Why is it so wrong to want to kill yourself?

Posted by Rex Alexander on Tue 14 Nov 23 in Acceptance, Rating, suicide |


 A reader of my lengthy post on suicide on another site responds in part

“Why is it so wrong to want to move on [kill yourself]  before your
natural physical body tells you to This is not expressing a view more a
question for discussion”

It is a fair question.  First of all, I prefer to use words such as rational and irrational, helpful and unhelpful,  socially positive and anti-social rather than right or wrong. I can say what my opinion is, which , however, I think is pretty much in line with what REBT has to say about it. Actually, I said it already in my admittedly long-winded post.

If through catastrophic illness or injury, a person has no possibility of enjoying any quality of life whatsoever, (and that is a big “if”), then suicide “may” be a rational act.

Fortunately, that is not a scenario that the vast majority of people will ever have to confront. On those other occasions, the vast majority of occasions, the individual is in the grip of powerful delusions, convictions and irrational beliefs telling him or her that (again specific irrational beliefs and distortions in bold red) :

  1. Life sucks 100% and will never get any better.
  2. Due to his or her problems, there is absolutely no possibility of enjoying anything in life, ever.
  3. This must not be happeningand one must not put put up with circumstances which her or she can’t stand.
  4. He or she is totally helpless to effect circumstances and events.
  5. He or she is a rotten shit (substitute your favorite adjective for “bad person”) and does not deserve to live.


There are others, but I think these are the most common. Of course, not all people who generate and ruminate upon such beliefs are suicidal. They may just live with serious disturbance and dysfunction. However, all people who suicide operate on these and other well-documented, well-understood distortions and delusions. Which is why this is a highly treatable psychiatric emergency if a person gets the right help and is capable of thinking rationally, and becomes particularly tragic when a person is unable to access the right kind of help.





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Originally posted 2014-08-16 18:12:15.

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