First of all, let me start with two points:
A) I don't mean thinking about suicide in regards to committing it.
I lead a certain level of life that has elevated me from thinking about that.
I have support systems of all kinds - my sisters, father and family in general are there for me, as well as friends in real life, and even people online.
I'm not thinking about suicide in regards to committing it.
Rather, I'm thinking about it in the same way that I think about Black Mirror or a regular T.V. show; basically, just thinking for the sake of thinking about something.
B) A request to reach out and talk to somebody about it.
I'd like to invite everyone who's been thinking about going through with suicide or self-harm, to please –
Reach out to your family, friends, meetings or therapy.
If you don't see yourself doing that, please feel free to talk to me about it.
I'm on discord:
For reliable places, contact:
2. Mayo Clinic
Just, please reach out.
The Reason This Whole Thing Started (For Me)
Increase in suicide rates.
It has become something of a phenomenon - with more teens, young people and adults committing suicide at a higher rate than before.
An Attempt at Understanding the Suicide Epidemic
Little to no evidence to support this. The rich and poor - both attempt suicide.
The poorest countries have the lowest suicide rate.
White people, on average, are wealthier than black people.
Yet, they commit suicide at a higher rate.
I don’t buy into the whole "poverty is a suicide cause", as some media outlets would like to claim.
A) Same as poverty, I don’t see the evidence for this.
If we take suicide rate into consideration, has bullying become much worse now, than it was 30 years ago?
Also, let’s be honest - how does bullying have an effect on middle-aged white people, such as Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade?
B) The statistics around bullying are extremely conflicting
Which is why many studies suggest that it was depression and delinquency that was the cause all along.
And when people say that they were bullied, it doesn’t exactly mean that they were; and people who were bullied are more likely to say that they were only "picked on".
So, to break that down:
- if you were to act in a certain way toward 2 people
- and one of them says, "I was bullied"
- while the other one says, "I was picked on"
Then, the person who says that they were bullied are more likely to commit suicide from the start. (as opposed to those who said that they were picked on)
This one comes from experience as well.
I am a person who was viciously bullied, physically - from primary through high school.
And none of that has made me suicidal.
Having a depressed state of mind, specifically 'clinical depression', goes hand-in-hand with suicide.
The mess of life such as poverty and bullying/hard life don’t seem like a convincing reason for suicides.
Because, again, poorer societies have lower suicide rates than richer ones.
Instead, the suicide epidemic seems to be more of a western phenomenon, than it is in other places.
Now, there are several arguments to be made about the causes of suicide.
Causes Of Suicide
An obvious one, of course.
I mean - we’re talking about the leading reason of suicide.
It can be genetic or conditional.
Chain Of Bad Thoughts
This point and the previous point are related in some cases, and not in others.
But basically, the "chain of bad thoughts" is when:
- Something bad happens to you.
- You believe that this only means that another bad thing is about to happen.
- And so on.
While those two (clinical depression and chain of bad thoughts) can cover a whole lot of reasons as to what causes suicidal thoughts, I was more interested in what causes depression in the first place.
Causes Of Depression
Societal Lack Of Meaning
These days, young people are taught that their emotional state is the same as emotional happiness.
In hindsight, that seems like a good point.
But, past generations were told that their view of the world isn’t the key; rather, their actions in it are.
Everyone had a higher purpose, a meaning and a goal to strive for.
They were also told that there would be more people to help them in their life's journey.
So, in turn, they should also help others in achieving their goal.
I believe that society has become more fragmented and atomistic:
We’ve come to treat each other as objects, rather than as human beings.
We’ve come to treat each other as objects, rather than as human beings.
This can be caused by a radical up-taking of social media.
We’re judging each other by number of followers/likes, rather than by soul and content.
I know this one won’t be as popular but:
I believe a lot of this is caused by a lack of religion.
There are numbers of good studies showing that - with a decline in religion and its communities, the rate of suicide increases.
Now, I know this may sound like a total post hoc ergo propter hoc to some.
But the point in here isn’t religions per se, but the actual communities built around having a common goal.
Communities are made of individuals and they’re built around the idea of improving the individual, both mentally and socially.
A small example of this would be Christians going to church every Sunday, Muslims meeting in mosques on Friday and so on.
Pain = Ultimate Evil
Let's consider Sam Quinones’ book
Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic.
It's about the opiate addiction that's sweeping America.
A good point that he brings up, in my opinion, is how pain is looked upon as the ultimate evil, pain or the "5th vital".
When you see a doctor, they check everything and then ask you for your pain level.
They see it as a vital sign that needs to be removed.
If your definition of happiness is "avoidance of pain", then, when the pain does occur, you will automatically take it a lot more seriously.
An oversimplified example of this would be when you buy new shoes.
On the top of your mind, all you think about is how you don’t want it to be torn or ruined. When you think in this way, it’s going to affect your feelings much more negatively when it actually does happen.
One of the things that attributed to my own suicide attempt to the one done by Robin Williams (more on that later).
It doesn’t make much sense, no matter how I write this (I tried many times and ended up erasing it all), but basically - I wanted to commit suicide because Robin Williams did so.
Copycat Suicide can be broken into two categories:
If you follow Kate Spade’s suicide, you’d see that according to her sister - she was pretty fixated about Robin Williams’ death.
2. On a Personal Level
That would be Blake Coatney and his infamous video that was posted by his mother on YouTube in 2014.
The idea is - if a friend dies or commits suicide, you end up striving for the same fate.
Robin Williams’ suicide was actually a reason for many others who committed suicide.
We’re not even talking about it being a short-term effect, because:
Kate Spade’s suicide happened just a few days back, meanwhile William’s death (the one whom she copied) occurred in 2014.
They also vary in effects - whether by time-frame or severity.
This is my attempt at finding solutions for some of those.
Antidepressants and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
The main cause of suicide is easily clinical depression, followed by the chain of bad thoughts.
Now, I don’t know of any specific solution for those two, aside from antidepressants (specifically for those with clinical depression), as there shouldn’t be any problems with people taking drugs (or smoking weed) if that's what their doctor advised them to do.
As for cognitive-behavioral therapy, when we talk about the chain of bad thoughts, it needs to be noted that:
Cognitive-Behavioral therapy is the best method to break that.
In that, you’re taught: just because something bad happens, doesn’t mean it’s a snowball effect of bad events.
We Have To Stop Glorifying Suicide
This one is a responsibility for everyone - from an individual level, all the way up to the mainstream media and T.V. shows.
Let me start with Robin Williams’ suicide aftermath
Robin Williams is, of course, an Oscar winner.
So, it was only normal for the academy to tweet about him.
The academy’s tweet was a picture of the genie from Aladdin (the role he famously played) and said,
Now, this is going to be hard to say properly, but, is he?
Yes, this is an uplifting sentiment on the short term but, really, is he?
Insinuating that Robin Williams was freed the same way that Genie was, is a very worrying statement when looked upon closely. Genie was trapped in a lamp and forced to serve whoever carries it.
So, by comparison:
Robin Williams is free of life, while we’re all trapped in it?
So, life is bad and suicide is good?
The tweet clearly dictates that freedom lies in death.
Tell this to any teenager or a person of any age suffering from depression, "Robin Williams is FREE now."
What is it that you expect people going through the same thing would feel?
Robin Williams was a great man, the nicest.
And it would take a simple Google search to see why that man is my favorite comedian of all time. I’m inspired by him personally and loved ALL of his movies.
Yes, even those with bad ratings on IMDB.
I just felt happy whenever I saw him on a screen.
But that doesn’t mean that what he did was brave, nor is it a commendable attribute.
Moving on to Chester Bennington: he left behind 5 children, the oldest of which is 21 and the youngest is 8.
Yes, mental illness is a serious thing and people suffering from it should be sympathized with.
But that in no way should mean glorifying it.
On March 31st, 2017
A show by the name of “13 Reasons Why” surfaced on Netflix.
The show served not only in glorifying suicide, but justifying it as well.
After all, the title is 13 Reasons Why, which directly sends a message that there are reasons to commit suicide.
Google had a 26 percent increase of the search “How to commit suicide”.
What particularly worries researchers about this, is the proven connection between suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.
As per the statement from The Observer, with both The Observer and Fatherly quoting the co-author on the study, John W. Ayers of San Diego State University in a statement:
"Psychiatrists have expressed grave concerns, because the show ignores the World Health Organization’s validated media guidelines for preventing suicide.”
Which shows that the argument that the show 'raises awareness about suicide' is an invalid one.
The continuous glorifying and justifying of suicide must stop.
Strengthening Family And Community Values
Mental and physical health starts with the family first, as it represents the first line of impressions a person has as to what 'life' is.
Parents are an intriguing part in a growing kid’s life journey and by establishing family values, such as -
- Encouraging a passion
- Disciplining a bad behavior properly
And not through excessive yelling and mental and physical abuse
- Seeking a line that defines the difference between right and wrong
But punishing the wrong and rewarding the good using an appropriate system
- Encouraging family talks
- And, a healthy way to express negative feelings
Such values must exist in schools as well.
Students must be taught the suitable way of treating one another and how to treat each other within the proper limits with the help of their teachers.
The teachers also need to be aware of troubled teens and must be equipped with the knowledge of how to best combat those troubles - be they at school or in their own home.
In the midst of all the mess that life gives us, it’s important that we find a common meaning for us.
A guiding community with its members taking care of one another.
Where members notice if each other in the community need any help, and also seek others when they themselves need help. A community that tells us that pain is okay sometimes, as people will be there for us.
Now, this is not my way of telling people to be more religious, but to seek and identify a common meaning and purpose in life without an alleviation of pain.
A community can be vital in that process.
So whether it’s a religious community in all of its different religions, or even an atheist one.
I’m talking all the way down to an anime fandom, music, art, movies, business, whatever kind of community there is, it’s important for you be a part of it and to notice those who are struggling and be noticed when you’re struggling.
Suicide is a growing epidemic that is caused by different factors and it’s very important that we as a society learn how to fight it by caring for each other and having the compassion and drive to do so.
Whether it is caused by genetics, an event, or a series of events:
An open mind and arms might be the deciding factor of the result.
Well, first off, I’d have to say that - you have to really think about the effects that the suicide would have on other people.
Whether in therapy groups or online, I know plenty of people who never recovered from the suicide of a family member or a loved one. And we’re not talking days, weeks, months, or even years, but decades.
They’re still indulged in self-torture over what happened.
So, remember, that is what you’d be leaving behind.
Now, you might think that life has twisted itself to cause you harm and that, the people who are a part of your life deserve to ache over your suicide, but I strongly urge you to reconsider yourself before going down that route.
This is simply a terrible thing to leave people with and that, by the way, is the reason why suicide is deemed illegal in most societies. As it devastates the people you leave behind.
Maybe if you think that you’re really depressed, then you are in fact, really depressed. And that is a definite possibility.
You might think that those people are better off without you, as it’s very likely that if you’re really depressed, you can take that road.
And that road will only lead to think nothing else but that 'people are better off without you'.
And, if you are in that place, where you only think that thought, then you should absolutely tell someone and seek help and go to the hospital.
That is a very real possibility that could occur when you’re depressed and you should know that:
There are treatments to what you have.
Many of those treatments work.
There are, of course, claims that they don’t. But let me tell you right now - they sure beat the hell out of suicide even with side effects (as they often have those), but none of those side effects are as fatal as suicide.
It is quite possible that your condition is physical, as I know for a fact that working out and eating healthy has been helping my mental condition a lot.
Maybe it’s a psychological problem, maybe you were hurt badly at some point of your life.
We can all agree that there are a lot of reasons of how people reach that stage; reasons that can be extremely complex.
And I’d say don’t give up hope without exploring all possible options.
If you haven’t talked to a psychiatrist or a psychologist, then you should at least talk to your family and loved ones.
You owe them that much, you owe yourself that much.
You also shouldn’t deprive the world of what it is you have to offer.
That’s the other side of this, you have to reach out and find a meaning for your life.
I’d say you can always commit suicide tomorrow, it’s a one time thing and it can definitely be put off and that’s what I’d say - put it of.
Then later when it comes back to you again, put it off once more.
And use the meantime to put yourself back together.
Use that time to explore all the options you have.
And if you already have a plan for how you’d commit suicide, should you choose to, then that is a sign of danger.
Tell your family, your friends for God's sake. Go to a hospital and tell them, for sure try antidepressants.
Just do the best you can to address the issue before you do something like that.
Please do think about the people you leave behind.
You can’t fix death, but at least you can stop fixating on it when the cause is revealed - be it an illness or an accident, or even murder.
That can’t happen with suicide, once that happens you completely destroy your loved ones in a way that they cannot recover from.
You cannot fix the suicide of a loved one, you’re stuck with it.
There’s always the thoughts of, “maybe I could have said something there”, “maybe I could have said that differently”, or “I should have noticed”.
And those thoughts are divided into the thousands of interactions that people had with you.
When my friend Jake committed suicide by intentionally overdosing on sleeping pills, his father had walked into his room like 10 minutes before he died and most likely after he had already taken the pills.
His father went to check up on him and then left, without noticing anything, because you never know when the person you’re talking to is at the end of their tether.
That was eight years ago.
And his father was never able to forgive himself for not responding properly in their last interaction.
That’s one hell of a burden to leave someone with.
Don’t be so sure that your life is yours to take.
You don’t own yourself the way you own a phone, you have an obligation to yourself as a locus of divine value and you cannot just treat that casually, it is simply wrong to do that.
Do all you can to put yourself back together.
There are plenty of things you can do to get back on your feet. Don’t leave people around you with that to suffer from, don’t think short of your value to this world and people around you, and don’t underestimate the fact that suicide is wrong.
This is NOT a professional opinion but rather one I spent months researching and putting together. Please, if you have a comment or additional things to add to this post, feel free to do so.