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Assisted suicide

In some places, they’re offering assisted suicide to people with incurable mental illness. I guess I’m in favour of it.

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Wow. This is a hard subject that will have many opinions and can be very divisive, but it’s also very important for there to be conversations about. Personally, I have trouble making up my mind one way or another about this subject. In some ways I’m for it, but in other ways I’m against it. I believe that what the person who is suffering wants is important and should be taken into consideration. It’s difficult to live when all you want is to die. No one else has to live your life, so no one else knows exactly what you’re going through. But at the same time… There are therapies and cures and medications and just all types of different things coming out that can help. What if you decide today is the day to end it, and tomorrow there is a cure released that would have changed everything in your life for the better? I think in general it’s important for the person who wants to have assisted suicide to have a very long and hard conversation with their doctor before any decisions are made.

(I say you just in general, I don’t actually mean you specifically.)

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That’s indeed a tough subject with lots of ethical questions and I agree with the points that @Daisy shared - also that it’s still an important subject to talk about.

I’m living in a country where euthanasia is legal (not assisted suicide/ which means a doctor does the act and not the patient), both for physical or mental illnesses, yet it’s still something that keeps being debated a lot of course. As much as I’m personally in favour of it when it’s about physical health, I feel a lot more divided when it’s about mental illness, because defining the “incurable” aspect of a mental illness is tied to the knowledge we have of them (knowledge that is still very limitated at this point), and someone can be alienated by their pain at a certain time of their life.

In reality, the protocols are extremely strict and controlled. There are a lot of steps, lots of requirements, doctors to meet, a request has to be validated by a committee and someone has to reaffirm their will multiple times throughout this process. If you look more closely at how it is in some countries, you’ll realize that the % of people who access to euthanasia or assisted suicide is small, that an overwhelming majority of those requests are motivated by physical and degenerative illnesses (cancer, alzheimer mostly), also that a certain amount of people change their mind along the way. For mental pain, even in countries like the one I’m living in, the reality is that psychiatry and psychology are the first and main option, because even if our knowledge about mental health is limited, those disciplines give hope and save lives everyday. But it is difficult, indeed, and for some people it takes a very very long time to find what could work for them.

Though with the question of assisted suicide, at least, it highlights the fact that what appears to be an unbearable pain for someone has to be taken seriously, has to be heard, has to be supported as much as possible and for as long as needed. And I’m aware that individuals opinions about those things often stem out of personal experience. So, @Hayshaker, I don’t know if you are struggling right now or if your thought is related to the situation of someone you love for example, but I want you to know that there is hope. Even if unfortunately our societies are very dysfunctional when it’s about accessing to mental health support, you, your life, your wellness are worth fighting for, always. And if you’ve been feeling unsafe or struggling with suicidal thoughts lately, please never hesitate to reach out to a crisis line or someone you trust. :hrtlegolove:

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Whilst mental illness is rarely “curable”, it can come and go and much of it is a lot better with the right medication and counselling

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I agree that medication and counselling can help most people, but I’m not with you on mental illness not being curable. I know that there are no cures for most mental illnesses as of this moment, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be cures for some mental illnesses in the future. How many decades - or centuries, for that matter - is mental health medicine behind physical health medicine? There are mental health issues that were known about in the 1800’s that still don’t have very good treatments because of the way mental health has been viewed through the centuries.

Freud looked at people diagnosed with hysteria and realized that for a lot of these people, it was a form of PTSD, and he even described how a person could get it and he was dismissed because people thought what he was inferring was bogus. How much better could our treatments for PTSD be if he would have been taken more seriously in this? Judith Herman wrote a book on Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder sometime in the 1990’s, and yet CPTSD is still not in the DSM as a diagnosis because there are other things in the DSM that someone can be diagnosed with. You can’t really get better treatment for the disorder you have if you’re being diagnosed with the wrong thing.

While it’s better than it used to be, to this day people don’t understand mental health and there are some that still think that you can “will away” depression or any number of mental health issues, because it’s “all in your head.” And yet we have vaccines that have gotten rid of diseases that cause physical issues. I think time will change our treatments and help make some mental health issues much easier to treat, and some will be curable.

Maybe I feel this way because I want there to be some hope for me to feel as if I’m normal at some point in my future. If I didn’t have hope, well then… What’s the point?

I keep looking and waiting for something that makes life worth living, but there’s nothing

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I keep looking and waiting for something that makes life worth living, but there’s nothing

I’m really sorry you feel that way, @Hayshaker. It is so hard to feel like there’s nothing worth enough to keep moving on. It is something I surely felt when I was very tired of carrying too many burdens on my shoulders.

Indeed, life can be extremely draining and makes it hard to answer to the question “what’s the point of all this?”. Although the answer of this question remains very personal, I want to encourage you to make safe and healthy decisions in order to let this moment pass. If you didn’t yet, consider reaching out to people you trust (family, friends…) or even a therapist. When life gets difficult, it’s okay to receive the support we need. What feels hopeless today doesn’t have to be the same tomorrow. <3

I also want to encourage you to give a look at the following exercise:

Even if you don’t want to give it a try, you can still have a look at the article on the first post. Hope is not gone friend. Sometimes it’s really hard to find what makes our life worth living and we might need to sit down a little and reflect on ourselves, on our dreams, on what we’re grateful for. All of those things that might be buried under a lot of pain. For example, on my worst days I like to set a moment for myself at the end of the day to celebrate the fact that I made it through. Oftentimes, I become a couch potato, watch a good movie while drinking a hot chocolate and eating cookies. It’s not something big, but it’s part of the little joys that we can still experience, even during our worst days.

What are your simple joys? What are your passions, the things you love and are interested by? There’s a rich inner life inside of you that waits for being acknowledged, friend. You’re not out of life. :hrtlegolove:

What makes you think it’s a moment, and what makes you think it will pass?
This is the sort of wishful thinking that I am incapable of.

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What makes you think it’s a moment, and what makes you think it will pass?
This is the sort of wishful thinking that I am incapable of.

Its a good question.

This hopelessness is something I experienced as you do. I still experience it, as lockdowns and social isolation didn’t really help this year. For example, until a couple of days ago, I was stuck again in a spiral of suicidal thoughts, especially at night. I was crying my soul out and felt like my entire body was made of pain. Until I felt numb… and hopeless. I’ve been struggling with past traumas, depression and anxiety for a long time, and it hurts like I’m always hitting the same wall again and again. It’s like a cycle that keeps repeating. And when I’m hurting, it gets hard to feel like I’m making any progress.

But through the years I also learned to be more honest with myself, even if it hurts. No, I don’t know how things are going to be and what the future holds. No one can. Though this uncertainty gives space for opportunities to happen. And the very possibility of feeling something different in the future is worth it in my book.

On the other hand, even if I don’t know how things are going to be, I can keep trying my best to make the future a little brighter. It doesn’t change the fact that I really feel hopeless sometimes. I just try to remind myself that, when I’m hurting, I’m likely not able to be a good friend to myself. In fact, my main purpose is to beat myself up and feed my mind with a lot of negative and dark thoughts. About myself, about my relationships, about life and this world as it is. So I guess a part of my answer to your question is that I’ve learned to think that way through life experiences and the repetition of those moments. I don’t feel bad 24/7. But I do have seasons in my life when it gets really difficult and painful. Seasons when I can barely get up and find some interest in anything. It can last for a very long time and it often brings me back to this thought that I never really felt okay in my life and it’s all about pain, pain and pain again. But that would be a lie. I know how it feels to be happy, to smile, to spend a good time with people I love or do something I like. And it’s because I know it that it hurts so much when I’m missing it. It’s really, really hard to see and embrace what this life has to offer sometimes.

Another part of my answer to you is that I attempted to my life in the past. And as much as I was disappointed with myself because I felt like I failed, I still ended with regrets once I realized how beautiful it is to exist. I felt grateful for breathing. And that realization was as deep as the hopelessness I felt when I had hurt myself.

This isn’t necessarily wishful thinking. At least not entirely. It’s also based on how I know myself, my story, and my desire to be honest with myself by saying: yes, I’m hurting. Yes, it happened before already. Yes, it’s freaking unfair to go through that. But I also have the power to make some small steps to ease that pain in a safe and healthy way, and disappearing is not one of those. I can take care of myself. I can reach out so people I trust can contradict those hurtful thoughts that are spiraling in my mind. I can step a little bit more out of my comfort zone.

Making adjustments and trying to take new steps in your life is never wasted. At best, it leads you closer to where you want to be. At worst, you learn what doesn’t work for you and you can try something different.

Perseverance, time, patience are your allies when you feel at the end of your rope. But also making good and healthy decisions to try to get out of this rut. We don’t need more compassion and self-compassion than when we’re hitting rock bottom. I believe that’s what reunites us all here on this forum. And also why I’m very grateful to you for being here and opening that door of vulnerability with us. It’s important.

What makes you believe that you are going to be stuck in how you feel right now? Is it because you feel that very deeply? Is it things happening in your life or things that were said to you? Is it a mix of those? It can be interesting for you to try to challenge the thoughts that are making you feel hopeless. And if not with us here, doing it by yourself, or with a loved one or a professional is still important.

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Then there’s no point in talking with you

Then there’s no point in talking with you

My point by saying this is not to lie to you by pretending that everything is going to be okay suddenly. We don’t lose hope by mistake either. If there are things in your life that are making you feel bad, then those things will need to be adressed one by one. Which takes time and perseverance. There is a part of uncertainty when you decide to live, as you don’t know how the future is going to be. But you are in control of what you can do in the present moment to make sure that this future will be better, just like reaching out here on this forum. It’s an active position against the demons that are eating you alive. That’s how you create hope and change the narrative. Being hopeful is not naive or unrealistic, friend. It’s trying to root your expectations in facts and reality, and not in your interpretation of that reality. Otherwise, when we’re depressed, we’re condemning ourselves to be stuck in a rut.

The point with talking is agreeing to disagree, friend. It’s particularly precious when we struggle and believe self-fulfilling prophecies.“It will never get better” is one of those. And it’s okay to discuss our contradictions.

You have no obligation to respond/talk to me if you don’t want to. Just know I’m glad to talk to you whenever you want. I hope you stay safe, Hayshaker. It’s all that matters. :hrtlegolove:

Yet that’s exactly what you did when you implied that it was a moment that would pass.

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