As I don’t know the circumstances or what he was hiding, the word “coward” could only be applied to a small percentage of suicides. More than 85% of suicides are due to an affective disorder, either major or manic depression. This is just affective disorders, not other mental illnesses that can very well have the same results.
Out of people with affective disorders, 25-50% will attempt suicide. That’s major and manic depression combined. In manic depression however, there is a 20-25% suicide rate among untreated. However, only a small fraction of the people with manic depression are actually being treated. Plus, many of the ones that are being treated, end up uncessfully treated due to multiple reasons.
Out of the people with affective disorders who commit suicide, the vast majority (something like 85%) will try to convey their intentions in some form or another to the people around them. They do not want to do it, but the illness does. Manic depression (bipolar disorder) is very close if not identical twins to a condition known as Borderline Personality Disorder (BSD). The twisting of emotions and a terrible imbalance of chemicals in the brain result in almost seperate emotional personalities. The person wants to be helped, and cries out for help, yet dosn’t want to be helped, because that would make them weak.
Suicide, to the extent of people with mental problems, is a completely different world. Which I assume he had some type of problem due to the planning and time span in which the reasoning for the event was in his thoughts. Healthy people can have thoughts about suicied because it is a thought that is in the world, thus exsists in the mind. However that’s where it stays, just a thought. They rarely go into the actual planning and attempt phase. Yet to someone with problems, it can be wired into the brain. Suicide to illnesses like bipolar, is just like a heart-attack is to heart disease. It is the result of a condition. That does not make someone a coward, it makes them a victim to a very real problem. Which is why the pursuit of treatment is necessary, because there is a fine line between “your control” and “it’s control” over your brain.
You have to remember, it is not normal for people to “seriously” want to kill themselves. It is against self-preservation and survival, it is not natural. So before you think of someone as being a coward, try learning about the root of the condition. Even though most will never be able to understand, it is a very intriguing and interesting topic. Because it exsists in the brain, and the brain can screw up, and everyone has one. So just like cancer, it could happen to you.
Dr. Kay Jamison, is not only a Ph.D. in phsychology, but also suffers from type-1 bipolar disorder herself. She has written some excellent books, my favorite so far being “An Unquiet Mind”, but “Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide” is a good book for a look into the topic.