Suicide is NOT an Act of Weakness;
and People Who Die by Suicide are Not Weak
by Kevin Caruso
Would anyone say that dying from cancer is an act of weakness? And that people who die from cancer are weak?
Would anyone say that dying from heart disease is an act of weakness? And that people who die from heart disease are weak?
Would anyone say that dying from a stroke is an act of weakness? And that people who die from a stroke are weak?
Indeed, it would be idiotic to say that dying from cancer, heart disease, or a stroke is an act of “weakness.” Such an utterance would represent a level of unparalleled ignorance and insensitivity, to say the least.
Yet some people will say that suicide is an act of weakness and that people who die by suicide are weak – but this statement is as ignorant, insensitive, and incorrect as the statements about cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Over 90 percent of the people who die by suicide have a mental illness at the time of their death and thus they are not thinking clearly, and they usually are experiencing excruciating emotional pain.
They are not weak; they are ill – just like people with cancer are ill. So the word “weakness” should never be uttered in association with suicide.
Clinical depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses can cause people to do many things that they would never do if they were not ill, including die by suicide. So “weakness” has NOTHING to do with suicide.
Also, using an incorrect word like “weakness” perpetuates the strong stigma associated with suicide. And uttering such an ignorant word in association with suicide is extremely disrespectful and hurtful to suicide survivors.
Suicide is not an act of weakness; it is an act stemming from a serious mental illness, and the words we use in association with suicide should reflect that fact.
If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.
I love you.