Is suicide selfish?


Based on the question “why do you think suicide is selfish?” someone asked me, I decided to write this post – partially based on my response to her.

Is suicide selfish?

Is suicide selfish?

Keep in mind, I have personally attempted suicide more than once, and still at times have suicidal thoughts. So I do understand how it feels.

I do have mixed feelings and understanding about the subject, but for the most part I do feel that it is selfish.

Selfish?

In general, I believe we should have the right to end our own lives if we chose to.
However, that doesn’t mean that we should under most circumstances – especially if there are people who care about us, or if there is hope that we will overcome the feelings that make one someone become suicidal.
Most of time, at least one – if not both – of those cases are true.

How other people feel

Most people will have at least someone who cares about them, and will be hurt for years to come – if not permanently by their action of suicide.

It’s very traumatic experience, especially if the person is close to you.
You are ridding of your own concerns, but causing problems and pain for other people. 
This doesn’t mean that I want you to be suffering, but it doesn’t change the fact that is it is selfish in that sense.

Some people may even need therapy to get over a loss due to suicide, because it’s worse than a natural or accidental death in some ways.
Most of the time, people won’t even fully understand why the person committed suicide. They may blame themselves, feel useless for not being able to prevent it, among other things.

For a worst case scenario example, just imagine someone you care about or maybe even love doing this.
It would probably be even worse if you were one to find them dead — e.g. with a hole in their head, blood all over and so on.
Pardon the graphic detail, but I feel it’s needed for you to imagine a reaction to that.
Be realistic about it — unless you’re absolutely heartless, this might – for a while – be even more painful than some of the reasons people commit suicide in the first place.

“But what about me”?

The person who asked me the question felt that it’s selfish to expect you to live while suffering and struggling so severely.
While I understand the desire to commit suicide in the first place means the person is in great pain and suffering him/herself and they may see no other way out, I still feel that it is selfish with such a situation as explained above.

Perhaps, all people involved are being selfish.
– Your main concern is of yourself, if you actually commit suicide.
+ But the people who care about you, are – especially at first – more worried about YOU  than themselves.
? Eventually, they will be grieving – feeling very upset, hurt, and possibly even angry that you did it.
But does that really imply that they are selfish?
They cared about, and maybe even loved you — so they miss you and wish they could have done more for you.
This is normal human emotion. To me, it does not seem to be selfishness on their part.
So again, you are the one being selfish in this case.

Let’s not forget, you are one person inflicting pain and trauma on – most likely – multiple people.
And you probably can find ways to cope with your own pain instead.

“What if I prepare people?”

I don’t believe you can actually prepare someone, and have them willingly accept that you are going to commit suicide – unless that person isn’t taking you seriously, or isn’t close enough to you for it to bother them severely.
For example, I personally feel sad for the person who contacted me to discuss this – and I don’t even know them!
Do you really think your family isn’t going to care? You’re likely mistaken.

Even if there is no one else

I’m not religious, but sometimes wonder if the act of suicide alone is selfish; as in, ending the gift of life that you were given.
I feel that everyone’s life is special and valuable. We’re all unique, and to just toss that away seems like a waste and selfish itself.

Life really is precious – and you probably only get one. Nobody’s life is perfect.
Even while suffering with mental illness (hello, I have severe bipolar myself), your life is not worthless or pointless.
Don’t disrespect yourself or put such low value on your life.

Hope

Normally there -is- hope, even if we don’t see or believe it at the time.
Whether the reason is mental illness, financial struggle, relationship problems, family, sexual or physical abuse, or whatever else it may be – there is normally a way to at least make life easier for oneself.

Eventually, you may be able to move past it. And if not, you can learn to live more comfortably with the problem.
Become stronger from having learned new knowledge and coping techniques from your anguishing experiences. Maybe you can help others, too.

So don’t just give up.

With one exception

If the person has a terminally ill condition – meaning they are sure to die, and they are going to suffer a lot of physical pain, I would probably actually respect their decision to end their life somewhat prematurely because that’s different and cannot be treated.

For mental illness and most other problems, there are treatments — it just takes time and effort to find the right ones that work for you.

With that said

In the end, it doesn’t matter whether suicide is selfish or not.
What matters is that you can most likely improve your life so that you don’t have to worry about that!

Exhaust ALL of your options. I’m sure you have NOT tried everything.

  • Read through my site.
    Which I’m still frequently adding information to
  • Search for every possible solution you can find.
  • Talk to people and get opinions.
    If you’re really considering suicide, you don’t have to worry about being embarrassed to speak your mind anyway.
  • Try different medications and give them time to work if that applies.
  • Learn different coping skills, including changing the reactions your mind makes to certain situations.
  • Think more positively.

There are endless possibilities for you.

See also…