“Suicide, seen as among the most selfish of acts, pushes a button in us that even murder doesn’t,” according to Clancy Martin:
When I was in treatment for depression, I found that meeting and talking to other people about suicide was profoundly helpful; I saw what a loss it would have been had those people succeeded. A friend once said to me, “Suicide leaves behind nothing but miserable people blaming themselves.”
My psychiatrist, a wise eighty-seven-year-old woman who has been practicing six days a week for more than forty years, told me, “Think of the example it sets. For your children.” That remains the most compelling argument I’ve heard against suicide: it sets an example — for one’s children, of course, but for others too. It isn’t that we want people to “tough it out.” It isn’t that we think the suicide has acted out of moral weakness. It’s that, when we look at the people we knew who committed suicide, they were often the very people we most appreciated having around. We need more of those people, not fewer.