Published: 2013-02-02

I've been thinking about suicide a lot recently. I mean not to commit it, but why anybody would commit suicide. Maybe you have heard that Aaron Swartz committed suicide. And it shocked me to read that my favorite blogger Jeff Atwood, the author of Coding Horror and co-founder of, also considered doing this.

When thinking about suicide in a normal state of mind, you come to conclusions similar to these: That it just doesn't make sense. That life is really beautiful. And no matter how much you lost or how badly you screwed up, that it is never too late. Never too late to change. Never too late to start again—even if it means to start from scratch.

However, someone who commits suicide is not in a normal state of mind. Especially if they are suffering from clinical depression. And this is a problem. Because even if you rationally know that suicide doesn't make sense, you can't help your feelings. As Victor Engmark points out in the comments:

You can't fight your own mind, you are your own mind. It's like a machine trying to fix itself. Depression leads to self-destructive behavior, including the irrational wish to be alone with terrible thoughts, which continue until you get exhausted enough to sleep, snap out of it, or ...

And Ismael Olea adds:

The problem with depression is it makes your brain to work beyond any rational logic. Including personal rational logic with which you operate when not in crisis. It's chemistry fighting against your power to think.

So, irrationality can win here.

But eventually it doesn't matter whether someone suffers from depression or something else. And suffer they do or else they wouldn't consider suicide. When you take this into account, the aforementioned cracked article seems to be missing the point entirely. It is a good and even funny article for people that do not consider suicide. But for people who do, it is short of an affront. It doesn't consider how these people feel and even ridicules them from a logical point of view.

If you are really interested how people that consider suicide feel (and perhaps how you could possibly help them)—or if you consider committing suicide yourself—I recommend this article. It gives an excellent insight into the topic and is full of advise and laced with further reading.

Eventually it comes down to what is shown in Patch Adams: Whether you are able to find something in live to hold onto. And whether you are able to rediscover life's beauty.

I'd love to read your response.
Mail me: moc.sthgisni-edamdnah@jrelsseor