19-year-old top student makes list of reasons to live or die and, unable to bear the pressure, jumps off building to commit suicide
Reasons to die: 6. Reasons to live: 23. Yet in the end, the reasons to live failed to prevail over the reasons to die. On May 4, Wang Shuo chose to jump off a building, using this most extreme and most desperate method to free himself. In this boy’s 19 years of life, the final 3 years were spent suffering from depression. “What’s the purpose of life? And why does life have to be so difficult?” he often asked himself after being diagnosed with depression. We cannot presume exactly what he meant by “difficult”, however, he most of the reasons to die he listed were related to school.
In 2009, Wang Shuo was a second-year student in a top class of a top high school in Changji, Xinjiang. The students there have always been very competitive, and with the Gaokao university entrance examinations approaching, there was a lot of schoolwork, and everyone was under a lot of stress. “He started to act weird in the second year of high school, often tearing apart his textbooks in class, him saying he already knows everything the teacher is saying. He also often didn’t turn in his homework, saying it was a waste of time.” In the beginning of 2010, Wang Shuo was diagnosed with Clinical Depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and was hospitalized in Urumqi. From the beginning of 2010 to the beginning of this year, Wang Shuo had been hospitalized in Urumqi and Beijing four times, and as a result of being unable to focus his energy on his studies, as well chest pains and other symptoms, he would go to school sometimes but rest at home at other times.
In 2010, Wang Shuo was admitted to a Computer Science major by at Shihezi University. After 5 days, he took a leave of absence from school. In his second year, he attended class for 3 days before never going back. Later, Wang Shuo became aware of how severe his illness was and thought about fighting against it. This year, he decided to find a job to help keep his mind off of things. He had tried being a waiter, a clothing shop assistant and a mobile phone shop assistant, none of which lasted more than just one day.
After Wang Shuo’s death, his mother Zhang Li found a notebook while organizing his bedroom, discovering inside that he had used brief phases and broken sentences to record all the complicated things that were going on in his mind. Amongst the things written in the notebook, this table of “reasons to live or die” (see image) made her even more heartbroken.
Translation of the above:
Comments from Sina Weibo:
Within the lists of reasons to “live” or “die”, you can imagine just how miserable he was.
Don’t blame the “system”, every year millions of people get through it, but why did he die? Those here arguing this or that, aren’t you all products of this system? Why didn’t you guys kill yourselves? Think about the reasons, and your life experience throughout those years. The influences brought by your parents, relatives, friends and teachers. Was the personality you developed proactive, passive, pessimistic, or some other characteristic?
Must have also been caused by those TV programs making people more and more disappointed [with life/society].
It’s possible his parents were among the reasons for his death. Look at how he went through so much, depression, dropping out of school, but he didn’t even mention the care from his parents in those reasons to live.
What about dreams? Love? Or responsibility?
I’m used to such things…At our school, every year there are suicide jumpings, that it’d be weird if there wasn’t one. This is the [special] characteristics [of modern China].
Among the reasons to live, there isn’t any based in social connections except for the first one. His depression must have been so severe.
There are two reasons to die: his illness and schoolwork; but there is only one reason to live: entertainment. While growing up, from school to society, we have been continuously pushed to survive. Faith, purpose, responsibility, family, those are fundamental reasons for us to live, but where are they [in his list]…
Reminds me of a classmate in college who after long-term depression jumped off a building, very sad.
There is a saying: good movies can make a suicidal man forget his troubles and put it off for one more week.
There was only one reason for me to live when I was in university, which is the money my parents paid for my tuition, an investment that hasn’t yet been paid back.
There must have been problems with how his parents raised him too. Life isn’t just about studying, and studying also isn’t necessarily the most miserable thing in this world.
Have you lost someone special to suicide? What were the reasons for their decision?