Fun with Mental Illness

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One of the most-read posts I’ve written on this blog is called “The Pros and Cons of Suicide.” Every day, it tends to be my most-read article.

This makes me sad, because it means that so many people are looking up information about the pros and cons of suicide on the Internet, implying that they think there are actually pros to killing yourself.

I titled to be deliberately provocative and tongue-in-cheek, because there’s nothing good about killing yourself, or depression in general. And that post’s denouement was also a little acidic, basically stating that it’s good to keep yourself alive just to piss off the people who wish you’d kill yourself:

It’s admitting defeat. And here’s the biggest one, at least for me. While I would say that I love God more than anything, sometimes I hate the devil more than I love the Lord. I’m convinced a lot of this spiritual sickness, this acedia in the world, is the result of the devil. And killing yourself is just saying to the world, “You win. I give up.”

So don’t be a statistic.

Isn’t this horrible? I’m basically telling the Internet here that a large part of the reason I am still alive is out of spite.

But if that’s all you’ve got, then run with it.

No matter who you are, no matter your beliefs, do not let yourself be defeated by the world. If your continued existence is nothing more than a walking middle finger to a world that wants you gone, so be it.

So live for spite if you must. I do many days, but you don’t have to be miserable about it. Life is pretty simple: be good to each other, help the next generation on there one way trip through life, and try to laugh and have fun.

My overarching message, then and now, is this: Don’t ever kill yourself, there’s always a way out, and God loves you, even if you don’t believe in Him.

You can cue the corny violins all you want, but I firmly believe this and stand by that statement. And I’m speaking as someone who’s struggled with this for much of my life as, I’m sure, have millions of other Americans. Over six-million, in fact. Life expectancy is down in this country, and opioid use is up. Forty million Americans are purported to have anxiety disorders. Forty million!

There’s a huge wave of despair going on in this country, a wave that many lay at the feet of modern life, atomization, automation of formerly physical or low-skill labor, and a growing urban/rural divide, among other things.

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But there’s also this weird thing we do where we almost romanticize mental illness or other difficulties, linking things like depressionbi-polar disorderautisim, or Asperger’s with creativity. And everyone loves creativity! Who doesn’t want to be creative? And so we end up with the popular idea that medicating or otherwise treating certain mental illnesses kills creativity, even though the data suggests that the opposite is true.

Trust me: I’ve been through this. It’s terrible! There’s nothing creative whatsoever about lying in bed, refusing to wake up because you wish you were never born. The creative juices don’t get flowing when you pray to God that a tractor-trailer would just absolutely cream you on your drive back from work, or thinking, “What if I just revved my car up to 120 miles per hour and crashed into that tree over there?” Depression doesn’t make one want to be creative, or do much of anything except die.

Yes, depression and other feelings caused by depression and its friends can give good grist for the creative mill, as it is quite cathartic to get those feelings out somehow, whether it be by putting pen to paper, fingers to keys, paint to canvas, or whatever you choose to do. But it’s even more cathartic to not want to kill yourself, or wish you had never been born every second of the day. And remember that plenty of fantastic art has been made by people who aren’t struggling with one form of mental illness or another.

There is nothing fun or mystical about suicidal thoughts. I don’t care what the popular myths about Beethoven and Van Gogh or Kurt Cobain are. Talk to someone. Get help. Get your life back. Continue reading “Fun with Mental Illness”

The Pros and Cons of Suicide


It’s no secret that human beings have a self-destructive streak. It’s a dark part of life that’s nobody likes talking about, but it explains so much. I myself chalk it up to Original Sin, but if your mileage may vary depending on, if any.

In any event, much of what civilization, religion, and other structures try to do is to mitigate and channel these impulses towards good ends. But it’s not always so easy.

There is a picture I like to post on social media depicting Donald Duck willfully inhaling what purports to be some cyanide gas with his superimposed voice bubble saying “Thank you, Jesus.” I like to post this after pictures of certain stories or other things that honestly make me give up hope for humanity.


It’s dark and it’s farcical, but sometimes death can be funny and it needs to be joked about because the world is pretty awful. After all, unless you’re incredibly optimistic, you really have to admit that the world is pretty much garbage. But what separates the living from the dead is what you do with this knowledge.

Personally, and I’m not trying to convert anybody here, religion does the trick for me. But it is important to note that there are many in the world who actively want you to become a statistic.

I see this with men, especially in America, and particularly the white ones, of which I am a member.

It’s true: White men in America are offing themselves at alarming rates. Now depending on your particular brand of hatred, you might view this as a good thing. But as one who tends to like everybody, and not to be a fan of suicide, this is disturbing. Not because I can’t understand why anybody would want to kill themselves, but because of how many people actually go through with it.

Before we go on, lest you think I am a pro suicide, the song suicide chump by Frank Zappa, posted below, pretty much encapsulates my feelings on the subject:

In fact, my point is that, while I don’t know why so many men, particularly white ones, are killing themselves, I’d really like to encourage them not to do it.

Let’s take a look at why one might actually do this–this applies universally, but having more experience as a male of the species, some of this is more directed at them. And like the title of this post suggests, let’s look at the pros and cons of suicide. Continue reading “The Pros and Cons of Suicide”