Sometimes, suicide is the answer. I believe suicide is the answer for me. And it very well could be for you.
But not likely. Most people who commit suicide are not thinking terribly rationally. If youâ€™re having really hard times right now, things do get better. (On average.) If youâ€™ve just broken up with someone and are feeling extremely depressed, suicide is almost certainly a bad idea. If youâ€™ve just suffered a large or huge financial loss, itâ€™s very likely that if you just hang in there youâ€™ll be just as happy in a couple years as you were before (even if poorer). Peopleâ€™s happiness is sticky like that. It tends not to change over large time periods. Fluctuate, yes, but not change permanently. (There are some exceptions to this. If youâ€™re friendless, making friends will make you happier. If you get into an accident and become disabled, your happiness does go down some, but not as much as you would think.)
This essay is really aimed towards people like me: people with treatment-resistant depression. I have chronic major depression, and it has not responded well at all to many different medication combinations. My suicidal thoughts have never really gone away. I have no support structure, and no chance of forming oneâ€”I have rather severe avoidance issues. No friends, largely unsupportive family. I hate people, deeply. Mostly people Iâ€™m not close to. I donâ€™t hate humanity, though. If I did I wouldnâ€™t be writing this. I do hate the worldâ€”the system as a whole, in which people play the part of small cogs. The world screws people over. (I understand this isnâ€™t an especially unhealthy feeling.) I feel sorry for those people as people, even as I hate them as individuals.
Overall, emotionally, I am severely fucked up. This isnâ€™t going to get better. Iâ€™ve spent the last 8 years trying to make it better. I made some progress, in easing my social anxiety and in increasing how well I understand social cues and such. Iâ€™m not autistic or anything, just a late bloomer. (I do have non-verbal learning disorder, which involves social awkwardness.) But Iâ€™ve stopped making progress. There is no more progress to make on this front.
My life right now is not worth living. It hasnâ€™t been for three years. And I canâ€™t foresee that changing for at least four years. Four years of probably pointless therapy and stupid self-reflection and even more medication changes and dealing with idiotic insurance and bills and the other stuff I canâ€™t stand to deal with. Before I start to get better. In the best case. And by then, I wonâ€™t even be young anymore.
Itâ€™s not worth the terrible anxiety and lack of purpose* and continued isolation and the ups and downs. Iâ€™m even starting to think that, maybe, there is no way out of the emotional corner Iâ€™m inâ€”that my hate of people has such a great amount of real support in peopleâ€™s behavior that I wonâ€™t be able to change the attitude and still be able to be intellectually consistent, let alone content.
* Anhedonia, really. I think happy people are able to feel plenty purposeful without trying too hard. I believe people make their own purpose; they donâ€™t get it handed to them. But you canâ€™t find a purpose if you canâ€™t feel anything.
Why write all this? Because it makes me really fucking angry that so many people out there would read this and think that Iâ€™m crazy. Out of my mind. Not rational. Not able to validly come to this decision. I feel that it is my right to decide to end my life, and that Iâ€™ve been plenty rational. Thereâ€™s a little trick that they pull in this argument, you see. They define rational partly based on the personâ€™s feelings, rather than solely based on their processing of those feelings. If Iâ€™m having suicidal thoughts, that means, ipso facto, that Iâ€™m being irrational. The slightly more nuanced position is that if I feel that my life is not worth living in its current state, that Iâ€™m being irrational. Because every rational person has a will to live. And that is such complete bullshit.
And itâ€™s kind of funny, actually: thereâ€™s a closely related position that I actually agree with: Death is bad. If I could cure death by aging today, I would do so. If I could spend every last penny of my savings and all of my future earnings for the next 40 years to cure aging five years sooner than it would otherwise happen, I would do so. (My making such a huge difference is extremely unlikely, though, so Iâ€™m not inclined to be that generous.) Because death is just that bad. But.
If you want to commit suicide, for the right reasons, having thought through everything you can be expected to, then you should be able to go to the hospital and get put down. Being a reader of this blog, you probably know some good ways to do it, like ******** or carbon monoxide asphyxiation.
Now, I myself donâ€™t have any dependents, but suicide for those who do does raise some moral questions that Iâ€™m not sure how to answer. On the other hand, it is a personâ€™s right to commit suicide regardless of the pain that they might inflict on friends or family. I think in many cases, perhaps even most, it might be wrong to do so, but that doesnâ€™t impinge on the right. Again, Iâ€™m speaking abstractly here because these considerations donâ€™t apply to me. My parents would be the most upset by my suicide, but besides them, I donâ€™t think anyone would really be too disturbed. And they helped put me in this huge clusterfuck in the first place, so Iâ€™m not shedding any tears for them.
And as for society? Do I have any sort of obligation to society to remain alive? FUCK NO. Society can fuck itself in the ass with a poison-tipped mace as far as I care. â€œSocietyâ€ doesnâ€™t care one bit about its people. Some of its more altruistic members have been trying to change that, since, like, forever, but so far their overall effect has been minimal. And believe it or not, Iâ€™m actually mildly optimistic about the future. But that doesnâ€™t change my condition, right now. Society is not yet worth being a member of.
These judgments are very contentious, of course, and legitimately so. But regardless of whether thereâ€™s a consensus on these issues, I have a right to, motivated by these judgments, end my own life. I canâ€™t be put into the crazy-house because I think society isnâ€™t worth living in.
This essay closely follows the one I wrote a year ago here.