I was just talking to a friend whose husband attempted suicide a few years ago. She said they had just had a fight of some kind, and for the record, they both have relatives with a history of depression and suicide. And what she told me made me feel sick to my stomach.
When she took her husband to the hospital, they were questioned separately, and she was asked twice if they were "on drugs" (which they most certainly were not). Then when they had superficially treated her husband, he was "practically forced" (her words) to stay at some kind of institution for five days, where he was surrounded by people with severe mental problems, talking to themselves and having hallucinations, etc. It sounded like a scene from [i]One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest[/i], but less amusing.
I was grieved because it sounded like the interrogators were suspicious and callous, and the place that they sent him was a nightmare prison for people who are sick.
I'm not sure I think that all people who think about or attempt suicide, or even succeed at committing suicide, are necessarily sick like those hallucinating in that institution. Obviously they are distraught and things aren't working out the way that we all would want them to. But I have been depressed myself, and have even had suicidal thoughts long ago, and I feel in retrospect that it was just one of a few unpleasant options that I had, and I chose to reject it, whereas others choose it as the last choice.
Suicide is a part of humanity, and some cultures condone it under certain circumstances. I am thinking of course of the suicide bombings that we hear about far too often these days and the now extinguished (pardon the pun) practice of Sati. I of course agree that we need to do whatever we can to help people having suicidal thoughts. But I think that part of helping them might entail thinking differently about them.
posted 4 years, 4 months ago
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