Talking About Suicide

Because it's not a taboo

Increasing the stigma?

This comment appeared in my e-mail box this weekend from someone using the nickname Oedipa Maas, which is the name of a character in the Thomas Pynchon novel “The Crying of Lot 49.” (Never read it, but I note that it contains at least one suicide.) I can’t promise I’ll approve all anonymous comments such as this one, but here’s an idea of what some people might be thinking:

You are a horrible writer, a lazy researcher and are only increasing the stigma toward mental illness with this amateur blog.

Stop kidding yourself. You do not have the credentials to be using this type of rhetoric. If you really were a journalist, you would understand that you must remain objective in your search to tackle the huge issue of suicide. But you’re not. You’re trivializing it and placing it into the realm of a ‘news story’–something where you interview the subjects and then report on their discussion.

Seriously, if you have been shaped by suicide, you are absolutely not objective and thus must frame this discussion in the realm of the subjective, not seek out people to ‘interview’.

A smart person would know this. I don’t think you’re a smart person. Discussions on this topic need to happen organically, not force them to happen through interviews.

Get thee to a University. There is much more learning you need.

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