Member Rara Avis
Suicide and the kind of depression that leads to suicide are not behavioral problems, Krawdad. They are medical conditions. I would never encourage someone with a broken leg to forego treatment just because sitting at the keyboard and writing poetry takes their mind off the pain for a little while. Nor would I be real pleased if their poetry encouraged others to break their legs.
Unfortunately, chemical imbalances aren't as obvious as broken bones. If you see two inches of fibula protruding from your shin, it doesn't take a medical degree to figure out that's probably the source of your pain. The pain of clinical depressions is every bit as intense, every bit as real, and every bit as rooted in physical causes. But, unlike a broken leg, it DOES take a medical degree to diagnose the source of that pain. And to properly treat it. I don't think there is anything arbitrary in deciding we don't want to promote death as a viable treatment.
Enchantress, our Guideline against advocating violence as a solution to problems has almost nothing to do with our younger Members. Whether you're nine or ninety, it's just as wrong. Those who romanticize suicide do both themselves and society a great disservice. Themselves, because they misdiagnose the cause of their pain, blaming it on "events," and subsequently don't get the real help they need. Society, because they help perpetuate the myth there is somehow something noble or self-sacrificing in a foolish, unnecessary death. People are fond of saying suicide is the leading cause of teenage death, but that's only part of the truth. If those same teenagers had cancer, they would get help, because society recognizes cancer as a medical problem with a medical solution. Clinical depression is no different, and suicide isn't really the leading cause of teen death. Misinformation is the real cause, largely perpetuated by darn good writers. I believe people need help, real help, and not romantic justifications.
I sincerely wish I had a solution. But I don't, and without medical training, I won't pretend I can likely find one. What I can do, have done, and will continue to do, is refuse to be part of the problem.