Quotes about suicide are not all created equally. Some are well informed and educated. Others are spoken from a place of ignorance and a lack of understanding of suicide. Suicide has a direct connection to mental health issues that are unresolved or untreated and many don’t understand that. In this post, I’m going to share some common suicide quotes and break down whether they’re really healthy/helpful. Looking at these quotes can help us all to get more educated.
Suicide Quotes – An Honest Critique
***Please note. I am not a mental health professional. I am a suicide survivor both from my own attempt and from the loss of multiple people to suicide over the years. Any opinions shared below are from my experiences with suicide and are not mental health advice.
**** If you are considering harming yourself, please leave this post and contact the crisis hotline at 800-273-8255, text home to 741741, or message with the crisis hotline on their website.
“But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.”
― Albert Camus
This quote is actually one I 100% agree with. Living when all you want to do is quit is one of the most courageous choices you can ever make! The boldness it takes to face your hardest days and keep moving is beyond admirable.
“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
– Phil Donahue
This in my opinion is one of the most well-meaning and equally most frustrating suicide quotes there is. While the quote is definitely intended to give you perspective as a person considering suicide, it can feel like the person saying this is minimizing the overwhelming pain of the moment.
“When people kill themselves, they think they’re ending the pain, but all they’re doing is passing it on to those they leave behind.”
– Jeannette Walls
While this statement is true, it can be hurtful. From someone on both sides of the equation, I want to share why.
From the suicide attempt survivor, the last thing you are after is more pain and guilt. A lot of the time, when you reach that point at the end of yourself, this kind of quote will make you feel vilified instead of offering hope.
From the suicide survivor, it can reinforce pain they are already feeling. They already feel hurt and broken from losing someone to suicide. They don’t need this added weight of thinking it was an intentional transfer of pain.
“That’s the thing about suicide. Try as you might to remember how a person lived his life, you always end up thinking about how he ended it.” – Anderson Cooper
This quote is one of the truest things ever for some survivors. It can be so tempting to stay trapped in the memory of the loss that they let it steal all the good memories forever. It can be ok to acknowledge this hurt but it’s important to move past it so that it doesn’t take away the good that person was in your life.
“Suicide leaves everyone feeling guilty.”
– Robert Harris
Guilt is such a common theme in most quotes about suicide. When you lose someone to suicide, you relive every interaction with them wondering how you could have changed it and what you could have done better. While we always can be kinder and show up for people when called, it’s important to understand that people don’t commit suicide because of one person. Instead, it is a direct relationship to mental health needs that were not met. Let go of guilt because it doesn’t serve you and it steals from your peace.
“I think many people kill themselves simply to stop the debate about whether they will or they won’t.”
– Susanna Kaysen
Suicide isn’t the first move when someone is going through a mental health crisis. In fact, a person may repeatedly warn friends and family about suicidal ideation. The problem comes into play when friends/family negate these threats and don’t help them to seek the mental health treatment they desperately need. That apathy can be one of the quickest ways to cause a person to make the final decision.
Suicide doesn’t end the chances of life getting worse, it eliminates the possibility of it ever getting any better.
This statement is absolutely true. Hope is one of the most important things to give anyone who is considering suicide. Suicide is often considered when someone assumes that life will never improve and their bad situation will never get better. Taking the time to help them see the potential of future good could mean the world and save a life.
Most of the time, people who die by suicide don’t want to actually die. They just don’t want to be alive, and there is a huge difference.
– ROXANNE MACDONALD
This quote can be a hard one for those who have never had suicidal thoughts. It’s not about dying as much as it is just wanting the pain to stop. For some, death feels like the only way out. They may not really want to end their entire future. They may just not see beyond their current pain.
“Talk about them. Be proud of them. Losing a courageous battle doesn’t make you weak.”
This is the biggest truth I could ever ask of you. Your loved one isn’t weak for the choice they made. They fought so hard up to that point and put their all on the line. Speak of the good times. Share the positives. Remind the world that they were someone worth loving even if they didn’t see it!
“If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop them.”
This is false on many levels. Anyone can be stopped with the right help and resources at their disposal and a proper diagnosis of the underlying issue. However, there is a large mental health crisis in our country that depends on statements like this quote to avoid actually addressing the issue at hand.
Looking for more?
- Survivors of Suicide
- Reasons Not to Commit Suicide
- Suicide Survivors Tips for Survivors of Suicide Loss
- The Truth about Suicide
- Free Mental Health Resources for Teens
- Choosing an Online Therapist