Member Rara Avis
Humanity and understanding if self is not achieved through training, a friend can and often is more of a life saver than ANY "certified" person.
Should you ever find yourself in need of heart surgery, I suspect you'll change your mind.
The remarkable thing is we depend on doctors, rather than friends, for open heart surgery because we know just how complicated and dangerous such a procedure can be. Without intense training, opening someone's chest would be little different than murder. Yet with intense training, their success rate is highly encouraging in spite of the procedure's very obvious complexity. Should we conclude that treating clinical depressing is less complex? Even though the success rate is probably lower?
To treat the human mind, we need someone with MORE training than a cardiac surgeon, not some friend with substantially less. Anyone who gives CPR and then says, "There, you're all better now; no need to see a doctor" isn't a very good friend.
I've taken anti-depressants and it made me feel so inhuman, it was ignoring who I am.
I agree that substituting one evil for another is a bad answer. If you were unsatisfied with "who you are" while taking a pill, then it was obviously the wrong pill. It doesn't necessarily follow that all pills are wrong. Treating chemical imbalances is an inexact science and a failure is no reason to quit. Try different treatments until you find one where you like "who you are." It's a damn bumpy road, but others have traveled it successfully. It can be done.
Of course, if you are already satisfied with "who you are" then there's no reason to take any pills. And there's no reason to consider suicide, either.
Suicide is just as equal an option as chosing to live.
Should a three-year-old child be allowed to jump in the pool's deep end? Should someone stoned out of their mind be handed the keys to a car? At what point is individual choice superceded by common sense? Always is a bad answer, but so is never.
Suicide can only be an option when the individual is capable of making cognizant choices. If a person's brain chemistry is running amok, whether from alcohol or drugs or seratonin, they cannot make valid judgments.
Often it never gets to that stage, because pills aren't enough. You cannot heal a wound with the infection still festering inside of it...
That argument is only valid if no one else has ever survived the infection.
If even one person has lived through a situation without resorting to suicide, then we can unequivocally say the situation is NOT the cause of suicide. Tens of millions of people every day live through loss, heartbreak, loneliness, and devastating despair. They survive not because they're stronger, not because they're luckier, but only because their bodies and brains adjust and help temper their feelings of utter hopelessness. There is not a single person in all of history who has not experienced those feelings. If despair alone could kill, the human race would never have survived the Ice Age.
The infection is festering in each of us. There is no cure, and no way to remove it, because it defines the human condition. But the infection is only dangerous to those who lack the antibodies that allow most of us to cope.
The fact that patients still resort to suicide even after all of this "certified" help, proves my point.
Not everyone lives through open heart surgery, either. But that certainly doesn't mean the surgery was useless for the many who do survive.
The problem with medical treatment is that it's not a guarantee, it's just a hope. And, ironically, hope is the one thing most lacking in those who suffer clinical depression. Treatment is available. It works, if not well, if not quickly, at least inevitably. We just can't get those who most need it to want it. That is, to me, the greatest tragedy I can imagine.
There are two kinds of people who promote suicide as a viable option to life.
There are those suffering from real depression, who use their writing as catharsis. While that's a bit like using a band-aid for a heat attack, I wouldn't have a problem with it if they ALSO got real help. Too often they don't, because sharing their pain helps, for a time, to lessen their pain. You know what? I honestly don't want to help them lessen a pain that needs to be treated. Whether from a heart attack or depression, pain is a warning that should be heeded, not masked. I will not provide an alternative to medical help.
The second group of people are writers who use suicide as an easy cliché for feely badly. Sad isn't sad enough, they think, unless the end is death. The result is all those "I died for love" and "They'll be sorry when I'm gone" diatribes that trivialize and mock a very serious, very real medical problem. They help perpetuate the myth that suicide is the result of events, in spite of the fact that millions of others have survived those same events. An estimated one third of all suicides are not the result of clinical depression, but rather are missteps in a grab for sympathy. Mistakes. By romanticizing something that is always ugly, by distorting truth, such writers are guilty of killing people. I will not provide a venue for dangerous lies.