Murder Never Helps
THAT ISN’T HELP.
Copycat self-murder is so common it even has an official name, the Werther effect. People, especially vulnerable teens are 4 to 6 times more likely to commit suicide after someone else does according to various publications on the subject. Also known as the suicide contagion, seeing, knowing about, or reading/viewing media about a suicide spreads suicidal tendencies because desperate people decide that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
For literally more than two centuries (the effect was first scientifically noticed in 1774) the media has been warned that publicizing suicides causes others to view the act in a positive light and follow the trend. Suicide clusters are repeatedly seen in schools, social groups, cities, and in deed whole national populations as those who struggle with their life see the praise and attention heaped upon the ‘victims’ of suicide.
Those who die in suicides are not the victims. They are the perpetrators of an ugly, unacceptable, vicious murder which destroys families, friends, schools, workplaces, and social groups. Unlike a typical murderer, these murderers will never be brought up on charges, their victim’s family and friends will never be able to pursue a criminal conviction, they will never have their day in court, will never see justice done, and, under most circumstances, will be wrongfully judged by outsiders for ‘allowing’ the murder to take place to begin with. They destroy just as many lives as your average thug, but instead of feeling righteous anger at their actions, society gives them laurels and tears. Instead of a prison cell and societal damnation, they get well-attended memorials with flowers, weeping, and gentle tidings into the next life.
THIS ISN’T RIGHT.
Some people are sick enough, are desperate enough, are depressed enough, are any number of things enough to think murder will solve their problem. IT WON’T. Murdering yourself is a permanent solution to a temporary roblem, a permanent solution that is the most selfish act a person can do; that will destroy your loved ones; that will devastate your friends; that will leave a torn wake of mutilated emotions which will scar the survivors for the rest of their lives. It’s an ugly, narcissistic, brutal, and above all completely inexcusable action.
And every time the media says ANYTHING but that over another useless, worthless, destructive self-murder they sow the seeds for another one. What people who are contemplating suicide need to hear is it is wholly unacceptable, it’s never an acceptable answer to any problem, and it won’t help anything. They need real help, not a push towards the cliff. They need to know that LIFE is worth it, not death. They deserve every help we can offer, every consideration, every outstretched hand, warm shoulder, open ear, and gentle arm we can offer. Again, and again, and again.
But the second they step over that line, when they change from a desperate person seeking help to a murderous narcissist who rejects all the help offered and instead destroys the people who are willing and able to do anything to comfort them, they should be rejected. Society needs to say THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.
An actor died, he also committed murder. We may or may not have liked his movies, his comedy. We may or may not have been touched or repelled by his performances, but pretty much all of us were aware of him. He was a cultural icon that most people above the age of 8 or 9 today would recognize. His death will leave a hole in our cultural awareness. But there is only one person to blame for that: him.
He murdered a cultural icon, a father, a husband, a friend. Regardless of what he was in life, in death he was a vicious murderer who thought only of himself. THAT is what anyone contemplating following his example needs to hear. Not that he’ll be missed, not how tragic it all was, not how he touched generations of people, not that he’ll be remembered. All of that is irrelevant now. HE made it irrelevant when he chose to walk away from all that to commit a murder.
If you are depressed and don’t think you can get up in the morning, do you want to be remembered as someone like that? Do you want your legacy to be that of a narcissistic murderer who destroyed the lives of his family and friends and left havoc behind him? Of course not, and sometimes that’s all that someone has to cling to, the absolute knowledge of what their death will bring about. If you take that away, not only just take it away but replace it with temptation, you help facilitate their death.
So don’t fuel the hype, don’t help the unethical media make more destruction, don’t spread ruination. Don’t even say his name. For over two hundred years we’ve known that spreading the word and speaking of the perpetrator of suicide pleasantly and positively only brings about more of the same. Do you want to cause more suicides, or do you want to help those in need?
I choose to help. I’ll never tell anyone that suicide is anything other than the horrible, ugly, vicious, cantankerous, destructive, ruinous, inexcusable and unacceptable thing that it is. I’ll say it loudly. I’ll repeat it again, and again, and again. So that anyone listening will NEVER have the excuse to think their death will make life better. It won’t, and I won’t perpetuate that lie. Don’t murder yourself. It’s unacceptable. And don’t help facilitate it by pretending it is.
If you need help, accept it, everyone, regardless of who you are, have dozens of people willing to help you. If you think you lack this, you are wrong. It is your sickness talking, not reality. Very few people will judge you for seeking help, they want to help, but they will judge you for refusing help when it’s offered. If you don’t know who to seek help from, just go to the closest adult you can see right now and say ‘please help me, I’m depressed and thinking about suicide’. They’ll help. 9,999 times out of 10,000, they’ll help. So will the next person you see, and the one after that. And the complete stranger on the street. Or me. Life is worth it.
There is only two constants in this world, one is “this too shall pass”. If you’re riding high and loving it, this too shall pass. If you’re so depressed you can’t get out of bed, this too shall pass. If you can’t walk through the halls without getting teased, harassed, or abused, this too shall pass. If you’re top dog and everyone cowers before you, this too shall pass. Whatever seems insurmountable, unending, or life-shattering, this too shall pass. Joys, trials, pains, ecstasy, pleasure, hope, depression, loneliness, companionship, nothing comes to one that isn't common to many, so pretty much anyone can help you through it, can help you get to the next step. But one thing you have to be for whatever ‘this’ is to pass, is alive. You win when your heart beats one more time, you lose when it stops. Don’t lose on purpose. Win, win one minute at a time if you need to. Win one second at a time, one heartbeat at a time. Because the alternative is simply, wholly, unacceptable.