Is suicide selfish?

Old 05-20-2018, 10:56 AM
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Default Is suicide selfish?

I didn't want to be disrespectful and cloud the other thread with this discussion, so I started this thread. I say sometimes yes, sometimes, no....depends upon the situation. Then again, I have a different perspective on death than most. My grandfather killed himself a few years ago and my mom was pissed, so I can see both sides of it. He was 91 yrs old and was tough as nails until he turned 90. Up until that point he was 6'3" and 250 lbs of solid muscle, retired Navy and never missed a day of work due to illness. When he turned 90, he started having congestive heart issues, was in and out of the hospital and the last time he came out of the hospital, he was 180 lbs, in a wheel chair and on oxygen. He had seen too many of his buddies suffer horrible, long painful deaths and decided that was not for him, so he wheeled himself out into the driveway with his pistol and did the deed. Was he selfish? My mom thought so, but I asked her if she was willing to move up there or move him down here and live with him and become his care giver? She said no, but I think it made her see his side of the equation and realize that she was more upset with the fact that she didn't have a chance to say a proper good bye than anything. Unfortunately, my father has advanced stages of Parkinsons and is losing his faculties and last time I was at her house, she made sure I took all the guns with me. I do some crazy activities for fun and told my wife that if I was in an accident that left me paralyzed from the neck down, she was to wheel me out by the pool to get some sun, go run some errands and I would take care of the rest while she was gone. Numerous times over the years, she has told people that she has her orders and even jokes about it now, but she knows I'm serious and she would abide by my wishes. She knows my greatest fear in life is being trapped in my own body and not being in control.

I do believe that if you are healthy and have personal issues that can be worked through, then suicide is selfish. I had severe sleep issues in the past to the point I would wake up, sitting up in bed, gasping for air, which caused severe anxiety and I would have to run out of the house to get fresh air and walk. It got to the point that waking up that way was so terrifying that I didn't want to go to sleep and started medicating myself with alcohol or other drugs, which just resulted in me waking up the same way and feeling even worse as I was walking the streets at 3 am under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Many times when I was walking the streets so tired that I couldn't stay awake, yet too scared to go to sleep, that I started having thoughts of suicide. I thought about it enough to know that guns or hanging were not for me, but didn't think about it enough to know how I would do it or take any actions towards it. It was not a fun time in my life and I now have worked through those issues, but I did have them and do understand the pain and struggles others go through. It took a lot of self resolve and wanting to find a solution that helped me work through my issues. I still have bad nights, but fortunately I have many more good nights than bad nights (and often have to remind myself of the good nights/times when awake at 3 am walking the streets on a bad night) and know that what I go through isn't normal, so I constantly work on making myself more "normal".

I have seen both sides and had suicidal thoughts myself, I may not understand the issues others are going through, but I can comprehend the struggle. It is real for many and for some it may be selfish, but for others it could be an act of mercy or a blessing. So to throw out a blanket statement that suicide is either selfish or not selfish is incorrect, every situation must be looked at individually. I will say though, how one chooses to carry out their suicide can be considered selfish.....making a loved one have to clean up the mess of a gunshot to the head is selfish, especially if it's in the home they will have to continue to live in.

This thread is not meant to be judgmental or give anyone the green light to commit suicide, but it is meant to foster an open discussion about your personal feelings or experiences.
Old 05-20-2018, 11:31 AM
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I agree that situations like your grandfather are probably not selfish. I think this country needs to have a reasonable dialogue about euthanasia. There was recently a 104 yo man that flew from Australia to Switzerland to die because he couldn’t do it in his home country. This is a good example of where euthanasia would be a benefit both to the individual and also his family. Probably would have been preferred by your grandfather. Certainly a more elegant way to leave this world than the method that he used.

On the the other hand those that choose to commit suicide due to a pending divorce, job loss etc appear to be selfish in my point of view. Granted I have never suffered from depression and can’t fathom why someone would even consider it. But those who do perform The dirty deed fail to take into account the effect their actions will have on their children and friends. It truly is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Old 05-20-2018, 11:41 AM
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Some are selfish others not, who wants to suffer? Who wants others to suffer due to them being out of order so to speak?
Old 05-20-2018, 11:43 AM
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I think that it’s selfish of friends and family to want someone not to commit suicide if they so choose.

I dont think think poorly of those who commit suicide. I have no problem with it. Simply, I wasn’t asked if I wanted to be alive. I wasn’t asked if I wanted to work 40-60 hours a week, deal with the crap of life, get a disease, get a debilitating injury, etc. why should I have to continue living? If someone is done, let them be done. They won’t suffer anymore. They won’t even know they are gone.

But, I think the real issue is that the friends and loved ones take it hardest for 2 reasons.
1) they are loosing someone they care for. That’s easy to see and understand.
2) they feel like crap for being a bad loved one. That is, they think about ‘I didn’t do enough to stop them, so I’m a bad person’. That can be tough to swallow, but it may not be true.
So, it’s those folks who think poorly of suicide, for their selfish reasons.
Old 05-20-2018, 11:44 AM
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I used to think it was selfish and inconsiderate, but have since changed my mind.
I've come to the realization that it is a mental illness or inability to see any other way to change a horrible situation, be it divorce, bankruptcy, caught n affair or anything else .........suicide is a way to end the pain that those left behind have no idea about how strong the pain is. It's more powerfull than the will to live and we are all born with a will to live, self preservation. So when one is so utterly and completely void of seeing any other way out, the person commits suicide. And no, they don't think about the effect it will have on others they love, they just want rid of the pain they are living in, day in and day out. It's never ending, in their reasoning, so they end it the only way they can think of.......

Now, the person that kills others and then themselves, yes, THAT is selfish and in no way the same as the person above that just wants to end their own pain. The spouse that kills the kid(s) and then themself just to piss off the surviving spouse or get even with them for something or to just make them hurt every day of their life,,,,,,,that's selfish and murder, plain and simple.
Old 05-20-2018, 11:51 AM
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Depends on circumstances. Terminal illness and loved ones know your intent - no problem.
Pissed off at world, depression - perhaps not.
Serious mental illness - really can't do much if the person is determined.

I know more about this than I want to and it is not cut and dry.
Old 05-20-2018, 11:55 AM
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I think desperate is a better phrase for it than selfish .
Old 05-20-2018, 11:55 AM
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Its both at the same time.

But its a personal choice.
Old 05-20-2018, 11:56 AM
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It depends on the situation, I'm watching my 91 year old grandmother wake up every day ready to go. She misses my grandfather, shes not in great health and her mind is slipping. She's a shell of who she used to be and she hates it. Her mother took the easy way out, so I don't see my grandmother doing so. I don't think I could be upset with her if she chose to do so. I'd much prefer a family gathering, let her say her goodbyes and then just go to sleep painlessly and with dignity.

My younger brother attempted suicide 2 times for sure, and at least once Im speculative about. Very few things had every upset me as much as receiving those phone calls. Then last year I got another call, he was gone. My initial response was "OD?"...turned out he saw his ex for the first time in a few months, they spent the day drinking together and she murdered him later that night. Now...I'm not sure which option would have been better.
Old 05-20-2018, 11:59 AM
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Suicide is a complicated topic that can't be that easily dismissed as being selfish or an easy way out. Trying to use logic is where the problem comes in, as a large number of those who choose that path would have never contemplated it when they were in their right mind. The mind can be a strange animal when things get out of whack. I lost my youngest brother to suicide a little over 5 years ago, and it's still haunts me as he just didn't fit the "typical" suicide scenario. No history of depression, no drugs, very little alcohol use, but I do know he was under a lot of stress associated with his new job. He did talk to me about that, but I had no idea it was bothering him that much. His widow filled me in on the details AFTER it was too late.

As for suicide when a person is terminally ill or just at the end of their life, that opens up a whole other can of worms. I suppose that type of suicide is the end result of a rational thought process which isn't always the case. I too think that elderly people who have no quality of life should be given the option to end their lives at a time and place of their choosing. Most "natural" deaths in a hospice are the result of heavy medication. Been there, done that too. I'm pretty sure that the attending nurse "helped" my dad along on his final journey, and to be honest, I would have agreed to have her do so intentionally at that point. Even as he was drawing his last, few breaths, I found myself thinking of going for help, even though he was ready to go and his death was inevitable. The end result... I was alone with him when he passed at 4AM whereas had he/we been given the option, the entire family could have and would have been there to surround him with love as he passed. We do it for our pets out of love, so I can't understand why we can't do it for a family member when there is zero chance of anything getting better.
Old 05-20-2018, 12:03 PM
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Few things fit into a 'neat' little category.
For each person involved the emotion or reaction can be different.
All that is left after such a situation is the people that are living. Only those close to the person describe how they feel.
I have seen more pain than joy in those left behind.
Old 05-20-2018, 12:11 PM
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what difference does it make? the subject is room temperature so it doesnt matter if it is selfish or not.
Old 05-20-2018, 12:35 PM
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Can be both at the same time.

My sister-in-laws brother did so in 2005 (he was a good friend of mine). Shotgun, in his apartment, for his father to find. The underlying issues that led to him taking his life were very understandable, and well documented. My sister-in-law is still very bitter about how he went about doing it, and the severe trauma that her father has gone through as a result.

Another friend from high school did similar. Sitting in the den of his parents house watching the NASCAR race on TV with his dad. Dad dozed off to sleep, and he put a pistol in his mouth. Note he left indicated that the trama he put his family through was part of his intent. Unforgivable IMO.
Old 05-20-2018, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Can be both at the same time.

My sister-in-laws brother did so in 2005 (he was a good friend of mine). Shotgun, in his apartment, for his father to find. The underlying issues that led to him taking his life were very understandable, and well documented. My sister-in-law is still very bitter about how he went about doing it, and the severe trauma that her father has gone through as a result.

Another friend from high school did similar. Sitting in the den of his parents house watching the NASCAR race on TV with his dad. Dad dozed off to sleep, and he put a pistol in his mouth. Note he left indicated that the trama he put his family through was part of his intent. Unforgivable IMO.
That's really crappy to make others suffer intentionally.

One thing that puzzled me about my brother was the fact he chose to do this in his own home while his wife was there. That screamed anger to me, and my first thought was that he wanted her to be a part of it. I know she had screwed around on him, and my first thought was that he found out when she called and told me, in an extremely round about way. After I talked to her a few days later, it seemed like it was just a spur of the moment thought for him as they were getting ready to head out to see his doctor. He had actually jumped out of the car on her last attempt as they were heading down the driveway, after which he went back inside the house and refused to leave. She had hidden all his guns (except the single shot .22 TC she had forgotten about), so he locked himself into his game room and did the deed. Raging paranoia had become his thought process, and I think he may have just seen that pistol and said, screw it, I'm tired of feeling like this. She later revealed that he had commented he had no feeling on one side of his body. God only knows what was really going on as there was no autopsy performed. Having one wouldn't have changed the outcome, but maybe it would have helped with the understanding of it all.
Old 05-20-2018, 12:54 PM
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here you go, all you depressed guys.

Last edited by bugnut; 05-20-2018 at 01:59 PM.
Old 05-20-2018, 03:23 PM
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I'm in the not selfish camp. Someone trapped in a body that doesn't cooperate, a mind in an endless loop of depression, even someone who is just done with living all have their reasons for doing what they decide to do. It may not be the option we want or the best option they could take but when they make that decision it seems to me it is about them and not anyone else. Even the cases where they are trying to "hurt" someone with the act. It seems to me they are in such a place that they can't make a rational decision and therefore I don't consider it selfish. Wrong - certainly - but not selfish.

The above is not meant to offend anyone. I'm certainly no expert. It is just an opinion I've formed over the years having known several people who committed suicide and a couple of others that were attempted.
Old 05-20-2018, 03:45 PM
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I don’t see anything to be gained by calling the victim of suicide “selfish.” From what I’ve seen (dozens of people who have attempted suicide in the past, by any method you could imagine), they were desperate for their emotional or physical pain to end, and because of their desperation, they made a choice that they later see as irrational and short-sighted. So far (25+ years) I have never had an active patient commit suicide, and I hope it stays that way.

With the very exceptional case of intractable physical pain, I have difficulty seeing suicide as a reasonable choice. My perspective may be affected by too many hours in sessions with surviving family and friends, trying to help mend the sadness, anger, and guilt feelings that follow suicide.
Old 05-20-2018, 03:46 PM
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It’s on my to do list
Old 05-20-2018, 05:35 PM
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My thoughts impending death or deadly health issues no not selfish

But those with depression or mental illness, YES because most never tell anyone they are considering suicide so no one can help them

I am a first responder and to see the carnage left in the wake of most suicides along with having had a close relative have a loved one kill themselves is heart wrenching.

My point is it impacts more than the one person and can leave some of those left behind with mass amounts of guilt.

I am able to save some lives but see others (related family) crushed by decisions of a person who committed suicide.. I have had to negotiate with suicidal people and had to pull the trigger on one with a rifle forcing me to act.

I will never forget the expression on his face as he was shot. That and a few other things I would like to forget but they are a part of me till I die..

Again, my perspective is MUCH different than almost all...

Last edited by Cracker; 05-20-2018 at 05:42 PM.
Old 05-20-2018, 07:35 PM
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Many young addicts take their lives thinking the world would be a better place if they werent around anymore. Its a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

If they only new the unbelievable pain they leave behind i think there might be less of them .

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