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 

1,309 thoughts on “Slow suicide is still suicide

  1. Joel what you have written is fascinating, you have blown the lid off how we are all living
    “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.”
    How many of us have looked at our lives in this way? That our lifestyle choices are killing us, that is as you say a humongous statement but we cannot deny its truth.

  2. When we consider our diseases as the consequence of our repeated ill choices, we give ourselves the opportunity to heal, not only by changing those choices, but by realising what took us to that point in the first place. We can learn so much about us and life just by being honest

  3. Doug, when I read your comment, I once upon a time thought it was ‘normal’ to stuff my body with binge eating, alcohol, smoking and even exercising. And how did that all serve? Well let’s put it this way, it wasn’t pretty. I was none the healthier! And yet this cycle continues amongst humanity.

    We are considered abnormal when we decide to make changes or choose differently but all we are doing is what feels true for us, it is that simple.

  4. Joel, when you have put it like that, wow!…Most deaths are traumatic for any person, losing a loved one leaves many impressions in our lives. Wishing we had said this, or said that, wishing we hadn’t argued or had more time with them, and the thoughts could go on.

    What if death could be a closure of one body, and the beginning of another body, and if it was free of any suicidal beliefs or abuse to our selves, how would we then perceive our bodies? What if we lived our lives from within, to the fullest, knowing we are actually here to serve and help others, then would we accept life more differently.

    There is so much to ponder over about life, and many of us haven’t touched the sides, yet. Life is magical, let us live in this magic and see what unfolds. Life speaks to us daily, how are we going to respond or react is a good question to start with?

  5. “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.” That is really a sobering statement and inspires me to commit to living more aware of this so I can have a deeper understanding of why I have repeatedly made choices which were detrimental to my health which brings a deeper understanding to why others might do so.

  6. When there’s that tension for a deeper connection often we are taught to harm ourselves with various lifestyle choices to not feel the tension. Universal Medicine has shown what happens when we choose to embrace the tension

  7. I really love what you are offering here, Joel. By considering the definition of suicide, it really makes us stop and think what then it means to truly live, and we may actually find that not many do.

  8. When we make a choice to live in a way that is detrimental to how we in truth deep down, know we should be living then, it is a step towards suicide. When we see it like this, then it becomes a wake up call, that we are making choices that are slowly killing us no different to make a choice to end a life.

  9. It makes sense to me that every choice I make either supports my health and wellbeing or it destroys me which in time could lead to suicide. I cannot discount any choice I make as every choice has impact on my body and mental health and hence that of others.

  10. “according to the World Health Organisation, lifestyle diseases are now the leading cause of death globally[1].” This is a shocking realisation if we consider that ‘lifestyle’ has become so ‘fashionable’, and supposedly a sure way to enrich ones health and wellbeing. What a contradiction, and what an illusion.

  11. Thank you Joel for presenting what’s going on worldwide with lifestyle related health conditions, what humanity needs is support to educate around this and also educate on how to truly be self caring in a body focused way. This line really highlights the entrenched normality of today’s unhealthy lifestyles worldwide, “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.”

    1. It is very interesting to step back and look at what we consider a healthy lifestyle and what we champion as our treats. When obesity contributes to those statistics we could start by considering what we eat and how much of it is for health and sustenance and how much for indulgence and ‘a little treat’.

  12. The Ancient Wisdom Teachings as presented by Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine, offer clear markers for the importance of re-connecting to our body and the the divine essence within. Living in separation from this essence is not natural and is a root cause of feeling suicidal, as the loss of connection with our source is devastating..

  13. If we combine the ‘acute’ and ‘chronic’ cases of suicide then it is very clear that many more have pressed the self-destruct button than were previously included in the statistics .

  14. Beautifully honest Joel, when you stop and ask yourself the question are the choices I make slowly killing me? Because I know for sure had I not changed many of my choices I would be destined to live a shorter life and by my own hand which is slow suicide.

  15. It is so relevant to look at lifestyle as a disease. We are choosing to put our bodies through a way of living that is not supportive and effectively killing ourselves slowly. In this is an opportunity to change how we are living, and to ask if this is really the future we want? Ultimately we are all a reflection to another, so if only a few people choose differently and reflect this back, then we are starting to show another way.

  16. Every choice, in every moment, we make in life is either advancing our health and vitality or lessens it. The moment we are governed by hurts and beliefs we get hindered to make these choices freely. One more reason to look at our past hurts and things we took on to survive in any way shape or form in this world. Life is not about surviving but living in its fullness in fullness.

  17. The disconnection of people needs to get filled with outer substances. No wonder majority of mankind, knowing that how they live is not healthy , prioritises the relief through filling the emptiness. Everything is welcomed to not feel the pain of disconnection. To change that cycle people need to become more honest with themselves and eventually take responsibility of all their choices. Question is, how sick do we have to become?!

  18. People are sometimes saying: one wine/ cigarette will not kill me- what if it does kill you? Especially the emotion that runs in your body in between the moments that then lead up you then craving of a glass of wine/ cigarette.

    1. Yes, what a good question. I know the tension I feel in my body when I want something and it often escalates till I give in, now I see that I am choosing to not be aware of what is going on emotionally rather, I am convinced I ‘need’ this remedy which will actually harm my body.

  19. How we choose to check out and escape from life, no matter how much stimulation/numbing we give ourselves along the way as rewards, and even though we might be scared of dying, our ‘normal’ already looks like we are just holding our breath and waiting for the day we drop dead – with varying degree of urgency but still the same trajectory. I thought I was missing something too, but realised that I was missing, the true I.

  20. I am absolutely in agreement with what you have written here Joel. When you look at the latest statistics on state of the world’s health, you don’t have to be a ‘genius’ to get the picture – a huge proportion of humanity is slowly killing themselves with their lifestyle choices; they are literally eating and drinking themselves to death. If I hadn’t made my way to my first ever workshop with Serge Benhayon 13 years ago and from there begun to make many self-loving choices I would have probably been one of those statistics by now.

  21. “This makes the leading cause of death globally completely preventable.” This line alone should be a wake up call for us all. I know before I met Serge Benhayon I was in a form of suicide, not in a dramatic kind of way but I was going through the motions of life yet not really being a part of it, and in this withdrawn state I functioned the best I could. It looked good from the outside but I felt like I was dying inside. We know suicide is shocking but you make a great point that slow suicide is still suicide and if we called it that and linked it to our life style choices we might begin to take responsibility for the choices we are making to slowly suicide.

  22. Where is the quality to living a life based on slow suicide and essentially living life as an existence? The trouble is this has become our norm, and with this form of existence, we accept less from ourselves and those around us. On a positive note, there are people around now who are waking up to this form of living and are proving that there is life after the existence and that this does not have to be the way it is. Students of The Way of The Livingness are bucking the trend of what it means to live the lie that we have been sold for aeons.

  23. Yes well said, it is blatantly evident that we are missing something is a big way and looking outside for the answers is also obviously not working. Throughout the ages is has been offered to us that our true medicine in life is the quality in which we live, the degree we are willing to live in connection to our Soul.

  24. Yes, insanely we champion and promote abusive lifestyles whilst we continue to witness, experience and subsequently are met with its damaging and harmful effects, hence our accelerating rise in illness and disease, and still we continue to disregard our bodies and beings and the truth that is communicated. The big question is as you have raised – what drives this behaviour and why do we will such disregard and abuse to be prevalent in our lives? For if we are willing to be honest about this we then will come to understand the grave dis-empowerment we are choosing to live with when we resist living in connection to our essence, our innate way of being.

  25. “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.” Yes this is great to point out, that this life lived with chronic diseases is seen as normal because it is so common and we are collectively not all too worried about it. As long as it does not hit us or a dear family member and it does not affect our comfort. But is this really living?

  26. This is a great topic to raise Joel. It is also interesting to observe how so many industries profit from ‘slow suicide’, and thus our demand for alcohol, drugs, sugar, nicotine amongst other toxins is met by suppliers and the ping pong between the consumers and producers is set up to last indefinitely, with no one questioning the choice to eat/smoke/take these things in excess quantities.

  27. For me those deleterious choices are a distraction from that feeling of missing something. What I miss is my connection with myself as I choose to go into mental pictures or ‘just have to do this’ or focusing on tasks. My choices deteriorate when I make what I do the sole focus of life.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

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

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

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