Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Is Suicide Difficult?

A user posts a document cataloging first-person reports of a large number of suicide attempts:
I recently tried to exit using the helium method. I couldn't stand it and yanked the bag off. The gas was NOT 'innocuous and odorless' as the Humphrys/Final Exit crowd had led me to believe. It felt like inhaling poison gas. Made me nauseous, headachey, and there was a terrifying feeling of falling through space. Now I am suffering, not from fear of death, but from fear of the ways of getting there.

And another:

I was in a coma for three days. I woke up in ICU with tubes everywhere. My first thought was one of annoyance at all the tubes. I immediately pulled the one from my nose, not realizing it was threaded into my stomach. I retched but out it came. The IVs in my arms were another story, my arms were tied with bandages to boards, and bending them was annoying that's how I realized they had IVs in them. A nurse came over and spoke to me but I drifted in and out of awareness for the next few days.

When I finally was able to engage in conversation my cousin who is a nurse told me that had the paramedics arrived twenty minutes later they'd not have attempted to revive me....

So, that's the unlovely story of my first and most serious attempt. I classify it that way because subsequent attempts have not resulted in anywhere near the same recovery time. I think it is because medicine is now better equipped to deal with such things, but I can't be sure. What I am sure of is that I have never made a 'gesture,' I have always intended to die.


  1. Why shouldn't suicide be difficult?

    Giving birth is difficult for the mother, being born is difficult for the baby, and the one death I have witnessed was terribly difficult.

    Nothing is easy, Sister Y. That's the one thing I know.

  2. Why shouldn't suicide be difficult? I really like this question. It strikes me as too deep to address in a mere comment, though. I am going to try to write a whole essay about it. Thank you!

  3. What kind of modality are you two talking about? The context in sister wolf's post suggests epistemic modality, but curator seems to have taken it as deontic. That would be two completely different questions.

  4. In that she used the word "should," I don't think either of us is talking in epistemic terms. I don't know if I'd call it "deontic" so much as just plain "normative."

  5. "...epistomic modality, deontic?!"

    Sister Y, the comment by anonymous is the kind of writing that makes me want to kill myself! Just momentarily, of course.

  6. Anonymous means that it's unclear whether you meant something like "of course suicide is difficult, so is everything else" or "it's good that suicide is difficult."

  7. Of course, I meant the former.

    I'm wondering if the study of linguistics actually makes communication more difficult.

    Oh well. As long as you understand me, I'm good.


  8. Weirdly, I read you as meaning the latter - sorry! It's still an interesting question.

    Greater clarity within discipline (jargon) means a loss in clarity across disciplines. I try to avoid the jargon.

  9. I belive suicide should be easy. I feel like a guinea pig - I don't know why iam here, what am I supposed to do, what will happen when I die?
    I think it's only fair we know these answers if we are put in this world.
    If not, then we should have the convenience to end life if we do not know why we are put here to suffer


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