A girl I grew up with and played with as a child took her own life. She was 43 and had two kids, a boy of 15 and a girl of 18. She had gotten divorced and couldn't move foward with her life.

People tried to reach her and she saw many therapists and psychologists who convinced her family she wasn't under threat. She was hospitalised for a month to try and contain her depression and on the day she was released, she came home, strung up a length of rope in the stairwell and hung herself. He younger brother found her body. Almost 300 people came to her funeral and there was an air of sadness but also distain for what she had done. Suicide carries stigma for the families left behind but when I think about it, I would never say the person should not have done it.

In the medical profession there is the ethos that 'Pain is whatever the person suffering percieves it to be'

Physical pain from an injury can be treated with analgesics but emotional pain cannot... it can only be dulled by anti depressants and therapy. Emotional pain and depression are like being in a wormhole, you just fall and 'live' within it. It can throw you in any direction and is constantly there in your every waking thought.

My friend had died long before she was actually dead. Medical science and holistic therapies couldn't help she helped herself. I would do the same.

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3 Responses Mar 8, 2009

I understand that. No matter how you cut, its still a cake. We cannot judge other people for what they do, that is up to God.

I think that the reason people stigmatize suicides, especially of this sort (i.e. she was relatively young) is that there is the common perception that suicides are universally a rash decision, an overreaction, a mistake. It is all but gospel that for those who kill themselves, they would've been better off living, that it would've gotten better. People only see what could be, rather than what is, hence why the young who kill themselves are given more attention than the elderly who do the same. To an extent, it makes sense, as the elderly more often kill themselves due to health issues. Indeed, with the elderly, it is often the very realization that the potential for their futures is nil that drives there decision, whereas with the young, it is the voluntary extinguishing of said potential that so thoroughly appalls people. Many are willing to accept a terminally ill person's right to die, yet these same would deny that same decision to someone who is physically healthy, in spite of the fact that their mental states are as trying and terminal to them as a stage 4 cancer patient. It is of course tragic that some kill themselves when they otherwise may have felt better, given time, and for whom the decision was indeed an impulse, and it is with mourning and regret that we face these. However, for some, even those who seem relatively young, their depression is indeed terminal, and things aren't just going to "get better", no matter how many times they're told otherwise. I think that this was the case for your friend. Furthermore, who cares if it is exactly "terminal" or not. Perhaps there could have been a recovery for your friend, but how much pain should we expect her to bear in the hope of perhaps being better one day? Perhaps she should have soldiered on, as we seem to expect the depressed to, no matter their pain, but who are we to say? In the end it is their life at stake, and they who must suffer the pain, and whose potential is at stake. I think that even though many of us would not have made the decision she did, she and others like her at least deserve that their decisions be respected.

I agreed with almost everything that you wrote up until the last sentence where you said you would do the same. I agree that emotional pain is not just something that can be "dealt with". We lost a family member right about the same age as yours, and so I know first hand the all the pain that you are going through right now. I also know, that because of this horrific experience, doing the same thing would be the last thing from my mind.... I would hope. Peace.