This past Monday, the 13th of April, as I was on my way to work, I was in for a VERY rude awakening. As I was driving from the Coleman shopping center only to reach my destination on 10th and William, I noticed that no matter where I turned, traffic downtown was almost at a complete stop. Simultaneously furious and curious, I figured something must have happened – maybe a fire or a car accident? As I entered work, I was shortly informed about the man held responsible for the massive traffic jam, causing me to be 30 minutes late to my shift.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, a male pedestrian exited his vehicle and stood on the highest over-crossing of the Interstate 680-Highway 101 connector as an attempt to commit suicide. He had reportedly been holding a knife, which seems a bit contradicting, seeing as the fall would probably do the job better than a knife would. The scene lasted from 1:00pm up until about 7:30pm when he was taken into custody, a time period where civilians trying to get to and from their jobs were rudely inconvenienced.
His motive of committing suicide and not actually following through with it is a sign of the “acquired ability to enact lethal self-injury”, as stated in The Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicidal Behavior: Current Empirical Status written by Thomas Joiner. This idea is when although the subject may feel sad and low and instill a desire for suicide, “they are not sufficient to ensure that desire will lead to a suicide attempt.”
This is a very light comparison to the specific situation that the man caused on Monday, where he made a huge scene as a mere cry for attention. If he was truly diagnosed clinically depressed or insane, and wanted to end his life, he would do it without causing a dramatic display, effecting not only all of downtown, but his family members as well. He is a coward for putting his family and loved ones through that pain and embarrassment only to not follow through with his actions. My language may come off as offensive, but “IMHO” it is outrageously selfish and destructive to make a mockery out of a disease individuals actually suffer from – depression.