Slow suicide is still suicide

by Joel Levin 

To lose a friend or loved one through suicide is traumatic for all who are involved. A few years ago a close friend of mine committed suicide and the ripples are still felt today. From time to time you review past conversations with the person, wondering what signs might have been missed and if more could have been done.

There is rightly much effort placed on understanding and preventing suicide, but what is unclear to me is why these efforts focus on only one form of suicide.

It would seem that most of suicide prevention focusses on the ‘acute’ cases; the cases where someone makes a choice, on some level, to end their life in an abrupt way.

Calling it a choice is not intending to minimise the anguish some people feel in the lead-up to that choice; in fact, contemplating the level of anguish one must be feeling to reach that point, helps me understand the choice all the more.

But there is still another form of suicide that goes under the radar. What is this other form?

Lifestyle diseases.

Lifestyle diseases come from the choices people make about what they eat, drink, how they move and even how they think about life. These choices put stress on the body and lead to diseases like diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, to name but a few.

These diseases are not uncommon in society; in fact, according to the World Health Organisation, lifestyle diseases are now the leading cause of death globally[1].

Consider the magnitude of that fact for a moment. To achieve this result means that people around the world are making a repeated choice to live in a certain way that is so detrimental to their health that it is now the leading cause of death GLOBALLY.

This makes the leading cause of death globally completely preventable.

That means that there is a chronic form of suicide where people around the world are slowly dying from the choices they are making each day.

So the only difference between ‘acute’ or ‘chronic’ forms of suicide is the timescale. Both come from choices made by the individual. While it is important to note that there can be a range of external factors and pressures that people face on both fronts, the facts are staggering nonetheless.

Looking at lifestyle diseases in this way suggests that there are many more people dying from their own hand (choice) than are thriving from their choices. This is a big claim to make but if we are interested in the anguish of those that attempt or commit ‘acute’ suicide, then it might serve to also start a conversation about the anguish that might be behind the levels of ‘chronic’ suicide that could now be considered a global pandemic.

Could it be that at a fundamental level, regardless of race, creed, colour or religion, we are missing something far more fundamental? While we might be missing certain behaviours, the term ‘missing’ more accurately refers to something we miss. The reality is that we must be carrying a level of sorrow or loss that is so strong that either ‘acute’ or ‘chronic’ suicide becomes an option.

In the case of ‘chronic’ suicide, not only is it an option, it is considered a normal. In fact it is heralded as the lifestyle all should aspire to. So we actually encourage each other to kill ourselves, yet at no point do we ask – “what drives that behaviour?”

Look at the ‘Before and After’ pages on the Universal Medicine website and you will see people making different choices. They are not better people, nor special people, but they have been brave enough to explore what it was they were missing, which turned out to be a deeper connection to themselves.




Read more:

  1. A healthy lifestyle and breast cancer prevention 
  2. What is living medicine? 
  3. Your body is a living experiment
  4. When exam stress becomes a matter of life and death 

1,348 thoughts on “Slow suicide is still suicide

  1. We are now starting to talk about sugar as a poison to the body, in the same way that we know alcohol and cigarettes to be. I wonder what else we will consider harmful to the body in another 20 years or so.

  2. When we miss ourselves it is far more serious than missing anyone else and the way we react to this loss is nearly always deleterious to our health ironic though it may be. The only way to find ourselves is to connect to ourselves first. When we are with ourselves we really don’t need the props of cigarettes or alcohol in fact we see and feel these for what they are – ways of avoiding really connecting not realising that connection is where the joy and enjoying of life lies.

  3. We understand suicide as a single act which takes a life, yet we don’t think about the effect our lifestyle choices have on us, and how they accumulate which if unchanged also takes a life.

  4. When we consider suicide as someone ‘taking their own life’ this sheds further light on the numbers of acute and chronic suicide.

  5. We can no longer be blind to the fact that so many people are making daily choices that will end their lives prematurely. We can educate and legislate to try and get people to make healthier choices so they are less likely to become a health statistic but until we address the core issue of what people are trying to avoid feeling i.e. their own lack of connection these statistics are set to carry on increasing and the conversations about slow suicide are likely to become more common.

  6. It makes absolute sense how lifestyle diseases arise from all our choices and the way in which we move and express in contra to our body’s natural rhythm and flow.

  7. The falling down the rabbit hole with hopelessness and darkness overwhelming you can allow you to take that last quick, fatal step. But lifestyle diseases are a choice. And, this path has a slow, possibly painful and lingering end. The third option, as you Joel and many others are re-discovering, is that making different lifestyle changes and the connection to ourselves offers us all a different direction that allows us to evolve, not slowly dissolve.

  8. I think I would have actually suicided or seriously contemplated if I had not made the choice to seek and find the truth of what was missing – a deep loving connection to myself and it was through Universal Medicine presentations, practitioners, and therapies that supported me after years of trying to make that a living daily practice.

  9. What I can feel is how our every choice stems from a very fundamental choice of whether to truly live, or not, and how that is reflected on how we treat our body, how we hold our relationships, how we engage with the world etc., and it comes right back to what we consider life to be. There is a way of living that comes with the knowing of our true magnificence, that makes our ‘normal’ look pretty retarding.

  10. It is the fact that we are not nurtured to maintain the deep connection to ourselves that most have as young children, that has now the reality in our world that ‘lifestyle diseases’ are ‘the leading cause of death globally’. Our world needs and through such statistics, is actually crying out for this connection we all know innately. The first point in beginning this paradigm is to know we are all Divine within. Our essence is divine, it has just been our choice to not connect and live from this unchangeable reality. A choice we can change, if we begin to love the body in which we live.

  11. This turns the current model of illness and disease on its head because most people still think that we just get sick by chance or bad luck. But as Joel has indicated here it has already been proven that poor lifestyle choices are now the global leader of death, so this naturally tells us that everything that happens to us happens as a result of a choice that made it occur. Even things like our thoughts and emotional reactions are now being shown to have direct effects on our physiological health in a myriad of ways. So this news can and should be very inspiring and empowering in that it shows we are the makers of our own health.

  12. Yes Joel, realising I was missing a deeper connection to myself and working with this turned me from the path of slow suicide you talk of and harmful way I was living which had a deep and profoundly healing affect on my health and my life in every way.

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