Category Archives: Drafts

What is a good death?

I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather. Not screaming like the passengers in his car.

This macabre joke lends a useful light on death and why it’s better to choose your death. Death is inevitable but there are good ways and bad ways to go out.

I think everyone would agree that dying peacefully while sleeping is an excellent way to die. If I died like this tonight I would be happier. A peaceful death is a blessing as is a painless and quick death.

Screaming towards an inevitable death is one of many bad ways to die. It is better if it’s a quick death and a reliable one. These are two other qualities of good deaths.

I could go on but I think it’s obvious to anyone what is a good way to die. The most important thing is choice. I believe that whenever possible a person should be able to choose when and how they die. This is an essential area of inalienable personal freedom which as yet is unconquered.

There exists a basic human right to choose one’s death. It has thus far been left out of explicit existence in the current human rights framework. It shares territory with the right to life and freedom from torture. Yet today it’s still not a right in England and most other nations which purport to be developed.

There is a cold heartlessness which is insurmountable and blocks this right from the existence it so deserves. Preventing choice in death is a very cruel tyranny.

The suicidal and the dying need it. I need it. The right to choose is a mercy but the angels of mercy can not win against the heartless tyranny which keeps this right from becoming law.

There’s enough cruelty in the world already

The suicide system shouldn’t contribute to this but it does.

It imprisons. It forces drug treatment. Treatment isn’t quickly supplied or fast acting. Treatment isn’t always effective and when it fails there’s nothing else. All this prolongs or worsens the suffering.

Then it gets worse. This is where the real tragedy is. (As if the above paragraph wasn’t tragic enough.)

There is no limit to the individuals suffering. The suicide and mental health system doesn’t really care about this. They purport to but it’s a lie. The systems would rather force someone to endure more suicide pain or force the worst type of suicide on them.

No good deaths are provided. In fact there’s been significant effort to stop suicidal people from getting a good death. The system refuses to accept that suicide is a valid and rational response so it works to stop all suicide. To achieve this it would use misinformation tactics and suppress information as well as put insurmountable barriers preventing access to good suicide methods. It would spread lies.

The tyranny which is the suicide system doesn’t care about the severity of suicide pain nor does it attempt to limit it. The great cruelty is that it denigrates the rational choice to die and uses any means necessary to force a suicidal individual to live.

Forcing someone who wants to die to keep living is cruelty. It prolongs and increase suicide pain. Prolonging or increasing the pain suffered by suicidal people is obviously cruel. Keeping someone alive and in suffering is what torturers do. A crappy torturer kills their victim but the good ones keep them alive and in pain.

This might seem simplistic and be an as hominem argument but I believe it’s an essential point of view. It is the view based upon a priority which the mental health and suicide systems do not have. They would keep suicidal individuals from dying by any means necessary. Their priority isn’t to prevent and end suicidal pain.

The mental health system takes away the freedom to choose and not just from suicidal individuals. This is what infects the suicide system. Neither value personal choices and both use active and passive forms of force to compel someone who wants to die rather than respects their decision and has empathy with their suffering.

This creates cruelty where cruelty should least of all exist. The suicide system is cruel and so are you.

Schizophrenia and suicide

There’s a very high completed suicide rate for schizophrenia. There’s also a high rate of suicide attempts. There’s a substantial body of research which shows that suicide is common amongst people diagnosed with schizophrenia. I can’t quote statistics because those I know are lies, lies and more damned creations of the monsters.

The primary way this is tackled is with drugs. Antipsychotic medication is the first line of treatment. Antidepressants are also prescribed and even mood stabilisers. I’ve been on a cocktail of all three classes of drugs used simultaneously but it didn’t make me happy and I still wanted to die.

Psychological therapies are now recommended for schizophrenia. There’s been a lot of work to increase availability and reduce waiting time. Therapists don’t have a miracle cure either and my last therapy sessions made me feel worse.

I have no reason to live and if you were like me then you’d be in the same place as me and others diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. The mental health system has very little to offer me.

The one thing I want I can’t get. I want to die. I’ve tried and failed. Just like life. I tried and failed. In fact life has failed me because I’m somewhat crazy and crazy people have a worse life than those who are average and not crazy. There’s a substantial amount of research evidence which shows this to be true. A disproportionately high percentage of people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder have a much worse life.

Imagine you go through life and you try and try but get nothing out of it. Imagine the endless days filled with meaningless crud. Imagine having very few if anything to celebrate and this dearth of joy is the tip of the bleakness iceberg. Imagine going through life a life which gets more and more lonely. Imagine being consigned to poverty which so very few people with schizophrenia escape. Imagine that you’re totally powerless to stop any of this and the people who are meant to change it are as useful as secondhand toilet paper. Could you stand courageous against all this adversity? (And there are other miseries I’ve not described here.)

The substantial body of resesch on schizophrenia outcomes (or the prognosis of schizophrenia or psychosocial disability research) demonstrates that people with schizophrenia don’t need to imagine all this hell. It is their destiny (in developed world nations). Everyone faces some degree of adversity in life but it’s nothing like the evisceration which most people with schizophrenia have to accept and endure….or die to save themselves.

People with severe psychosocial disabilities kill themselves for a reason. They don’t know the outcomes research but they know the life it describes and predicts. For many the life is a fate worse than death. It is all the worse for me because I have read psychiatric research.

The reason I explain all this is to further reinforce the basic human response to a maelstrom of adversity. People with severe psychosocial disability (aka severe mental illness) go through hell. This happens to other disabled people.

Of course average people can still face a similarly awful life but there’s substantial research which shows it happens much more often to people with schizophrenia diagnoses. This is why they more often want to die.

This point might seem obvious and this post might seem pointless. I don’t believe it is because this simple point – that an awful life causes suicide – is totally lost on the general public. The entire psychiatry based mental health and social care system doesn’t understand this. The suicide system doesn’t understand this and neither do those who hold sway on suicide laws and the suicide system.

I could just say “you make me want to die” but others have said this and nothing changes. It is a shit life which drives people to suicide but it’s people who make life what it is. You might survive life but for some their life is a fate worse than death and this is predictably so in the schizophrenia research I’ve read.

The psychiatry basis in the suicide system means suicide is considered to be an irrational act. They read the outcomes research and see the result of a brain disease but this is not the truth. The high rate of suicide in schizophrenia is because they’re destined to face an awful life much more often than others. Their suicide wish is rational because rational people choose suicide when their life is not worth enduring. This happens more frequently with schizophrenia because so many of those diagnosed and treated with schizophrenia endure a much worse life in lots of domains.

The research demonstrates that people with schizophrenia have a worse life and shows they try to kill themselves more often. However psychiatrists and those who defer to psychiatric thinking don’t see suicide is rational. This way of thinking gets cause and effect wrong. It’s not a brain disease which causes the high suicide rate. It’s the predictably worse life which means schizophrenics kill themselves or try to much more often than average people.

There are schizophrenics who do endure or escape the prognosis but these are few compared to the average person and their average life. The predestination which is scientifically proven is a curse. If you knew the curse from the lived experience that I have you would choose to die.

I am rational in suicide. I am a failure at achieving it. If you can accept the rationality then you have to grant the right to a good death.

The death of a thousand cuts as a limit to suffering

I have used the phrase “death of a thousand” cuts to describe the process which creates suicide. Essentially I think a lot of small harms are involved as well as a few big ones. It’s not just one trigger but a series of harms which I believe creates a precursor mental state which matures into suicide. It’s not just one thing.

I was thinking about this and the phrase I use which has a number in it. The number 1000. I was thinking of it as a way to think of limits to life pain.

My death has been caused by more cuts – more harms – than a thousand. I thought perhaps a thousand harms would have been a great limit to my suffering.

It would have been a better limit in my life but it’s a terrible one for any conscious being other than me. What’s the right limit?

I doubt it’s a numerical limit. I can’t really envisage any practical limit. I just know there has to be a limit.

The liberal perspective and the opposite perspective (conservative?) in the suicide debate

One of the key themes in my thoughts on mental health is the advancement of personal liberty. I admit this was weakest in my old views about suicide and the suicide system but I’ve had some time to rethink these opinions.

You might, for example, finding me saying that suicide is good. This sounds absurd but it is, for me, a vital talking point when considering the suicide system. It simply states the property of rational thought which makes people choose it.

Though not always consciously of course. It is usually hopelessness and despair which precipitates suicidal thoughts. The individual makes a difficult decision to end their life rather than face pain they cannot endure.

Suicide is good because it solves things which nothing else can solve. It is the ultimate protection from living an unlivable life and death is guaranteed to work. (While I believe god or gods exist and they are complicated I do not believe they would punish someone who kills themselves by sending them to hell. This idea of punishing the suicidal is clearly a product of evil human minds and the antiliberal perspective.)

The liberal perspective is about free will and the right for individuals to choose their life and death. The liberal perspective is the opposite of ‘best interests’ and paternalistic mental health. The status quo of the psychiatry¬† based mental health system is heavily rooted to in professional domination and force rather than guarantee of human rights. It might be healthcare but it automatically puts a negative sense of abnormality and unacceptance of the integrity of being on those it treats.

This means that a suicidal person is deemed to be mentally disordered and no rational mind would want to die according to how psychiatry is practised on the mentally I’ll and this is backed up by detention powers from the Mental Health Act and medico-legal protocols in other countries. These legal instruments guarantee the use of force,coercion and deprivation of liberty. These are the antithesis of the fundamentals of liberty, equality and human rights. (Much to my disappointment the human rights movement does little to fight against this clear breach of human rights.)

Human rights guarantee rights but don’t stop giving these rights to anyone but those dealt with by the psychiatric mental health system. All men are rational enough to be free except those who are judged as having an unsound mind by (mainly) psychiatrists (+psychiatric nurses and the police). There are none of the safeguards found abundantly in the criminal justice system in the psychiatric system’s deprivation of liberty powers and legislation. This is based on a historical prejudice that mental illness is caused by a biological brain deficit which is the sole cause of an unsound mind. Essentially no human rights are necessary for subhumans.

(This might come across as a very harsh view of psychiatry and modern mental health. The amendments to the Mental Health Act created opportunities for the law to be unjust and immoral but passed anyway and became enacted. It made token gestures at providing safeguards but proved the medico-legal framework is a law unto itself and bypasses any real jurisprudence. The CEO of the leading national mental health charity Mind walked out of the discussions on implementing the amendments.)

Psychiatry fundamentally dehumanises patients when it forces things on people be it in a psychiatric ‘hospital’ (force is used in prisons not in hospitals) or in the community. It denies their freedom to be who and what they are. To the antipsychiatry-naive reader this might seem okay for manic depression or schizophrenia but the obvious example of the flexibility of diagnostic labels homosexuality. It takes away free will by taking away the rational quality of being and choice.

The libertarian perspective is about respect and defers to rationality. It believes in free choice in life and in death. If it errs it errs on the side of freedom and equality.

The suicide rights movement demands the most from its leaders

Most people go through life thinking that there are no more human rights to fight for. The sheep are truly blessed.

Then there are those who in every epoch and every era stand outside time to fight for future. They stand above the herd to fight for new human rights and even greater equality.

Civilisation progresses through great leaps and incremental change. The shepherds are responsible for the former and the sheep the latter.

The fight is always hardest for the shepherds. They are not content with incremental progress. They are cursed with an imagination, a vision, of a better future while the sheep are content with the imperfect present.

There are still several rights movements which need happen but none is harder on their leaders than the suicide rights movement. The reason? Their success leads directly to more deaths. This makes it the hardest personal freedoms movement I can think of because the good they do is always tarnished by the nature of the freedom they fight for. Suicide rights are vital human rights to win but victory means the end of life.

They do not fight for murder because murder is not about a personal freedom. They fight for the mercy in life and in death which is absent from humanity. Every other rights movement involves other freedoms which are about life, quality of life, freedom and equality but these are only indirectly related to an increase in deaths. The suicide movement’s victory will clearly lead to more deaths.

It does not weigh lightly upon me nor the leaders of the current suicide rights movement. It is easier to fight the fight for rights and feel good about it. The suicide movement carries a much greater cost than others. The deaths we fight for are important and are extensions of basic human needs if not basic needs themselves. They are merciful and empower personal choice. Nonetheless there is a weight of responsibility and a taint in victory which is absent from other rights movements.

I am sure I am right that personal choice in death is vital and to fight for it is a good thing. I know I want it for me. I welcome my death yet I don’t welcome the deaths of other suicidal people as easily as my own.

I am perhaps a child in many respects but no child wants to grow up to cause more death. Yet here I am. Like every human rights campaigners I need this victory for me.

Kill me.

Where are the hell breakers?

I hope the concept of hell breakers for suicide is obvious. Angels of the abyss is another phrase I feel conveys the same thing. I like these phrases because they succinctly communicate what would otherwise take a lot more words to explain. Sometimes like now I feel a few more words are necessary.

There are lots of agencies which work on suicide. Doctors, lawyers, health policy makers, politicians, therapists, social workers, mental health charity staff and the police. Most of these are represented by professional organisations like the Royal College of Psychiatry.

None of them are on my side. They work to put barriers between suicidal people and a good death. This is done because they don’t respect the hell of suicidal pain.

Some agencies also work to treat suicidal ideation with drugs or words. Either can alleviate the hell but they can also prolong and worsen it. This is true from my personal experience.

When they fail they default to prolonging the pain by trying to stop the individual from successfully killing themselves using a good method. They have no empathy with the pain of living while wanting to die and do not respect the individual’s right to choose a good death. They’d prolong the pain by prolonging life when the individual no longer wants to live. Again, they do not respect the hell of suicidal pain. They are more hell makers than hell breakers.

What’s perhaps worse is the absence of any effort to prevent suicidal pain from occurring. The entire mental health and social care industry is dedicated to one thing: normalising people. The only suicide prevention involves blocking good suicide methods from being accessed by anyone, even those who have been failed. The trend of focusing on individuals while never considering the bigger picture has made modern life more harsh because a bad (heartless and lacking in empathy) culture has never been the target of suicide prevention. There’s no training to wield the right of choice in death either…or life for that matter.

This is all hell making, not breaking.

There is no modern agency involved with the system which is primarily designed to be hell breakers. None understand these words:

It could be worse. I could still be alive.

They don’t understand what a fate worse than death really means to those who come to know it. They don’t have this life experience and they lack the basic empathy and intelligence to think to do anything other than what creates hell.

The suicide system doesn’t react fast or attempt to resolve suicidal pain quickly. An agency designed around hell breaking would be driven to create this sort of rapid response. It is one which understands the hellish nature of suicide pain which is central to hell breaking.

Hell breaking also involves assisted suicide because it stops hell. The religious version of hell is implicitly based upon creating suicide pain and preventing escape from it. This is the nature of the religious punishment and any hell which doesn’t create suicidal pain isn’t hell. The first step in this punishment is to make living so awful that the individual is induced to feel suicidal despair. The next step is to force the individual to stay alive while they desperately want to escape by any means including the cessation of their consciousness. Hell breakers offer a good death if they can’t solve the pain because death is a mercy for those trapped in hell. Their priority is the end of the hellish existence which creates suicide whereas hell makers choose to force their victims to stay alive.

The other difference is in the hell breaking focus of suicide prevention. Hell breaking prevents suicidal ideation, not suicide itself. It’s in this area where the current system shows its lack of empathy and vision. Hell makers think suicide prevention means stopping people from killing themselves and it has made more hells by focusing on blocking access to good suicide methods. Hell makers also fight against the legalisation of assisted suicide.

This differentiation between two polar opposite approaches might seem like an oversimplification. For example I’ve steered clear of addressing carer issues and not bothered with thoughts about personal responsibility to society. I’ve only focused on suicidal individuals. However the idea of hell breaking illustrates what would be achieved by a very different approach to suicide, one firmly seated in its recognition of the profound severity of suicide pain.

The simplification leaves out some nuances but I believe it covers the main areas where change is needed. You might not believe in the existence of the religious afterlife of punishment but surely you can recognise hell on Earth.

So I ask a question to which I already know the answer…what are would you choose? Hell making or hell breaking?

Quick or death

This title is about the necessity of speed in the ethical interventions used in a good suicide system. The system works quickly when it changes someone’s mental state away from suicide but when it fails it doesn’t drag on with trial after failed trial.

Obviously this is radically different to the modern suicide system and the attitude that time doesn’t matter. Expediency is a quality required of any good suicide system but such thought is wholly absent in the current system. The modern system doesn’t care enough to be quick because it’s based on heartless psychiatric foundations. The paradigm of psychiatry at best evokes pity but never empathy.

Treatment should be available quickly. It should work quickly. It should get it right on the first go rather than rely on trial and error. These might seem like impossible conditions to meet but if the authors of the suicide system cared about the profound nature of suicide pain they’d be faced with the same objectives.

The priority is to limit the suffering. Obviously this isn’t a priority for the current system but it is not a good system. A good system can’t allow the pain to be prolonged especially to the absurd lengths which are acceptable in the modern suicide system and to so-called carers who depend on the system to do the right thing.

There is no sense of care in prolonging agony. The choice to endure is a personal one rather than the accepted status quo where these choices are taken out of the hands of individuals.

What’s the shortest time? It’s the length of acceptable torture. In my mind this length is zero. Torture is unacceptable.

No one should endure torture so others are saved from grief. There is no love then. There is no mercy because a sense of mercy dictates the swift end to the torture by treatment or by granting death.

From mercy comes the impossible conditions I set for any suicide intervention. From mercy comes the right to access a good death swiftly too. Any choice to endure more suicide pain is an individual choice which is an essential human freedom. It’s especially needed right now when there’s such pervasive inequity which causes the profound life pain which creates suicide pain.

To leave a fellow man to suffer endless is an act done without empathy and the true compassion it creates.

I choose death. Swift, painless mercy to end what no person should suffer long. How long is too long? I decide what’s too long for me.

Suicide and disability

The suicide system has a lot of relevance to the disabled. Disability is a strong reason for suicide.

I assume people can understand why disabled people choose suicide. Disability – especially becoming disabled – is a source of misery. Imagine being stuck in locked in syndrome. You would want to die if you were left like that. It is a fate worse than death.

There is a pervasive lack of empathy for the suffering of the disabled. It is at its worse in the suicide system because the fate worse than death is not ended by the system. In fact the system makes accessing good suicide methods more difficult or even impossible. The system will not flex in its pursuit of stopping people from successfully killing themselves by preventing suicidal people choosing how they die.

I believe even those who are totally opposed to any legalisation of assisted suicide can not argue for the continued suffering of the disabled in the absence of any reprieve from the impact of disability and reprieve from the suffering. I’ve been wrong about a lot of things though. Perhaps there are people who believe sanctity of life is about length rather than quality.

Sanctity of life is a principle which can be interpreted as referring to good quality of life rather than simply existence. Anti suicide campaigners use sanctity of life to mean that all life no matter how bad it is or how awful the unbearable pain is should still be preserved at all costs.

I wonder what you would choose? A long and pain filled life? Or a short and happy one? This question is centred in your personal view on the issue of sanctity of life. Is it about quantity or quality? I’m asking for a black and white answer to what’s obviously about shades of grey but I want to elicit from you which is most important. (Obviously choosing a long and happy life isn’t useful in this exercise.)

Your answer is a personal choice. I wish personal choice was respected by the suicide system. I think people can choose how and when they die. I believe that it is an important right for everyone but especially disabled people because as a major group of people theirs is associated with the worst quality of life.

I believe that there is a fundamental human rights issue being dismissed by the prevailing tyranny in the suicide system.

A life not wanted to be lived has no sanctity. I believe disabled people will best understand this statement for what it means. Perhaps you do too.

It’s naive to believe that life is always worth living no matter how bad it is. Each individual chooses how much they’re willing to endure but when life becomes too awful then suicide is a merciful escape. This is true for everyone but the right to choose one’s death is most important to the disabled.

You’d choose it when your threshold is surpassed. I won’t make the decision for you but the suicide system will always attempt to block your best choice. It will deny the validity and rationality of the decision as it’s been doing since suicide was decriminalised. It will use coercion and force as well as less explicit methods common to other things which are already recognised tyrannies.

To choose one’s death is a basic human right. It is a crime to prolong suffering and it is unjust to make choices about anyone’s death other than your own.

The disabled are people who can choose to escape the awfulness of their lives when and how they choose. Anything less than this is tyranny. Their life is theirs to live through or die to escape from.

I believe this is what you would want if disability happened to you.

What if a century from today the methods of tyranny and suicide prevention that are used today would be viewed as evil

This might seem less important than things like the end of poverty or protecting the future of the planet however suicide is what interests me most and where I perceive the greatest evil in what’s considered acceptable today.

The censorship and misinformation tactics which are considered acceptable practice for suicide prevention are things which I considered to be evil in nature. The goal might seem laudable but the solution is not. The goal is to prevent people from successfully killing themselves at all costs and by any means necessary.

I’m afraid I don’t see this as laudable either because it dismisses the validity of suicide. This is where I despair at the entire suicide system. It is based on a belief that all suicide is bad and suicidal individuals must be controlled to stop them from successfully killing themselves. It would go so far as to imprison people to prevent them from killing themselves which is much worse than the evils censorship and misinformation. It uses any means to make people submit to the will of the system rather than protects inalienable human free will.

Modern life is harsh and won’t change. It is harsh enough to make people want to die. It can get so bad that death becomes better than enduring through the pain or adverse life circumstances. It is just awful to experience this but the authors of the suicide system don’t understand how serious this is. If they knew the pain a suicidal person has been through and wants to avoid they’d understand the rationality of the choice to die.

Their ignorance might not be so evil but it drives them to force their will on suicidal individuals. This is outright tyranny. It is like someone holding your hand in a burning flame. The pain is excruciating and you’d do anything to make it stop (and stop it from ever happening again) but you’re made powerless by the hand that would rather see suffer than relieve the pain by any means necessary.

It is surely evil to consign someone to the hell on Earth of living while wanting to die. Of course there are treatments but they don’t always work. What happens then? Should a person be left to suffer their personal torture? A good system would surely grant them a good death but this is not the conventional wisdom.

The absence of a good death provided by the suicide system causes other problems. One is that those who are certain they want to die will not engage in treatment. There’s no reason to engage with the system and some people are willing to risk a bad death. The firm stance that all suicide is bad is counterproductive and makes things worse for those who have already suffered too much.

I admit I don’t have a firm stance that all suicide is okay but I believe most are. My only doubt is the regrettable suicides. By this I mean successful suicides which the individual would have regretted shortly afterwards had they survived the attempt. The current system doesn’t do much to help this because there are high certainty deaths available from non peaceful methods and without the provision of a good death to slow this process to give someone some time to think there will always be these opportunities to die without engaging with the suicide system.

Where I am certain is in the personal liberty to choose to die and be granted a good death. More people might die if assisted suicide was legal but their suffering would be ended permanently if they choose suicide. I find it saddening that the right to die how and when I want to is not considered to be a human right. It is but the human rights framework doesn’t state or protect this right.

It allows for the dehumanisation of the suicidal. The dehumanisation allows for tactics such as censorship, misinformation, imprisonment and other forms of oppression. It’s all designed to work against free will. It prolongs and worsens suffering. It uses the tools of things which are already recognised as tyrannies.

It is just a matter of time before the tyranny in suicide prevention is recognised as being an evil. True suicide prevention has the primary objective of preventing the pain which makes conscious individuals want to die prematurely whenever possible. This is an epoch level task. Today however…and for me…there’s just the right to control my death which should exist but good men stay silent and so tyranny reigns.

This issue might not matter to you now but it might one day. It matters to me more than anything else. Only because I need it though. I once believed I would never want to die. Don’t make the same mistake. When it matters to you you’ll want choice, not tyranny.