People often called people who attempt suicide “selfish”. However, for the person going through the emotional turmoil leading to that final step, it’s usually the only way out left.
Expecting a person to be logical, or to think about others when s/he cannot even think for himself/herself, is, simply put, illogical. Being selfish has negative connotations, implying that that person is wrong or bad. However, a person who doesn’t even understand why they’re feeling the way they are cannot differentiate between right or wrong. Their thought process, mood, and judgment are all affected by their emotions.
Would a person about to kill himself/herself know how it is to die? Obviously not.
Being “selfish” indicates that one already knows the benefit of performing an act. The “selfish” accusation also often implies that there are other options available but suicide – the “easy way out” – has been chosen. In truth, the act of suicide is anything but “easy”. A person who is suffering from such emotional turmoil looks for every option to end their plight, before they choose suicide, the ultimate solution. We need to understand that a person who attempts suicide is not emotionally stable.
It’s incomprehensible to most people that a person could feel so terrible, so trapped, and so desolate, that s/he would want to end her/his own life. Suicide is more often that not a result of someone feeling so helpless that ending their life seems the only viable option. They have no way to improve the situation they are in.
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A person who attempts suicide has probably already fought unending battles internally and never won, resulting in such a painful attempt.
It is wrong to say that suicide is an act of finding relief. It is neither a selfish act, nor a correct one. At the point when someone is suicidal, they may not be thinking about other people, but they aren’t thinking about themselves either. They just want to end their suffering, and this is the only door available. Therefore, by definition, this rules out the accusation of them being selfish.
Now that we know that it is not a selfish act, we should also know that those who attempt suicide are going through intense emotional turmoil.
“I have done this before, but I have never been successful. I really don’t want to end my life. But I think I have to. It’s better than living in pain.” Ananya (name changed) wrote this in a note she left before attempting suicide.
Ananya survived, and now works to help other survivors battle the stigma around the act.
“Losing a dear one to suicide is never easy. We often term suicide as a ‘selfish’ act to give a voice to the pain that we are going through after losing them. In this process, we find it difficult to logically explain the drastic step without taking into account our own pain or validating our existence in that person’s life,” says Swekriti Bhatnagar, a psychologist at Yourdost.com.
It’s difficult to understand and rationalise “why” someone would take their own life. Losing a person this way is not pleasant, and we need answers we know we can never get. What we must understand is that suicide is a result of helplessness. By considering the people attempting it “selfish”, we are merely perpetuating the stigma associated with suicide, instead of helping the people in need. Stop associating suicide with selfishness; it has more to do with helplessness and emotional turmoil.
If you’ve considered suicide, or know someone who has, speak to Experts at YourDOST to get emotional help immediately.