Why do people say suicide is selfish?

December 5th, 2011 by porphyrous

I’ve heard this a few times from people now.  “Suicide is the most selfish thing you can do.”  It always comes from non-suicidal people, though.  My sister popped that infamous line during my phone conversation with her last night, when I finally told her what I’d done Friday night.

I don’t see it.  I see all of the miserable things here that drive people to suicide, and nobody cared when those people were being selfless or self-sacrificing, or just trying to please them.  If it’s selfish, then it appears to be the one time in their existence when they thought of themselves.  That’s not selfishness, that’s self-defense.

What do you think?



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26 Responses to “Why do people say suicide is selfish?”

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  1. i think saying suicide is selfish is the most selfish thing ever!. people kill themselves because they can’t or don’t want to take it anymore. people can’t expect that you can live on for others. i always think that the thought of suicide is what drives people to the edge. i have friends who would not really mind if i moved somewhere far away and never saw me again, but if i killed myself they would cry and say i am selfish. people usuallu don’t do much , or think it is annoying when you are in depressions and suicidal thougts and when you kill youself it is all of a sudden selfish. i do not know much people who care if i told them i am contemplating suicide, but i know for sure that a whole lot people would call me selfish. i think suicide is kind of the most unselfish thing to do , cause you are giving up on life on happiness, you are killing yourself, like the most drastic thing you can do to yourself, just because you cannot take it anymore, you feel like you are alone, or just bothering people and want to rest. so fuck all people who say suicide is selfish, i serioulsy hate people like that

  2. Saying suicide is selfish is the only way others can put it into words. They are usually not suicidal people is correct. They cant off them selfs like you can. They have to live with the pain of you dieing. the pain of not knowing why sometimes, of not noticing the signs, of maby brusing off a plea for help. Others dont have a way out, they have to live with pain of loss. they have no easy way out. they have to suffer.

    So long story short i guess there a bit jelious that you had the strength to do it.
    They have to live with the pain. Thats why they say its selfish. i think….
    Mabey im wrong.

  3. Those who call suicidal people selfish because the people who care about them will have to live with the pain of them dying are simply hypocrites. “Oh, don’t kill yourself because I’ll be in so much pain. Just disregarde your constant unbearable pain & suffering so that I won’t be in pain when you’re gone” really? They want you to stay for THEMESELVES yet they still call you selfish. What kind of BS is that???

  4. no suicide is not selfish i going to end it in the new year

  5. If you seen the definition of selfish it is: 1.the devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc regardless of others. If they don’t want us killing ourself shouldn’t they be helping us insted of telling us. I don’t really think suicide is selfish only the people who tell me if i do it then i’m being self. Regardless of how i feel they only caring that i am here and suffering with depression and suicidal. I wouldn’t blame suicide for anything at all. It is my choice, my life, and if the don’t appriecate what i want or crave the needy feeling for it then they truely shouldn’t judge suicide at all.

  6. couldn’t of said it better…

  7. personally i agree, suicide is selfish. i think that is the only reason, the main reason i haven’t gone through with it yet. i don’t know if this applies to everyone, but despite how depressed i feel, and how much i wish i have the courage to kill self, i know there are people who care about me.

    it’s not like they really help me much in coping with depression or thoughts of suicide, and honestly, most of the time they make me feel worse. but i think whether i like it or not, i am a big part of their life. i only see my little sister few times a year during some of her college breaks. she doesn’t really know how to help when i reach out to her, when i tried to explain i have some serious problems. but i am always one of the first people she calls whenever something good happens, and whenever she needs someone to talk to. i can’t imagine what she would feel if all of a sudden, i’m not around anymore. my parents, i see them once or twice a year tops, but they love their son despite all my emotional issues. they contributed to my problems, and they made many many mistakes as parents. but how are they going to cope when their only son kills him self? who is my mom going to call 3~4 times a week when she gets lonely? and the few close friends that i have. i don’t think i can do that to them, knowing some of the loved ones will blame them selves for not giving me enough reasons to stay alive.

    when someone tells you its selfish for you to suicide, it means they care enough and love you enough to know that they will be in unbearable pain if you were ever to leave. its selfish for them to feel that way, but it’s also selfish for you to allow the people who care about you to be in pain because you are no longer with them.

  8. To say “suicide is selfish” is ignorant!
    You think ending my pain is selfish? I was never CONSULTED ASKED OR GIVEN A CHOICE in coming this horrible place you call LIFE!
    DID I have a choice in being raped from age 6-12?
    DID I have choice in being torn apart by immigration ?


    I AM SORRY!!!

    When I’m dead… make sure you tell everyone that I should have found a way to cope… I should have sought help? I should have tried years of counselling … and I should have tried the new drugs not just the old ones.. apparently they work! I should have reached out ? committed myself to a hospital??

    ohhhh no, I did try all of that. But how can you erase 34 years of pain & injustice..

  9. I’m suicidal and I think that suicide is selfish. For once in my life don’t I deserve to be a little selfish? I mean, I should continue in misery every day just so that my my family won’t feel bad and miss me? If I do it, it will be for me and for me alone. Yup, it’s totally selfish and I think I have earned the right to put myself first this one time.

  10. People who say suicide is selfish. Are selfish.

  11. Wow, I guess I hit a nerve.

    When I think about “all of the miserable things here that drive people to suicide”, I’m thinking of someone like @injustice. When I think about “nobody cared when those people were being selfless or self-sacrificing”, I’m thinking of someone like @evelien or @LiveNoLonger. I don’t remember other names, but I’ve read story after story after story here: If you’re abused, the abusers don’t want to feel bad. If you’re neglected, the neglectors don’t want to feel bad. If you’re needy, they don’t want to feel bad for not inconveniencing themselves to need you.

    When they tell you, “Suicide is selfish”, it appears to me that they are attempting to beat you down that one last time, to take away from you the only thing left that you can control. To ensure you are completely dominated. Suicide is rebellion, when all else fails.

    Me personally, I actually feel more like @liquidsunn. I disagree with him on the topic, but I think our circumstances are similar. It’s likely that I’m a lot older than he is, and I have the added burden of a special needs child. But a lot of what he wrote resonates with me. Except…apparently, my family doesn’t keep me from wanting to do it, even knowing all that other stuff. When I have what I call a “dissociative wave”, all I want to do is hang myself, and my family and friends become….I was going to use the word “unimportant”, but that’s not right…..perhaps “irrelevant” is what I’m looking for.

    This is Day 4 since I tried to kill myself. So far, so good….


  12. I have a special needs child and I do not see him as a burden in any way shape or form, he is an amazing loving child he has severe autism, and every morning he would wake up come into our bedroom and wake me and his mum up and give us both a huge hug, that didn’t just make every day worth living, that made every day fantastic. The fact that I cannot see him any more is part of what is making me do this, and the fact that I lost one of my sons, and the pain is just unbearable.

    Sorry, rant over back to topic

    No I do not think suicide is selfish, I do believe if a person commits suicide then that is their time, if it wasn’t the suicide attempt would not work. I’m not religious in any way and believe when you’re gone that’s it you simply cease to exist, which is pretty much why we do it, because existing is more than we can cope with. I have had a few friends and family commit suicide and yes, it hurts like fuck, but I’ve never thought they were selfish, or anything like that.

    So no, it’s not selfish, in my opinion anyway :)

  13. I don’t really think it’s selfish in a way,I understand no-one got a choice to live their life @Injustice : (I was never CONSULTED ASKED OR GIVEN A CHOICE in coming this horrible place you call LIFE!) made me smile a bit ^_^ .But also rather than helping you physically what else can they say I know that ”Selfish” is not the right thing to say.My friend died at the age of 14this year he was bullied to death.He hung himself at home.The last words his best friend said to him is that he deserves to die because he’s not wanted here…It really got to me that bastard im gonna hunt him down…anyway Selfishness is a strong word ;words like that don’t mix with a serious topic like this … -_-

  14. It depends on ur point of view. If u know someone that has killed themselves and have never felt suicidal then u think of them as bselfish attention seekers. however if u have felt suicidal all u think is thank god they are free and ur happy for them… at least thats what i think

  15. @tortured_soul 0701: When I said “burden”, I was thinking of the definition that simply means something heavy to lift and support. The other definition, which we use in a derogatory fashion, suggests that it’s just a synonym for “bother”. I was using the former definition, just being honest. It IS a heavy load. Every parent with a special needs child knows this. I was NOT saying that I didn’t still want him. He’s a great guy, and I do as much as I can feasibly do.

    @Procel: I posted a long, long article when I first found this place. It’s called “On Wednesday Night, I Broke” I wrote the article on Saturday, December 2, I believe. That’s got the full monty. http://suicideproject.org/2011/12/on-wednesday-night-i-broke/

  16. @porphyrous Just read it nd while i dont like saying wether someone should commit suicide or not i believe ur family needs u… but i back u either way man
    Stay strong, Foudy

  17. Yes, you’re right, they do. I need to stay in a frame of mind that doesn’t cause me to dismiss them when the wave comes.

    Day 11

    David V

  18. The people who think suicide is selfish are ignorant, the person probably saved their life from continual misery and pain, instead of suffering while they just watch. I was so pissed when I had a conversation with a colleague, they thought suicidal people were selfish for not thinking of anyone else but themselves, but the only thing that was troublesome in her life was moving b/c her dads work, while my family has terrible luck= me with type 1 diabetes, my brother with Wylbs cancer, my dad had a stroke and my dog cancer as well, she is just LUCKY, but ignorant for not thinking of the actual persons feelings, who’s the selfish one know?

  19. “i guess there a bit jelious that you had the strength to do it.
    They have to live with the pain. Thats why they say its selfish. i think….
    Mabey im wrong.”

    no your 100% correct. the exact emotion of jealously hadn’t occurred to me but that’s only because a good 50%+ of people (extroverts) do not see reality,life as chains in flesh and blood. but it now makes sense as alot of people simply could not end there life themselves. they accept what they were born into.

    but man oh man dont get me started. the spirit serves a much much higher purpose than what were doing now. and as for “god” and religions everyone believes in.

    heh, the biggest joke an exterrestrial species aka aliens played on our ancient ancestors. with technology they simply could not comprehend (we of course the 21gen would not even freak) humans are special. were still very young and stupid. but sometimes i would rather see what its like in the next universe.im much more intelligent than 40 hours a week and all this material shit. dont get me wrong i enjoy it.but its a curse of being human that i do in the first place. i could go on and on but yea…. suicide is no where close to being selfish. if anything proves you fear nothing.not even the afterlife.

    end rage. lols

  20. I think there are many reasons that a person may feel that suicide is selfish. The first and most obvious of these is that people who commit suicide leave their family and friends to deal with their pain grief on their own. Not only that, but the person who commits suicide hurts their family and friends in the worst possible way. Think about it: the family members of a person who commits suicide have to forever ask themselves the same questions: How will I make it through life without them? Could I have stopped it? And worst of all, Did I make them do it? I have come close to suicide. This thought is one of the things that stopped me. Besides that, people commit suicide after deciding that their problems cannot be cured, which is generally untrue. It is definitely harder to find solutions to some problems, especially the ones that suicidal people face, but I’m not so sure that any problem is so hard to solve that dying would be better. Arguably, it’s selfish to think that your problem is the exception.

    Make no mistake: I am NOT trying to say that people who commit suicide are bad people. They’ve just lost hope. By the time people reach the point of suicide, they are convinced that they are all alone and that nobody would be willing to help. The reason they are selfish in these ways is that they are sure that nobody else cares. They aren’t selfish by choice, but because they can’t help it: life has forced them to that point. Please, do NOT read this and think that I want you to hate anybody who commits suicide. The message I want you to take away is this: if you’re thinking about suicide, just know that no matter how much you think nobody cares, somebody does, even if they don’t show it, and no matter how bad your problem seems, there IS a solution. Don’t give up.

  21. I just did a Google search for “I hate suicide and..” I meant to type, “I hate being suicidal and getting advice…”, but Google auto filled “I hate suicidal people.” I knew there are a lot of people out there who abhor others who’re vocal about their problems, but reading (out of curiosity) some of the many webpages devoted to hating suicidal people was like getting sucker-punched in the gut with an anvil. People had no moral problems at all expressing scathing disgust for anyone feeling depressed or suicidal, and of course there were a myriad vapid counsels–like “join a sport,” or “just get out there.” What most shocked me–even me–was the rank antipathy. I’d expected apathy, not violent hatred. People actually feel suicidal people “deserve to die.” I’m not religious, but the first expression that comes to my mind on reading that is “godless.”

    Surprisingly, I found this post, from Porphyrous (2011–thanks, Porphyrous), in the same search above. Maybe suicide is incomprehensible to the non-suicidal, as the commenters before me have suggested. I felt sustenance from everyone’s comments here in reply to Porphyrous’ original post, but Evelien’s really touched home. Unpopular my whole life, I’ve felt a tremendous amount of self-hatred, and suicide has been ever beside me since my 9th birthday when on the way home, terrified and besieged by bullies, I thought for the first time, “I should just kill myself.” And every single time without exception that I’ve shared the way I truly feel with another, they’ve expressed disgust. So I agree, Evelien, that people exhibit a remarkably peculiar dualism. They’re OK with us vanishing off the face of the earth by countless means, just not suicide. Yet they call us selfish.

    Anyhow, I wish there were a chat room where it was safe to talk about suicide. I’ve given up on therapists and drugs–and most of all on “friends,” and have resigned myself… I’ve found a few “depression” chat rooms, but they all seem very clique-ish. No one will talk to you, it seems, unless they already know you. I’ve never quite understood how the suicidally depressed could ourselves be dismissive of and cruel to other suicidally depressed people.

    If anyone reading this is open to emailing and chatting, I’d be grateful for the opportunity. I swear I’m not a monster; I’m pretty easy-going and respectful. Anyhow…

  22. Hi, friendsfreak0. I hope my dialog with you won’t be taken to be presumptuous or disrespectful. I am struggling with the concept that by committing suicide, the suicidal person hurts her/his friends/family in the worst possible way—an idea I read in your post. While I admit I cannot know anyone’s circumstance deeply, let alone most circumstances, I feel confident that many people commit suicide because they feel profoundly unloved. It seems reasonable that one’s perception of how much one’s community values one may be distorted, but it seems just as reasonable that many humans are abused and abandoned, even if their family and “friends” are still near to them. I’d like to offer that for at least some suicidals, suicide is not the worst pain they could have had a hand in realizing for their friends and family. Cursory observation teaches me that in quite a few cases the inability of the depressed to “snap out of it” and live lives broadly deemed “productive” can be so grave a pain that spouses bitterly divorce their partners, children abandon their parents, friends flee for fear of being “dragged down with [you].” What is a fair comparison of others’ lifelong disappointment and disgust that may accompany one’s chronic, debilitating depression and the pain that suicide brings? That seems to me a purely speculative comparison as one precludes the other. Too, the permanence of suicide and the guilt those left behind may feel furthermore obscure transparent comparisons of relative pain.

    Another comment from your post that compelled me to respond was the common sentiment that suicidals are usually wrong in their assessment of the insolubility of their problems. I do recognize this as the leading position of most therapeutic licensing boards here in the USA. Yet I maintain that one cannot know most people’s motivations for suicide, and therefore cannot know whether their problems can be solved. This leads me to believe that, though there are countless others immensely brighter than me, neither can these know that others’ problems can be solved. Perhaps some people’s problems can be solved. Perhaps others find compromises tolerable. But what of those who–and I feel confident they do exist–do not find alternatives and compromises tolerable? That we might does not necessarily imply they should. Such a supposition is a fallacy I find underlying the assumption that “all (or even most) problems are solvable.”

    Moreover, there are many problems we recognize are insoluble–like, say, terminal cancer. These problems for which we don’t yet have (may never have) cures do claim peoples’ lives; the problems are incurable. It seems plausible that, similarly, there are problems of an abstract nature that present sufficient motivation to some to discard their lives—problems the potential solutions of which might be acceptable to some but not to others. I argue it is the ultimate expression of self-ownership to be free to decide what abstract yet meaningful problems one finds terminally intractable.

    I didn’t mean to bore you to death… Maybe it was just mildly therapeutic for me to get some ideas off my chest. Thanks for providing me that. And I really do wish you the best.

  23. If jesus knew he had to be killed and let itt happen. Is that selfish or some people have to die. God needs them more than the people here on earth do.

  24. Jesus was omniscient so he knew. But he couldn’t take them 12 apostles always following him around. Mary Magdalena was nagging Jesus to put a rock on her finger and carpenters didn’t get paid shit even in those days.

    Plus, anointing (smearing) himself with marihuana was no longer working like it used-to. In short the good Lord’s homecoming sucked people here were bigger assholes than they appeared to be from far above. So Jesus got fed up just like the rest of us and opted for the non-scenic route out of this hell on Earth.

  25. I agree with you and I am tired of the bullshit “forgive and forget”.
    The “line” is old and tired and used by People living in their perfect ivory league world.

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