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Reasons and misunderstandings

by Kalana

I hate the way that when someone mentions suicide, people automatically assume they have a mental illness, or are in sone emotional state clouding their judgement. This isn’t always the case, and certainly not for me. I think people find it hard to grasp the concept that human beings aren’t perfect creatures, that every now and then genetics, hormones and the environment come together to make a mistake; an incoherent individual. This might present itself in many ways; dysphoria with your body for instance. Unfortunately we haven’t fully mastered the human body, and there is still plenty that cannot be changed to ensure coherence. do we expect these individuals to suffer throughout their life, telling them that “Oh, one day that might be possible”? Or do we let them go peacefully?

I also find it extremely patronizing and hypocritical when a person says something like “Well, your appearance doesn’t matter, it’s what you are inside that counts”. Where does this come from? certainly not from the natural world, as our entire evolution was driven by appearance. Perhaps this would be less of an issue if we were amoeba, as the simplicity of our needs would be reflected in the simplicity of our society. But this isn’t the case, and you can’t make these statements until you’ve been on the outside, seen the way people look at you for not conforming to your appearance.

The idea that this could be a mental illness, frankly, disgusts me. The idea that it is better to take what, essentially, defines a person and warp it until it fits society’s expectations is the exact process of indoctrination seen in dystopian settings like in 1984. Is this what the institution of psychiatry is? a tool of society to regulate and control? No, if you do this to a person, they might as well have died. Except, now they can’t even be remembered, because a fake has taken their place. So, what to do?

If we accept that changing a person’s identity is equivalent to killing them, and physical changes are currently impossible, then where does this leave us? what choice do we have but to let the person end their life? it is this sort of dissonance, like the result of some twisted biological experiment, that we should understand cannot exist in a stable form. Except, we seem to deify nature as being able to do no wrong; for it is only us feeble humans who can make mistakes worthy of termination. But I suppose this is to be expected given that we have assumed nature to be an ideal for all of history, what with the uncountable religions and cults and sects that have been formed. When will humanity wake up and realise that no, no one is looking out for us, and yes some human life is more worthy than others. No men are created equal.

Perhaps, though, this dissonance could be alleviated by changing the social framework in which it exists. This is a romantic notion, but bound to fail; we can hardly pull together as humans as it is, what will all the crime, wealth gradients, power gradients and corruption that pervade the world. How then can we be expected to change core beliefs of our society? It is a foregone conclusion.

TL;DR: Fuck psychologists, we need doctors to give us the physical changes we need and sociologists and revolutionaries to change the way society view us. My mind is fine as it is, thank you very much! If that can’t be done, then at least give us the self autonomy to die in peace.

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sona03 4/20/2014 - 11:16 am

really liked ur post. very well written. I agree with u. but still divided over the “someone out there looking after us” question. …
in most of the religions suicide is forbidden. if not outrightly so, then through all the myths and beliefs constructed around it.

Hatshepsut 4/20/2014 - 12:32 pm

Suicide is not a mental illness, but an act. Mentally ill persons are indeed more likely to self-kill than members of the “general population”, which is where the assumption comes from.

But the 900 Jews at Masada in AD 70 all killed themselves because the Romans were breaking into their fortress, not because they were mentally ill. The folks jumping off the World Trade Center weren’t ill before their day arrived, either.

And yes, appearances do matter. Ugly people experience severe discrimination, deprivation, and don’t live as long as their better-looking counterparts. It helps some to live in a modern country where the extent of cruelty is effectively limited by laws, but the emotions are still there. The same thing happens if your voice and speech are weird but not absent–you can be rendered permanently unemployable but not eligible for disability or other benefits.

I have no idea what to do about it. The history of revolutionaries, i.e. Lenin, Stalin, & Pol Pot, is hardly encouraging.

themusical 4/20/2014 - 3:16 pm

Very well put.

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