I think, practically speaking, a lot of people do commit suicide without being in their right frame of mind. A friend of mine, aged 24 was dumped by her boyfriend-love of her life, person she was engaged to...she went home, went into her bedroom and took an overdose, her parents found her and she survived that time. In the weeks that followed she was so distraught that she tried to slash her wrists, then tried to hang herself. Her parents were trying to get her help, and she seemed 'on the mend', when one day she asked to go for a drive...on the motorway, she asked her parents to pull over, she wasn't feeling well she said. As her father did so, she opened the back door, jumped out and died instantly after being hit by a car. She was happy-go-lucky a month beforehand, but the being dumped triggered something in her...she really was on a mission to die, any way possible. It wasn't her, it was a mental condition, her emotions simply overwhelmed her, she thought life was over, so it had to be.
Another friend, a few years earlier had wanted to join the army but didn't pass his medical to get in. The day he heard, he was so upset-he'd never considered another career-he walked to the train-tracks and threw himself in front of a train. Had he given himself a few days to think about it, he would have realised life doesn't finish because you don't get to go into the army...but he really felt that strongly about it.
In both cases, it was 1 event that triggered the suicide...and I think their feelings were just so overwhelming they couldn't be pulled back from that. They were both religious, one was Jewish, the other the son of a Reform minister. But, they also felt the pain was too bad to carry on...I do still pray for them, and I do hope that they were 'out of their right mind' when they did what they did, and God will have had mercy on them.
Personally, I've had those impulses, and after 25 years of chronic depression, I do understand how it feels sometimes...and although I know my life belongs to God, that doesn't mean that I never think along those lines...just that so far I've successfully fought off those thoughts. But I do understand and pray for people who didn't manage that...
I have to respond to this. I suffered from depression from my early teens to my late thirties. Depression, as opposed to the blues, is an infirmity of the mind. The cure is medical and sprititual. I tried to commit suicide during this period a number of times. Unlike those with other mental illnesses, however, I don't think I ever lost my power of will and decision. Suicide is a grave sin against God and other people. Someone said it is the worst of sins. Suicidal thoughts and actions must be brought to the attention of doctors but most of all
to a priest for absolution which I have done. And yes, we pray for them as the CCC tells us.