How incredibly selfish!

Another passage on suicide:

…I told him I was writing a book about suicide, and this, as is not uncommonly the case, seemed to unbell the cat. A short silence followed. Then he said, with the remarkable certainty of someone whose thin understanding of suicide is belied by 30 years of private practice:

I was suicidal once, when I was 18. But I decided I couldn’t commit suicide because it would be so terrible for my family and friends. I certainly couldn’t now. I’m a doctor. Think what it would be like for my patients. How incredibly selfish!

A slight sense of moral superiority hung in the air…Then I reminded his friend that I had tried years earlier to kill myself, and nearly died in the attempt, but did not consider it either a selfish or non-selfish thing to have done. It was simply the end of what I could bear, the last afternoon of having to imagine waking up the next morning only to start all over again.

It was the final outcome of a bad disease, a disease I would never get the better. No amount of love from or for other people – and there was a lot – could help…There wasn’t much of me left anymore, anyway, and I thought my death would free up the wasted energies and well-meant efforts that were being wasted on my behalf.

from Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide by Kay Redfield Jamison

I’ve finished the book. I highly recommend it to inquisitive folks. I learned a lot about the history of suicide. Regarding the passage above, if my mom committed suicide I would think “How could she do this TO ME?” (among others things of course) I would go through that stage but I think understanding the depth of suicide helps with realizing that it has nothing to do with me/anyone else.

The main thing that bothers me after reading this book is how ambivalent doctors can be. That’s disturbing…They are supposed to help.
—————
Today was a loooooooong day. I may blog about it one day.

One thought on “How incredibly selfish!

  1. I’ve read Night Falls Fast a couple of times actually and agree it’s one to recommend. I think I’ll finally check out An Unquiet Mind as well.

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