Welcome to the wonderful world of node controversy! Before embarking on reading this node, please be aware of a few things:

  1. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect your opinion or the E2 majority's opinion.
  2. The statistics included are estimates; not established scientific facts.
  3. This node was not meant to be trolling, but I can see where it could be construed as such. It was written in response to the people who seek therapeutic advice for no good reason other than going through puberty; not people with established mental illnesses.
  4. Try argumenting instead of insulting blindly.

And now, without further ado, we bring you:

Suicide and the idiots that pretend

Warning: This node presumes you at least have some rudimentary knowledge in the field of human psychology and suicide. If not, I advise you to seek enlightenment on various other pages - not only the plethora of knowledge contained within the database of e2, but also documents contained on various webpages and newsgroups (alt.suicide.holiday immediately springs to mind), as well as various informative leaflets at your local therapists office.

1. Stuff the warning signs

The most often thing I see when viewing so-called "anti-suicide" folders or "suicide-prevention" leaflets is the "warning signs". This is an absolutely laughable attempt by the brain-retardant frauds of the psychological field to attempt a simplified and easy categorization of the mentally ill - and, more importantly, those pretending to be mentally ill - through over-simplified generalizations.

The easiest identifiable example is the "don't take threats or mentions of suicide lightly; they are mostly always conducive of the subject's subconscious desire to snuff him/herself". Well, I think I'll join the game and attempt a simplified easy categorization of this quote: utter bullshit. A person who randomly spouts inane, half-hearted threats of suicide is not looking for a way to snuff themselves. They're looking for a way to draw attention to themselves. There's a number of reason for these, which can be easily categorized in an easily categorized, over-simplified manner such as this:

  • They've been listening to one too many Staind/Nine Inch Nails records and actually take the lyrics seriously. You'd think this sounds shallow, but think of all the teen suicides currently plaguing the nations of the world and re-evaluate.
  • They can't actively wrap their brains around doing something productive for the sake of society and use the constant propaganda bombardment of the popular media to justify their lazy-ass attitude towards non-productiveness for the sake of eventually propelling down a hopeless spiral of stupidity. These people, when you think about it, deserve suicide.
  • They don't see a point in contributing to a society that continuously fucks them over, belittles them, and then expects them to do something productive for them in exchange for what amounts to little more than fuck all. These people usually have a better objective view of how the universe works, but are constantly put down and subjected to ridicule by people who instantly categorizes them as cynical in an easy and over-simplified manner.
  • They follow the leads of friends, relatives or rock-stars who themselves have fallen victim to any of the points mentioned above, thusly displaying no free will or mind of their own and consequently deserve all the misery they get.

2. The cries of the pathetic

This section deals with the situation of actually having to deal with a person who may be spouting suicidal tendencies. If they're flat out threatening suicide, they automatically default squarely in the examples above and would, in any rational society, make you wonder why euthenasia is a criminal offense. And I mean this sarcastically. (I affectionally call this my "Pity the Pathetic" program.)

As I've tried to explain above, most cries for suicide are not really a conscious attempt to convey a desire to snuff it. 99% of the time, they are the result of an incapacity to properly convey the desire to break free of an unhappy situation by any drastic means necessary. This does not, however, necessarily mean actual suicide. More likely, it is the result of egotistical, selfish people who feel they're not being rewarded enough attention to fuel their egos and thusly feel the need to draw attention to themselves.

The obvious solution would be active counselling, followed by intensive expansion of their lacking vocabularies.

In the event that people who display this behavior actually are actively considering suicide, you're probably already too late to help them. In fact, they might already be dead as you're reading this.

3. The select few

It is a common misconception in the majority of society-housebroken people that suicide is a condemnable sin. Or, in the very least, a very naughty thing to do. This, in my opinion, is a very shallow and narrow-minded opinion. Note that the following is merely my opinion and may not necessarily be reflective of the general opinion of the populace of e2. (Someone ought to node that.) Additionally, I am fully aware of the "avoid highly subjective writeups" rule of e2, but I also believe in the diversity of opinions contrary the conform opinions of the majority; hence the reason why I'm actually noding this in the first place.

Suicide, as a rule of thumb, is mostly the cause of one of the reasons mentioned above. This is not merely a shot-in-the-dark estimate. Through extensive research of various suicide prevention centers, the ASH newsgroup and several close friends of mine, it has gradually moved beyond personal observation and into the realm of accepted fact. Should anyone, despite my research, object to this conclusion, I welcome any corrections.

Bottom line: 99% of suicidal people are, by default, people who are inadequate in expressing their true emotions.

Many of these people succeed in actually committing suicide. (The other 1% have perfectly legitimate reasons, such as incurable health reasons, the loss or abandonment of one's entire social circle, or the realization of facing a pointless existence - which, I guess, qualifies just about every human being on the planet. This leads to the further - and, might I add, very disturbing - postulate that we all should be very suicidal, but 99% of us are just too busy tending to our shallow, hungry egos to be taking any notice.)

However, if someone is really at the end of their rope, is it wrong to deprive them of their desire to take their life? Is it not, by all humane standards, even more cruel to try and change their point of view and force them to continue what they believe to be a shallow and pointless existence?

I have seen people being prescribed mind altering drugs, conveniently labelled Prozac and Zoloft to avoid any negative commercial connotations, and suddenly feel better about themselves. Is this the result of altering a cerebral chemical to enhance your pleasure center, or is it merely the result of a steady diet of conformity propaganda peppered with a socially-approved drug addiction? You tell me.

If people want to kill themselves because they're too idiotic to see through their own bullshit, they deserve every help they need. Teenage angst by default does not qualify. If, on the other hand, you have carefully considered all the options and still see no reason to continue, I dare raise the point that denying his/her wish to end their life is not merely wrong, but inhumane and immoral.

4. A simple test

To help you in the struggle of reaching this nirvana of self-loathing, I present you with a simple test to decide whether you're really suicidal or just faking it for the sake of your pitiful ego:

  1. Do you consider yourself worthless? Do you feel like you're living a hollow, empty existence?
  2. Do you have any talents you feel might actually make a difference to the world?
  3. Do you feel loved or appreciated by your friends, parents or social acquaintances?

To help you grade your questions, here are some immediate points to consider in answering these questions honestly:

  1. In the grand, cosmic scale of things? Yes, you probably are. If you feel this is sufficient reason to kill yourself, then you probably should. However, you might be missing a glaringly obvious flaw in your logic, such as the remaining two questions.
  2. If you have any sort of academic virtue, any negative answer to this will most likely prove to be false. Society is not constructed to be beneficial to those with talents that cannot be easily categorized; it was designed for people who can do math well. If you have high academic scores, you can go anywhere. Trust me.
  3. Most suicidal people will answer no, because they feel this helps them achieve their egotistical goal. They are often horribly wrong and only end up causing more grief than relief to their surroundings by snuffing themselves. For further enlightenment on this particular issue, please see the extraordinarily well-written and damn fucking hilarious fictional writeup, "My Fascinatingly Detailed Teen Angst Bullshit Log".

5. Post script

Not only should you not node drunk, you should also preferably avoid any sort of philosophical pondering. Especially at five in the morning.


An update for those of you still keeping track: No, I'm not retracting my statements. Crudely formulated as they are, they still represent my opinions, and like them or not, there they are for public display. Deal with it.

Although writeup doesn't mean reply, here's one for McMe's otherwise brilliant analogy: Yes, you've proven your point. Now imagine a world where putting the hand over your mouth and nose isn't bad. Where ending your life isn't the horrifyingly "immoral" act that you - and the rest of your ilk - perceive it to be. Yes, try it. Oh, you can't? Well, come back when you can.

I believe in people. I believe in life. I believe that sometimes the two come into conflict with one another and cause grief to those around them. Suicide is a big topic; for proof one need only to type in the word “suicide” into any search engine and see the number of results that appear. You need go no further than E2 to see the amount of grief, misunderstanding and debate the subject stirs.

There are many grey areas in the discussion of suicide. Why do people do it? What is the main cause? Is someone serious? One statistic that is both indisputable and highly valid, is this one: suicide is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. This is not a myth. No numbers have been bent, no data has been misinterpreted, no one is trying to buffer the results.

No one is trying to fool you.

Other leading causes of death (HIV/AIDS), motor accidents, war, are somewhat easier to comprehend, they have a singular source. Suicide, on the other hand, is self inflicted, and each case is different from the next. This makes it more difficult to understand and come to terms with. It is easy to spout of made up numbers and misconceptions about the invalidity of suicide attempts than it is to attack the issue head on. Where does one start?

Having lost a very dear friend, heard the stories of others who have, having been suicidal myself, and talked at length to those that are, I offer you instead a real list of warning signs. There is no reason, other than ignorance, indolence and complete lack of concern for humanity, not to make yourself aware of the danger and the possibility that someone near you might be considering ending their life.

Listen.

Warning signs of suicide

  • Change in personality-becoming sad, withdrawn, irritable, anxious, tired, indecisive, apathetic
  • Change in behaviour-can't concentrate on school, work, routine tasks
  • Change in sleep pattern-oversleeping or insomnia, sometimes with early waking
  • Change in eating habits-loss of appetite and weight, or overeating
  • Loss of interest in friends, sex, hobbies, activities previously enjoyed
  • Worry about money, illness (real or imaginary)
  • Fear of losing control, "going crazy," harming self or others
  • Feelings of overwhelming guilt, shame, self-hatred
  • No hope for the future-"It will never get better, I will always feel this way."
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Recent loss of a loved one through death, divorce, separation, broken relationship; or loss of job, money, status, self-confidence, self-esteem
  • Nightmares
  • Suicidal impulses, statements, plans; giving away favourite things
  • Agitation, hyperactivity, restlessness may indicate masked depression
  • Focus on morbid or death themes.
  • Frequent complaints of stomach aches, headaches, fatigue -- physical symptoms often related to emotions.
  • Intolerance for praise or rewards.
  • Prior attempt at suicide.
  • Family history of suicide.
  • Verbal hints such as "I won't be a problem to you much longer; nothing matters; it's no use; I won't see you again; I wish I was never born."
  • Suddenly becoming cheerful after a period of depression.

Common misconceptions about suicide:

People who talk about suicide don’t really mean it.

Almost all suicides are preceded by statements to the fact. They are, indeed, cries for help and show a disposition towards depression and despair. Suicide is among the leading causes of death in the world and for every successful suicide there are an estimated 20-25 attempts. Statements of suicide are not to be taken lightly, unless you are a heartless prick with no compassion for those around you.

If a person is determined to kill themselves, nothing is going to stop them

This is not true. Even the most suicidal person might be wavering between the desire to live and die; most people who attempt suicide or consider it, are not looking to end their lives, but to the end the pain or suffering that they feel their lives have become. There is a reason why information and research is dedicated to the prevention of suicide: it is not an irreversible choice. If this were the case, we should all throw up our hands and shout unanimously: go ahead, kill yourself.

People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help

Statistics show that more than half of the people who commit suicide sought help in the six months before their deaths. With the help of counselling many lives have been saved and continue to be saved. To say that you are ineffectual without even trying is criminal.

Bottom line: 99% of suicidal people are, by default, people who are inadequate in expressing their true emotions.

There is no correlation whatsoever between the ability to express emotion and suicide. Some of the most expressive people in history have attempted or committed suicide. Edgar Allen Poe, Virginia Wolfe, Sylvia Plath to name a few.

A simple test

Testing for suicide intention or depression is not simple. The suicide intent scale can measure the seriousness of an unsuccessful suicide attempt and there are numerous questionnaires used by counsellors, doctors and professionals to determine depression. The shortest of these is 18 questions.

How to find out if someone is suicidal:

You suspect that someone is suicidal. Maybe they have been displaying some of the warning signs listed above. Maybe they have muttered something about the world being a better place without them. Maybe they have said it point blank: I want to kill myself. What do you do? Ignore it? Assume the person is trying to get attention? Do you accuse them of being dramatic in order to gain sympathy? Maybe, if you are terribly insensitive and have never suffered the loss of someone you love.

But, if you have serious concerns and are interested in getting to the source of such statements or behaviour, maybe a sit down and discussion might be in order, not to mention more constructive and helpful. Statements of intended suicide, however serious they may or may not be, are indeed cries for help. Be a friend. Give the help.

The following is a list of questions that will help you to ascertain the seriousness of threats of suicide. You should generally ask them in the order they are presented. Quite often, someone might speak of a desire to die without having any desire to bring about this end themselves. None the less, they need help. Give it to them.

  1. Have you been feeling sad or unhappy?


  2. A "yes" response will confirm that the person has been feeling some depression. Depression, although not in itself a cause of suicide, is often present in minor to major form, in the majority of suicides.

  3. Do you ever feel hopeless? Does it seem as if things can never get better?


  4. Feelings of hopelessness are often associated with suicidal thoughts.

  5. Do you have thoughts of death? Does it seem as if things can never get better?


  6. A "yes" response indicates suicidal wishes but not necessarily suicidal plans. Many depressed people say they think they'd be better off dead and wish they'd die in their sleep or get killed in an accident. However, most of them say they have no intention of actually killing themselves.

  7. Do you ever have any actual suicidal impulses? Do you have any urge to kill yourself?


  8. A "yes" indicates an active desire to die. This is a more serious situation. This is where you can ascertain if the intent is as high as perhaps initially stated.

  9. Do you have any actual plans to kill yourself?


  10. If the answer is "yes," ask about their specific plans. What method have they chosen? Hanging? Jumping? Pills? A gun? Have they actually obtained the rope? What building do they plan to jump from? Although these questions may sound grotesque, they may save a life. The danger is greatest when the plans are clear and specific, when they have made actual preparations, and when the method they have chosen is clearly lethal.

  11. When do you plan to kill yourself?


  12. If the suicide attempt is a long way off (say, in five years) danger is clearly not imminent. If they plan to kill themselves soon, the danger is grave.

  13. Is there anything that would hold you back, such as your family or your religious convictions?


  14. If the person says that people would be better off without them, and if they have no deterrents, suicide is much more likely.

  15. Have you ever made a suicide attempt in the past?


  16. Previous suicide attempts indicate that future attempts are more likely. Even if a previous attempt did not seem serious, the next attempt may be fatal. All suicide attempts should be taken seriously.

  17. Would you be willing to talk to someone or seek help if you felt desperate? Whom would you talk to?


  18. If the person who feels suicidal is cooperative and has a clear plan to reach out for help, the danger is less than if they are stubborn, secretive, hostile, and unwilling to ask for help. At this point you might suggest to the person to seek help from a family doctor, counsellor or suicide crisis line. There are a large number of resources available on line and in any doctor’s office. Use them. Milk them for what they are worth. Make access to help easy for the person by providing them with numbers and addresses.
Sources: Death Falls Fast by Kay Redfield Jamieson
http://www.promina.org/articles/article09a08.asp
http://www.nami.org/helpline/suicide.htm

A Possible Answer To Those Who May Believe That Suicide Is A Result Of Weakness Of Character:

So, you believe those who suicide are weak. That's cool. (I'm sure you agree.) You believe that they kill themselves because they don't have the strength to make it in this world. Maybe so, since you must know what you're saying. You believe that they die because they are weak and don't deserve to live anyway. (Okay, but if so, you're dangerously close to agreeing with Darwin...you may want to take a step back....) From what I hear and read, you feel, think, believe that anyone who kills himself/herself has admitted a weakness that could have been strengthened and healed by you, your beliefs, efforts, faith, or Supreme Deity. Okay.

Do you want to stand up for what you believe? Do you? Do you have the strength that faith ultimately demands, the strength to deny even yourself for it’s sake? Okay, take this challenge, then.

You will take it, won't you? Otherwise, you'll show yourself to be weak and thus deserving of self-inflicted death. (See your own belief system.) And, I mean that you'll take this challenge for real; don't pretend, but live it. Feel it as if it were real (because it is....) Otherwise, you shame whatever it is that you do believe in.

Unless you worship some god of suicide, in which case you are so far from home as to be dead anyway, so shut up already.

The challenge:

Go outside and run. Yes, run. Run and run and run. Keep running. And running. See you run. Run, you, run. Run, run, run. Run until your side hurts and your breathing-in feels like an acceptance of icy daggers of bronchial pain for the sake of oxygen and one more minute of living. (In other words, until your chest hurts....)

Now, keep running. You heard me. Keep running. Or are you weak? Run, you, run. Run until you barf spontaneously and surprise yourself with your ability to move forward while simultaneously reliving this morning's breakfast. Wipe your mouth and keep running. Yep. I said keep running. Or do you want to stop? Like a weak person might? No? Okay, then. Keep running, barfo-matic.

And keep running. And running. Now you're stumbling over changes in topography. (That means you're tripping over rocks and piles of dirt and stuff....) Keep running, you strong, perfect, faithful specimen of glory and greatness. (Isn't that what you're about? Faith Is it faith in a god named God? Or is it faith in your unexpressed fears and unacknowledged lack of faith? Doesn't matter. You have to keep running either way...)

Run and run and run. And run. Run until you can't take another breath, until you can't run anymore. And keep running anyway. Can you? Yes? Okay, then. Keep running, you. Run, run, run.

Run until your legs go rubbery and then fail and you find your face grazing dirt and your knees scraping gravel. Blink and cry the dirt from your eyes and crawl or shimmy or urge forward if you can, because you have to keep running! And running. Get up already! What are you, weak? No? Then get up and run! Run, you, run. See you run. And run. And then you fall.

And then you breathe only sand. And then you move only to retch. And then you scrabble forward only to find that you're describing broken circles in the dirt and weeds upon which you have fallen, and that you're going nowhere in spite of your willing it to be otherwise. Now. Permanently, it seems. Because, try as you might, you can't move anything, can't move anymore. Breath is only constricted, painful, and tasting of earth. And of snot. Is that blood?

Movement is all and only at the whim of centrifugal force and gravity as the World, Home, Mother rotates, unaware of your momentary distress. Or permanent distress.

How does it feel? Like you may never take another breath that doesn't also sear your chest with a ripping, burning, scarring, "This one couldn't make it," pain, another breath that doesn't also choke you with the solidness of dirt, sand, dust? (Oh, look! A flea!)

Cough. Go ahead and cough. Surely that would not be an admission of something going wrong, of a certain weakness in the one who coughs. Surely not.

No? Okay, then, don't cough. Choke.

Ah. A cough can be justified, can it? Still, though, it tasted like dirt and grubs on the intake, didn't it? Ca-hack.

No, I'm not making fun of you. I feel your pain, have felt it. The breathing isn't easy, is it? Unfair, isn't it, that something so essential to living should require effort on the part of the one needing it? Can't you inhale again? What? It hurts? So? Can't you run over there? There, where the breathing is easy? No? Why not?

Pain.

It hurts to breathe. It hurts to move. It hurts, dammit! Everything fucking hurts. Will it stop? No, of course not; it never stops, or everything dies and ends. And that will not happen. Everything is bigger. Always bigger.

Breathe in...does it hurt? Breathe in again...hurts, still? Ah. So, each time you breathe in it hurts. Yes? Make it stop? Why? So that you could keep breathing, but without pain? I wish I could.

You do want to keep breathing, though? Yes? But you don't want the pain anymore? Ah. Run, then. Run, just a few hundred feet there to the picnic shelter and the water fountain and the happy friends and family laying out the yummy picnic of goodness upon the redwood-stained table of joyful childhood memory.

Sounds good? Sounds justified? Sounds deserved? Sounds earned? Sounds like a nice, restful change from the pain and helplessness of the moment in which presently you find yourself trapped? Sounds like a fitting reward for all of your trying and straining and suffering? Does it?

Well, keep running, you. Run and run and run. See you run. Run, you, run. Now, damn you! Run!

Can't? Can't run? All of your body and mind (and spirit) is locked in a diabolic euphoria of lactic acid induced torpor? Can't breathe? Can't move? Can't change the most microscopic of your circumstances by the power of your will? Can't escape the smell and taste, texture and choking of the dirt that clogs your breath, your very existence, in spite of your own wishing it would be nicer, better, easier?

Wish that even one gentle voice might speak to you, now, instead of the clamorous buzzing of blood in your ears as it searches for oxygen that has caught the last train for the coast? The buzzing that subsides slightly with every stifled, muffled, unheard breath composed more of soil and bug-shit than oxygen?

Now.

Now, would you use a telephone or telepath or prayer or wish or hope or please, God, anyfuckingthing to call anyone who might help, listen, understand, just pleasemosesgodjesusbuddhakrishnamohammedregis BE THERE?

Would you grunt, whine, scream, heave, flex, flail, cry, growl, roar, convulse, barf, pee, fart, sing, wail, even explode just to catch the fleeting attention of anyone, anything, anywhere that might at least offer some thin shaving of understanding, or at least acceptance, of your present moment while you occupy what might be the last fractive shatter of quantum reality that includes YOU, just you, so that anyone at all might know that you were here, even if just for a nanosecond of THIS?

No? Really? No? Really, "No?" Oh, well.

Then place your hand over your own mouth and nose. Keep it there. What? It's uncomfortable? It's wrong? It's freaki...fucking evil? You can't keep it there because you want to keep breathing, keep living? If someone else was doing this they might kill you? And it wouldn't be your fault?

It wouldn't be your fault? No?

But you'd die anyway, right?

There ya go....

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