“The action of killing oneself intentionally.”
This is the definition of suicide you will find in Oxford dictionary. However, is this act only a combination of those simple words? What works behind the desperation which compels someone to take their life?
Tell someone you are going through the thoughts of suicide, either they will show pity or will call you a coward. No, you deserve to listen none! It’s not easy to define suicide or to justify one’s action even if the driving force behind the act seems like a simple one.
Why do people commit suicide? While finding an answer to the question, I stumbled upon the cases where people took the most drastic step of suicide and decided to broadcast it publically. Most took the path of the internet, the fastest means to reach a huge audience. Was it their last attempt to see a light of success in their life which they otherwise conceived as ‘miserable’? Or was it their last stand to show the world they matter too. However, the acts are not the only shocking part; it’s the involvement of people to watch the act, or ask someone to commit suicide, if also jokingly, leaves one stunned.
We have collected a list of publically broadcasted suicide and how the watchers reacted.
Do let us know your thoughts.
1. Chinese woman chooses Instagram to post her suicide pictures
The young woman with account jojostai1012 (name unknown) kept uploading series of pictures directed towards her boyfriend. Her final picture showed her legs hanging off the edge and the caption roughly translated “After I am dead, I will haunt you day and night.” It was almost two weeks before she started posting the worrying pictures and captions before taking her life. Sadly, no one did anything to raise an alarm. Instead, her pictures were often full of hateful comments.
2. 1,048 “friends” that didn’t react to her announcement of suicide
It was Christmas Day on 2010 when Simone Back posted on her Facebook “Took all my pills be dead soon bye bye everyone.” The reaction wasn’t at least of worry instead some called her liar. Ultimately, her body was discovered by the police when someone told her mother about the online suicide note.
3. Swedish man commits suicide on live webcam
Marcus Jannes posted that he had already swallowed some drugs and is going to kill himself. While a small population of the online viewers offered messages with hope, many behave otherwise. They called him names and the whole act a hoax. Some even urged him to jump from a height to ensure he had a broken neck. Everyone made a mockery out of the serious situation. As expected, no one alerted the authorities. He posted the details of FTP server for everyone to watch him committing suicide. People could see still images captured after every two seconds. It showed he went on to hook a cable around his neck. Then, his body slumps to the floor and start shaking until it goes limp. Soon, it stopped moving. Marcus took his life as he thought it was ‘Worthless.” Maybe a little scope of empathy would have saved his life.
4. Arts chief who finally ‘sings-off’ with a blog
Frances Medley, 44 brought very powerful drugs from a euthanasia website to kill herself. Her neighbors got in touch with the police who later discovered the body from her house. What made her suicide come in the forefront was her blog. She was suffering from multiple sclerosis and as her condition worsened, she decided to take this drastic step. However, before leaving this world she published her final suicide post named “A sophisticated sign-off.”
5. Teen who choose live webcam by commit suicide by overdose
On November 2008, the viewers of video site Justin.tv were welcomed by a horrified scene. The 19-year old Abraham K. Biggs planned his suicide on live video and invited the viewers to watch. Many considered it as joke including the moderator of the website. However, some posted hateful comments and encouraged him to take his life. About 1,500 people signed up on someone’s plea of committing suicide on live video. The viewers realized it wasn’t a hoax when he appeared in front of the camera overdosed with drugs and slowly died.
6. Teen took microblogging site to commit suicide
Zeng took a high dose of a lethal drug and burned coal in his room for producing carbon monoxide. He posted his activities of suicide on a twitter-like microblogging site popular in China. While some in their right mind asked him not to commit suicide while other branded him as ‘attention-seeker.”
How to deal with someone suicidal?
The first thing NOT to say to a suicidal person is- “This is a small matter and you are overreacting.” In our mindset it may seem like a small thing but not to someone who is ready to take a drastic step.
Playing your part
There are few things in our capacity which may stop another person from taking their life.a) Listen to them) Understand and connect) Express concerned) Motivate the person to seek help from professionalsOur one small step can save someone’s life.
Isn’t it worth taking?