Trigger warning: Suicide
Does Bipolar kill?
Sure, it can lead people to commit suicide, but by definition, suicide is chosen. After all, as blogger Matt Walsh wrote in regards to Robin William’s death,
First, suicide does not claim anyone against their will. No matter how depressed you are, you never have to make that choice.
But is it really a choice? A decision made of sound mind and free will?
I’ll admit, I used to be of the same opinion as dear Matt here. While I respected and sympathised with anyone going through it, I could not understand how suicide could be a solution. I told myself, “I’ll never go there, not matter what happens.” After all, I was strong.
(I seemed to have forgotten how strong my uncle was before Depression took him.)
In the end, though, correction came as a major bitch slap to the face in the form of experience, as it so often does. In my darkest moments I learnt this:
Suicide is not chosen; it happens
when pain exceeds
resources for coping with pain.
That’s all it’s about. You are not a bad person, or crazy, or weak, or flawed, because you feel suicidal. It doesn’t even mean that you really want to die — it only means that you have more pain than you can cope with right now. If I start piling weights on your shoulders, you will eventually collapse if I add enough weights… no matter how much you want to remain standing. Willpower has nothing to do with it. Of course you would cheer yourself up, if you could.
Is it really a choice if in all your mental capabilities, there is only one option?
By definition, suicide is not a free choice. Comparable to a murderer who may give the victim a “choice” to see a loved one get tortured or have their own brains blown out. But do you hear people saying that the victim decided to die, that they wanted to die?
As people are only able to understand Depression by comparing it to their own experiences, they assume that depressed people are still themselves, just rather distressed. The reality is that Depression is a whole other entity; one that abuses you, that whispers such sweet, convincing lies about pain and overcoming it. Lies that consume you.
So tell me, what is the difference between a murderer forcing someone to put a gun to their head with threats, and Depression putting a gun to someone’s head?
Is it choice?
For a more well-written post on this subject, visit here: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/08/18/is-suicide-a-free-choice-or-a-false-choice/