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Secretive Suicide

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I really don’t care about reading all of these other people’s nonsense. I don’t want to be talked out of it. I want to know the best way without anyone knowing I committed suicide. I have been trying breathing toxic fumes, drinking a little acid at times, eating small amounts of acetone each day nothing is working. I don’t to die in a car wreck. I want to die of an ailment of somekind. I love my wife and she loves me. I am just tired of living. I am an iron artist and don’t make enough money. I am very tired and want very much to die. I saw a mental doctor of some kind and he said I was OK.

I understand that you do not want to be talked out of suicide but with all due respect, I am going to try anyway. If I were to answer your question in the manner that you requested, I would essentially be instructing you in successful ways to achieve secretive suicide. You are in essence asking me to be like Jack Kevorkian (the “Death Doctor”) and that I cannot do. You have the option to end your life but it is my opinion that you would be making a profound mistake.

Why should you not commit suicide? There are many, many reasons why and I name a few below.

  • Your wife and family: You wrote that you love your wife. If you love her and she loves you, then your loss will be devastating. The same is true for the rest of your family. Your family may suffer immensely, especially if they learn that your death was a suicide. You are attempting to die in a manner that would disguise a suicide but an autopsy would likely reveal the true nature of your death.
  • The struggles of suicide survivors: Related to the above reason is the immensely difficult struggle faced by the family members of individuals who commit suicide. This may include feeling guilty or feeling that they are to blame for “not doing enough.” Survivors have also reported feeling as though the loved one’s decision to end his or her life was their fault. Some report feeling “unloved” or believing things such as “he must not have loved me enough because if so, he would not have done this to me.” Anger is a common reaction as well. In addition, having a family member who commits suicide increases the likelihood that other family members will choose the same fate. For these reasons and many others, committing suicide is not fair to your family.
  • Your suffering may not end: You are assuming that ending your life will end your suffering but what if that is not true? No one knows what happens after we die. In the book Life After Life by Raymond Moody, he reports that individuals who have had near-death experiences, as a result of a suicide attempt, reported it as being “hellish.” Some reported that they literally believed they were entering hell. This was in stark contrast to the individuals who did not purposefully attempt to end their lives and who had near-death experiences. Generally, their experiences were positive and inspirational.

    Matthew Dovel, author of My Last Breath, claims to have had both a heaven and hell near-death experience. Matthew was 12 when he accidentally drowned in a swimming pool. He described having a loving near-death experience. He believed that he had met his “Creator.” He then decided that this experience was so wonderful that he wanted to return. He decided to attempt suicide but the second time he had a very different experience. He described spending three days in hell. These experiences led him to start the International Suicide Prevention public charity program. What likely was his motivation? Was his experience a sign that committing suicide means more suffering in the “afterlife” versus less?

    You mentioned that you went to a doctor and he or she assessed your mental health status. The doctor said that you are “okay” but perhaps you did not reveal how you were truly feeling. I would argue against the conclusion that you are “okay” because it is not normal to plot one’s own death. It’s a sign of depression. Spend all the time and energy that is necessary to get help. Effective treatments exist for depression. The proof is the fact that millions of individuals are helped every year.

    One of the main reasons for wanting to die, according to your letter, is losing your job. Your worth and value as an individual extends beyond your career or employment status. I understand how devastating it can be to lose one’s job. The loss of a job includes a loss of income, a loss of health insurance, a loss of self-worth, etc. Understandably, this is an extremely difficult situation but things will get better. Life has many ups and downs. Just because life is difficult now, does not mean it will always be that way. I would strongly encourage you to reconsider the decision to end your life. Please consider going back to your doctor. Speak to him or her about how you truly feel. He or she could help you access treatment either in the form of medication or counseling (or both).

    I understand that I have not answered the question that you have asked. My job in life is to help others, not help them to harm themselves. I hope that I have helped you, even if in some small way. I hope you get the help that you deserve. Please reconsider your decision. Consider the feelings of your family. They will be forced to deal with the aftermath of your death. Please take care. I wish you well.

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