It’s Not Selfish

When I think about Robin Williams, and anyone who has committed suicide, I mourn because the world will be without their gifts, whatever they may be.

But I also mourn the fact that they were in so much pain. And that they felt so hopeless and alone. And that they felt so trapped.

I get irked (to put it mildly) when the “suicide is selfish” tribe pipes up after news of a suicide circulates. Obviously, no members of this tribe have ever felt deeply depressed or have a loved one struggling with depression. Or any mental illness for that matter.

I wonder if I will see the day when it is universally accepted that depression and other mental illnesses are medical conditions. I wonder if I will see the day when these illnesses are not taboo subjects.

A person doesn’t choose to be depressed or have OCD, just as a person doesn’t choose to be homosexual or Latino.

Suicide is not a selfish act. Read this recent blog post written by a woman who lost her father to suicide.

All of us need to put down our smartphones (as blogger Katie Hurley recommends) and listen to our parents, our siblings, our children, our friends. Read about the warning signs. And if you are depressed yourself, seek help. You are NOT alone.

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. Check out the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website for a number of great resources.

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Light a candle at 8:00 pm for survivors of suicide and for those who have lost loved ones to the disease. Thank you.

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