To be entirely honest I don't necessarily see suicide as always being the wrong decision, there are circumstances where I would support a person in doing it. However I do believe very specific conditions have to be in place before suicide becomes a viable option.
I'd ask anybody thinking of suicide the following four questions:
- Is your pain caused by somebody else?
- Is there any possibility no matter how remote that your circumstances could change for the better?
- Will killing yourself hurt anybody you leave behind?
- Are you less than a year from the trigger act?
- Honestly now - Is what you are enduring bearable?
If the answer to any of the above is yes then I would discard suicide as an option.
I think there is a lot of fluffy hand wringing on this subject but rationally speaking suicide is always an option that all of us have. Sometimes knowing there is a final way out can be a comfort, a security blanket that never needs to be used but comforting for its presence regardless. I don't think ignoring discussion on the matter helps the unhappy and desperate.
Better to confront it as an option get it on the table and start looking at alternatives.
I do believe that life is precious and I think that in many many of the cases where people take their own lives there would have been a better alternative. But I would never condemn a person for being too entrenched in their unhappiness or pain to see a better way out.
If someone came to me talking of suicide I would seek psychiatric help for them and do my best to get them the support they need. I wouldn't take it upon myself to be their sole support, suicide is a serious matter and I dislike the common belief that those who talk about it don't do it. If someone trusted me enough to tell me something that critical to their wellbeing then I would do them the courtesy of taking them seriously and helping them find support.
I often get into discussions as to how my viewpoint would differ to that of a Christian. I can't speak for all Christians (I'm sure some are very nice) but the ones who assure me that taking your own life is the path to Hell are both foolish and cruel. I do believe in a God but let me tell you this, I could never believe in a God who turned his/her back on people when they were at their most desperate. My God would offer kindness, strength and support - exactly what I would strive to offer if I encountered somebody in this very difficult position.