Sunday, August 31, 2014

Robin Williams and Suicide

So one of the most appreciated actors of all time, Robin Williams, died a week or two ago. Let me start this blogpost by saying that he was in fact, a great actor, and will be missed. That being said, I mean no disrespect to Robin Williams himself or his family by saying that suicide is never a healthy, reasonable problem-solving measure and that it is SELFISH. I've seen many posts arguing that suicide is your last inalienable right, that people's lives should be in their own hands, etc. There's even people who are suggesting policies of legalizing fatal doses of barbiturates for people who want them.

Here is a post on reddit in which the poster defends suicide.

"Our society has deemed that suicide is illegal, immoral, selfish and should be stopped by any means possible once identified as a possible outcome. People are placed in a position where they must defend their sanity in order to prevent being locked up, restrained and/or drugged.
This causes a conflict for anyone who chooses to commit suicide while trying to minimize the negative impact on their friends and family. If a person were to make arrangements to end their life in a way that did not leave a mess, arrange to have their body removed, and arrange to settle their financial obligations prior to committing their final act, they would then be targeted for incarceration, restraints and psychological testing and at no time allowed to do what they could have done in secret.
What we are saying is that the only rational way to commit suicide is to hide it from society which necessitates leaving an extreme amount of burden on those remaining."

The problem is that the vast majority of people who commit or attempt to commit suicide are under the influence of something, be it severe mental illness, substances, anger, whatever, that they would not have chosen to kill themselves if they were not in those circumstances.
It's often said that people who try and fail to kill themselves often are thankful they were not successful. I have a very good friend who tried to commit suicide, and he is thankful he didn't. My friend, and everyone who has attempted suicide, realize their suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
This is why we as a society do our best to treat those people and help prevent them from killing themselves. Same reason why, when someone comes into the hospital in an obviously altered mental state, they can have procedures performed without their consent, because they are obviously not of sound mind to be making decisions for themselves.

Again, I mean no disrespect to Robin Williams. If you have ever thought about suicidal thoughts, please please call the suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255  or chat someone online:

You're not alone :)

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