Suicide Eitology

Bourdain and Spade killed themselves recently. Celebrity suicide engender a lot of unfortunate reactions. Two key families of unfortunate reactions are the “but they had such enviable lives!” and the “they are selfish!” families.

One thing to remember is that suicide in Western countries is correlated with a lot of factors and esp with a set of mental and physical illnesses:

Now some of the substance cases might’ve correlative rather than causal ie heavy cannabis might be more likely to be self medicating eg cancer pain.

If you look at risk factors, negative life events (death of a family member, divorce, financial ruin) are big risk factors and those tend to stand out in our minds. But a lot of chronic conditions such as major depression have acute phase which result in suicide. Treating this isn’t trivial and living with such conditions isn’t easy.

I suspect, overall, it’s healthier for survivors to take a medicalising rather than a moralising perspective but who knows.