I had a really long debate on Facebook yesterday about suicide, and it is the first time in a long time that I remember being so angry about an issue. Usually I abandon Facebook debates because they’re just pointless windbaggery, but I stuck with this one for the better part of an afternoon.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
A friend on Facebook posted:
Some sucides are motivated by rage at another human being, or the universe, or at God. Others come from a deep sadness, where sucide seems the only way of stopping the pain and then there are those who do not end their mortal lives but stop living which is also a kind of sucide
I’ll never fully understand what could make a person end their life or make them give up on life and stop living altogether. Believe me I’ve experienced my share of pain but I’d never want to cease living on my own accord. Suicide imo is selfish, a punks way of giving up, a way of taking the easy way out and not caring about anyone else but yourself. I would never go to the funeral of someone who committed it
[sic], by the way.
Re-reading that, I still barely know where to begin. The obvious social stigma she’s placing on the suicidal? The stoic lack of compassion? The complete (apparent) lack of understanding of suicidal tendencies? I had to suck down bile when I first read that post. Infuriating didn’t even begin to describe how I felt. How could anyone be so callous to human suffering? I began a dialogue with this friend, trying to explain how, if nothing else, their attitude toward suicide contributes to a society of stigmatizing mental illnesses. Their response consisted of “this is how I feel, and I won’t change how I feel.”
“But why? Your opinion is directly related to people desiring to kill themselves, and works against being able to provide them resources to get better.”
“Well, I just don’t like that suicide is their first choice. There’s always other options!”
“For you, maybe. Suicidal depression and related conditions skew your perceptions of the world, it may seem to you that you have options but to many it seems like they don’t. And this still ignores the fact that you can’t know what they’ve tried to do!”
“I just don’t like it, it’s so weak and cowardly!”
“I don’t like suicide either, but your attitude causes more suicide, not less! Compassion and understanding is what helps, not condemnation.”
“We’ll just have to agree to disagree.”
“NO! WE FUCKING WILL NOT! Your attitude directly contributes to a culture of suicide victims staying silent and that is bullshit!”
At which point they stopped responding. I have no problem with people having their own wacky opinions right up to the point they start harming people. I’m not saying we should force people to give up dangerous ideas by any means, but that we should be perpetually challenging those opinions and showing them for the foolish danger they are.
Then I played Mass Effect 3 multiplayer.