Checking Up – Suicide isn’t poetic, it’s problematic

Morgan Profumo

Society renders topics too taboo to discuss in an open manner. As times change and generations progress, the degree to which these topics are deemed taboo also changes. Sex used to be seen as so offensive that married couples on television would sleep in different beds. Now movies deal with it much more openly. Similarly, the way people talk about suicide has also changed over the years.

Suicide can be a touchy subject. Wanting to commit suicide can stem from severe or situational depression, anxiety disorders and a plethora of other psychological issues. According to the American Association of Suicidology, in 2013 an average of one person committed suicide every 12.8 minutes, leading to 41,149 deaths that year alone. 

Suicide not only takes the lives of innocent individuals but also debilitates family and friends. To say that only the 41,149 people who took their lives were affected by suicide would be an understatement. The effects of suicide expand far beyond personal affiliations. Entire schools and towns suffer from the loss of one student.

Suicide has gained a reputation of being poetic, beautiful and even romantic. The romanticization of depression and other debilitating mental ailments is one of the reasons suicide is promoted within our generation. Tumblr, Twitter and occasionally Facebook endorse the poetic nature of how beautiful a suicide can be. The pain and suffering that people endure on the road to taking their own lives has been altered from a painful choice to a means of proving emotional depth.

Depression is not a state of beauty. This comes from someone with a history of situational depression: No one wants to feel emotionally vacant. No one wants to adopt apathy as a way of life. Suicide is not beautiful; suicide is hideous. It is a tragedy that victimizes people worldwide, and we need to treat it as such. 

There are several sites online you can access to learn about signs of suicide. There are also a variety of resources on campus, such as the Counseling and Testing Center, which can assist you if you struggle with suicidal thoughts or depression.