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aibu to ask what are peoples views on suicide .l. do you think its selfish

(86 Posts)
maddymoo25 Fri 27-Sep-13 18:57:29

Do you think it is wrong to find it selfish

SunshineSuperNova Sat 28-Sep-13 12:58:40

Hello maddy. I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. flowers

I lost my closest friend to suicide some years ago. My emotions were all over the place - I raged, I wept and went through huge lumps of anxiety. I blamed myself for not being a good enough friend. I felt like I'd been hit by a truck.

Thankfully it's long enough now that I can remember the good stuff and smile at memories of our time together.

Someone upthread mentioned Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide and they are amazing. I also had help from The Samaritans and bereavement counselling from Cruse.

In answer to your original question: no, I don't think people who take their own lives are selfish. I believe they reach a point where they can no longer cope or carry on. But it's okay to feel angry with them because of the hurt their action causes to those of us left behind.

Big hugs to you and your DC maddy. Be kind to yourself lovely. flowers

There was a long thread on here a couple of months ago about this topic in (mostly) a thoughtful and more general way. If you are wanting to explore how people feel in the abstract it may be worth a look when you feel you can.

To think about how people feel about your husband in particular will be very difficult, as other people will be grieving as well, and probably feeling guilty too. I think over time people will hold on to the good memories and the negative feelings around the way he died will lessen.

I'm sorry for your loss, Maddy, and wish you all the best in keeping positive memories alive. xx

Delilahlilah Sat 28-Sep-13 12:44:23

I think it is a common misconception to think of suicide as selfish.I think anger is a common stage of grief, and sometimes being angry and the concept of selfishness collide. It's easy to be angry and 'blame' them for a while. A relative of mine committed suicide when I was quite young, I think the stages of grief may have taken longer because of my age. First came being distraught and bewildered - why have they gone? Then angry at them, and for a while thinking they had been selfish - the effect on those left behind. Then came calm, and I began to understand just how desperate they must have been to think it, and go through with it. I still feel overwhelming sadness, and why I wasn't important enough for them to stay. The truth is I will never know what made it happen, I just need to know that they did what they thought they had to. I still get very upset, but I know I couldn't have changed anything. I'm sorry that's a bit rambling, I find it hard to talk about. I'm very sorry for your bereavement OP. You are doing an amazing job with your children.

PeriodFeatures Sat 28-Sep-13 11:40:19

culture of denial..

PeriodFeatures Sat 28-Sep-13 11:38:48


I hope you can find some peace and happy memories.

My understanding of suicide is it is a desperate act of someone who is ill. certainly not selfish.

can you start a memory album with your dc? photos? nice memories?

perhaps overtime to reframe the loss of your dh to be what it was, an illness that ended his life rather than the action he took to deal with his pain.

People in our culture are shit a coping with death. Death which is the result of a mental illness is still taboo and shouldnt be.

this culture o deniL dpesnt nhelp.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 28-Sep-13 11:20:00

I think suicide can be a selfish act unfortunately. On man I know did it in such a way that it was clear it was timed and designed to cause maximum distress to those left behind. i.e. the wife that was about to leave him. If he'd simply been ill and thought the world would have been a better place without him, he'd have chosen a different method.

PrincessFlirtyPants Sat 28-Sep-13 10:33:38

To think of it as selfish is to think of mental illness as something you choose

Very well put, peachypips

peachypips Sat 28-Sep-13 09:35:11

It's even worse when it's so hidden that there is no warning. You poor thing Maddy. Anyone who says it is selfish has not felt that distress that means you feel you can't possibly go on.
Quite often people feel like their families would be happier and better off without them as someone else suggested. I remember feeling that everyone would be able to get on with life and be happy if I wasn't there. This is obviously wrong and the illness makes you feel like that.
To think of it as selfish is to think of mental illness as something you choose. You can't help being ill, and sometimes that illness sadly results in death.

SelectAUserName Sat 28-Sep-13 08:04:41

I'm so sorry to hear about your husband, Maddy.

There is no template for grief. How you feel is how you feel, and completely valid.

I hope you have some RL support for you and your children. It's unlikely you will ever find answers to all the questions you have, but I hope in time you can come to terms with not knowing, and find peace.

Part of your husband wasn't working properly, and that led to his death. It wasn't your fault and it wasn't in your control to stop it or make it better, any more than it would be in your control to stop cancer or a heart attack.

Take care of yourself. thanks

Iamsparklyknickers Fri 27-Sep-13 21:40:55

Suicide is something I've mused over many, many times. Not flippantly I may add but because of (thankfully failed) experiences around me.

I think OneStepCloser is right that most deaths induce feelings of anger and that the person gone has in some way done something unforgivable - suicide is just catagorised as the one thing that it's ok to express those feelings as it's perceived the person had a choice. I don't think that's true, certainly from the perspective of the suicidal person. I think dying from suicide is the same as having a disease, tumour, car crash - whatever. For your brain chemistry to allow you to override the basic human need to survive and actively bring about your own death is an illness.

Illness isn't something given to rhyme or reason, for all the reasons for suicide I've heard/read I've never seen one that I couldn't answer with a 'But'.... no reason is good enough when you're in a place that has already resigned you to think you're better off not there.

It's harder to accept a death without having any answers, and I truly hope that you find peace maddymoo, you will find a way to live with your new reality and how to be happy alongside your hurt and confusion.

expatinscotland Fri 27-Sep-13 21:28:24

My children are the only reason I have not ended my life after my daughter's death, so I know that someone who does commit suicide is very, very, very ill.

imnotwhoyouthinkiam Fri 27-Sep-13 21:25:00

As someone who has been v v suicide, no its not selfish.

I'm so sorry for.your loss.x

MistressDeeCee Fri 27-Sep-13 21:20:42

I do feel suicide is selfish. It can traumatise family/loved ones left behind for the rest of their lives.

I also feel sorry to the heart for people who feel theres no way out of any dilemma or problem they may be facing, than to end their lives.

Its a very difficult subject

itsonlyme85 Fri 27-Sep-13 21:15:17

So sorry i dint read the rest of the post, sorry to hear about your husband, sorry if what i said offended you or upset you in anyway. X

itsonlyme85 Fri 27-Sep-13 21:11:25

As a child who found their mother after she commuted suicide, i will always think of my mum as selfish. I miss my mum dearly and hope she found peace in the end, but i cannot ever forget what happened that day. And having to explain to my family and her friends il never forgive her. I am still Please if this is about you try to get yourself help there is a lot available, even talk to a close friend please talk to someone thanks

nothernexposure Fri 27-Sep-13 21:04:08

Hi Maddy

Don't know if you know about it but there's an organisation called SOBBS (Survivors of bereavement by suicide). I don't know whether getting in touch with them would be any help. I get the impression they've all been 'through it' so might be a good place to get some support. Hope you can take care of yourself and find some peace and support with this horrible horrible situation.

gymphobe Fri 27-Sep-13 20:53:38

im so sorry for your loss. x

when my mom tried to kill herself I remember feeling very angry. How dare she leave me. I was so young. ..

when I was much older, my brother attempted suicide. I remember feeling desperately sad and that it was selfish to guilt and force someone to stay in a life they don't want.

now. All I know is that I still feel desperately sad and helpless for those who feel they can't go on..but im certain there is no selfishness to it. Only hurt.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Fri 27-Sep-13 20:48:38

Maddy, i saw him the week before. I would never have known he would do that, but when I heard I was not surprised. Dunno cant explain it. It was like it was always there just neither of us knew how to put it. but my god could he hide it. he was the life, the soul, the good looking sonofa b you wish you knew. i remember him laughing and i cannot see what he did, in that memory. it just doesnt exist. its not possible. and im still so fucking mad at the mf cunt so many years later but..... its not me not even close its his world and his choice even if he felt he had no choice

no comfort but maybe i sincerely hope some understanding from me and definitely sympathy for you at least.....

YouHaveAGoodPoint Fri 27-Sep-13 20:44:39

It's not 'selfish' but it is confusing and hard to understand for a lot of people.
I honestly don't know what I would think if I were in your situation other than I am sure I would have a million conflicting emotions. Perhaps your friends and family really don't know what to think either? Are you able to tell them that you understand they may have mixed emotions but you want to be able to talk about your husband. They may welcome some concrete guidance from you.

Are you getting any counselling?

I wonder what the response would be if someone died of something that they 'did' to themselves such as smoking, overeating, alcoholism, drug addiction or drink driving?

I feel so sorry for you and so sorry for your children. I hope everything works out ok.

probablyhadenough Fri 27-Sep-13 20:44:35

Maddy - it seems wrong to read and not post. This must be incredibly, incredibly hard for you. To answer your question, I don't think you can apply a word like selfish to suicide. It suggests that normal impulses, healthy mindsets and rational thinking are involved in the decision. I have no direct experience but your dh was obviously very ill when he decided on suicide. And most certainly it was not your fault in any way. I wish you well.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Fri 27-Sep-13 20:41:48


Thats how my friend described it. His head hurt. For any other body part theres no stigma to going to a doctor. I suggested that to him and he looked a me like I was nuts the cheeky git.

its the only moment in my life i wish i could return to. but i know in my heart it would never end differently.

MaidOfStars Fri 27-Sep-13 20:39:23

For the person doing it, it's the least selfish thing in the world.

Coconutty Fri 27-Sep-13 20:39:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PedlarsSpanner Fri 27-Sep-13 20:38:36

I am so sorry Maddy

Minnieisthedevilmouse Fri 27-Sep-13 20:36:23

Having experienced suicide, both personally and in society (trains/tubes count right?!) if you do not know the person and experience transport issues on a weekly basis due to suicide affecting thousands of people it is extremely easy to view suicide as selfish. Thousands vs 1 makes that very black and white even if in reality its far from that.

Personally, you can view it as selfish yes if you view it as about the people the person knows. IE I went to a funeral for a suicide that was 200+. It was frankly hell on earth. Hundreds of deeply affected upset and in some cases hysterical people. It is hard not to view creating that as anything but selfish......

.....but, my friend was plainly in mental torment. He couldnt find a way out of the pain. And it was pain. I knew more than I let on at the funeral. I couldnt stop him. I had neither the words or the knowledge or the ability. Some things just are.

And that, thats something I live with. The juxtaposition of suicide is enormous. The ripples it causes are like an ocean. They hit Cornwall and New York. Some days it doesnt register with me. And others it hits like a tsunami. Is that my selfish nature or his....? Its all in the eye of the beholder sometimes.....

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