Monday, September 07, 2015

National Suicide Prevention Week

This is National Suicide Prevention Week and Sept. 10th is National Suicide Prevention Day. I'm actually ambivalent about suicide prevention (I feel equally strongly both ways). I believe people have the natural right to decide when they die, but I'm also sensitive to how irrevocable successful suicide is. There's no realizing it was a mistake and undoing it as you can, for instance, with marriage. But I think if someone is in so much pain that the only way he/she can see to end it is to kill himself or herself, then that's their prerogative. In a way, I'm pro-death because for many people life really does have too much misery and suffering. It's not worth it.

But here's the form of suicide prevention I support: if the prevention takes the form of treating someone for their suicidal ideation before they start to act on it. If suicide prevention isn't just grabbing someone before they jump off the bridge, but actually eases someone's suffering, then I'm all for it.

Are you unable to fathom how anyone could be so stupid and selfish as to kill himself or herself? Does suicide look like the most dumbass act you can imagine? Read this post I wrote last year that might give you some insight: Bipolar disorder, depression unhinge you from reality.

During National Suicide Prevention Week, I'd also like to link a poem about a woman who takes a different approach to preventing suicide. It's called "Blueberry Battle Scars," and after reading it I reflected on this: by choosing to not have children, I -- with my heritable mental illness --  saved someone the pain of having to be born.


Matt said...

A very sensitive post, with some important issues raised.

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