Someone compiled all the cliches people use against suicide in a picture. If you’re trying to convince yourself not to die, don’t read this. All of these cliches are wrong and it’s time to compile the arguments against them in one place.
1. But there’s no going back. You can never change your mind.
You can’t change your mind after you’re dead, that’s true. That also means you don’t experience regret. Some people may kill themselves in order not to experience regret.
Any other choice you make keeps you alive, so you will live to regret it. There are many choices you can’t go back from. In fact, pretty much every choice is irreversible – there’s no time travel. You can’t go back one year ago and choose to eat a hamburger instead of steak. If you forced a child into existence, you can’t turn it around.
2. Quit your job, sell everything and move to the other side of the world. Then see how you feel.
This is extremely difficult, both psychologically and physically. There is no guarantee it will be better. It can be worse and the person may lose the opportunity to die. It’s a gamble, just like anything else in life. Some people kill themselves because they’re tired of gambling.
3. There are people who have it far worse than you do
And? There are also people who have it far better than you do. If there are people who have it worse, then it means life can get worse. If life is now unbearable and it can get worse, sounds like dying is the best way to stop this madness.
Also, a world with so much misery may not be a world worth living in.
4. You just need medication/therapy
Not addressing the arguments why someone should die or not. At least all the other cliches are actual arguments.
5. It’s a coward’s way out
Suicide is extremely difficult. Many people on SancSuicide and A.S.H. express difficulty in going through with it. We’re hard-wired to survive so overcoming this survival instinct demands the greatest of strengths.
If suicide is for coward and you’re not a coward, will you play Russian roulette?
So what if suicide is for cowards? Isn’t it reasonable to run away from a problem, assuming running away gets rid of it? Isn’t it logical to run away from a predator if you can outrun him?
6. You may think you want to die but you really don’t.
Our bodies do want to live, but we sometimes want to kill and rape and break stuff. It doesn’t mean we’ll do it. Humans are often ambivalent about our desires – that’s a sign of intelligence. We question our desire and ask ourselves if it’s really good for us.
We must never tell someone what they ‘really think’. If you can decide for someone whether they really want to live or die, you can decide for them any other thought. This is dangerous territory.
7. Your friends/family will be devastated.
Sound argument. Anyone who thinks people will be ‘better off without me’ should read threads of those left behind. Suicide may be the worst way to lose a person.
Of course, how important it is changes from person to person. Break-ups and divorces also leave people devastated. Yet if you leave person X for person Y, who’s much better, people will say it’s your right and your body. Why can’t these friends and family respect the person’s decision to exit life?
8. You might fail, and then you could end up as a vegetable.
That’s true. That’s why we need assisted suicide so people won’t fail and suffer even more.
It’s also recommended to read about methods before choosing and using one.
9. Just take a break. Take time off, relax and think about what you want in life.
It’s wise to hold off suicide for a while. As I said, we’re often ambivalent about our choices. If suicidal thoughts are new to you, don’t hurry. Let it sink. Read about different arguments for and against. So long as you got a method secured, you don’t have to hurry. Do it when it really feels right.
10. There’s always another answer and you just haven’t found it yet.
Maybe the answer is suicide, and you haven’t found it?
This sort of vague, ‘stuff might get better’ doesn’t help. Anything can happen. Your abuser can turn around tomorrow and realize they were a scumbag. You might find 1000 dollars on the street. Someone might kill your best friend. Anything can happen, including bad stuff. Life is a gamble and suicide is refusing to gamble.
11. You’re just depressed
It’s reasonable to be depressed when bad stuff happens. It’s how we recognize there is a problem. It’s also reasonable to bleed when someone cuts you.
12. You just need to find your passion in life.
Passions are a great thing. I’m passionate about many things – role-playing, anime, philosophy, swordfighting, suicide, sex, literature and other stuff. Most people I know don’t have any passions and none of them are suicidal. I don’t know how much of it has to do with wanting to die. I don’t know what goes through the head of people without passions.
13. If you were serious, you would have done it by now.
See also: Humans are naturally ambivalent about their decisions.
See also: The difficulty of overriding survival instinct.
The reason suicidal people talk about suicide is because it’s a big decision. Humans are social animals and we like to share stuff, especially what weighs heavily on us. That’s why suicide communities and suicide pacts exist.
14. If you’re at rock bottom now, it can only get better from here.
To quote Insane Clown Posse:
“I hit rock bottom & then I fell in a hole
And then I fell through the floor of that hole some more,”
Besides, is there any guarantee it will be worth it? Things improving isn’t enough. It needs to be worth the pain.
15. It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
I have written a post dealing more in-depth with the topic of suicide as a solution.
I’ll just say here that all problems are temporary since life is temporary. A permanent solution is desirable. We don’t want just to cure a disease, we want it to never return.
16. You need to have a baby. A child will complete your life.
If you hate your life and consider it worth living, it’s sadistic to force another person to live.
17. It’s just a temporary thing, you’ll get over it.
See also: Rock bottom cliche. ‘Getting over it’ isn’t guaranteed and won’t necessarily make things better. People’s reasons for suicide are more complex than something they can just ‘get over’.
18. Life has a way of getting better
See also: Life is a gamble. Suicide is refusing to gamble.
19. Most Golden Gate survivors said they regretted it right after they jumped.
Any clear research that proves it that’s not made by pro-lifers?
Our pro-life attitude censors suicidal people automatically. Many people might express wanting to live despite being suicidal. Suicidal people have huge social repercussions – you’ll be cast out and possibly locked up.
I also found a Reddit thread where many suicide suvivors said things didn’t get better. A history of suicide attempts also increases the chance of trying suicide again.
20. You could win the lottery tomorrow
Your best friend might also die tomorrow
21. If you’re going to do it anyway, why not rob a bank/try drugs? You have nothing to lose.
Why make the world shittier on purpose for others? Suicide is selfish, but it’s not about being a parasite.
Besides, criminal activity can get you in prison. It’s harder to kill yourself there and your situation gets worse.
22. You just need to talk to someone. Talking helps more than you’d expect.
Is that admitting the only thing you’re willing to do is talk? Is that admitting you’ll listen to the suicidal person for a while, but expect them to do all the hard work of improving a life they never asked for? Talking about selfish.
23. What if hell is real?
You have no way of proving this.
24. I know how you feel, but I got over it and so can you.
People are different. My ex got over it, but she’s beautiful and charismatic. Of course the world will welcome her with open arms. It won’t necessarily happen for a disfigured person, or an anorexic, or a person who wasted most of his life shut in home.
Be wary of thinking what’s good for you is necessarily good for others. Suicidal people don’t force you to die, so don’t force us to live.