Suicide- the sin and whose sin.

What kind of home education blog deals with the topic of suicide? Well mine does. This is not just the remnants of my psychi days leaking out, it’s more personal and faith based than that.

Back in the ’80s when I did a bit of research into this, the suicide rate was rising so rapidly that the Conservative Govt of the time were forced to write a green paper promising to do something. Of course the promise was forgotten. Suicide rates are still increasing and have leapt up since this recession.

I wonder how many people reading this can say they have never known and/or loved someone who died this way. Many of us know more than one person who have died this way. It really is that common.

I’m a Catholic and so suicide is a mortal sin as lots of people like to tell you. However, those of us who have known a loved one who died this way find it very difficult to accept that. Thankfully the Church is far more sensible about these things than many of those who speak for her.

For something to be a mortal sin it must consist of three things; grave matter – that is something seriously bad; knowledge; you must know it’s grave matter and then you must freely consent to commit the sin anyway.

The thing with suicide is that many people don’t know it’s grave matter and among those who do or might, they are so depressed and desperate that they are not giving free consent of the will – they are just acting in a form of self defence against the awfulness of what’s happening. So, the bottom line is, we rely on the mercy of God who is the only judge. We are not to judge the soul of a person, and so yes, they can have a Catholic funeral and they can be buried or ashes scattered on hallowed land.

One of the things about good Christians and their attitude to suicide that has always grated with me is the focus on the person who has attempted or achieved the end. No one ever looks at the people around that person who may have been instrumental in their decision.

People with ME and fibromyalgia are at a massively higher risk of suicide. One study on FM I read a long time ago suggested that as many as 1 in 5 sufferers kill themselves. Going by this short report the rates for ME sufferers are worse.

The fact is the poor medical care and lack of support from family and friends is a big factor in suicide. But from what I’ve seen of those who do commit suicide it’s not as simple as lack of support; it’s often cruel, malicious and off hand comments mounting up until the person is pushed over the edge. And doctors I’m afraid are number 1 culprits in this.

One of the major aspects of the medical and research incompetence and dishonesty that H. Johnson reveals in her massive book Osler’s Web, is the sheer maliciousness of those who didn’t want to deal with the very sick patients, even the children. People like Straus and Wessley, locked into some kind of mysoginist narsacistic personality problems, have not really shown that ME is a psychiatric illness. In fact is easy to see they knew it wasn’t. If they had believed for one moment that people were getting that ill because of some psychiatric disorder they would have had some research done and some solid psychiatric care put in. Nothing of the kind has ever happened. But the knock on effect of their (thoroughly discredited) approach has been that patients who DO have a psychiatric disorder with or without ME or FM can’t get any proper medical care either.

All that work I remember us doing in the ’80s to undo the damage of the stigma of mental illness; to inform other medics of the importance of proper care for our patients, has been undone by the Straus’s, White’s and Wessley’s of this world. Because they say that seriously ill people are basically making it up. I’ve heard heart breaking stories of families that have fallen apart because some cruel and ignorant medica has told them the patient is just lazy!

So I beg you dear reader, next time to hear of a suicide or someone you love and care for dies this way- don’t be afriaid for them, pray for them. And pray for anyone who may have pushed them that way.

I believe that very few suicides are unavoidable.


2 responses to “Suicide- the sin and whose sin.

  1. I hope that because it`s in a home education blog it doesn`t mean that the topic of suicide is actually explored with a group of 4-9 year-olds. As their grandfather I think that age range is much too young.
    Love, Ewan.

  2. No!! I wouldn’t dream of using this as a lesson for the children. It would be cruel.
    Even adults find this a heavy load to carry. It’s certainly not something to teach to little ones.
    Actually though you raise another thought for me. Should suicide,its causes and the theology be taught to teens even? And if so how? I would say, it might have to be discussed with teens if they have personal experience with it, but it should not be in a “class” setting, but in a one to one setting with a trusted adult.
    BTW my little ones don’t read my blog 🙂

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