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Why is a person automatically considered crazy...?

Why are people automatically considered mentally or chemically unstable just because they want to commit suicide? I understand that some people do have medical, possibly treatable conditions, but that's not true of all suicidal people. There are some people who simply don't believe life has a purpose and don't want to keep living. And not everyone believes in god...

Update:

But why does anyone have the right to force suicidal people to submit to psychiatric evaluation or to have them locked up. Wouldn't that make the situation worse if the person is perfectly rational?

Update 2:

But WHY? I understand it's not normal or typical, but why should people have to live? What harm would it cause (besides making loved ones sad)?

Update 3:

Ayliann - I appreciate your ability to objectively and thoughtfully answer the question. I thought it was hilarious when you finally arrived at your opinion - I was not expecting that. And even though I completely disagree, thanks.

9 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Terrific question ... and, in my view, it should be asked more frequently!

    First off, I'm not sure that this "automatic" labelling of mentally or chemically unstable for suicidal persons is a universal issue. That is, it's probably more a western society issue -and certainly an American issue- than it is for many other societies (as a simple example, consider the Netherlands). As such, it makes sense to focus on why America is so against -legally and philosophically- suicide.

    As an aside before I try to answer your question directly ... it's quite ironic that America had no problem dropping atomic bombs on two major cities with civilian populations (Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th in 1945 ... killing 140,000 and 80,000 people); or allowing tobacco companys to maintain carte blanche in the marketplace even though their products kill hundreds of thousands yearly; or sending women and men into harm's way to invade a soverign country (Iraq); or allowing the medical community free reign to narcotize a majority of the population -from children to senior citizens ... while fighting tooth and nail against someone's free choice to kill her/himself.

    In short, it defies logic and has little common sense to it -especially if considered relative to the multiple other avenues that seem to be "okay" for a life to end.

    In my view, this pervasive absurdity to label those who consider or commit suicide is most likely rooted in religious foundations and, as it pertains to America, the Puritans.

    As the colonization of America and the eventual buidling of the country from those original colonies was principally a result of the Puritans fleeing England, eventually the bedrock of laws and social norms were directly related to religious beliefs and values.

    As such, even though it was permissable to classify some colonists as witches and eventually try and kill them, the killing of "thyself" never sat well with the religious and secular elite ... nor does it today.

    And, as if we need proof of the backwards thinking of our current times, consider this:

    "Oregon is the only state with a law that specifically allows physician-assisted suicide, enacted in 1997.

    Oregon's Death with Dignity Act was approved by voters in 1994, but blocked for three years by critics who challenged its constitutionality in the federal Supreme Court.

    Oregon won, but again came under attack by U.S. Attorney-General John Ashcroft, who threatened to revoke the licences of doctors who assisted suicides. The law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in January 2006.

    The state's strict rules governing assisted suicides stipulate that the patient must have been declared terminally ill by two physicians and must have requested lethal drugs three times, including in writing."

    As Shakespeare penned -way back when- in King Henry VI, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers [and career politicos]."

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  • 1 decade ago

    Suicide has only very recently been considered the result of "mental illness" For a long time it was deemed a moral (mortal sin) or even criminal issue, it wasn't decriminalized in England until the 1960's and 1990's in Iceland.

    Then, for a while, if someone jumped off a bridge people might think "Poor guy, his wife must have left him or he lost his job".

    I think the real reason for the change in attitude is the almost universal acceptance of the idea that "depression" or "bi-polar disorder" and so on.(as a "mental illnesses, so called "chemical" imbalances in the brain") cause suicide. And this came about in recent decades because main stream "hard science" medicine began implying that psychiatrists weren't "real" doctors because they claimed to work on healing something that we can't even prove exists...THE MIND. I mean you can't exactly take a mind out and disect it so (they claim) it has no more reality than the soul/spirit of God.

    The shrinks started saying "OK....we work with the BRAIN!" And brains, naturally, require chemical (or surgical) adjustment. So they started dropping lab rats into beakers of water to see how long they would fight for life on different antidepressants. The drug companies loved it and suddenly whole new classifications were added to their list of "mental illnesses". Since most suicidal people are also depressed (it's a symptom NOT a disease IMO) they were able to pass off the new labels and the "neccessary" meds to go with them. Good for the shrinks who were now "real" doctors again and the drug companies....well;)

    And families of suicide victims just gobble it up because it takes all responsibility away from everyone and provides an answer to the "WHY" that plagues them.

    None of this is to justify or encourage suicide on my part. I lost a son to suicide. I also will not play the guilt card here because if you're thinking about it guilt is the LAST thing you need.

    And I don't believe anyone should ever be forced into medication or committal. Yes, fear of committal itself would be cause enough for some of the wild and free souls at risk of death from suicide to take the more "viable alternative". I DO beleive that communication with those who understand, (good) talk therapy and proper medication, if tolerable, should be encouraged strongly and people who are at risk should be helped, not "forced" to get them . People should be more aware of the signs and more willing to just "be" with their neighbors and friends instead of running the minute things get a little unpleasant. I would also love to see grassroots groups willing to work with suicidal individuals in an informal, non medical way to improve whatever social and personal problems that are plaguing them.

    I wish you luck, hope, serenity and life.

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  • 1 decade ago

    because if they really didn't believe in god or that life has a purpose, then they would have to accept they are an animal, or, part of the animal kingdom and not purposefully sentient beyond that. I mean, sentience would have no purpose for them - because to have a purpose would be contrary to their views. So if they were just sentient, as in, aware of being, and complete within that awareness (i.e. having no purpose in sentience would dictate that there is nothing more to 'be' or to 'do' with sentience) - if they are complete that way, they would have no desire to kill themselves. Because that would be 'doing' something to commit the act that ends them - and 'being' something because they would be 'being dead'. So you can't be whole from a sentient perspective and want to commit suicide.

    So that leaves you with an animalistic reality - instinct and daily survival and no desire for learning anything more (since learning would involve self actualisation, or, being More Sentient which is beyond animal living). Ok, so all life forms - all living things desire to live, even on an organic, instinctual force or will or growth into and for survival. there is nothing living in the non-sentient world that doesn't strive for not even just survival but development, growth; from cells to flowers with pollen to insects and animals dueling for territory. It all craves life to the fullest of its being.

    So what does that leave you with? Only intelligence and its individual processing of life. Or, in other words, it is a personal persuasion aka a belief; a mental process, and a process of rationalisation by degrees that leads someone to believe suicide is a correct course of them. Or, a choice: to act against their human nature and call a halt to their sentience while it's still in progress.

    And as this is a non-religious sentient human animal who came to that conclusion, they are thinking in a way which is contrary to everything they are (whether defined as a species or a sentient thinking being)- and when you think in ways that are not in keeping with who or what you are, you have something wrong with your thinking, so, some may say: you're crazy. Crazy is a bit harsh imho though - because really who is completely 'right minded' everyday all day?

    Is it right to force therapy onto someone suicidal? No, not always, but sometimes it can help - and let's be blunt: if you have rationally (or irrationally but determinedly decided to kill yourself, what does it matter to be evaluated? you'll do it anyway. And you wouldn't mind going through the motions to reassure your loved ones, because, hey, you're absolutely lucid and rational and just making a choice. However, if you are suffering from trauma suddenyl surfacing/depression/bipolar etc and don't know or understand it, it may just save your life and prevent a whole circle of people besides you suffering needlessly. It could only 'make things worse' as you say, if, there was something wrong to begin with.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Because that's very very rarely, if ever, the case. The vast majority of suicidal people do not want to die, they simply want the pain to end and see suicide as the only way out. Extremely few people who are stopped from committing suicide go on to successfully commit it later. It's usually an impulsive decision and those who do plan it out for a while usually pick the least effective methods, like pills. It's because deep down they don't want to die. That's why many suicide attempts are called cries for help.

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  • 1 decade ago

    That is an excellent question. It's a question that has been researched for many years. One example that comes to mind is Dr. Kevorkian's case. We had folks with horrible afflictions, and absolutely no chance of ever recovering. These people made a conscious decision that they would like to commit suicide. Dr. Kevorkian assisted them. (He is currently in prison and I don't think that he should be there.)

    But what about younger, healthy persons? They have no apparent horrible afflictions or diseases. They have their whole life in front of them. Are they crazy????

    In cases like this, society assumes that this is a temporary crisis. Temporary insanity. Or a decision influenced by drugs or alcohol. Society will step in and take legally acceptable steps to prevent this suicide. We can lock them into a mental hospital and hold them for three or four days. We can get court ordered counseling. We can remove their children from the home. Remember, murder is illegal---even when you are trying to murder yourself! We take suicide very seriously in this country and we do not tolerate suicide or suicide attempts very well.

    Suicide affects many more persons than just the victim (or should we say "the volunteer.") The reprecussions ripple outwards like dropping a stone in a pond. Many people are affected when someone commits suicide and society has an obligation to protect ourselves and our loved ones from these reprocussions

    Suicide is also offensive to society because it is rude. This seems laughable but it's true. Consider this: Here we have a person who is deliberately throwing away and scorning every single thing that we hold dear: e.i. Health, life, our values, our community, our monetary system, our religious beliefs, our education system, our family values, our religious beliefs, our stucture of society, our hopes and dreams for our youth, etc. All suicides are acts of violence. Even deliberately overdosing on sleeping pills would be considered an Act of Violence if it resulted in death. Society can't tolerate that and we don't agree to let anyone commit suicide, under any circumstance.

    In the majority of cases, the depressed person will recover and be secretely grateful that they received intervention. This is what we hope for.

    But some people really do want to commit suicide. These people will go on to accomplish their original mission. They could argue that they should have the right to die. And barring that right, they did it anyways.

    Personally, I believe that when a person commits suicide---They go straight to hell. God hates suicide. It's like walking out of the room in the middle of class when you haven't been excused. God doesn't tolerate that very well. It's incredibly offensive to HIM. He has work for you to do in this world and you quit without permission. It's a bad idea to try it.

    So, here's an idea. If you are suicidal, and you don't care what happens anymore...why not stick around just out of curiosity? Give up completely on trying to succeed in love, jobs, or whatever is bothering you. Sleep all day if you can afford it. You have nothing to lose because you don't care anymore. Right? Take a spectator ONLY view and watch how other people handle their problems. But it might be fun to hang out and watch others from your protected and lofty perch.

    • force265 years agoReport

      Really, really stupid post. But you did demonstrate how much you DON'T understand about misery/life/consciousness/suicide.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    One of a human's most basic instincts is to stay alive. Run away from mountain lions, fight off people who are attacking you, try to kick to the surface if you're drowning in a lake. It's part of our instinctual survival skills that keeps our species thriving.

    But, when you yourself go against that basic instinct by choice, you're considered mentally unstable, because there has to be something wrong the person's brain for him/her to go against that instinct.

    I'm not necessarily owning that opinion personally, but it's why I think society considers suicidal people to be crazy.

    It's also natural for people to reject others who have different viewpoints on life.

    Source(s): I had depression and was suicidal for about a year during high school. It aroused major concern.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The wish to die simply becuase life might not have a "purpose" is stupid enough to be considered insane. There's certainly no purpose to dying. Life at least is varied and changable, death's kind of permament,

    Basically, suicide is like extreme self-harm. It's behavoir likely to cause someone serious and lasting harm. People wanting this without good reason (Euthanasia. That's about it) are irrational.

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  • Nessie
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Usually when someone doesn't agree with another's point of view, that person will resort to calling them crazy. It's all about agreement and disagreement! !

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Because they're nuts.

    Source(s): You don't have to be crazy to want to off yourself, but you certainly have problems.
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