Monday, July 04, 2016

Suicide Is Painless (Not)

An appallingly ignorant side comment by Marty Moss-Coane on today's Radio Times provoked this comment from me:

I was appalled by Marty's reference to suicide as a "narcissistic" act.

A narcissist is preoccupied by concern about how others see them; they insist that others view them favorably (or pretend to). By contrast, a person who commits suicide -- except in the rare cases where they can be seen as doing it for a larger purpose with which others will sympathize -- is someone enduring such unbearable pain that they no longer care how others see them; they care only about ending the pain, even at the cost of condemning themselves to be seen ever after as a "quitter," and an embarrassment to those close to them.

It was particularly shocking to hear Moss-Coane's ignorant remark so shortly after Robin Williams' tragic death by suicide, followed by the explanations authorities on the topic had to make in response to all the insensitive, angry comments about it on social media by people lacking any understanding of depression. Did she learn nothing from all that? Is she actually expressing anger at how suicide "embarrasses" the survivors -- and projecting *their* narcissism onto those who commit it?

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