The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Suicide survivors deserve respect, empathy

Disclaimer: Killing yourself is bad, and anyone thinking about it should seek professional  help beforehand.

My name is Joshua Knopp. I have dealt with depression all my life, at times debilitating, at times, yes, suicidal. That in mind, there are two things I think everyone should know:

One, the “real survivors of suicide” aren’t victims’ friends and family. They’re the people inclined to hurt themselves who fight it off every day. Two, the most common argument against suicide, that it is a selfish act and people should think of how it affects their friends and family, isn’t going to do anything to keep them alive.

For anyone who would try to sell this argument, I have two words:

SHUT

UP

The argument that people can’t take their own lives because of how it will affect those around them is, ironically, one of the most selfish arguments out there. At its core, the argument implies that, even if people so lonely or so unstable that they would consider ending their own lives, the feelings of others around them are more important. It takes people whose self-worth is already suspect and further reinforces the feeling that they are less important than others.

The statement further implies that people’s lives don’t belong to them. That, no matter how bad they feel about themselves, they are beholden to others around them. It is the absolute height of idiocy to say this to someone considering suicide.

Your life doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to me. Seriously? Who would say that to someone when the underlying cause of their depression could very well be self-worth issues? When another underlying cause could be feeling out of control of their lives?

Suicide is a terrible thing, but common thought about it is brutally oversimplified and seems to be ruled by the emotional reactions of victims’ friends and family instead of the rational thoughts of … well, anyone.

Oftentimes, suicide is related to feeling helpless and out of control with the thought being, “This, at least, I can control.” Instead of guilt-tripping someone into staying alive, let that person feel some measure of control. Show compassion and, above anything, show respect.

Note: That’s not what you’re showing with the “suicide is selfish” diatribe.

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