental illness. How? Pick up a book, find an advocacy org, or talk with folks who face battle every morning they wake up. You’ll be a part of making it easier for folks to seek help.

On the other hand, some (not all) of the folks I have heard scream about the “selfishness of suicide” I have found are close to the subject. They’ve lost someone in their life. And another suicide, triggers memories, rage, depression, and pure grief all over again. That’s real. Some people have responded by telling those folks to go to hell and leave it at that.

I literally think nothing on the subject of mental illness and reducing suicide is going to change if we don’t get some understanding and education going. You hear someone call a person whose died from suicide “selfish”, and you have the strength to engage, say something. Maybe they lost someone and they are triggered, maybe they are badly informed, maybe they are really just a jerk without an empathy bone. Either way letting that attitude thrive unchecked makes it worse. I try to do that sometimes when I can and will be mindful about it going forward because as always victim blaming, and letting it thrive, is a matter of life and death