empress-of-westeros asked: I don't think your point in that last comic was /wrong/, per se. But there is a whole contingent of suicidal people who will read that as "If I ask for help, it's emotional blackmail." Which, frankly, is an irresponsible message to put into the world.
If that happens then they completely missed what happens in the first panel (which to me, is pretty darn essential to the comic — it sets up the context). I think it’s irresponsible to cherry pick from part of a message without looking at the context it’s presented in. But who’s to say.
I think the most difficult thing about this scenario and the format of a comic is that there is a certain lack of tone, so people can read in all sorts of metadata that may not actually be there.
I think one of the things that makes it read as “threats of suicide are always wrong and abusive” is that we are warned that people who threaten to kill themselves or do some serious harm to themselves if the other person leave is emotionally abusive. This is true.
But then there are the times where you’re suffering and it really is that bad but you wouldn’t say it because you didn’t want to scare them or be scoffed at for it - or worse, encouraged into it - but they’re leaving! They’re leaving and you have no other way to explain how bad it really is and how much you really need them and fast enough to make them stay and “I’m going to kill myself” is the only thing that comes out fast enough and with enough force to make an impact like you need it to.
It’s desperation. It’s terror. And sometimes it’s truth. Maybe not right then, maybe not soon, but eventually you’re alone and abandoned and everyone else has given up on you, so why shouldn’t you give up on yourself?
It’s entirely possible that it’s emotional blackmail, but if it’s the truth, then maybe it’s not really wrong.
The one thing that’s telling in your reply is that it’s entirely from the vantage point of the depressed person, without consideration to what the other person must be thinking or feeling. So it’s easy to ignore the “I’ve had enough” or the other signs of their suffering and focus on the “I’m leaving” part. It doesn’t matter why they’re leaving but just that they are. While you describe how people who are depressed think in this situation, what is equally important is how the other person thinks too. In this and many other negative reactions to the comic, the woman’s feelings seem to be inconsequential or irrelevant.