Unpopular opinion time


Yesterday evening I learned with much sadness that Chester Bennington the lead singer of Linkin Park due to an apparent suicide. Much like Chris Cornell who died at the age of 52 about two months ago, it seems that Chester was also battling the onslaught of depression. My sympathies and heartfelt condolences go out to his wife and kids. But I feel something really needs to be said, which seems to be missing from this entire ongoing discussion on social media each time someone high profile dies from suicide. And I will most likely get a lot of hate for this, but we always focus on the victims of suicide. But what about the people left behind? The family, friends, and children? The person who committed suicide already solved his apparent problem. And yes it does sound bad saying it like that.

But that is why people kill themselves because they feel they have insurmountable problems that cannot be solved. While it “solves” their immediate problem it creates a whole set of different ones for those left behind. Being a logical person and viewing everything from a strictly logical point of view, suicide fits the definition of “selfish” since it “benefits” no one but the individual in question. No man is an island. The act of killing yourself is like throwing a rock into a pond, the effects of the rock hitting the water can be felt throughout the entire pond. Having said that it does not mean I think someone who commits suicide is a bad person, or anyone to be thought negatively of. The truth about suicide is that the pain does not end when you die, you just hand it over to those you leave behind.

[Editorial Note:] I acknowledge that those saying that calling suicide selfish is counter productive and harmful, while that may be, that isn’t a reason why it isn’t selfish because it is.

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About larch

I am a cucumber in a fruit bowl.
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3 Responses to Unpopular opinion time

  1. I was the one who called you out on Twitter for this opinion and I’m going to go into detail here why you are misguided. I get what you’re trying to say here. That suicide leaves a destructive path in its wake and the people that were immediately close to that person feel the brunt of the pain for the rest of their lives. It’s an awful thing to go through, but what you are doing here is being completely dismissive of the core problem.

    Mental health is an often overlooked and serious problem that affects more people than you’d ever know. Not only that, there are crushing stigmas attached to it and the whole culture surrounding it is deliterious at best. We often do not understand what people struggling with mental illness go through and most people do exactly what you are doing here: trying to rationalise and quantify the effects of mental illness without knowing the immediate effects that composes the struggles.

    I suffer from severe depression, and this wasn’t some self-diagnosis I did on a whim, an actual doctor classified me as severe and I was even placed on suicide watch. I know exactly what people that suffer from this illness go through, and make no mistake, it is an illness. People confuse the mood and the biological diagnosis all the time. Chester didn’t kill himself because he was blue, he had an immense internal struggle within him that was consuming him entirely. The fact that he got to the point of taking his own life is further evidence that people do not understand what depression encompasses and what it does to a person. You’re trying to rationalise these feelings in a black and white way and I cannot describe to you how that pisses me off. Because I’ve been in Chester’s shoes, I understand the struggles he went through. Whereas I’m a young person with not many responsibilities, Chester was internationally known and subjected to constant pressure, berating and given an impossible responsibility.

    You probably saw the outcry from people, including myself, who plead with people to please seek help if they are struggling with mental illness. That is because this could have been prevented if Chester received the care that he needed. But the stigma attached to mental illness, who people like you perpetuate, is a major reason why we are left with hollow spaces where legendary singers, loved ones and people from all walks of life should have been.

    I know you’re going to be hostile towards what I said and you will keep believing that you are right with how suicide is a grossly selfish act, but I plead with you, do your research, look up testimonials from people who suffer from mental illness and try and understand that situations like this are much more complex than you would ever think. You must have seen the popular paragraph that has been going around recently. How suicide is a person jumping from a burning building and choosing the less painful route than burning alive. That statement is true, I can tell you this with all honesty. You are essentially someone standing on the street and telling that person to embrace the flames rather than trying to get a fire extinguisher.

    So yes, you are right, Chester’s suicide was a solution that only he benefited from. The ones close to him will suffer. But maybe try not accusing a person who was clearly troubled of being selfish as you sit there having absolutely no idea what an illness did to him and further damaging the fight against mental health. Because if people like you continue to do that, we’ll get absolutely nowhere.

    • larch says:

      Actually, I full well know the effects it has on a family unit I lost a loved one to it not long ago. It tore apart the family the dad lost his job the sister ended up in rehab for drug and alcohol abuse and two kids no older than 10 years old were left with the question of: “Where did their mom go?” and “Did she really love us” An entire family destroyed by one single selfish act. So I fully well know the effects it has and what people who experience it goes through. So don’t assume because you are struggling with depression that you are the only one who knows what it is like to face that struggle each day. Just because I don’t suffer from it does not mean I don’t know what it does to someone or their loved ones.

      Killing yourself has an emotional, social, philosophical, financial, temporal, physical, critical impact on every sphere of association you’re involved in from the intimate to the mundane. The suffering you’re experiencing now could never amount to suffering you cause by committing suicide. Not seeing that is inherently selfish. And making it about just you is extremely self-centered. But I can also say that mental health problems make you incredibly self-absorbed (and I mean that in a non-value laden way, you literally become caught up in your own head and your own world and there is less space for others).

      Suicide is a desperate act by someone who is in intense pain and wants their pain to stop. When my best friend committed suicide I knew she had done everything she could to get through her trauma and out of her depression. She had asked for help and been in therapy programs for years. In a way, she was selfish, but only in the sense that she chose herself above her family, kids and friends. The distress and pain of those impacted is no less emotionally valid than the person suffering from depression.

      And for the record I don’t disagree on anything, just giving you the perspective of someone that was left behind.

  2. I was the one who called you out on Twitter for this opinion and I’m going to go into detail here why you are misguided. I get what you’re trying to say here. That suicide leaves a destructive path in its wake and the people that were immediately close to that person feel the brunt of the pain for the rest of their lives. It’s an awful thing to go through, but what you are doing here is being completely dismissive of the core problem.

    Mental health is an often overlooked and serious problem that affects more people than you’d ever know. Not only that, there are crushing stigmas attached to it and the whole culture surrounding it is deliterious at best. We often do not understand what people struggling with mental illness go through and most people do exactly what you are doing here: trying to rationalise and quantify the effects of mental illness without knowing the immediate effects that composes the struggles.

    I suffer from severe depression, and this wasn’t some self-diagnosis I did on a whim, an actual doctor classified me as severe and I was even placed on suicide watch. I know exactly what people that suffer from this illness go through, and make no mistake, it is an illness. People confuse the mood and the biological diagnosis all the time. Chester didn’t kill himself because he was blue, he had an immense internal struggle within him that was consuming him entirely. The fact that he got to the point of taking his own life is further evidence that people do not understand what depression encompasses and what it does to a person. You’re trying to rationalise these feelings in a black and white way and I cannot describe to you how that pisses me off. Because I’ve been in Chester’s shoes, I understand the struggles he went through. Whereas I’m a young person with not many responsibilities, Chester was internationally known and subjected to constant pressure, berating and given an impossible responsibility.

    You probably saw the outcry from people, including myself, who plead with people to please seek help if they are struggling with mental illness. That is because this could have been prevented if Chester received the care that he needed. But the stigma attached to mental illness, who people like you perpetuate, is a major reason why we are left with hollow spaces where legendary singers, loved ones and people from all walks of life should have been.

    I know you’re going to be hostile towards what I said and you will keep believing that you are right with how suicide is a grossly selfish act, but I plead with you, do your research, look up testimonials from people who suffer from mental illness and try and understand that situations like this are much more complex than you would ever think. You must have seen the popular paragraph that has been going around recently. How suicide is a person jumping from a burning building and choosing the less painful route than burning alive. That statement is true, I can tell you this with all honesty. You are essentially someone standing on the street and telling that person to embrace the flames rather than trying to get a fire extinguisher.

    So yes, you are right, Chester’s suicide was a solution that only he benefited from. The ones close to him will suffer. But maybe try not accusing a person who was clearly troubled of being selfish as you sit there having absolutely no idea what an illness did to him and further damaging the fight against mental health. Because if people like you continue to do that, we’ll get absolutely nowhere.

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