Suicide: Selfish ‘Choice’ or Unconscious Act of Desperation?

Robin williams good morning As you all know by now, the world lost Robin Williams, one of the most versatile, funny men in the entertainment industry. A man with more great movies under his belt than any other I can name. He was a legend, one I grew up with. The Birdcage and Mrs. Doubtfire are two of my favorite comedies of all time and Aladdin was my all-time favorite, most-sung Disney movie as a grade schooler. That’s one of the two questions people seem to be answering on their own when confronting the loss of such an icon…. Their favorite work of his, and then their thoughts in general on suicide.

Many celebrities have weighed in, most leaning heavily toward one side or the other. On one end, we have people who believe suicide to be the ultimate selfish act, and on the other, those who feel that it’s not a choice at all, but an act so desperate it’s committed without thought.

Gene Simmons: 

No, I don’t get along with anybody who’s a drug addict and has a dark cloud over their head and sees themselves as a victim. Drug addicts and alcoholics are always: “The world is a harsh place.” My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don’t want to hear fuck all about “the world as a harsh place.” She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life. And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, “I’m depressed, I live in Seattle.” Fuck you, then kill yourself.

I never understand, because I always call them on their bluff. I’m the guy who says ‘Jump!’ when there’s a guy on top of a building who says, “That’s it, I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to jump.”

Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the fuck up, have some dignity and jump! You’ve got the crowd.

Nikki Sixx:

I’m a recovering drug addict. If I had done what Gene Simmons said and that is to jump, so many wonderful things would have not happened in my life. We’ve just lost Robin Williams. He dealt with drug addiction and mainly depression. There’s almost 15 million American that Robin qilliams best quotesare depressed. Gene Simmons says I should have just killed myself… 15 million people should just kill themselves? To be honest with you, I like Gene, but in this situation, I don’t like Gene. I don’t like Gene’s words, because … there is a 20-year-old kid out there who is a Kiss fan and reads this and goes, ‘You know what? He’s right. I should just kill myself.’

For people who are depressed there is a way out. There are many, many ways out. I don’t want people to listen to an interview from a rock star, who’s telling you the only way out is out.

Henry Rollins:

I simply cannot understand how any parent could kill themselves.

How in the hell could you possibly do that to your children? I don’t care how well adjusted your kid might be — choosing to kill yourself, rather than to be there for that child, is every shade of awful, traumatic and confusing. I think as soon as you have children, you waive your right to take your own life. No matter what mistakes you make in life, it should be your utmost goal not to traumatize your kids. So, you don’t kill yourself.

 Shirley Manson:

I lost my aunt to suicide when she jumped off the Forth Road Bridge to her death. I would just like to say that it is not a fucking CHOICE when someone takes their life. By the point they act on their depression, their mind is so wholly taken over by a different chemistry than that of a healthy mind, that they are unable to think clearly. To accuse people who take their life as selfish is ludicrous. It is akin to telling the mentally ill to just “act normal.”

Courtney Love (from a recent interview on Kurt Cobain’s suicide):

Mad? Ya think?! If he came back right now I’d have to kill him, for what he did to us. I’d fucking kill him. I’d fuck him, and then I’d kill him. He tried to kill himself three times! He OD’d at least five times. I was the fucking E.M.S. I was always sticking pins in his balls. I carried around Narcan!

As a depressed teen, I remember saying I completely understood why Kurt Cobain killed himself, but now I feel very, very differently. All these years later, I know suicide is tragic, but still a choice. As someone who lost their father to an unexpected heart problem while he was in a prime state of physical and mental health, I’d ask how you could squander the life you’ve been given, but that hardly seems fitting considering Williams’ resume and achievements. Still…

Even in our darkest, most “lost” moment, we have the ability to make decisions and to a certain extent, realize the impact those decisions might have on others. YES, that ability is greatly diminished, but it’s still there.
Robin williams laugh factory sign
I understand depression and fear better than most. As not only a friend of a handful of people who struggle with it on a daily basis, but also someone who experiences it, I still can’t fathom how a person with children, close friends, or any remaining family members who they had a decent relationship with could go through with it. But then again, I’ve never been so depressed that there wasn’t still a shred of reason remaining, which is probably why I can’t comprehend the “it’s not a choice” argument.

I know one thing for certain, if Robin Williams hadn’t killed himself, he would eventually have felt a moment significantly happier than what he was feeling when he took his life. As cheesy as that whole “it gets better” thing sounds, I wouldn’t call suicide an act of selfishness, I’d call it an act of impatience.

One thought on “Suicide: Selfish ‘Choice’ or Unconscious Act of Desperation?

  1. Well I did everything for my other half and she still won’t
    listen to me when I do everything for her. I can understand
    suicide sometimes I have been in hospitals so I know what
    its like.

    Like

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