Saturday 21 October 2017

Letters: Disagreeing with Donal on suicide

Madam -- For too long the points the late Donal Walsh made in relation to suicide have gone unchallenged.

It is not appropriate to speak ill of the dead but it is equally not inappropriate to disagree with the views that they had expressed. The views that Donal Walsh expressed and in particular his views on those who commit suicide should not be seen as acceptable. There was an inference that those who battle depression and succumb to suicide do so out of an element of choice; this cannot be further from the truth, and sadly was never opposed.

I know many who fight against depression and the last thing I would like to see is that devalued by allowing such an inference. I do not believe that anybody who succumbs to suicide does so without enduring a great level of pain or consideration for the pain that it will cause. The battle against depression is a silent one and is often hidden, unlike a physical illness, but that should not devalue the veracity of mental illness, which this debate and media coverage has done. The effect that Donal Walsh had was to galvanise the issue and make it relevant, but elements of his views towards blame should not be accepted. Those who suffer from this illness should not be subject to critical judgment just because the battle and the scars that come with their fight cannot be seen.

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