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Dọ́kítà Ayọ̀mídé @DocAyomide
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“Suicide is selfish.” This deep-rooted misconception refuses to die. And like all such persistent misconceptions, there's a logic to it that keeps it alive — but it's a logic based on a deeply flawed foundation — the human need that makes us take false answers over none.
So why do I say the "suicide is selfish" idea lies in our need for answers? Well, because we humans don't do well with loose ends—whole series are based on this need! Suicide is the ultimate question without answer—the only one who can is unavailable—so we make one up: "Selfish."
But why suicide? Well, PTSD's likelier with a human perpetrator—with natural disasters, it's random. But when someone attacks you, there’s the terror, not just of what happened, but of knowing…This. Wasn’t. Random. It’s personal—making it 100x worse.

Suicide hits us like that.
That's why we react to people taking their life like they gave us all one giant eternal finger: we almost feel like they committed murder and got away with it in one single act. Which, by the way, is how suicide used to be seen: it's literally Latin for "self-murder."
It's this idea of suicide as "self murder" (which is why we say people "commit" it) that old law codes (and Nigerian law, to this day—borrowing from since updated English law) made attempted suicide a crime: so the would-be “murderer” didn’t get away.
Here's the thing though: Suicide is not primarily about you or your feelings.

Think about suicidal thoughts like you would if you heard someone had a cancer: you wouldn't wonder, "Are they being brave?"

You'd think (I hope): “How terrible! How will they cope? How can I help?"
Even in lifestyle-related physical conditions, we don't focus on lifestyle without 1st relieving the active sickness—that something is true doesn't make it okay to blurt it out anyhow we like. Even worse—when it's not even true. Yet with suicide we just talk anyhow.
When next you hear of a suicide, consider saying to yourself: “I don’t know why the person did it, and…That’s okay.” It won’t kill you. And who knows, it might actually help make you more helpful.

And if the person is still alive? Well, say nothing—first, listen. Really listen.
So please let's drop the “Suicide is selfish” narrative. Yes, people take their lives for themselves—like people do literally EVERYTHING else. All we do is with some perceived benefit in view. So the sensible focus should be on that core issue: WHY ending it all seems beneficial.
And when you get to the why, you come back to mental illness, life issues, and all the complicatedness of being human.

Being human can be beautiful. But we all know it can also be hard. Wanting to end it is understandable and deserves compassion—not even more harshness.
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