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View Full Version : Most 'considerate' suicide method? -WARNING, a bit explicit


Captcha
11-19-2010, 02:12 AM
This may be more speculation than fact, so maybe it should be in the Sandbox, but there's a factual basis, so I thought I'd try it here.

I want a character to have killed himself in a calm, rational, considerate way. This is important because the character's twin tortures himself with guilt, thinking that he was at fault for not preventing the suicide, and I want another character to suggest that, no, the guy was in his right mind, but he'd been suffering and saw no way to end the suffering, so he made a rational choice to end his life. Given that my MC had no way to help his brother out of the suffering, any action to have prevented the suicide would, actually, have been unkind to the brother.

So essentially I want the method of suicide to be one of the pieces of evidence that establish all this. I want it to be outside of the guy's apartment (the twin ends up living there after the death), but otherwise, it's pretty wide open. It happens in Vancouver, Canada, so there's bridges to jump off, access to big-city conveyances (apparently death by subway really isn't very reliable, unfortunately), etc. There would be SOME problem getting a gun, but I think he could get past it.

My current plan is for him to drive himself to somewhere they're used to gore (I'm thinking hospital, but maybe police station? military base?) and shooting himself through the roof of his mouth into his brain. Does this make sense, or is there something better?

Thanks for any suggestions with this somewhat nasty subject.

Drachen Jager
11-19-2010, 02:16 AM
Rubber tube stuck in the exhaust of car, fed in through slightly open window, leave car running with all other windows closed. You go to sleep and don't wake up. Totally painless and bloodless.

Also quite a common suicide method.

LGwenn
11-19-2010, 02:37 AM
Pills. Not all at once- because then the suicider would puke and that isn't nice and may not be effective. Carefully spaced out.

Though the carbon monoxide poisoning would work very well too.

Captcha
11-19-2010, 02:41 AM
Wikipedia (I know, but...) says that car exhaust doesn't have much CO2 in it anymore, since catalytic converters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_methods#Suffocation

It also says that this method can be dangerous to the people who discover the body, although I'm not sure that makes sense, unless people crawled inside the car with him. Which I guess maybe they would if they were trying to save him.

I could get him to buy an old car, on purpose, as another sign of his rationality, I guess.

Captcha
11-19-2010, 02:43 AM
The pills seem like they'd be okay for him, but where would he go to be sure that nobody was traumatized by finding the body, while at the same time being sure that nobody would find him before he was totally dead? He doesn't want to be resuscitated, and he REALLY doesn't want to be resuscitated brain damaged, to be an extra burden on his family.

Wayne K
11-19-2010, 02:44 AM
Nicotine or potassium will kill him dead.

scarletpeaches
11-19-2010, 02:48 AM
Definitely not throwing himself off a bridge or throwing himself in front of a vehicle; that would traumatise the other people (forced to become) involved.

Captcha
11-19-2010, 02:50 AM
Would they kill him dead FAST, Wayne? If I could find a quick poison, so that people wouldn't have time to save him, he could go to the gore-prepared site, poison himself, and everything would be good.

leahzero
11-19-2010, 03:41 AM
Another vote for overdose. Ideally a sedative that will render him unconscious, or you're going to end up with vomiting and other unpleasantries. (Though he may still vomit, and may actually die from aspirating it while unconscious, anyway.)

Anything else is going to leave some type of grisly image of the corpse that would haunt the survivors.

ETA: an overdose that stops respiration will kill you fairly quickly. The brain begins to die without oxygen in about six minutes. It varies, but here's some info: http://www.ehow.com/about_5506985_long-can-brain-survive-oxygen.html

shadowwalker
11-19-2010, 03:49 AM
Suggest you contact the Hemlock Society

http://www.compassionandchoices.org/hemlock

or get the book "Final Exit" by Derek Humphry

Sarah Madara
11-19-2010, 03:56 AM
I would hesitate to use pills for the character given how sure he sounds of wanting to die. If you go with that method, I'd make it clear he has fully researched what he is doing and has 100% confidence in the method. The thing about pills is, it's one of those methods that is commonly associated with people who might believe they are attempting suicide, but on a deeper level they are hoping to be found or saved in some way. I used to volunteer on a suicide hotline. Let me tell you, if we believed someone had a gun, that was a major emergency. But it didn't come up very often, partly because if you really, really want to die, you're unlikely call a hotline. And if you don't really, really want to die, you're unlikely to go to the gun as your method of choice.

It's not uncommon for someone to OD and then call a hotline or call 911 because he or she is still on the fence about the whole thing.

Firearms are the most common method for men.

He could go somewhere remote with a gun, call 911 and report what's about to happen, then do it. (Hang up first!) That way he would ensure being found and also being dead.

Definitely don't do anything with trains or subways. That is not remotely considerate.

Captcha
11-19-2010, 03:59 AM
I like the 9-11 call, whooshoo - so he can do whatever method he wants (I think I'm with you on the gun - it's nasty for his family to have to deal with the body, but it seems like the most for-sure-dead method), wherever he wants, and still be sure that his body will be found by people who are prepared, and more or less used to it.

LGwenn
11-19-2010, 04:05 AM
Someone still has to clean up the body. Most people who take pills take them all at once and puke or someone finds them and they get their stomach pumped.

You would have to make sure that you were someplace where you wouldn't get caught and take a very toxic substance in stages. It would require lots of will, to continue to take the pills when you are already dying.

Adam
11-19-2010, 04:17 AM
I believe I read that Helium inhaled over a long period of time (1-2 hours) will put you out cold, then kill you, with minimal discomfort. Wish I could remember where I read it so I could cite. :tongue

ETA - http://journals.lww.com/amjforensicmedicine/Abstract/2003/12000/Suicidal_Asphyxiation_by_Using_Pure_Helium_Gas_.10 .aspx

brainstorm77
11-19-2010, 04:21 AM
Wikipedia (I know, but...) says that car exhaust doesn't have much CO2 in it anymore, since catalytic converters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_methods#Suffocation

It also says that this method can be dangerous to the people who discover the body, although I'm not sure that makes sense, unless people crawled inside the car with him. Which I guess maybe they would if they were trying to save him.

I could get him to buy an old car, on purpose, as another sign of his rationality, I guess.

It's still effective even in a newer model car. A nurse I worked with had her 19 year old son do it this way three years ago in a newer car.

whacko
11-19-2010, 04:26 AM
Hi Kate,

I can't remember the chap's name, but he's rather famous. Or was. Brad Delph maybe? The singer of Boston beat combo, er, Boston - you know, More Than A Feeling?

Anyway, this poor soul went by his own hand. I think he gassed himself. But he left notes about the house, warning about dangers of explosion etc. Pretty bloody considerate in my book.

God bless him.

And he was a hell of a singer.

BudBoxer
11-19-2010, 04:36 AM
Gosh, Kate. The bullet through the head is gory and effective. Maybe on a skid row, he shows a bum $1,000 dollars, sticks it in his pocket, gives the dude a gun and says, "Shoot me in the head, and it's yours!" Then falls to his knees. The wino thinks it's the DTs, does it, pockets the cash and drops the gun. Only next day, bum doesn't remember where the dough came from. Bum's clean, he's just an alco, never been printed, and he's out of the story. Back to the twin's brother's plot line.

BardSkye
11-19-2010, 06:06 AM
He could head into Stanley Park after telling 911 what he's about to do, and where. (Generally, that is; it's a lot of real estate.) If he was going to shoot himself, or OD, it's unlikely EMS could get to him in time to save him, and unlikely to involve people other than EMS finding his corpse.

Cyia
11-19-2010, 06:12 AM
Believe it or not, the shot through the mouth isn't always effective. We had a couple of EMT's give us a horror story speech in high school, and one of their tales was a 70+ year old man who only succeeded in splitting his head open and ended up with a very painful, bloody, lingering death.

Nicotine, concentrated from insecticide. It's exceptionally lethal, even in small doses. If you want to use CO2, then put him in a confined, sealed, space with a couple of fire extinguishers that use CO2.

Kitty Pryde
11-19-2010, 06:30 AM
TBH if I read a book where the MC decided at the end that his loved one's suicide was ok because he was suffering and saw no way out of his suffering, I would throw it across the room. And then I would pee on it, and then I would go out and buy a shredder, so that I could put it through the shredder. Suicide ALWAYS happens because a person sees no way out of their present suffering. It is often planned in advance, but that doesn't mean that the family comes to ever regard it as a good decision.

The only "rational" suicide I can think of would be some physician assisted suicides for people with degenerative diseases.

Sarah Madara
11-19-2010, 06:57 AM
TBH if I read a book where the MC decided at the end that his loved one's suicide was ok because he was suffering and saw no way out of his suffering, I would throw it across the room. And then I would pee on it, and then I would go out and buy a shredder, so that I could put it through the shredder. Suicide ALWAYS happens because a person sees no way out of their present suffering. It is often planned in advance, but that doesn't mean that the family comes to ever regard it as a good decision.

The only "rational" suicide I can think of would be some physician assisted suicides for people with degenerative diseases.

I assumed the original post was talking about some kind of horrible disease, but re-reading I see that wasn't at all explicit. I definitely agree with this - I would not believe the twin deciding a suicide for any other reason was ever rational.

You might want to research suicide survivors (which means the people left behind, not people who didn't get the job done). I'm sure you can find a lot of info on how loved ones cope with suicides, especially dealing with the anger they feel.

JulieHowe
11-19-2010, 08:14 AM
My current plan is for him to drive himself to somewhere they're used to gore (I'm thinking hospital, but maybe police station? military base?) and shooting himself through the roof of his mouth into his brain. Does this make sense, or is there something better?


This last choice you mentioned would provide the most unpleasant result for the people who have to clean up the mess he left behind.

benbradley
11-19-2010, 10:29 AM
TBH if I read a book where the MC decided at the end that his loved one's suicide was ok because he was suffering and saw no way out of his suffering, I would throw it across the room. And then I would pee on it, and then I would go out and buy a shredder, so that I could put it through the shredder. Suicide ALWAYS happens because a person sees no way out of their present suffering. It is often planned in advance, but that doesn't mean that the family comes to ever regard it as a good decision.

The only "rational" suicide I can think of would be some physician assisted suicides for people with degenerative diseases.
I agree - a suicide I knew a decade ago was rather "clean" in that he injected himself with poison (due to his profession he knew exactly what and how much to use, and he had access to it), but there were people close to him who were very hurt.

If you really want to be thoughtful, explain to every person in your life why you're going to commit suicide, and make sure they're okay with it before you do it. With an obviously degenerative and fatal disease such as advanced cancer where you're eventually going to die anyway and the remainder of your life will obviously be painful, this should be easy, but not in other cases. There would be reasons one doesn't tell in advance, and one would be "they wouldn't understand and they would try to stop me."

This story needs more than a "clean" method, it needs a "clean" reason, but then, the brother would already understand there was nothing he could do. Perhaps if he were diagnosed with an untreatable and painful disease, and the brorther hadn't known about it until after the suicide.

Queen of Swords
11-19-2010, 01:31 PM
That's a coincidence - I was planning a story where a woman's terminal cancer has reached the palliative care stage and she doesn't want to die by degrees. So she takes a cab out to the shores of a lake somewhere at night, calls 911 to tell them what she's going to do (after the cab has gone) and shoots herself in the head.

Couldn't do the carbon monoxide route because she's too weak to drive at that point, and didn't want to risk the pills not working in time and her stomach being pumped. There's no one really close to her (unmarried, only child, parents passed away) so hopefully her decision is understandable.

Theo81
11-19-2010, 02:35 PM
Hiya Kate,

Sorry to rail on your idea, but suicide (not euthenasia) is never rational and to portray it as such in a book is the grossest irresponsibility. If you, or anybody you know, or anybody reading this, ever begins thinking of sucide as a rational action, get thee to a medical professional, contact the samaritens, hell, chuck a thread up in Conquering Challenges. If suicide feels rational to you, please, tell somebody about it.


Anyway.
Gun - no. Grey matter is hellish to clean out of the wall afterwards. Plus gun in mouth is unreliable.
Pills - no. Those babies are designed to try and stop you from killing yourself with them. Vomit and other things happen.
Subway - no. Really, really no. Think of the driver.
Bridge - ditto.
Slashed wrist - difficult and messy. I'm told the jet is 5ft if you hit the artery properly.
Hanging - Portable, but takes strength of will and a confidence nobody is going to find you. Plus you need to ensure somebody will find you afterwards.
Gas Poisening - Sadly, there are plenty of resources on the interwebs which can inform you of how to mix up toxic gasses and provide you with print out forms to stick on the windows of you car/house informing the medical services and fire brigade of what to do next. That said, somebody is going to find you and even if you can ensure it is the police, they are going to be effected.


The only completely "responsible" way of suicide I can think of would be to fake some medical records and take a trip to Switzerland (or Oregon).

While you are coming to your decision, it's worth thinking about the processes the body goes through when it dies. If you are going to write about an oxymoron, at least temper it with all the undignified bits of death they don't generally tell you about.

Stargazer
11-19-2010, 03:10 PM
I'd go for hanging.

To tie a noose, you have to be calm and deliberate.

Go up to a multi-storey car park, find a higher level, tie one end to the metal railing that's runs along the outer edge of the building, climb up onto the wall and jump.

If the character seriously wants to die, then he'll have researched this and will know to put the knot of the noose in the right place for a broken neck. doesn't matter if somebody sees him do it, there's a high chance he'll be dead before anyone can even think about how to react.

Relatively clean, minimal impact on those around him, pretty darned effective.

Rob.

Captcha
11-19-2010, 03:13 PM
Thanks for the facts, guys!

I don't think I'll bother debating the opinions - not much point, from the sound of things.

illiterwrite
11-19-2010, 04:12 PM
My brother killed himself with a gun. He researched first and came to the conclusion that gun through the mouth was too unreliable. He sent his best friend an email at around 3 a.m. telling him what he was about to do, then walked into the woods and shot himself in the chest, ensuring that even if he didn't hit the proper spot, he would most likely be dead before anyone found him.

Captcha
11-19-2010, 04:26 PM
I'm sorry for your loss, illiterwrite, but I appreciate the information.

RobJ
11-19-2010, 04:29 PM
I want a character to have killed himself in a calm, rational, considerate way.
Obesity.

LBlankenship
11-19-2010, 04:36 PM
>Obesity

Too slow. Mine's taking forever.

PeterL
11-19-2010, 05:14 PM
Going on an ocean cruise and hopping, unsseen, over the side would be the most considerate way. No one would be offended by the sight, and the illusion that he was still alive could be continued for years.

RJK
11-19-2010, 08:15 PM
Many years ago, I received a morphine injection following surgery. I've never felt so good in my life. I literally felt like I was floating a few inches above the bed. If the time ever came where I was facing months or years of painful, lingering death, or taking the situation into my own hands, I'd find a heroin dealer and OD on it.

It would be pleasant for me, and my remains would be intact. It would be kinder to my family than forcing them to watch me die by inches, begging for the end to come. I've seen others go through that, and had to stand by, helplessly while they lingered in agony.

If you want your character to do the deed somewhere other than his home, have him check into a hotel. The housekeeping staff will find him the next day.

Ms Hollands
11-19-2010, 08:24 PM
I'm with RJK. That's how I'd do it too. I suffer long, painful migraines for days on end, and although I've never come close to really thinking about suicide, I do now completely understand how people with chronic pain see death as a kind of relief. When living is so hard that it hurts all the time, why live?

A family friend called his doctor to say he had slashed his wrists in his garage, and he wanted the doctor to find his body instead of his wife or child. The poor doctor had to find his blood-soaked body. Amazingly, he survived despite cutting one wrist and his neck because he had so much booze in his system that it had thinned his blood. He needed lots of transfusions. He died of throat cancer three years later and fought to live. Sorry for the tangent - just another suicide story that might aid you in getting the perspective right(?).

Collectonian
11-19-2010, 11:23 PM
Apparently hanging is pretty popular in a forest in Japan. Don't know if it will help with the story, but it is a fascinating news story: http://www.vbs.tv/watch/vbs-news/aokigahara-suicide-forest-v3--2

One possibility, though with more risk of "surviving" would be going out at around 2-3 in the morning when there is little to no traffic and going head on into a concrete bridge going at least 100 mph. There is a possibility of surviving, however. Or driving the car off a bridge into a lake or river (after making sure he has alerted authorities somehow - maybe a letter in the mail).

If he wants to do his best not to have his body found by anyone who is not "used" to seeing blood, another possibility would be going into the doctor's parking lot of a hospital (again, late at night is probably best) and then shooting himself dead center over the heart should have him dead before anyone finds him.

debirlfan
11-20-2010, 01:11 AM
How about an insulin OD? Crazy as it sounds, most places you can buy it "over the counter" - meaning he just needs to get his hands on a needle.

A.C.
11-20-2010, 03:07 AM
Sorry to rail on your idea, but suicide (not euthenasia) is never rational and to portray it as such in a book is the grossest irresponsibility. If you, or anybody you know, or anybody reading this, ever begins thinking of sucide as a rational action, get thee to a medical professional, contact the samaritens, hell, chuck a thread up in Conquering Challenges. If suicide feels rational to you, please, tell somebody about it.

Ugh, I knew someone was going to say this.

Just because you don't agree with something, doesn't make it crazy or irrational.

There are plenty of rational reasons to commit suicide (besides terminal illness): elderly age (not much to look forward to, so why wait?), done with life (the MC in my first novel, at age 27), never-ending depression, etc.

Anyway, I'm of the opinion that people should have a right to do with themselves whatever they see fit. Living in despair or boredom for years and years just to please people like you is not "rational" by any means.

In my opinion, as fiction writers we should be able to get inside a character’s head, seeing the world through their eyes, no matter how much different their worldview might be from ours.

[/rant]

As far as the topic, many good suggestions have been made. My main character took a lot of pills and jumped off a cliff (although I'm still not sure about this ending).

There's a documentary called The Bridge that I plan to watch soon. That might give you some ideas about people's reactions to that method.

The Final Exit book probably has some good ideas for clean/painless death. I read awhile back that there's some drug that's available in Mexico that's supposed to be quick and painless, but it might take some work on the character’s behalf.

The car method seems like a good one, if no one finds him in time.

I heard about a suicide where the person went into the woods with two guns...one in the head and one in heart at the same time. That’s a pretty effective method, but not “clean and considerate” at all.

Sarah Madara
11-20-2010, 03:18 AM
In my opinion, as fiction writers we should be able to get inside a character’s head, seeing the world through their eyes, no matter how much different their worldview might be from ours.



I agree, but it's not clear to me which character(s) will view the suicide as rational or why. (Not that the original poster has to justify any of this to me, by the way!). The suicidal character approaching it as a rational decision is very believable. The twin left behind agreeing with that decision... that's harder to swallow. Not because it's a different worldview from mine, but because I don't find it a believable one except in rare circumstances.

Uncarved
11-20-2010, 03:27 AM
How about an insulin OD? Crazy as it sounds, most places you can buy it "over the counter" - meaning he just needs to get his hands on a needle.

Insulin needles are over the counter as well because they are too short to be used by junkies. I buy insulin and needles all the time for my friend that has diabetes even though I don't.

A.C.
11-20-2010, 03:47 AM
I agree, but it's not clear to me which character(s) will view the suicide as rational or why. (Not that the original poster has to justify any of this to me, by the way!). The suicidal character approaching it as a rational decision is very believable. The twin left behind agreeing with that decision... that's harder to swallow. Not because it's a different worldview from mine, but because I don't find it a believable one except in rare circumstances.

Yeah, I do agree about the twin left behind. It would probably take him years to accept it. But if he knew how much his twin was suffering, or has had similar problems, he might be sympathetic I guess.

Queen of Swords
11-20-2010, 03:55 AM
Sorry to rail on your idea, but suicide (not euthenasia) is never rational and to portray it as such in a book is the grossest irresponsibility.

In the film Operation Daybreak, based on the real-life assassination of Reinhardt Heydrich, the two Czech paratroopers who carry out the assassination are finally cornered and trapped in the crypt of a church. They have no means of escape. They're vastly outnumbered and outgunned by the Nazis, who pump water into the crypt, trying to force them out.

The film ends as they commit suicide together.

If suicide is never rational, could you say what was irrational about this action, given that the alternative was to be captured, tortured and executed?

A.C.
11-20-2010, 04:00 AM
^ Well the rational thing would be to wait to be tortured and murdered by other people, because suicide is just wrong! ;)

Queen of Swords
11-20-2010, 04:14 AM
^ Well the rational thing would be to wait to be tortured and murdered by other people, because suicide is just wrong! ;)

And then there's Captain Oates, one of Robert Falcon Scott's companions on his ill-fated Antarctic expedition. On the return journey, their food supplies were dwindling and Oates was in very poor physical health that slowed the rest of them down. He left their tent and walked away. His last words to them were, "I am just going outside and may be some time."

What an irrational guy, huh?

A.C.
11-20-2010, 04:33 AM
^ Cannibalism seems like the rational way to go in that situation. Just kill one of your friends and munch on him. Murder? Yes, it's wrong, but not as wrong as suicide!

shadowwalker
11-20-2010, 05:20 AM
Actually, I could see someone understanding the rationality of suicide, particularly a twin. That doesn't mean they still wouldn't feel the pain of the death - but if they were of the same philosophical or intellectual 'bend', I don't see any problem with coming to terms in that way.

As to a 'clean' suicide - the car accident is the best. Who is to say it wasn't an accident versus suicide? That's how I had planned mine (eons ago) so my family wouldn't know. So unless he wants to make some sort of statement... and that could add something to the twin's dilemma, thinking 'was it or wasn't it?' if he had some hint it might have been.

Mirwin
11-20-2010, 05:40 AM
Pills. Not all at once- because then the suicider would puke and that isn't nice and may not be effective. Carefully spaced out.

Though the carbon monoxide poisoning would work very well too.

I see a lot of "pill takers" in my line of work. You really need to research this option because most of the pill takers are failers. I imagine the guy wants to do it right the first time.

JulieHowe
11-20-2010, 07:09 AM
If you need a graphic description of suicide by gun - read the last few chapters of Columbine by Dave Cullen. The book is a nonfiction account of the mass murders that occurred at a high school in Colorado back in 1999.

RobJ
11-20-2010, 01:18 PM
There are plenty of rational reasons to commit suicide (besides terminal illness): elderly age (not much to look forward to, so why wait?), done with life (the MC in my first novel, at age 27), never-ending depression, etc.
People suffering from depression aren't usually thinking rationally. Etc. doesn't count as a rational reason either.

shadowwalker
11-20-2010, 06:20 PM
People suffering from depression aren't usually thinking rationally. Etc. doesn't count as a rational reason either.

Actually, depression does not necessarily affect rationality. As a matter of fact, my doctor told me I wasn't thinking irrationally at all - just perhaps too realistically. In other words, I saw what my life would realistically be like over the next several decades and made the rational decision that, unless things changed drastically, I was not inclined to live it that way. Things did change by my 'deadline' but if I were to be in that same situation today (20 odd years later) and the necessary changes did not occur, I have every confidence that my decision would remain the same.

RobJ
11-20-2010, 06:39 PM
Actually, depression does not necessarily affect rationality.
When you say 'necessarily', are you agreeing with my statement that depressed people aren't usually thinking rationally, in other words agreeing but highighting that there are exceptions to the general case, or are you suggesting that depressed people by and large think rationally?

Sarah Madara
11-20-2010, 07:01 PM
When you say 'necessarily', are you agreeing with my statement that depressed people aren't usually thinking rationally, in other words agreeing but highighting that there are exceptions to the general case, or are you suggesting that depressed people by and large think rationally?

Depressed people are a mix of irrational and too rational. Hopelessness is quite common, and even someone who has gone through multiple depressive episodes and recovered may believe that *this* one will never end. They also may have selective memories, which make their whole lives seem to have been miserable despite some legitimately good times. That's irrational.

However, depressed people have been shown to have more realistic assessments of their own competencies and of others' opinions of them than non-depressed people. In that sense, a certain amount of irrational thinking is actually normal and healthy.

Depression can also replace the survival instinct with a more detached cost/benefit analysis. In some cases, people really do have long-standing, treatment-resistant depression with no support network, so there isn't any rational reason to expect to get better. Being rational doesn't make something a good idea, doesn't mean the rest of us have to support it, and doesn't erase the underlying pathology.

StephanieFox
11-20-2010, 07:45 PM
To quote Dorothy Parker:

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp;
Guns aren't lawful;
And nooses give;
Gas smalls awful;
You might as well live.

shadowwalker
11-20-2010, 07:50 PM
When you say 'necessarily', are you agreeing with my statement that depressed people aren't usually thinking rationally, in other words agreeing but highighting that there are exceptions to the general case, or are you suggesting that depressed people by and large think rationally?

I'm stating that it's erroneous to equate depression with irrational thinking. Depression may or may not be accompanied by other mental illnesses, or there may be some characteristics of other MIs which could affect that individual's thinking. But of all the depressed persons I've encountered during various phases of treatment, most were quite capable of making rational decisions and, indeed, were capable of carrying on with their jobs and families despite the inability to enjoy or even participate in many areas of what would be considered a 'normal' social existence. And yes, suicide was often discussed as a viable alternative - very calmly and very seriously.

shadowwalker
11-20-2010, 07:55 PM
Being rational doesn't make something a good idea, doesn't mean the rest of us have to support it, and doesn't erase the underlying pathology.

Nor does it make it a bad idea, and typically we aren't asking for or expecting support. Living with that underlying pathology is exactly why many people decide it just isn't worth it. I know one woman who was very happy that she would cycle every 5-6 years - that's 5-6 years of depression, then 5-6 years of 'normalcy'. I told her point-blank that wasn't good enough for me. It wasn't back then and if I faced that prospect now, it still wouldn't be.

Theo81
11-20-2010, 08:48 PM
Ugh, I knew someone was going to say this.

Just because you don't agree with something, doesn't make it crazy or irrational.

There are plenty of rational reasons to commit suicide (besides terminal illness): elderly age (not much to look forward to, so why wait?) exsqueeze me?, done with life (the MC in my first novel, at age 27) deeply flawed logic at best, never-ending depression, etc having depression doesn't make it rational.

Anyway, I'm of the opinion that people should have a right to do with themselves whatever they see fit. Living in despair or boredom (!) for years and years just to please people like you is not "rational" by any means. It's not about pleasing "people like me", it's about recognising that killing oneself is not the good idea it seems like at the time.

In my opinion, as fiction writers we should be able to get inside a character’s head, seeing the world through their eyes, no matter how much different their worldview might be from ours. Absolutely, but novels are at their strongest when they can express a multitude of views and my Worst Case Scenario is that the OP plans a book in which the Twin brother kills himself and the brother left behind eventually comes around to saying "Well, it's okay. He was really considerate about it and I totally understand. He was right to behave that way." Obviously, I don't know if that is the intention, but this is the place my words came from. Suicide is an inherrantly selfish act, however "good" the reasons are for it at the time. I don't care how badly your life sucks, I do care that nobody around you is able to step up and help you in the way you need them to in order to get past these sucky bits. (Not you specifically; generalised You).
[/rant]




In the film Operation Daybreak, based on the real-life assassination of Reinhardt Heydrich, the two Czech paratroopers who carry out the assassination are finally cornered and trapped in the crypt of a church. They have no means of escape. They're vastly outnumbered and outgunned by the Nazis, who pump water into the crypt, trying to force them out.

The film ends as they commit suicide together.

If suicide is never rational, could you say what was irrational about this action, given that the alternative was to be captured, tortured and executed?

And then there's Captain Oates, one of Robert Falcon Scott's companions on his ill-fated Antarctic expedition. On the return journey, their food supplies were dwindling and Oates was in very poor physical health that slowed the rest of them down. He left their tent and walked away. His last words to them were, "I am just going outside and may be some time."

What an irrational guy, huh?

Neither of those are really the same thing as suicide are they? Rather than sitting here debating a case by case scenario with you, I am going to say again, For the Love of everything you hold in your lives, do not think of suicide as an answer to anything. It is not a good thing. If you feel it is, please talk about how you are feeling with somebody, anybody.

It needs saying as often as humanly possible.


And RJK, the good housekeeping workers of hotels everywhere salute you for your suggestion.

Sarah Madara
11-20-2010, 08:56 PM
Nor does it make it a bad idea, and typically we aren't asking for or expecting support. Living with that underlying pathology is exactly why many people decide it just isn't worth it. I know one woman who was very happy that she would cycle every 5-6 years - that's 5-6 years of depression, then 5-6 years of 'normalcy'. I told her point-blank that wasn't good enough for me. It wasn't back then and if I faced that prospect now, it still wouldn't be.

Agreed. I didn't mean to sound so harsh - I've seen it from a lot of different angles. Some cases made me furious at the stupidity of the whole thing - if he'd only gotten some help! And some cases, I thought yeah, I'd probably do the same if I went that long without getting better. (ETA: and if I didn't have children. That changes everything.)

Queen of Swords
11-20-2010, 09:09 PM
Neither of those are really the same thing as suicide are they?

Do you have a definition of suicide that is different from "deliberately ending one's own life"?

You claimed suicide was "never rational", and I provided two examples of suicides that were rational. To now claim or imply those weren't suicides sounds like a shifting of the goalposts to me.

Sarah Madara
11-20-2010, 09:10 PM
[QUOTE=Theo81;5528851] For the Love of everything you hold in your lives, do not think of suicide as an answer to anything. It is not a good thing. If you feel it is, please talk about how you are feeling with somebody, anybody.

It needs saying as often as humanly possible.
[/QUOTE}

Many people who commit suicide did seek help. Your advice is spot on - yes, talk to somebody, pronto. But once you've been there, it turns out it's a little too neat, too, like an after school special. Sally tells her mother how she's been feeling, they hug, make an appointment, roll credits.

Sadly, in real life, getting help is no guarantee of getting better.

RJK
11-20-2010, 10:38 PM
And RJK, the good housekeeping workers of hotels everywhere salute you for your suggestion.

I'm sure they've found worse left over from their live guests. In fact, I know they've found worse, I've been there to view the trashed rooms with bathtubs full of human waste products, and used needles and empty bottles lying all over the place. And, from time to time a 16-year-old girl left behind after being used by the occupants.

After a few of those, a peaceful corpse would be a blessing. And I've been to those rooms, too.

Nivarion
11-20-2010, 10:43 PM
I'm going to vote against suicide by drug. They fail 97% of the time, so they aren't reliable.

If you want to use a drug, IV morphine is supposed to be rather lethal, and I'm sure he could get it somewhere.

Edit: If he can get epinephrine and inject it into his veins it can stop the heart cold. I remember the doctor telling me that when I asked why I needed yet another needle stuck in me when I had already had several and an a good IV in place.

Hanging and self inflicted gunshot are the most lethal forms of suicide. Hanging does the job (don't quote me on this one) like 95% of the time. If it breaks your neck with the initial drop, you die in a few seconds. If that fails you strangle. Its quick, quiet and doesn't leave a lot of mess. But again, someone has to find that.

Self inflicted gunshot has a 90% success rate. My mom knows a guy who survived a shot with 00 buck into the jaw. He has to wear this plastic thingy where half his face should be now. Its loud and messy, but gets the job done. Some one still has to find that, or he has to do it in front of some one. Both are not very considerate.

Another effective form of suicide is jumping from a high place. If you want his twin to live in the house then someone has to find his body before he begins to break down, or no one will be living there. This takes care of that problem.

Or he could leave a note of his intent on the mailbox for the postal worker.

A.C.
11-21-2010, 01:08 AM
Rather than sitting here debating a case by case scenario with you, I am going to say again, For the Love of everything you hold in your lives, do not think of suicide as an answer to anything. It is not a good thing. If you feel it is, please talk about how you are feeling with somebody, anybody.

I know you mean well, and that's nice and all, but this thread is not really about someone saying "hey, I wanna off myself, know any good methods?" It's research for a story.

I certainly hope you wouldn't go into a thread where someone asks about good murder methods for a mystery, and say "Please, guys, murder is NEVER the answer. Stop thinking about killing people!"

The whole suicide thing is a very complex issue, and "please wait for life to kill you!" probably isn't a rational option for some people. I agree that suicide is not always the solution, but in some cases it is. It's not as black and white as you make it out to be, just like most things in life. (Queen of Swords gave some good examples, but you ignored them because they didn't agree with your worldview.)

On a lighter note, I wonder if there are t-shirts out there that say:

LIFE IS OVERRRATED!

;)

shadowwalker
11-21-2010, 01:50 AM
Suicide is an inherrantly selfish act, however "good" the reasons are for it at the time.

Yeah, and probably one of the few times the person has actually thought of themselves first instead of trying to live up to everyone else's expectations...

At least you didn't stoop to "cowardly"...

But yeah - this isn't about anything other than a story. Time to get back to that.

debirlfan
11-21-2010, 08:38 AM
Insulin needles are over the counter as well because they are too short to be used by junkies. I buy insulin and needles all the time for my friend that has diabetes even though I don't.

Just an fyi - that depends on where you are. In Connecticut, you have to have a prescription for the needles - I've heard that in Vermont, you don't.

glutton
11-23-2010, 05:02 AM
Alcohol poisoning? Might not be the most effective method (by far), but it'd be a way badass means of suicide at least... :D

Phil_Hall
04-21-2011, 08:45 PM
Acetaminophen overdose. Causes liver toxicity in large doses. The "victim" falls asleep, then drifts into a coma. After which organs will begin to shut down. Pretty peaceful, actually.

PinkAmy
04-21-2011, 08:52 PM
before replying to posts, you should look at the last date the OP answered the thread, that way you don't waste time replying to posts that have already been answered.

JayMan
04-21-2011, 09:29 PM
Acetaminophen overdose. Causes liver toxicity in large doses. The "victim" falls asleep, then drifts into a coma. After which organs will begin to shut down. Pretty peaceful, actually.
Have to disagree here. I'm with the others that say pills are not usually a good way to go.

When I was an EMT, one of my coworkers told me about how she'd once dealt with an attempted suicide call where the patient had swallowed an entire bottle of Tylenol. Somebody found the person, called, and the person was taken to the hospital. He survived, regretted the attempt and decided he wanted to live.

Unfortunately, the person started feeling unwell an entire month later, and it turned out the attempt had badly damaged the liver, and he died slow and suffering. Pretty tragic.

Buffysquirrel
04-21-2011, 11:08 PM
People suffering from depression aren't usually thinking rationally.

There's evidence that depressed people think more rationally--ie less emotionally--than people who aren't depressed. As it happens.

Menyanthana
04-22-2011, 02:49 PM
I read about a method that is considered absolutely safe and clean...but I am not sure I should describe it here. People could get ideas.
It involves gas and warning signs on the doors.

However; I guess an accident is indeed the most considerate method, since it is a well known fact that people tend to blame themselves if one of their family commits suicide.

@Buffysquirrel: Is it rational to think "I am depressive and completely unhappy without a way out, so I should kill myself" instead of "I am depressed and feel there is no way out - maybe I should get medication and look whether I see a way out then" ?

People who commit suicide because of depression are, in many cases, neither poor nor chronically ill.

Is it rational not to consider the emotions you know other people have?

Thump
04-22-2011, 03:28 PM
I'm chronically depressed and the main criticism I get from people who don't know I am is that I'm way too practical and unemotional about certain things. Call me Ms. Spock :)

It's not the best way to live but it has it's advantages. For one, I don't make a big deal of what are really inconsequential setbacks like my "normal" emotional friends. Suicide is in most cases a selfish act but why is that bad? If most other pressed people out there are anything like me, a large part of what depresses them is living for other people, being less selfish than the average person. I'm pretty sure I would feel much better if people didn't judge me for my weight, my introversion, how much I earn and if I didn't have a family I love that I can't bear to disappoint.
I seriously considered suicide because how likely is it that society and people will learn to be kinder? The only reason I didn't go through with everything is because I couldn't abandon my family.

OT: I watched something on Tv at some point where someone committed suicide by gas in the car but they drove out of the city and put post-its all over the car warning people about the toxic gases inside so they wouldn't be harmed. EMTs had to wear masks and things but the person was properly dead and their body wasn't mangled in a nightmare inducing way. That seems very considerate to me.

RobJ
04-22-2011, 05:29 PM
OT: I watched something on Tv at some point where someone committed suicide by gas in the car but they drove out of the city and put post-its all over the car warning people about the toxic gases inside so they wouldn't be harmed. EMTs had to wear masks and things but the person was properly dead and their body wasn't mangled in a nightmare inducing way. That seems very considerate to me.
The condition of a body of someone dead through exhaust fumes in the way you describe may not be 'mangled', but it can be nightmare inducing. I've seen that type of suicide portrayed in TV programmes a number of times, but never accurately.

AbsolutCheshire
04-22-2011, 06:53 PM
You've probably already figured out how to have him die, but Ricin is a good posion, it comes from the Castor plant, an annual shrub which can become a tree in Greece.

Also, insulin injected into the body in high doses.

Go the unique way if you can get ahold of a jelly fish.

quicklime
04-22-2011, 07:16 PM
The pills seem like they'd be okay for him, but where would he go to be sure that nobody was traumatized by finding the body, while at the same time being sure that nobody would find him before he was totally dead? He doesn't want to be resuscitated, and he REALLY doesn't want to be resuscitated brain damaged, to be an extra burden on his family.


captcha,

regarding your prior CO2 post, CO is the issue, and there's plenty of it when you let the exhaust fill a room....

as for this one, I think you are thinking yourself into knots here--pills mean someone finds him, but where is he going to kill himself and be NOT discovered, and would that be better, with them anguishing over if he is dead or alive? Imagine your wife or mom killed herself, would you be less traumatized hearing they took some sedatives and drifted until twilight took them, or they got hit at forty miles an hour by a bus in front of a dozen onlookers?

My vote is something peaceful; sedatives mixed with a bit of booze, just a lot of booze, CO, etc. and if you're worried about "discovery shock" they could do it when people were gone for the weekend, and mail a suicide note to the police or someone "used to" the mess....

that said, suicide is an inherently selfish act (no, I'm not against it, and I certainly don't believe God is) because you are killing yourself and anyone who had any feeling for you is going to wonder what they might have done, and be troubled--like it or not, there is no way you can completely avoid swapping your burdens for theirs. There are ways you can mitigate the collateral damage, like not killing yourseld with your brother's prized revolver, on Christmas day, in front of him and his children, but there is no perfect suicide, and probably the best would be something quiet and non-traumatic away from others.

quicklime
04-22-2011, 07:18 PM
You've probably already figured out how to have him die, but Ricin is a good posion, it comes from the Castor plant, an annual shrub which can become a tree in Greece.

Also, insulin injected into the body in high doses.

Go the unique way if you can get ahold of a jelly fish.


Ricin blocks protein synthesis. If you take it orally, your GI essentially dies and the mucose sloughs off and you die of blood loss or, more likely, massive septicemia as guty bacteria pour across your tattered intestines. If you inject it, you die slowly also, as the affected area first and the rest of your body slowly dies; keep it localized and you will amputate or die of infection after that chunk of tissue becomes infected and the bacteria spread, let it travel and you die of massive organ failure as everything gets impaired.
\
Ricin is a horriffic way to die.

shaldna
04-22-2011, 11:00 PM
My cousin killed himself a couple of years back. He'd had some trouble in the past with depression, and at least one failed suicide attempt.

He worked on a farm, and on the day he killed himself, he'd made sure all his affairs were in order, that his partner and baby would be cared for, and then he went to work, he fed the animals, cleaned them out, and then went into the barn and hung himself.

From what he left behind, all the lengths he went to in order that even teh bloody cows didn't get hungry, showed that he had thought it all through. He'd been very calm, thoughtful.

But in his case I think he had reached that point where there was no going back. He had made his mind up, and he was calm with it, not happy, but at peace with what he was going to do. Does that make sense?

shadowwalker
04-22-2011, 11:53 PM
He had made his mind up, and he was calm with it, not happy, but at peace with what he was going to do. Does that make sense?

Definitely. It's like putting down an old pet. It doesn't make you happy, but you know it's the only solution, and in reality, what's best for the pet.

shaldna
04-23-2011, 11:17 AM
There was an incident in Belfast a month or so ago, where a a woman threw herself off the overpass.

She was, by all accounts, a sucessful woman, she was a paralympian and had just recieved a major sponsorship deal from a big local company.

She tried ti a couple of weeks before hand, and the whole road was closed for the day while people tried to help her. She came down and recieved help. But two weeks later she did it again, and this time she jumped - into the traffic.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/paralympians-death-sparks-plea-15071966.html