I read a short article today that said Franz Stahl had called Chris Cornell’s suicide “selfish” (you can read it here: https://www.relix.com/news/detail/ex_foo_fighters_guitarist_says_chris_cornell_selfish_for_committing_suicide). When I first read it, I was furious that anyone would call someone selfish for dying by suicide. But then I realized that a person outside of the throes of depression may see it that way because they don’t know the lies depression tells. They don’t know the mask that many of us put on thinking that it’s better for people close to us to not know how we’re feeling.
Depression tells many lies: I’m not good enough, I’m not worthy, I’m awful, etc. But it also uses what I love most against me: my family and friends. Severe depression tells me that I am torturing the people I love most by being with them. It tells me they would be better off without me. It tells me that they’re done looking after me. Depression tells me that the most loving thing I can do is to not be alive anymore.
I believe that those who die from suicide are not doing it because they don’t want to fight anymore or because they don’t want to deal with the pain anymore. I believe they are doing it because they are too unwell to realize that their depression is lying to them, and that no friend or family member is ever better off without them. They are most definitely not selfish, and most definitely not weak. They were ill.