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 

1,363 thoughts on “Slow suicide is still suicide

  1. Despite knowing that our lifestyle choices are harmful and abusive for our body we continue our wayward choices solely focused outside ourselves and caught up in the momentum of what we know and are familiar with even when our body is communicating it is not comfortable at all with our choices.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. “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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. “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?

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

    1. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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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