Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Suicide: "Should I stay or should I go"

Is suicide a way of leaving the pain or is it an attempt to go someplace else? This may seem like a small semantic point, but it seems to me it would make a huge difference in trying to prevent suicide.

If suicide, I think in the more “classic” view, occurs because an individual has “run out of other choices” in how to deal with the pain (psychic and/or physical) they are experiencing, it would seem to be “easier” to deal with, prevent. With that sort of thought process behind it, the task would be to expand their choices or demonstrate to the individual that there are other choices in dealing with their life, their pain. While this likely would be difficult in many cases, it would be possible because their focus is already here and now.

If however, suicide is a choosing of a new way of being, a beginning of a journey to somewhere better, it would be much more difficult to address, to prevent. Their focus is “beyond”, not here. It would be difficult to convince an individual that the “next place” is not/may not be better. Again you would work to expand their options in the here and now, their reasons for staying, but you would be working to convince them that there isn’t a better way of being, at the same time, unless they “remake” the here and now into that way of being.

Granted they would be getting other issues addressed/worked on, as well, and likely medications to rebalance their neurotransmitter milieu, but the reasoning behind their choice of suicide would always be the 400 lb. elephant in the room.

More a rumination than anything, but I think pretty thought provoking, particularly as we go forward with work to put suicide prevention programs in place. Also worth thinking about if your life has been touched by suicide.


Anonymous said...

I'm someone who has attempted suicide. I'm lucky because I was able to get help and I'm healthy now. With each of my attempts I felt like I didn't belong here. By some feaky, cosmic accident I was assigned to the wrong planet. In planing each attempt I fully believed that I wasn't leaving my only life, just going someplace else. It's hard to explain how it feels to be so disconnected to everyone and everyplace.THANK YOU for your post. I think you are one of the few people who really understand. I thank God everyday that I was able to get help and find medications that continue to help me. Suicide attempts aren't always a cry for help, sometimes it's just a cry.

Frank said...

Hello there,

Interesting blog.

As to suicide, what happens if one really believes one is truly out of choices?

I, for one, am not in any dreadful situation or lifestyle, but am indeed disillusioned with my fellow mankind.

I'm not a drug/alcohol abuser and come from a very middle class family with no major issues.

I , personally, feel that either I have to exist in a rather nasty world or somehow take my own life.

But, although I'd like to cease, I cannot due to immediate family and their feelings.

So, obviously, ill have to be about for the next thirty years or so.

The point I'm trying to make in a very convoluted way is that some folk just don't fit in or belong to the world in which most people do.

And for some, not all, I believe suicide should be legal and supported by the state.

I realise this opens an enormous can of worms in the legal and ethical worlds, and indeed would have to be very carfully regulated.

To most that would sound odd, but Im positive there are many folk who would like to cease who don't suffer from dilusional mental health issues or who are not capable of making a rational decision.

I applaud all those who have got over the hump of angst/depression etc.

But for the rest of us, an easy painless and legal way out would be a boon.

Each to their own, and I'm not condoning suicide in any way, and would recommended many other avenues of assistance and wholeheartedly push anyone with dark thoughts to seek help.

Rather, a Democratic choice to live or not in an adult way.

I hope I've kinda got my point across.



Dr. Richard Keller said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it certainly is food for thought.