I think when some people hear that some schizophrenics hear voices they think to themselves, “Well, just remind yourself they’re not real, it’s voices coming from nowhere.
The same can be said for clinically paranoid individuals, people will think “Well, if he just thought about it rationally he’d see he was just being paranoid”
But that’s the trouble with schizophrenic hallucinations and paranoid ideation.
They don’t know it’s not real, nor would they question it.
I will make a comparison with clinical depression and suicidal thoughts, since I’m far more familiar with it than schizophrenia.
There’s an idea that floats around that the clinically depressed just need to “snap out of it”.
But that’s the thing….
We don’t see abnormality in ourselves
The clinically depressed individual does not see themselves as having an illness or having an abnormal condition.We truly believe that we are a piece of shit. We truly believe that the world would be better without us. At least, when we’re symptomatic we do.
And that’s the problem with suicidal thoughts.
I think there’s an ambient idea that suicide is selfish. Nothing could be further from the truth. Others might call it cowardice. This is also a false characterization.
We all have a limit to what we can handle. The human mind copes with extreme depression until it can no longer cope. In that way it’s like a terminal disease. The body fights and fights and fights but eventually can no longer fight and the individual succumbs to death.
People may say that the suicidal individual is just thinking of themselves. Is the cancer patient just thinking of himself when his body gives out? No, and most would agree that someone who accused the cancer stricken individual of selfishness is not thinking straight.
Think of a man trying to lift a barbell off a friend’s chest in a serious gym accident. Is it selfish if they cannot pick up the weight? No. There are some weights that a person simply cannot lift.
There are some emotional weights
that cannot be lifted
and suicide is the expression of the weight of black and cold agony coming to a place where they can no longer lift it. We should never accuse a suicidal individual of selfishness. We should mourn the individual as we would a cancer patient who passed away.
But that thought is unthinkable…