Why Suicide Makes Sense
Confusion, despair and anger. In the aftermath of a suicide, these are often the emotions loved ones most easily summon. Confusion about the thought process that led to such a drastic decision spirals into despair at the tremendous and permanent loss this final act caused. When few satisfactory answers are available, anger usually hovers in the near distance. Yet this emotional roller coaster of hurt often pales in comparison to the pain the departed experienced. Whether that pain was real or imagined, in their minds suicide provided the best option to end the suffering. The difficult reality is that it wasn’t, but few other possibilities can seem tolerable when consumed by overwhelming pain.
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Losing Robin Williams hurt. Without a doubt his ability to bring a smile to the most stoic faces was unmatched, but as a clinical psychologist it was him becoming one of over 30,000 individuals in the U.S. who complete suicide each year that most unnerved me. Over 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental illness, with depression and substance abuse leading the way.