Personal Thoughts

Suicide is Selfish. Or is it?

“Suicide is selfish!”

It’s probably the #1 comment I hear when the topic comes up.

“The most selfish act.  How could he/she?”

“Only thinking about herself.  Only thinking about himself.”

My guess is that anyone who says that has probably never been suicidal.

Almost 10 years ago, I swallowed handful after handful of pills and prayed for death.  So when someone tries to tell me just how selfish the act of suicide is, it angers me and I take it personally.  When I attempted suicide, it was not out of selfishness.  If anything, it was a selfless act.

How could that be?

For months, I prayed to God to just take me.  Day and night, I begged Him to let me die.  I tried to negotiate with God, telling him that so many people were dying that really wanted to live.  I didn’t want to live anymore, so couldn’t he just take me instead?  That was my prayer and I truly believed that God was going to take me soon.

But, He didn’t and I was tired of my pain and depression hurting other people.  I was tired of being a burden to everyone who loved me.

I picked up a gun and I put it to my head.  I couldn’t pull the trigger out of fear that something would go wrong and instead of dying, I would be in a vegetative state.  If that were to happen, I would require around the clock care and I would certainly still be a burden.  No, I couldn’t take that chance so I put the gun back down.

So instead, I chose to overdose.  In my mind, I would just go to sleep and not wake up.  There would not be a mess for anyone to clean up.  It was the simplest way.

Do you want to know what ran through my head as I swallowed those pills?

I thought that the people who loved me would hurt at the beginning, but then they would soon understand how much better off they were without me.  I had no reason to believe that.  None.  But I did.  I believed it 110%.  I was doing the right thing, the best thing for everyone around me- even if it resulted in my death.  They didn’t deserve to be burdened with someone like me.  I begged God to forgive me for what I was doing, because I knew that it was wrong in His eyes.  I prayed that sleep would come soon and even if I went to Hell, the people around me would still be better off.

I get that my story isn’t your story, but to automatically say “suicide is selfish” is ridiculous and untrue.  Did I want to end my pain?  Absolutely.  Did I attempt suicide with only myself in mind?  Absolutely not.

Fortunately, I survived.  I know now that those thoughts could not have been further from the truth.  I wasn’t doing anyone a favor- not myself nor the people who loved me, but I couldn’t see that then.  I thought I was doing the right thing for everyone and that isn’t selfish. With each of the 300+ pills I swallowed, I was sure my death would be a relief for others.  I wanted to kill myself to end my pain and the pain I was causing the people I loved.  That is not selfish.

And finally, I don’t understand why there is ever a need to judge suicide at all.  How is that helpful?  Is it necessary?  What good comes from it at all?  I’m being absolutely serious on that one, I don’t understand how anyone can feel that they have the right to judge suicide.

I’ve been suicidal, but even my rock bottom isn’t your rock bottom.  Even though I have attempted suicide, I can’t say that I know what others are going through or that I understand their pain.  So, if you’ve never dealt with mental illness, I truly believe there is absolutely no possible way that you have any idea what you are talking about.

Comments like “suicide is selfish” are not helpful.  Comments like that are unneeded.  Comments like that are hurtful.

Think before you speak, especially when you speak of something you do not understand.



Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • I can see both points of view. I try not to say it out loud, but watching some people left behind after someone close to them has committed suicide, I think it’s selfish. But being on the verge of it myself once, and hearing my husbands story of taking sleeping pills, I know that people who have been there or are mentally ready to do it don’t need to hear stuff like that. They need support, they need to know that they are loved and would be greatly missed, they need anything but negative, hurtful comments about how people will react once they are gone if they were to go through with it. I am so happy it didn’t work for you, and that you are here now. You are a wonderful person! And very brave for sharing your story.

  • I will be honest when I say it’s definitely something I don’t understand. I have days when I’m down and have some pretty crazy thoughts before, but nothing I couldn’t steer back myself. I have two siblings that are bipoloar and continue to suffer with severe depression. I guess the thing that I don’t understand sometimes is why you wouldn’t continue to get help. If you have any other illness, of course you don’t choose it, but you fight it and get help to the very end. After a very scary hospital stay after her second child, my sister is constantly tweaking her meds and reaching out for help when she gets very low. She has two girls, and if she were gone, there would eventually be another woman raising them. She knows this. It’s what’s kept her going after decades of battling with the illness. I’ve known people that have shown no signs and then have committed suicide, never seeking help. That doesn’t make sense to me. It’s definitely a hard spot for me to understand because I haven’t been there. I can try to sympathize as much as possible, but I will never have empathy until I’ve been there. That said, who am I to judge? You are really brave for sharing your story. I never would have guessed that you’d been through that, although you’ve been through more than what most people suffer in a lifetime. You are an amazing and strong woman of courage! I hope that none of my comments come off as offensive, I just want to relay the fact that sometimes it’s hard for people to understand what they do not know. I think that’s why people use the term “selfish.” Because we don’t understand.

    • the problem with trying to understand is that people are trying to put logic to something that isn’t logical. Depression is different for everyone but people might not get help because either a, the depression has convinced them they can’t be helped or their unworthy of help or b, they are afraid of what help might mean. At my lowest point I was too afraid to get help because I just KNEW it would mean I would be committed and I feared they’d take my kids from me. It’s simply beyond logic!

    • I guess the thing that I don’t understand sometimes is why you wouldn’t continue to get help. If you have any other illness, of course you don’t choose it, but you fight it and get help to the very end.

      This is the only way I can explain it: If someone is diagnosed with cancer and it’s spreading through their body. If the doctor says “We can offer you treatment, but there is no guarantee and it probably will not work. It’s possible you may just end up sick from the treatment with only a short time to live.”

      Some people would choose to fight, right? But others would choose to let go and give up.

      With treatment for mental illness, there is no guarantee. There is no single cure. I did get help before I attempted suicide, but the first medication they put me on actually made my condition worse. I had been battling suicidal thoughts when I finally reached out for help and the medication didn’t work. Imagine how defeated I felt. I had finally asked for help, went to the doctor, was taking my medication, and I was only getting worse instead of better. A depressed person thinks “Maybe I just can’t be helped. Maybe there is nothing out there for me. Maybe I am just too far gone. Maybe God thinks I’m not worth saving.”

      Just like with any other disease, some people have the will to fight. They can see the good even during the bad. Depression doesn’t always allow for that. Sometimes there is no light at the end of the tunnel (so it seems) and those people think the best thing to do is to finally give up and let go.

      I didn’t find your comment offensive at all, Tiff, and I’m glad you commented.

  • Thank you for sharing your story. People need to hear from those who’ve been there so we can start to accept that this isn’t easy way out of a tough situation. Mental illness is a serious and as life threatening as so many diseases that we proudly support those going through.

  • Having been through the suicide of my father when I was just 13, I still have feelings that he was selfish. It wasn’t until I was older that I understood he had his own demons to fight. He had already signed over his rights to me and my brothers so that my then step-dad could adopt us. With no obligations he was ready to die. Sadly it wasn’t the first time he tried to kill himself but it was the first time he was successful at it. I still have some mental issues dealing with it but I agree, unless you have been there or been immediately affected by someone passing that way you just can never ever understand.

  • So glad you didn’t succeed, Whitney. So glad the LORD brought you out of that situation, and gave you the opportunity to be the mother of two precious kids, and who knows what else you would have missed out on? I have never considered suicide, but I have had moments when I thought the world might be better off without me….We all need to think before we speak. or, at least I know that I do..Love you.

  • I think that those outside of the actual person attempting suicide will always believe that it is selfish. I realize that as a person who is that far depressed, they honestly think everyone would be better off without them. To them, they are not being selfish and only trying to gives those left behind a better life.

    But I’ve seen what it can do to those left behind and therefore, in my mind, I see it as a selfish act.

    My husbands mom committed suicide when he was one and his sister was in kindergarten. She stabbed her own heart with a kitchen knife while home her one year old. Her kindergartener was dropped off by the bus and found her that way. To me that seems selfish to take your own life with no one home to care for the little one, and knowing your daughter would likely find you that way. The daughter, my husbands sister, is pretty much scarred for life and it has really affected her ability to live life. Because she saw it.

    Maybe it only becomes selfish when you have responsibilities, such as children. I don’t know. I just know its hard for me to see it any other way for those who leave children behind.

    I’m not trying to be hateful, just trying to understand. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • “I was tired of my pain and depression hurting other people. I was tired of being a burden to everyone who loved me.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt this exact thing. Even this past week I asked my husband to just divorce me and move on, he deserves better than someone that falls into a self-hating depression every few months.

    I can’t thank you enough for saying what needs to be said. I hope that everyone reads this and really takes it to heart.

  • So many people don’t understand how desperate and alone depression can make you feel. When your family, friends or physicians tell you to suck it up, it only makes things worse. It’s hard to describe the feelings of hopelessness to someone has been lucky enough to not experience depression. Thank you for sharing your story and trying to help other see the other side.

  • I have no judgements about people who commit suicide. In fact, I’m like, “Way to go!” I feel happy for them. Why? Because I don’t have any hang-ups about death, nor about sin, right vs wrong, anything. A human being is spirit incarnate. If a being came down to earth and decided that this lifetime is too much, or they simply want to start over, then it’s their choice to choose how they want to experience their creation. Other humans may judge from misunderstanding our nature due mainly to religious indoctrination, but All That Is does not judge whether someone died from natural causes or suicide – It, in all its love and compassion, will simply say, “Welcome Home, dear one. You were missed.” Death is nothing but a physical event. Your consciousness lives on, and once rested enough and ready to come back to re-experience earth again, a being can do so at any time. I say, if you really hate being here, just start over. I honor it. I applaud it.

  • You are such a beautiful person that it breaks my heart you ever felt that way. I’m glad you were unsuccessful. I’m also glad you wrote this. Due to recent events in the news, I have heard that suicide is selfish over and over. Last year, a family member of mine took her life. She was the most selfless person I knew, and yet she still felt the need to follow through with ending her life. I miss her every single day, but to hear someone say that about her angers me, frankly. She just made a very poor judgement call in the state of mind she was in. I am glad more and more people are being open and honest about depression. It’s a daily battle for so many. I hope on your lowest days you will think about what an amazing mother, wife, and daughter you are. Everyone matters to someone, whether they think so or not. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to