In the spring of 2014, a 16 year old girl named Maddie Yates committed suicide after posting a YouTube video in which she stated that she’d be doing the world a favor by killing herself. I can’t disagree more.
I don’t know the first thing about Maddie, but I know this dark thought. I used to have it (and worse) in my teens and 20s. I’m now in my 40s and wish Maddie had given herself, and life, more of a chance. I can speak to how great life can be despite terrible troubles while younger. And I now have a wonderful son who wouldn’t exist if I’d gone through with my own suicidal thoughts.
This “favor” thought is self-pity gone too far. Looking at her statement literally for a moment, there’s very little chance that her being dead is somehow better for the rest of the world. It’s certainly not for her friends and family. It is, in fact, the worst thing she could do regarding them, which even her mother has admitted as her point of view. Maddie was not a criminal or otherwise a drain on society, and even if she were, society is a drain on us sometimes, so we have a right to do it right back. It’s only fair!
But there appears to be no account of her acting like a jerk or in any way being someone the world would be better off without, assuming such conditions exist anyway. Rather, she seems to be quite a nice, well-liked person that many would like to have known – the very sort of person the world needs more of. Her statements reveal terrible self-esteem and lack of hope or awareness about not only her own merits, but other options for dealing with her troubles.
She is also quoted as saying in the video, in regard to her impending suicide, “I just don’t see how this is a bad idea.” This is mental illness talking, as suicide is basically the definition of a bad idea in the vast majority of cases, and if someone can’t see that, they are not well. If you ever find yourself thinking that way, you need to immediately seek help because your judgment is now too far off for you to be making such an important decision about your life – and death.
Suicide has often been decried as selfish, which is another subject, but Maddie’s claim of doing us all a favor would seem to be selfless – she’s doing this for us, after all. Well, that’s baloney. In the end, that’s what the “do the world a favor by killing myself” idea really is. This thought is a “gateway” idea that allows you to convince yourself that death, or suicide, is best. It’s not. There are so many ways to end your life but still be alive. Change your life instead. End the life you’re living by finding another one.
For confidential support call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-Talk
May you live another day.
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In the spring of 2014, a 16 year old girl named Maddie Yates committed suicide after posting a YouTube video in which she stated that she’d be doing the world a favor by killing herself. I can’t disagree more. I don’t know the first thing about Maddie, but I know this dark thought. I used […]
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