Death by Choice

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In class we talked about whether or not suicide is a selfish act. While I do support physician assisted suicide, I will never understand how a young or middle aged person can get to that point where they feel the only way out is to kill themselves. In my opinion, it is a selfish act. If you are not dying from a terminal illness or in chronic pain, then I do not think suicide is ever the answer. I feel very strongly about this topic because my father took his life when I was only four years old. It was three days before his 34th birthday. There was no suicide note.  It is not fair for him to voluntarily take himself away from his family, especially to his four and seven year old children who needed him. It is a selfish act because people who commit suicide do not realize how much it will affect their loved ones. There are so many people who are dying from terminal diseases who would like to live and be with their families. It is unfair to those people who are not ready to die that there are people who are choosing to take their life by choice.

The first thing you think of after a suicide is why would they do this? How did I not see the signs? What if I could have prevented it? It is normal to want to blame yourself. Since I was so young when my dad died, there was no possible way for me to have known what was going on, but sometimes I wonder if somebody could have prevented it.  I believe it is important that everyone become educated on the signs of suicide so that they may be able to save a life in trouble. Some common symptoms to watch for are personality changes, giving away personal and prized belongings, and depression. Severe depression is real, even though some people are good at hiding it. According to our notes, 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. My father was never diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, but I like to think he had one as to why he took such drastic measures to end his life. Seventeen years later, I have learned to cope with his death, but I still get sad about it because he did not get to see me grow up. This class has helped me open up about death and how to cope with loss in a positive way.

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3 thoughts on “Death by Choice

  1. Even though people may not have a physical sickness, they can have deep emotional problems that cause them to do brash things. I am sorry about your father. I can’t imagine the pain you felt, especially not understanding why he would do that. I can completely understand why you feel that suicide is selfish. Like you said, 90% of those who commit suicide have a treatable disorder. This statistic is scary because it makes you wonder why so many people still end their own lives. Psychiatric disorders are sometimes left undiagnosed and the person may not know they have a problem until its too late. I’m glad you were able to open up about your experience because it was interesting to see this topic from a first hand account.

  2. This post was very thought-provoking and well as very sad. Personally, although the Psychology of Death and Dying class extensively discusses many aspects of death, I really have never thought out about the ethical aspects of personal suicide and the effects it has on families. Reading this post, I came to the conclusion that although suicide can be viewed as a selfish act, is shunned by the majority of society, and it is a sin in many religions, depression can be very severe and sometimes people going through this disease feel that they have no other choice. Based on personal experiences, I can understand why someone would want to take their live. If someone does not find a meaning to life, they should not have to endure it. However, I highly agree with you that if someone is depressed, they should take all measures to find a solution and a cure.

  3. The reason we took this class was because we were curious to the idea of death as well as to hear the various ideas of others. Thank you for bringing this perspective to light and being honest about it; it is never an easy topic to address. Although I can respectively understand the lengths people take because of the ” torture” they are going through. I can agree that the aftermath is shocking and hurtful. The questions arise as to why it happened and what you could have done. Regardless the choice was made and we are only left with the pieces to try and put them together. I agree to commit suicide without seeking help first, is selfish. A parent losses a child, a spouse losses a lover, and a child losses the window for a future.They are gone forever with the pain in their hearts and denial in their mind, with the whispers haunting them as you carry on. I am sorry your father doesn’t know what an amazing young lady you have grown to become. I do know this, the knowledge we have gained will be incorporated into our lives to teach others. Thank you for being so open on this topic and I hope your journey in life will continue to be mindful and expressive, carry on my friend!

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