Friday, July 29, 2011

Suicide sucks, don't do it.

I heard the author of this article on the radio today and I spent the entire time shouting at the radio and getting so angry I nearly threw it out of the window.

Now, we live in a no-TV household, so I gather I may have missed some other media around this issue, but this article is what I read, and this man is who I heard speaking on the radio.

I got so angry I posted it all over the internet to find out if I am alone in my rage.

I wanted to know if it would be a good idea to condemn people who commit suicide to disgust from their society.  I wanted to find out if being shown that victims of suicide are not worthy of a normal funeral would deter other teens from going down the same path.

From my own personal point of view, and one that has been through the horrors of depression and been at the top of that dark slope down I think that this would just make those people believe that feeling suicidal was something to be ashamed of, something to hide, something to pretend was not happening.

I believe that punishing the families who have lost loved ones to suicide by refusing their child/sister/brother/parent a normal funeral would cause more people to hide away their own feelings of grief and depression.

Surely the way to combat teen suicide (or any suicide for that matter) is to talk.  To be open; to let people know that it’s OK to feel like this, but that they have somewhere to turn.  To let people know that there is another option other than death.  I sort of understand that maybe some teens might not think about the repercussions of suicide, but let’s be honest, teens do not tend to think of anything outside their own bubble, I know I certainly did not.

So far the internet world seems to have agreed with me, but one person raised an interesting alternative point of view, that of a “shame culture” where some cultures believe that killing yourself to prevent shame and dishonor being brought upon your family is a noble thing.

Now I don’t profess to have a detailed knowledge of Maori culture (the man in the article is Maori, and a lot of the radio discussion was focused on the Maori community), I am woefully ignorant in that regard, but I don’t believe it to be a “shame culture”.  From a western viewpoint, the idea of shame culture is abhorrent to me; I cannot see how killing yourself and hurting those who love you in the process could be somehow better than doing something “shameful” and then working to rectify what you did.  As I said though, I am from a different world, so I doubt I could be made to understand this.

There seems to be a fear in the media about death being glamorised and romanticised.  Maybe it’s true, maybe not, but it has been that way since Romeo and Juliet.  People who really want to kill themselves are not well, and we need to help them to get better, not vilify them or their family and friends for something beyond their control.

1 comment:

tangytigglet said...

Suicide truly is an awful thing to live with I can imagine, and on my less depressive days I see it as a cop out, killing yourself may stop your pain but only make others worse, they may feel responsible, worried they could have done more etc etc! But on a depressive day, I fantastise about it, I obsess about ending my own life will actually improve that of everyone I know. Depression is a terrible thing and just as difficult for the families and friends.

I tried to kill myself at Uni too, such a depressive place, I didn't have friends around me to call and it was just by luck that the combination of things I took made me sick. But I had full intentions of dying. Depression is truly the lonliest feeling and only you can really understand it!

Many people would rather avoid the whole area, not think of how others truly feel, they are sick ... end of! Talking from experience here I have been on antideppressants and been though many different types of councilling throughtout most of my life but at the end of it, like grief, the feelings don't go, but as a person you manage to live with them and they become far less awe consumming.

By denying people their feelings in this way (the funerals etc) they aren't going to stop people wanting to die! for goodness sake! if you want to die that much you are gonna do it! All it does is deny the families closure, they weren't the ones who did it! they weren't the ones who necessarily made their loved one do it so why should they be punished??

I can't help but feel every civisilatin has the right to bury their loved ones the way they want to! (although anyone wishing to use my garden for their plans can think again!)

I hope that silly ideas like this will never actually become law! what a scary thought that might be!