National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — 1(800) 273-TALK

The Samaritans — (212) 673-3000

*I do NOT condone or condemn people who contemplate, attempt, or commit suicide.

They say suicide is the most selfish act one can do. I understand why, but I disagree. Not everyone who commits suicide does it because they are only thinking about themselves. Some have tried to get help, but their methods didn’t work. Some feel like a burden to their loved ones. The depression causes others to feel like they have to “walk on egg shells” around the person or that they have look after that person. Many people who are suicidal believe that it might be better for their loved ones if they are no longer alive.

Many religions say that suicide is the worst sin you can commit, and the punishment is Hell. Suicide is destroying “the temple of God” and taking the decision out of God’s hands. I do believe suicide is a sin. You are murdering yourself, and murder is a sin. But we are supposedly made in the image of God and He is our Father. If someone had a child or even elderly family member who was constantly suffering, wouldn’t you want their pain to end? Wouldn’t you do everything you could do to easy their pain? And if there was no way to help them, would you prefer them to suffer so that you still have them in your life? Or would you come to terms with death and love the person enough to let them go? I think God would understand someone killing themselves. For one, He is omniscient. He also allowed them to have their illnesses/issues. I believe that He would love them enough to not punish them if they couldn’t cope. Suicide is just death. The death of a person, no matter how they die, is sorrowful. Loved ones grieve and miss the deceased, but the ones who live had the strength in them to still fight. People who commit suicide don’t have that strength any longer.

It is said: “Don’t judge someone unless you walk a mile in their shoes”, and “You need to take care of yourself first because no one else will”. No one, and I mean no one, knows what and how each of us suffer. Two people can have the same “issues”, but cope completely different. Someone can have the worst life imaginable (slavery, homelessness, starvation, abuse, etc.) and be able to cope and survive. Whereas, others might suffer from simple depression and can’t see past their own thoughts. And there are many ways to take care of yourself and look after yourself. There are physical doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, holistic professionals, support systems, coping mechanisms, etc. But what if you tried all that? What if you have tried for years? How long do you try until you give up? Five years? Ten? Twenty? Do you just suffer through your own Hell till you die naturally? So which is worse: living in constant emotional/mental pain or causing loved ones to suffer emotional/mental pain?

Every time I hear about suicide in the news, I always hear them says what a surprise it is to the people who knew the person. Honestly, I think that’s bullshit. I understand that as humans, a lot of us have the capability to smile and laugh even during hard times. But the people, who truly know us, if they really looked, can see beyond that smile. Their health, their interests, their sleep, how they laugh, what they eat, how much they eat, the way they dress, and the things they say or don’t say, are all evidence to how a person is coping. There are so many signs.

If people can have compassion for others who suffer intensely from physical pain, then why can’t they have compassion for people who suffer mentally? People don’t choose to be hindered by physical or mental issues, and they don’t want to wallow in their suffering. No one’s life is perfect. Everyone suffers in one way or another. But the people who are not suicidal somehow have the will, determination, support, or mental capacity which allows them to fight.

I believe that if we want to reduce the rate of suicide, maybe we should invest more resources into treatment. If someone with cancer deserves treatment and a chance to survive, then why isn’t that the same for someone with a mental health issue? It is really easy to observe how we have neglected the mental health community: analyze the homeless population. It mainly consists of military veterans and/or people with severe mental health problems. With all the many different organizations, media coverage, and talk shows, one would think that society is more aware of mental health. Instead, we abandon our veterans who risked their lives for our country. We tell someone with depression: “Just cheer up” or “Get over it”. Could you imagine telling someone with cancer: “Just get over it”? When someone in physical pain cries out for help, we are understanding and provide assistance, support, encouragement, and care. When someone in mental pain cries out for help, we think they are just manipulating people. When will we accept that it is all our responsibility to improve the resources available to our mental health population? All the lives that could be saved…