Final Exit

*Warning: Talks of suicide. Read with caution.*

About a week ago, I borrowed out this book;

I didn’t and don’t have any immediate plans for my own demise. But I wanted to read it for, well, just in case.

Within the pages of this book is a caution that reads,

If you are thinking of ending your life because you are depressed, or cannot cope with the pressures of this difficult world, do not use this book. […] Please respect the true intentions of Final Exit: the right of a terminally ill person with unbearable suffering to choose to die.

Umm yeah, sorry mate, but I doubt I’m the first person to have gone seeking answers on how to die whilst struggling with a mental illness as opposed to a terminal physical one.

Their ‘recommended’ way of self conclusion is to ingest certain potent drugs. Great! Only barrier to this is how to get your hands on these drugs in the first place. Medical professionals are strict on who they give it to, maybe because…oh yeah, it can kill you in an overdose…!

Their alternate method, one which doesn’t require you to obtain hard-to-get drugs, is the EXIT bag technique. It involves inert gasses and a plastic bag. There’s a certain irony involved when a seven paged, detailed ‘how to’ is provided, yet also written is,

The following words are for information only. This text is not encouraging anyone to take their life.


Despite the descriptive instructions and relative ease of obtaining the materials required for this method, I don’t think I will be attempting it any time soon. Suffocating to death doesn’t really appeal to me. For aesthetic reasons, neither does making my exit from this world with a plastic bag over my head.

So has reading this book taught me anything in terms of termination of life by my own hand? Not really. It’s only confirmed what I’ve already learnt: killing yourself is harder than the innocent believe.

17 thoughts on “Final Exit

  1. You know…I told my psych today- just HOW PISSED i was that ODIng was sooo fucking hard due to the new things they put in psychotropic meds. I hve suicideal indealizations a lot…you’re not alone

    stay here with us. hang in there tight. we care alot about you

  2. i could probably write a book like that quite easy but on saying that why would anybody be as stupid as me if they have tried the things i have done as my mate use to say its not big and clever it would probably be quite an intresting read

  3. seriously – and i mean this from the bottom of my heart. you’re a fucking selfish idiot. fuck yourself for trivializing something that affects truly mentally ill individuals and not children who need attention.

    • I’m sorry if my post seems to be ‘trivializing something that affects truly mentally ill individuals.’ My sarcastic tone in this post represents the blasé attitude I have towards my own suicide and I do not possess that same attitude towards the suicide of others struggling with mental illness. I am well aware that suicide is a serious issue that affects the individual, as well as family members, friends and the community.

  4. hi, i want to say something to encourage you and all, but i honestly dont know how to. i just want to say that, there are people here who care about you, and wish you well. please stay with us, you’re awesome and you need to know that.


  5. Right. That fine print is CERTAINLY going to stop a depressed person from reading this book. I mean, people do EVERYTHING they are told.

    Killing yourself is difficult. For better or for worse our bodies want to stay alive and they do just about anything to achieve that.

    Stay safe. And if you can, stay away from these books. I’m worried.

    Wishing you well,

  6. For the sake of conversation, don’t you think there IS a difference between a terminally ill person and a person suffering from mental health issues? Terminally ill = you are going to die no matter what. Mental illness doesn’t necessarily mean a death sentence. Yes, we can suffer alongside those with physical ailments, but I personally think there is a difference.

    • Yes I do think there is a difference between a terminal physical illness and a mental illness. With a terminal illness, there is no hope of recovering. With a mental illness, there is a hope of recovery or at least it being manageable.

  7. I once made a very lame attempt at suicide by helium method. It’s not what I thought it would be which was to breathe deep, pass out and die. Not at all. I kept having to pull the bag (totally like ziplock and tape) off because I felt like I was falling through space and there was this sense of panic that I couldn’t breathe. Then I got a headache and super nauseated. I never told anyone about. I had gone to a party store and rented a helium tank under the guise of blowing up balloons. I wouldn’t recommend this method as being painless at all.

  8. I have always been curious about this book. I am 47 yrs old and think about suicide on a daily basis. I have attempted about a dozen times. So I don’t think I’m going to suddenly ‘get better’ and the suicidal thoughts and urges will just disappear. I’ll be honest. I’m pretty sure when I finally die it will be suicide. But I agree with NOS. Killing oneself in NOT easy. Your body is very resiliant and that is why I am still here. But the thought that I can when I ‘need’ to is a comfort. Sorry if thats upsetting to some people. I can’t change what I think or feel.

  9. Final Exit is quoted all the time on the pro-choice boards, so he’s failed epically in his alleged wish to limit it only to the physically terminally ill.

    Another book is Suicide and Attempted Suicide by Geo Stone. It’s a rare and expensive find, but much more in-depth.

    Killing oneself is hard; I don’t think a lot of mental health professionals really realise it. But, with planning, it can be done – and as Indigo says, knowing that it’s an option if all else fails is very comforting. I hope no one takes this as encouragement for it – especially not when the prospective bus catcher is as young as BtF – but if you have exhausted all your options, if nothing in the world helps, if your despair is life-long, strong and chronic – who is more selfish? The person who wants to die for wanting release, or the friends, family and supposed ‘care’ teams of the sufferer for wanting them to remain alive but miserable?

    I wrote a post on this a few months back, and was surprised by how many people seemed to agree. There’s also a very interesting blog primarily on the issue here. But, again, I’d reiterate that I really think it’s only a rationally justifiable act if you’ve tried everything, and have suffered for a very long time. Not that it’s easy to think like that when you are at your lowest ebb, mind you. I think what I’m saying in a ridiculously but typically round-about way is that it’s not a black and white issue, but a complex one that needs consideration from all angles.

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