THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE?
Thoughts about dying and putting an early end to life are not as uncommon and occur to many. You may have had morbid thoughts about dying and ending your own life, or perhaps you know someone who does.
Depression could be the cause
Clinical depression - a serious medical illness linked to changes in the biochemistry of the brain - is believed to contribute to at least half of all suicides. It affects the way a person feels about himself and how he thinks about things. Characterised by overwhelming feelings of sadness lasting for more than two weeks, clinical depression is very different from a temporary case of "the blues" triggered by an unhappy event.
Depression is often accompanied by a loss of interest in life, hopelessness and helplessness, and can be triggered in somebody who is going through stressful or traumatic life events, or who is terminally ill. Such distressing feelings generally require the attention of a healthcare professional and the treatment of medications. If you or someone you love needs help, you can call:
Shan You Counselling Centre at 67419293
The SBL Vision Family Service Centre at 6544 2263
Hearty Care Centre at 6295 4622 and 629 4749
Whispering Hearts Family Service Centre at 6795 1008
Samaritans of Singapore’s 24-hour suicide prevention helpline at 1800-221-4444
Death doesn’t end the suffering
People who contemplate of committing suicide may think that suicide is the only way that can take away all the pain and end their suffering. But in Buddhism, death is only the beginning of another cycle of pain and suffering for others and yourself. According to the Buddhist teaching of the Four Noble Truths – life is full of dissatisfactions. All the stages of life - birth, ageing, sickness, death - all the ways of being, wanting and striving are conditions of suffering. However, the Buddha also taught that the end to a dissatisfactory life is possible with the Noble Eightfold Path.
The Buddha also taught us to realise the impermanence and insubstantiality of both life and death. Everything changes constantly. Nothing stays the same. Rain might come after sunshine, but so does sunshine comes after rain. In the realisation that people (their personalities, interests and attitudes) and life situations are unfixed and constantly changing, it becomes possible to approach each moment with an open mind. One is then able to react and adapt to new situations without clinging to outdated and inconsequential conceptions.
We can live more in the present without hanging on to the past or worrying about the future since each phenomenon arises depending on causes and conditions that are coming into being. In Buddhism, the mind is also seen as the root of all good and all evil, the cause of both suffering and True Happiness. It regards the mind as the primary factor that determines the well-being of each person. Through meditation and counselling, the perception of reality for those with persistent negative-thinking can be adjusted. This will enable them to better cope with the unexpected changes of life.
Buddhism’s perspective to suicide
"If one knows how to treasure oneself, one should protect oneself well."
-The Buddha (Dhammapada)
"According to the Buddhist teaching of cause and effect, since one does not realise the truth of all phenomena, or does not practise to be liberated from life and death, suicide is pointless. When one's karmic retribution is not exhausted, death by suicide only leads to another cycle of rebirth. This is why Buddhists do not support suicide; and instead, encourage constructive living, using this life to diligently practise good, thus changing the present and the future for the better."
-Chan Master Sheng Yen
"Some people commit suicide; they seem to think that there is suffering simply because there is the human life, and that by cutting off the life there will be nothing... But, according to the Buddhist viewpoint, that's not the case; your consciousness will continue. Even if you take your own life, this life, you will have to take another body that again will be the basis of suffering. If you really want to get rid of all your suffering, all the difficulties you experience in your life, you have to get rid of the fundamental cause (greed, hatred and delusion) that gives rise to the aggregates that are the basis of all suffering. Killing yourself isn't going to solve your problems."
-His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
"Taking one's own life under any circumstances is morally and spiritually wrong. Taking one's own life owing to frustration or disappointment only causes greater suffering. Suicide is a cowardly way to end one's problems of life. A person cannot commit suicide if his mind is pure and tranquil. If one leaves this world with a confused and frustrated mind, it is most unlikely that he would be born again in a better condition. Suicide is an unwholesome or unskilful act since it is encouraged by a mind filled with greed, hatred and delusion. Those who commit suicide have not learnt how to face their problems, how to face the facts of life, and how to use their mind in a proper manner. Such people have not been able to understand the nature of life and worldly conditions."
-Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda
"This human body and life is difficult to attain but is now attained. The Buddha's teachings are difficult to encounter but are now encountered. If we do not use this precious body to help ourselves, till when shall we wait to save ourselves?"