Reply
Contributor
Slwar
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎06-24-2011

What Drives People To Suicide?

[ Edited ]

David remained in a state of extreme social withdrawal. But the patient to his right was fully engaged. Linda had been through many group therapy sessions and was determined to get as much as she could out of them.

 

"How can you say you know how we feel," she asked.  "Have you ever tried to commit suicide?"

 

Dr.Wilson wondered if she should answer honestly. There might never be a perfect time and place to reveal her secret. In a dramatic move, she pulled back the sleeve covering her right arm and revealed an alarming assortment of cuts and bruises.

 

"Yes, Linda, " she began. "I do know how you feel. I too have been there."

 

 

Broken Souls by Anthony Rawls is Christian poetry about God and Love, Life and Death, You and Me.
Distinguished Scribe
kathylcsw
Posts: 536
Registered: ‎12-28-2010
0 Kudos

Re: What Drives People To Suicide?

It took so much courage and strength for Dr. Linehan to share her personal store as she did. I am a licensed clinician social worker and I have attended trainings on DBT and have used a modified approach with substance abusers and seriously mentally ill patients on an acute psych unit at a state hospital. I totally agree that our mental health system is a mess. A large part of that is such basic misunderstanding of mental illness and our rush to criminality any behavior that is socially unacceptable. There is also a shameful lack of money and resources to help the mentally ill. I hope every day that there will be systemic changes that will provide the services and support that are so desperately needed.

Contributor
Slwar
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎06-24-2011
0 Kudos

Re: What Drives People To Suicide?

"Deeply suicidal people have tried to change a million times and failed. The only way to get through to them was to acknowledge that their behavior made sense: Thoughts of death were sweet release given what they were suffering."

 

When I read this in Dr. Linehan's article in The New York Times it seemed radical. At the same time I can understand how she is able to get through to deeply suicidal people and help save their life. She also impressed me as deeply spiritual.

 

Broken Souls by Anthony Rawls is Christian poetry about God and Love, Life and Death, You and Me.
New User
dr7hp
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-28-2011

Re: What Drives People To Suicide?

I am a registered nurse and have bipolar disorder. Mental illness runs in my family, primarily depression and anxiety disorders. I have had several hospitalizations over the past several yrs with my most recent one in 2009. I received ECT which was ineffective and has left me with degrees of anterograde and retrograde amnesia. I have always been open with my illness at work is truly amazing how many healthcare professionals, including physicians, do not understand these illnesses. Some people have told me "Gee, you would never know you had that". I am obtaining my Master's degree, but due to cognitive deficits it is very difficult. Since I returned to work after my hospitalization a couple of my colleagues have treated me differently had an experience in which my manager and director made discriminatory remarks about my illness. I was outraged. However, this has encouraged me to be more outspoken about mental illness and serve as a strong advocate. I cannot tolerate the stigma behind mental illness. These illnesses are difficult to live with on a daily basis, and living in a society that continues to remain ignorant about a medical illness is unacceptable.Practically everyone has computers-all they need to do is type in mental illness and they can receive volumes of information.

Eileen
Frequent Contributor
chad
Posts: 1,476
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
0 Kudos

Re: What Drives People To Suicide?

 

Jack Kevorkian (a..k.a. Dr. Death) recently died of pneumonia I believe. As you know, Kevorkian assisted those who wished to commit suicide because they were either in pain or were diagnosed with "terminal" diseases. 

 

And on a historical note: one of the most famous suicides in history was that of Cato "the younger"  who, in 46 B.C., who reportedly committed suicide for philiosophical reasons- he could not continue with his own life under the new rule of Caesar.

 

So, there are couple of reasons that might drive people to commit suicide. But I guess I could say that both of the aforementioned cases, or all suicide cases for that matter, are examples of different kinds of mental health problems left undiagnosed? or left untreated?

 

(?)

 

Chad 

Distinguished Scribe
kathylcsw
Posts: 536
Registered: ‎12-28-2010

Re: What Drives People To Suicide?

Chad I disagree that all people who commit suicide have untreated or undiagnosed mental illness. People with terminal illnesses are capable of reaching an informed and rational decision to die on their own terms. If you know you are dying and that your death will be drawn out and painful then to choose suicide is not indicative of mental illness.

 

People who kill themselves due to mental illness are not able to rationally make that decision. Depression causes a kind of "tunnel vision" if you will where the person is unable to see that they have more options than suicide. Depression causes a sense of hopelessness and they don't believe that they will ever feel better. They often believe that their loved ones would be better off without them and they feel helpless to make positive changes in their lives.

Frequent Contributor
chad
Posts: 1,476
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
0 Kudos

Re: What Drives People To Suicide?


kathylcsw wrote:

Chad I disagree that all people who commit suicide have untreated or undiagnosed mental illness. People with terminal illnesses are capable of reaching an informed and rational decision to die on their own terms. If you know you are dying and that your death will be drawn out and painful then to choose suicide is not indicative of mental illness.

 

People who kill themselves due to mental illness are not able to rationally make that decision. Depression causes a kind of "tunnel vision" if you will where the person is unable to see that they have more options than suicide. Depression causes a sense of hopelessness and they don't believe that they will ever feel better. They often believe that their loved ones would be better off without them and they feel helpless to make positive changes in their lives.


 

Whether behavior was "rational" or "irrational", either on the part of Kervorkian or his patients, contributed to much of the controversy surrounding  the Kervorkian-assisted suicides, in particular, and surrounds most suicide cases, in general. It is a complicated and controversial topic....we observe suicidal behavior in other species as well.

 

Chad

 

Inspired Bibliophile
GS2991
Posts: 2,590
Registered: ‎04-21-2011
0 Kudos

Re: What Drives People To Suicide?

Hi I'm just visiting:smileyhappy: Anyway to the question, Loneliness is one...please don't ask .....this is the first time I've breathed a word about it....well its strange its kinda realiving.
Silence is golden,
Duck tape is silver.

Book Sharks: No need to breathe, just read!
Frequent Contributor
chad
Posts: 1,476
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
0 Kudos

Re: What Drives People To Suicide?

[ Edited ]

I decided to post a few on the current events board, but I'm usually on the classics board. And for that matter, may I recommend "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville?

 

Chad

Distinguished Bibliophile
KathyS
Posts: 6,893
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Suicide - Recommended reading


dr7hp wrote:

I am a registered nurse and have bipolar disorder. Mental illness runs in my family, primarily depression and anxiety disorders. I have had several hospitalizations over the past several yrs with my most recent one in 2009. I received ECT which was ineffective and has left me with degrees of anterograde and retrograde amnesia. I have always been open with my illness at work is truly amazing how many healthcare professionals, including physicians, do not understand these illnesses. Some people have told me "Gee, you would never know you had that". I am obtaining my Master's degree, but due to cognitive deficits it is very difficult. Since I returned to work after my hospitalization a couple of my colleagues have treated me differently had an experience in which my manager and director made discriminatory remarks about my illness. I was outraged. However, this has encouraged me to be more outspoken about mental illness and serve as a strong advocate. I cannot tolerate the stigma behind mental illness. These illnesses are difficult to live with on a daily basis, and living in a society that continues to remain ignorant about a medical illness is unacceptable.Practically everyone has computers-all they need to do is type in mental illness and they can receive volumes of information.



Dear Eileen,

 

I commend you for your courage, and I wish you continued well being. 

 

This topic has come up, from time to time, on these boards, especially Ilana Simons' Literature and Life board (now archived), and on her blog, which she now no longer writes.

 

During a discussion in the First Look Club's now archived board, we had the pleasure of talking to Shandi Mitchell about her beautifully told story, in her novel, Under This Unbroken Sky.  Suicide and depression were primary subjects up for discussion. 

 

Lisa Tucker also writes about this subject in her novel, The Promised World

 

For anyone with MD, or Bi-Polar, I recommend all of the following books written by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison.  As a doctor, a teacher, and a writer, she speaks with a clear and beautiful voice on this subject, as she, herself, suffers with it.  She doesn't mince words, nor does she hold back anything about her life, both personally, and professionally.  A therapist friend of mind had heard her speak, and recommended the book, Touched with Fire, to me.

 

An Unquiet Mind - A Memoir of Moods and Madness 

Touched with Fire -Manic-Depressive illness and the Artistic Mind 

Nothing Was the Same - A Memoir about her life with her husband

Night Falls Fast -Understanding Suicide 

Exuberance - The Passion for Life

 

Another wonderful book was suggested reading for me, Virginia Woolfbecoming a writer, by Katherine Dalsimer.  For anyone studying, or wanting to understand Virginia Woolf through her writing, this is a great book. 

 

I think reading about this disorder can give incalculable insight to anyone who either lives with it, personally, or knows someone (friend or family), or works with patients who suffer with this. 

 

Suicide (in regards to this disorder), is the result of great pain, both physically and mentally, a pain that most people can't comprehend if they've never experienced depression to this degree.  Most who do not understand suicide, tag suicide as selfish.  Understanding, through reading, will give you the reasons behind any illness, throwing a great light on a subject.  This subject is one that most people either can't, or won't talk about.  Kay writes in plain words, words anyone can understand.

 

All the best to you,

Kathy S.

New User
Donna888didi
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎07-02-2011

Re: Suicide - Recommended reading

There are certain words that haunt me. Suicide has always been one of those words. My brother commited suicide at the age of nineteen. I was ten at the time. No one explained it to me. No one understood it but for the next four years my world started to unravel. I hope my brother didn't think that his actions would change us for the better because all it did was rip us apart. In four years every member of my family attempted suicide. It was a domino effect, something I learned in therapy years later. I ended up in a mental ward at the age of fifteen where I was given doses of several different anti-depressants. It was nineteen ninety eight, before they even knew that giving anti-depressants to teenagers could cause suicidal thoughts to increase. So I was released after becoming anorexic and highly suicidal. It took about another three years of slowly killing myself before I realized that only I could decide that it was enough. I had spent enough years with horrific thoughts. That I was worth it. We all have a gift that we can share, whether it be through helping others with the disease or through sharing our stories through words. I have written my story of those dark days but I keep from publishing it due to it's dark nature. I am Native American. A huge number of young Native men and women are being lost to suicide. I don't know if this has anything to do with poverty or living with the sense of never fully belonging but I know that a lot of talented people have been lost to something that to this day, haunts me. Suicide will never make sense to me because it doesn't. Today I have three children that will never get to know their Uncles or their Grandfather because of suicide. It is a word not to be taken lightly.

Debut novel , Skookum - Evil God of the Woods. Ebook available for nook through Smashwords.
Contributor
Slwar
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎06-24-2011
0 Kudos

Re: What Drives People To Suicide?

David looked at Dr. Wilson’s arm. The array of cuts and bruises awakened him out of his self-imposed mental isolation. His mind replayed what she had earlier confessed. He wondered if she was qualified to help suicidal people if she herself had attempted to take her own life. Confused, he retreated back into his self-imposed exile; a lonely place that he guarded 24/7, for fear that the gawking eyes of suspicious strangers would intrude into the sacred sanctimony of his Broken Soul.

 

 



Broken Souls by Anthony Rawls is Christian poetry about God and Love, Life and Death, You and Me.
New User
dr7hp
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-28-2011
0 Kudos

Re: Suicide - Recommended reading

Kathy,

Thank you so much for the reading recommendations.I will definitely be looking for them.

:

Eileen

Eileen
Frequent Contributor
chad
Posts: 1,476
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
0 Kudos

Re: What Drives People To Suicide?:Moby Dick

...and I didn't want to trivialize the subject with my suggestion. Melville essentially compares a suicide to a "mutiny" of some kind, whether it be a mutiny of the body vs. the mind, or the mind vs. the body, or an individual vs society, or perhaps vice versa---maybe more understandable in this light(?)...but Moby is a great read for many things....

 

Chad