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Checking Out April 27, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, People.
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Wikipedia ~ The Death of Chatterton (in Public Domain)

I’ve known several people who chose to kill themselves.

From where I stood, they gave no outward indication of their plans before taking their own lives.

My Ethics professor in college taught class one day and hung herself that night.

Her decision to commit suicide surprised all of us.

She’d been laughing and joking with us the day before.

A fellow law student who seemed well adjusted, sane, and rational, entered the JAG Corps and killed himself soon thereafter.

I’m not convinced that either of them was mentally ill.

From my albeit limited perspective, they awoke to the realization that being here no longer interested them.  Or, perhaps, they just wanted to see what came next . . . without waiting around for the proverbial bus to hit them.

For those who value life above all else, suicide must seem odd . . . how could someone choose death over life?

I expect it’s similar to the way that some people choose ham over turkey, or vegetarian fare over meat.  Just a matter of personal preference.

For many people the negatives of being here outweigh any perceived benefit of staying put.  Since they’re no longer enjoying themselves, they decide to check out.  From Wikipedia:

* Over one million people commit suicide every year.

* There are an estimated 10 to 20 million attempted suicides every year.

* Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death worldwide.

* According to 2007 data, suicides in the U.S. outnumber homicides by nearly 2 to 1 and ranks as the 11th leading cause of death in the country.

* The Abrahamic religions consider suicide an offense towards God due to religious belief in the sanctity of life.

* The predominant view of modern medicine is that suicide is a mental health concern, associated with psychological factors such as the difficulty of coping with depression, inescapable suffering or fear, or other mental disorders and pressures.

I’m not convinced that there is an absolute correlation between suicide and mental illness.

Just the opposite.

I suspect that many who commit suicide are saner than the rest of us.

No rules.  Just write!

What about you?

Can you conceive of scenarios when committing suicide would be a rational act . . . rather than the product of mental illness?

Short on hope?  Read this and watch the video:  Life Without Limits

Related posts:  Suicide For All The WRONG Reasons * If I . . . *  A Serious Post (Intergalactic Writer) * A Canned Funeral (Cities of the Mind)