LET ME GO WHEN AND HOW I WANT TO GO The Daily Post Question asks if people should be allowed to commit suicide. Any one who reads my blog knows I fear ending up a brain in a body that cannot communicate or as my mother used to say “A happy idiot” living way back into my childhood and being a burden on everyone. So not only do I believe I should have the right to end my life the way I want, but I also think, my family should have the right to say when enough is enough. I have my living will signed and my wishes are well-known.
Now that does not mean suicide should be easy. I directed mental health crisis services. We worked hard to prevent suicide and my teams succeeded. I worked with adolescents and children and many thought suicide meant they could look back and see how sad others were. We also had a few who almost got there and were more than happy we got them to the hospital in time.
I have also experienced a number of acquaintances and colleagues who have committed suicide. Most who succeeded took deadly action alone and didn’t give any one a clue as to their intent. One school mate was discovered unexpectedly by a brother who had keys to her apartment but didn’t live in the same town, was not expected to be visting; he found her and called 911. She killed herself five days later by figuring out how to make it from a locked psychiatric ward to the roof of the hospital and jump off. Some one that eager to die is living as miserably as I imagine living in a body that can’t communicate. Yet I can’t quite say they should be allowed to end it all. Life changes all the time and someone ready to kill themselves and eager to do so for months might find if they lived they were suddenly in love with life.
Even contemplating my own death, I can understand hesitations before pulling the plug. I also know that I might not decide to do the deed myself. I do love life. So let me plan, make it legal for those facing a prolonged death to die as they want; work very hard to keep all other potential suicides alive–particularly adolescents and young mothers.
Adolescents have a romantic view of death and don’t get it is unlikely they will be looking down from heaven and seeing everyone who wronged them weeping tears of guilt.
Young mothers who get over-whelmed do particularly terrible things to the children that survive them and even worst to the ones that take their children with them. We don’t support parent and particularly mothers the way we should. Moreover, stigma keeps many from seeking competent care.
So like so many life questions there is no one right answer.
STAYING STRONG TIP: Know the signs of clinical depression. My feeling thermometer on the side bar of my blog says it all. Feeling sad almost every hour, every day and can’t do the things that need doing, depression is controlling you; you need to see a mental health professional. Call the National suicide line for help. Life can get better.
STAYING STRONG TIP: Living with someone who is depressed? Take extra care of yourself. Seek support and advice for yourself. You are at risk also. The people at the national suicide line will have ideas to help you.