Depression and Suicide

This is going to be quite a strange topic and I might be making a mistake in revealing myself so openly, but I always find that honesty is the best policy and I don’t often fear the opinions of others with regard to myself.  So here goes …

I will admit that I have had bouts of depression at 2 or 3 points in my life, so intense that I have even thought of taking my own life because of it.  Don’t worry, this is definitely not a common occurrence in my life, I mostly found myself in this position when dealing with great stress.  An example would be during my teen years when many changes were happening in my body and I was so immature that things that I would today think were insignificant often seemed like the end of the world.  My most recent bout of depression occurred when I was in the military (say, around 2005 or so).  I not only had great moral conflicts with what I was doing– I still regret being a part of that world of moral depravity– but I was also only getting maybe 2-3 hours of sleep per night for many months at a time (my rational judgement was obviously very disrupted).  So clearly I am not one that is prone to depressive suicidal thoughts in any regular sense and I don’t foresee putting myself in such situations in the future (learning from past mistakes is a great tool).

However, I must admit that suicide has crossed my mind for another reason: curiosity.

What is the purpose of this whole thing that we call life?  Is there an afterlife?  Do we have a soul and is it eternal?  Where did existence come from?  Stuff like that.

I know that the entirety of human thought can never and will never produce a definitive answer to these questions, because we as a species are simply not enabled with that capacity.  We can only view the world in our living existence and our senses are very dull.  Sure, we do sense a great deal of our physical world, and our continued search for answers to our questions often reveal new truths of our worldly existence, none of which get us much closer to the truth of spiritual existence in any appreciable sense (we’ve moved only a tiny trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a sliver during our entire history with regard to the questions of existence) .  So, the only way to get that answer in any immediate way, it seems to me, is to commit to taking the journey, to end one’s life in pursuit of it.  That is the only way of really knowing.  Cross the plane.

I am one that always seeks absoluteness to the questions that vex my mind.  However, there is one reason that I will never ever commit suicide in pursuit of the absolute answer to these questions:  I am going to die anyhow, just as we all are.   Certainly I am not that anxious, life is already too short.

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7 Comments on “Depression and Suicide”

  1. Roberto Severino Says:

    Your story intrigues me, Joseph. I recall going through many difficult parts of my life, including a foreclosure, the death of my grandfather, and a highly difficult senior year due to certain courses like anatomy and physiology and a bunch of AP classes that induced depressive feelings within me at times, but throughout much of that time period, I channeled those feelings in other ways like practicing and drawing out of Moleskine sketchbooks and reading books like The Fountainhead to get through.

    You say that you joined the military. I had submitted an application to the air force and I’m hoping to get in, but I’m going to have to have MEPs check my medical records because of an autism diagnosis I had gotten at a really young age and had a lot of early treatment and intervention for. It’s not a progressive condition in my case and I’ve done so well that I don’t even qualify for government services since I’m 18. At this point, if you were to meet me in person, it would be pretty difficult to tell that I even had the condition and even an official from the Air Force told me that how would anyone know that I have it if it doesn’t affect me physically or academically?


    • Wait a minute, you’re 18 and you’ve already had a foreclosure?

      Yes, I joined the Navy shortly after 9/11 (I left for bootcamp Feb. 26, 2002). In fact, you can read about my time in the Navy here. I personally don’t recommend military life if you’re much of an individualist or if you have moral qualms with unjust war.

      • Roberto Severino Says:

        Well I’ve been through several actually, but the first one didn’t result in my family having to move anywhere. That was back in 2010 and when the restaurant my Pop owned had to close down that summer. The second one, which was much more recent, back in the Fall of 2012, resulted in having to move into this apartment, which I’ve been in since late January of this year.

        There are a bunch of thoughts that still go through my mind since I had also been accepted to an out of state school in New Jersey called Rutgers (Milton Friedman was a graduate), but couldn’t afford to go because of the high out of state costs, so I was gonna take a gap year and see if I could move to that state, but those plans fell through. I tried applying to an in state school and got into a electrical engineering program with no problems, but again, finances made it difficult to pay for a dorm and etc. so I couldn’t go at all this semester. My mom had even wanted to move back up to Massachusetts from Georgia this year, so I really don’t know what’s going to happen. I remember when I had applied to Rutgers, there was actual money so I could pay for dorm and application fees, but I think my parents had to borrow that from a car pawn or something like that.

        As for me, I’m a huge individualist and many of my political opinions are quite consistent with that of let’s say The American Conservative, Taki’s Magazine, and Reason.com and used to be left leaning until I started to read Ayn Rand and learn more about economics, but simultaneously, I love a good challenge and I thought the armed forces would be good for that with the education and health care benefits.

  2. sharon Says:

    yay! Joe is still her with us all

  3. sharon Says:

    hmmm…


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