Is Suicide A Selfish Act?

*Trigger alert. This blog or conversation piece and links on it contains information about suicide which may be triggering to survivors*

I was standing waiting for my train into central London. As the train slowly came around the corner, a woman at the top end of the platform jumped on to the track. She positioned her head on the rail at a point where it was impossible for the train to stop. I jumped back and averted my gaze and started running down the stairs scared, sickened and wondering how someone could do this. My first thought was how could someone be so selfish. Couldn’t they go somewhere else and die quietly. I took the day off work

A young woman shared a story with me about a friend whose mother was in chronic pain. The mother wanted to die. To have a painkiller which would allow her to pass away her in sleep. Tortured with the choice
of satifisying her mothers request against her own beliefs, and that of her extended family, that only God could make such a choice. Not to mention that the law says euthanasia or assisted suicide is illegal.

As a youth worker I have spoken to many students about a friend of mine who self harmed and nearly took her own life. Something that I later found out, but not at the time, that I averted because of a phone call. Often there are students who approach me afterwards and share their own struggles around depression and suicide. I often explain to them that I have a duty of care to report it to their teachers but it leaves me wondering how much help do they actually get.

I don’t think suicide is a selfish act. I actually believe the triggers and conditions that get people to contemplate or even go through with suicide are so extreme that the person who does them is not rational. Sometimes it is mental illness, depression or just a sense of helplessness, but I am loathe to see such cars as selfish. Again this is just my opinion.

I stumbled across this video by a young man who has attempted suicide and shares how we helps others as well as himself continue the dialogue in dealing with suicide. Have a listen. Have a think.


One thought on “Is Suicide A Selfish Act?

  1. Brilliant. This has completely changed my thought process about suicide and why people do it. I considered it once when I was 18 years old, that was 41 years ago. So happy that my Hope and Belief in my intrinsic worth allowed me to call Suicide Prevention, it was the most important phone call I ever made in my life.

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