Category Archives: Suicide

Misunderstanding Suicide

I recently heard about the verdict involving the student Dharun Ravi and the suicide of Tyler Clementi.

I will not here discuss the sentence of Dharun, this is outside the scope of my blog.

However suicide is not.

I don’t want people to cheapen suicide. And I feel that some people are by attempting to show a unitary cause-effect relationship between the invasion of privacy and his suicide.

I do not claim to know the mind of Tyler Clementi, and sadly his mind has left the communion of minds that is this world.

So I will speak from my own experience and make a suggestion.

I never attempted suicide in the strong sense, though it was constantly on my mind during the worst dredges of my severe depressed phase before being hospitalized.

My suicidal state was not a unitary cause-effect. It was the accumulation of world that I, like unto Atlas, carried upon my back. A singular world view of self-hatred and despair becoming massive and coming near the point of complete exhaustion.

And that point of complete exhaustion is suicide. The point at which I can no longer hold my world is suicide. Understand that at this point I believed that Hell was the end after death, that death was not really an escape. When the heat and stench of fire and brimstone engulf your being and yet this is preferred to the state of affairs, or when total annihilation of being is preferred we cannot be so naive as to proclaim a unitary cause-effect. Some people misunderstand it as “release”. It isn’t release. It’s extinction or worse. And yet living seems far beyond the “worse”…

To my compatriots in the depths of depression, press on, and receive the help of others if you can, you do not have to carry this alone. To my homosexual compatriots I say the same, and also say that you are not broken in your being, despite what some may say, that in fact your expression, understanding, and acceptance of your sexuality is indicative of the coherence of your being. You are you.

I wish the best for those who knew and weep for Mr. Clementi. In the great congress of minds we have lost a member, and this loss should be communally felt.

Be well,

unconstructed

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Emotionally Unstable: The Myth Gone Bad

Is it just me or do people cringe most or get most annoyed not by longwinded argued points, but by assumptions and off-hand remarks?

I was just watching this:

Slut Shaming

The part that got me didn’t have anything to do with the girl. The part that ticked me off was the off-hand remark about kids being emotionally unstable.

Let’s think carefully about that word for a minute.

What does it mean to be “emotionally unstable”? Does it mean the person is just a little away from the average in emotional scale?

No. He doesn’t give us that option.

He links it directly to “medication” going around. And somehow that is an explanation for more kids being emotionally unstable. This argument can be used to belittle clinical conditions. Granted, so can overprescribing medication. But we can’t merely say that all the growth is from the psychology of children changing or overprescription.

What about those children who wouldn’t have been found in the past? How many autistics went unhelped because it just wasn’t diagnosed or hadn’t been studied fully and so it was determined only by very obvious signs. What was a schizophrenic before the term came around?

He was just crazy. Mad.

Bipolars? Mad. Depressed? Lazy. Fibro? Liar. ME? Weakness. Autistic? Mad. Aspergers’? Weird or Neurotic

With better diagnostics and more studies shouldn’t we expect more children to be helped by medication and therapy? I know a young child who was diagnosed early with Asperger’s Syndrome. Did you know that there is a higher rate of suicides in Asperger’s children than those who do not have the condition? His mother was able to get him into special help so that he could learn to socialize with other children despite his socialization problems related to Asperger’s.

This very well may have saved his life.

People want to believe that mental illness really isn’t there. Especially in those illnesses where it isn’t extremely obvious due to hallucinations or the like. They want to think that this isn’t real. I’m not sure if this is so much because they can’t see it or because they just can’t conceive it and don’t want to believe that it could actually affect someone such that their actions are severely affected.

Think about the death penalty.

Why is it that we want/have wanted a “humane” death penalty at one time or another? I propose that it has nothing to do with the executed. It has to do with the executors. By that I mean not only the operators of the machine but also ¬†all the people of the area that were for the penalty being used. And I would argue it has nothing to do with their sense of conscience.

It’s because we don’t want to see death.

We want death to be quick and painless (or as painless as possible) because we can’t think about death for more than a few seconds in real life.

I thought of this when watching Green Mile during the botched execution seen. One of the executors didn’t wet the sponge on the victim’s head to allow for a quick death. A lot of people are watching him be killed/executed. But when it goes to long, and death stares them right in the face, they run like hell.

And perhaps this is part of the mental illness myths. We don’t want to believe they’re that serious. We don’t want to believe that that could happen to us or our children and that we or our children have no control of that? What do we do about a disease that we can’t see and has no complete physical understanding?

The unknown stares back at us and it is a darkness which we want no part in.

Well, I don’t get that luxury.

So I’m bringing my own dry sponge.

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The Opposite of Depression

The opposite of depression isn’t happiness. Happiness is fleeting. No, the opposite of depression is hope.

And that is what I have none of at the moment.

I once was sharp. I am blunt.

I once was fast. I am slow.

I once was healthy….

but I am no more.

When one sees nothing but darkness, no light at any corner, one begins to despair. But despair is fleeting. Beyond despair lies apathy. Apathy is the domination of hope. What you feel at that point is like looking into a pit that seeming both never ends, and has no light. And it is only within apathy that you jump into that abyss. It is only in apathy where time has no meaning for what is time when there is no hope? What is a minute when nothing will matter in an hour, and what is an hour when nothing will matter in a day. And infinitely it recurs.

I feel nothing but failure. This is despair. But it goes one step further. I am no longer Sisyphus. I no longer push the boulder forward for I have no hope. Even in his situation of perfect despair Sisyphus still pushed the rock. He pushed and pushed and the boulder never ascended over his hill. And that is despair. Despair is still attempting the ascent full well knowing that every previous attempt has ended in failure.

I am Sisyphus reborn. I am Sisyphus The Apathetic. I have lost what made the story of Sisyphus a story and I have replaced it with an obituary. Because apathy is like an obituary in a sense. Apathy concedes. Even in life apathy concedes, that is, even when the ball is in his favor according to others, apathy concedes.

I have gone through this before. Anecdotal evidence shows that I will return to a more normative pattern.

And yet in this state, I am apathetic even towards the end of apathy.

–Unthought

How do you tell someone to keep going?

I talk to a number of individuals with mental illness. A question that comes up a lot, and for the life of me I can’t think of a good answer, is

why keep going?

This can mean several different things. Why keep taking medication? Why keep going to my therapist?

… Why keep living at all?

I see the argument that many people make is that many people will be sad if the individual does one of these things. The standard “A lot of people will miss you and be sad if you die…”

But what kind of answer is that?

I mean that’s basically saying “You’re in incredible pain, we all know you’re in incredible pain, but we’d like you to stick around in incredible pain because you’re our token ailing person who ‘keeps pushing on’.

I realize this can work. But at the same time I feel like a horrible person using that argument. It’s not constructive. It’s almost belittling the person’s condition by comparing it to other people being “sad”. I mean really… “sad” vs “clinically depressed”…

It all comes back to that weird view of

“Stop doing this! You’re hurting…

ME!

ME!

I NEED TO NOT BE HURT!

YOU CAN SUFFER AND DIE BUT DON’T HURT ME!”

There’s got to be a better answer than this. And sometimes they’re not terribly hard to find.

But imagine the piss poor state of mind in which you are alive for someone else’s sake.

Also what if that person dies? Is that the red line? “Well, they’re dead so now I won’t make anybody sad”.

In the end I guess what I want people to think about is the meaning in the words they use. Words are important. Semantics are everything. It’s easy to give a procedural answer and feel better about yourself for having “helped” another individual. It’s a lot harder to really look these problems in the face. It’s hard to look into an abyss. It’s hard to look at depression closely because it’s darkness is all enveloping.

There is no light there.

Trite answers really don’t cut it.

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Convincing Doesn’t Work

Imagine for a moment you saw a big rabbit wherever you went.

And imagine, for a moment, that no one else could see the big rabbit, even though it talked and told jokes and was generally a well mannered rabbit fellow.

They’d tell you you’re crazy.

But you’d still believe in the rabbit.

They’d stick their hand through the air where the rabbit was.

“Oh, he moved” you’d say.

They’d tell you you’re talking to the air.

“Excuse me! Me and Harvey were chatting before you so rudely interrupted!”

Nothing they could do could convince you of the absence of Harvey.

Now consider the case of individuals with any number of conditions, from Anorexia Nervosa to Body Dysmorphic Disorder to severe depression.

These all have their Harveys.

Except in these cases Harvey is now some litigious demon Herod.

People see you’re feeling down. They ask you “what’s wrong”? or “why are you so sad? you’re such a good person!”

Herod of course whispers in your ear that you’re the scum of the earth. That there’s no one worse than you. That everyone would be better off without you. Even when people confront that directly, and say they would be very sad if you were no longer with them, Herod comes up with articulate reasoning that reminds you that they’re just lying. That they just pity you.

And I want my readers to think about that for a second.

When you tell someone with a disorder “I’d be very sad if you died”.

What exactly are you telling them? Are you telling them “Don’t kill yourself! Nono, nothing to do with your internal value or your personhood, just for ME! Don’t leave ME!”

I lived on that argument for a while. I took quite a while for me to accept my own internal value.

But that last one also sounds like the “snap out of it!” or “STOP!” ¬†ejaculations.

What do those really say?

“What are you doing?? Don’t do that you’re hurting yourself!! Snap out of it! Why are you doing this to….

…ME????”

I have to say I do not know the solution. But I think people without mood disorders should know what these things sound like.

–Unthought

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