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Will pessimism eventually lead some people to suicide?

by niki

I’ve considered myself a pessimist now, and I’m 38 years old. To be honest, it leads me to being severely depressed & suicidal; there is not a single day now where I don’t think of death, and even suicide personally. Everything (or most of the time) just seems depressing. There are honestly only very few/little things in this life/world that interests me now, and even they’re easily crushed soon by reality. It’s depressing. And constantly reading about pessimism philosophy even reinforces how depressing this existence really is. Although admittedly, my pessimistic outlook were perhaps mostly & originally also caused by what I’ve considered myself & my life to be a failure.

Will pessimism eventually lead some people to suicide? Because if I remember and not mistaken, there are even some pessimistic philosophers who committed suicide too in the end. I think suicide is probably the final conclusion, or the most extreme conclusion, regarding pessimism. It is the final actualization of pessimism; seeing how everything makes one pessimistic, as there is not any single light/ray of hope anymore; everything is/seems hopeless, futile, meaningless, pointless, & depressing. It is no wonder that, eventually, it might (understandably) lead to suicide.


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Once 8/8/2020 - 1:49 pm

It’s probably one of the leading causes in whatever form it takes. Nothing says “I see a glass that’s half empty and no reason to refill it or even try” than suicide. If the final result is ones own death because there is no ray of hope….yes, that’s pessimism.

thedevilisclose 8/8/2020 - 1:57 pm

if you cant see a positive light in anything, of course youre not going to want to live. you see nothing worth living for.

Yoges 8/8/2020 - 2:33 pm

True, it is so in most cases. But if we think of pessimism in terms of philosophy then true pessimism taken to its ultimate conclusion should find no possibility of relief even in death, say, due to the looming spectre of hell as a real place. That way even suicide might be a result of hoping against hope, a case of halfway pessimism.

corpse844 8/9/2020 - 10:31 am

Recently there was a study that linked pessimism to lower life expectancy. The article I read (not the actual study) was trying to make the case that pessimism leads to chronic illnesses, which is probably true, but my first thought when seeing the raw numbers was “well duh, of course we have lower life expectancy because we all fucking kill ourselves”

a1957 8/9/2020 - 10:59 am

Good question. It certainly would. There are things people could be doing to help themselves cope with stresses, add a few bright spots to their existence, or prevent some difficulties but pessimism would diminish hopes of a positive outcome, and with little hope of good outcomes, why try?
As an example, I remember an uncle who was worried about his financial future and there was plenty he could do about it. But he firmly believed that any additional efforts on his part to raise income would be be nullified by an equal increase in income tax. While a quick look around at the finances of others would make it clear that was not the case he doggedly stuck to his beliefs. His pessimism concerning taxation stopped him from solving his income issues. At the time I believed him. It took me some years to see that his pessimism was doing neither of us any good, was unfounded, yet it was 100% real to him and affecting his well being in obvious ways. I even suspect the taxation issue was a face saving cover for a deeper pessimism he wanted to keep private.

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