When someone takes his or her own life, the first reaction is always pity closely followed by judgments. “Why did she do it?” or “That’s stupid”. But if you really think about it, we really don’t have the right to judge them, do we? Because after all, we were trained to try and take away the pain. Not live in it.

According to Psychology Today, suicide is a tragic event with strong emotional repercussions for its survivors and for families of its victims. Although most government-funded suicide prevention programmes focus on helping teenagers, recent years have seen a spike in rates among middle-aged people. Globally men seem to be especially at risk, and have nearly four times the suicide rate as women.

When a person is trapped in a burning building, he or she will make the conscious decision to jump out the window. The people outside, safe on the sidewalk don’t often understand this decision. They don’t understand why she didn’t hold on or wait for the firemen. They don’t really understand that—for her—the decision to jump was deliberate. Done in order to prevent the pain of the flames.

They don’t really get the fact that she knew that her decision would kill her. But at that second when the flames are closing in, all she can think about is escaping. That doesn’t mean she feared the fall any less. It just meant that the pain from the flames was too much for her to bear, and she had to do everything in her power to stop that pain. Everything else becomes inconsequential.

The term suicide means ‘to kill oneself’. However, to those who pick this path out of the so-called term ‘depression’, suicide actually means ‘to save oneself’. Because honestly speaking, it cannot be killing when you’re trying to save yourself from your own mind. We must never forget that even Troy was destroyed when attacked from within.

Earnest Hemingway, in his suicide not, wrote, “The sun also sets”. George Sanders wrote “Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good Luck.” Kurt Cobain wrote “I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes me feel…sad” and Peter Zeller wrote “This darkness followed me as I grew up.”

Everyone in their right mind seems to think you have to be out of your mind to kill yourself. If that’s the case, why are all of these suicide-note excerpts – that were taken from real people who really killed themselves — so lucid and touching and poignant and insightful?

The thing is, suicide is a deeply misunderstood phenomenon. The living has no right to judge one who thinks of taking his or her life. Having said this, it is up to us to help those who are victimized by depression because it is as real as the world we live in. Depression, suicide, these concept are not just stuff of the mind. They are very real, and if we do not take note of them, we will lose our loved ones to it.

If you know of anyone suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts, approach cautiously and seek professional help.