Thursday, January 30, 2014

forced to play

vfmp and i were debating suicide today, i felt i should share my little rant:

let's say that suicidal thoughts aren't healthy. aren't they? while actually committing suicide isn't normal, thinking about it can't possibly be outside of normative behaviour. i can't back that up, but i wouldn't trust any statistics that suggest otherwise either*. as medical notions of healthy, both physiological and psychological, are more concerned with "normal" as opposed to "suffering" when it comes to defining illness, it seems like a bit of a grey area. but of course we can define suicide and suicidal thoughts as unhealthy, especially for the purposes of this argument.

having said that, i believe that every person should have sovereignty over their being. for the same reason that nobody can tell me not to pierce my genitals or tattoo my face, nobody should be able to tell me what i can and cannot ingest nor whether or not i should breathe. see? that breathing thing works both ways.

i personally feel that anybody who attempts suicide is stupid - although to be fair i'm aware that everyone is stupid, including me - but them in particular because if you're already at the point of giving up then you've got nothing to lose! that's a perfect excuse to go on an adventure, say "fuck you" to the world as you know it and start from scratch. it's never too late, in my opinion.

let's say, however, that someone you know wants to off themselves. maybe they don't feel that anybody cares about them, maybe they feel under too much pressure because so many people care about them. once you've intervened, shared your opinions with them and possibly some wonderful advice that you were certain would turn them into you, what rights have you to take matters into your own hands? claiming that they're not of sound mind is ridiculous because there's a good chance that the reason that they're suicidal in the first place is because the unhappy people are the ones of sound mind in a world that has gone mad. which it has.

what intervention options are there available? well, putting someone on suicide watch is tantamount to imprisoning them. an asylum is literally imprisoning them. we're not talking about someone who might unintentionally hurt themselves, which i believe is a valid reason to protect someone. we're talking intention here. imprisonment - removal of a person from society - is a concept that should be reserved for anyone who presents a danger to society. so the person was suffering wanted to stop suffering, so we lock them up and medicate them to a state of complacence or apathy?

rehabilitation means getting them back into playing the game the rest of us have consented to even though it's a criminally crazy one! how hard do we have to work in order to... you know what? i'm just going to refer to a quote that's been doing the rounds lately: "normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it."

so the choices become: be institutionalized, work really hard to find some semblance of balance, or struggle outside society. i suppose living in a commune is another option but with the way "civilized" society frowns upon "hippies" i wonder how many of those even exist. and with our pre-information age industrialized "education" system it's only a lucky few that figure out how to earn a living doing what they enjoy.

...

how is this case any different from a person with a degenerative disease who demands euthanasia? if it's about quality of life, and sovereignty or "freedom" to determine one's own destiny, then i can't see any reason to deny someone who doesn't want to live the right to choose not to.
but it's an indictment of our "civilized society" that so many people suffer from despair and depression.

hate the game, not the player. "before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."

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* i wouldn't trust them because by the very nature of the way that data is accumulated in psychology we're going to get significantly skewed results. you don't get asked if you have suicidal thoughts if you don't come to a psychologist with problems. and it's entirely plausible that you might lie if asked by someone you're not seeing professionally. like me answering the question in a profiling exam for the officer's course, for example. of course i've never had suicidal thoughts :P

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