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Suicide is such sorrow

  1. Mar 8, 2016 #1
    I've been getting into Boston recently come the early spring, and having to (appreciatingly) hear Brad Delp's voice on every song I get saddened by the fact that I knowingly know that he locked himself in his bathroom with two BBQ grills and set the propane or whatever carbon monoxide concoction thereof a-mist in order to kill himself. He stuffed the borders of the doors with towels so the CO couldn't escape so we know it was a suicide. He left his poor wife a widow just weeks after their marriage. How tragic can this get? I do think about this from time to time and I'm sure you probably don't even know what I'm talking about. And that's the problemo.

    Let's look at Robin Williams, he strapped himself to the back of a door and hung himself. I cry over these tragedies.. Chuck Negron would have been dead but he hung himself from a leaky hot water pipe that collapsed. Good for him.

    What can we do to prevent future suicides?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2016 #2
    Probably listen to everyone and observe the warning signs like bad mood (though many learn to take simile and laughter while they suffer inside), loss of interests and hobbies, lack of sleep or too much sleep, bad hygiene...
    Never say :don't be so sad or I don't understand why you feel this way or Cheer up! These are the worst things you can say to a person suffering from depression or anxiety.
    It is also my case. I've got issues and when I talked about them to someone and they would say things like these I put that person into category "never talk to this person about my feelings again". From than on, I would fake good mood and smile with them, while suffering inside... I guess this is the case why suicide may come as a surprise in many cases.
    The most important thing that family and friends can do is to listen, let that person talk, don't judge their feelings. Don't try to persuade them that things aren't so bad. It will make things MUCH worse and the person will start to feel guilty and misunderstood in addition to being sad. Say things like I understand you are sad , it must be difficult for you. And encourage them to get professional help and medication.
  4. Mar 9, 2016 #3
  5. Mar 9, 2016 #4
    "Life is a short warm moment, death is long cold rest..."

    -Pink Floyd
  6. Mar 10, 2016 #5
    I don't know :frown:. I know nothing of support. I just sit and listen when someone is sad. Although I've never encountered someone wanting to do it. I just listen or simply sit in silence, more or less like in here:

  7. Mar 11, 2016 #6


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    I did some crisis intervention training years ago when I was in graduate school and one of the things I remember about suicide was that in the lead up to it what you often have is a person who is in so much pain that the only way that person can see to stop it is to end his or her life. Frequently this person is suffering in ways that are unseen to the outside world, and in many cases the person will go to great lengths to cover it up. On top of whatever root cause(s) that person is dealing with there are also issues with stigma and social pressures that play a big role in keeping that person for reaching out for help. Like mental illness, many people feel as if entertaining suicidal thoughts stems from a weakness of character. Additional struggles with drug and/or alcohol addition don't help matters much.

    So it would seem that ways to address this would include:
    • improved social awareness
    • training in recognition of suicidal risk factors for certain professionals including teachers, front line medical workers, social workers, police, etc.
    • providing safe environments for people to disclose such thoughts without judgement
  8. Mar 11, 2016 #7
    The thing that hurts the most about suicide is not being able to confront the person and ask, "WHY?"

    Too often there are few prior indications. And if someone is really motivated to do it, especially if nobody suspects in advance, it's probably going to happen. Substances legal or otherwise can greatly compound a mental issue and abruptly put a person over the edge.

    Suicide is also in my opinion the paramount of selfish acts. Whether it's intended or not the message that is sent through suicide is "f**k you all." You can't even tell the person how angry you are about it; they're gone and you are left here with the pain they didn't want to deal with.

    I don't really have a good answer either. I've coped with it in my own head and only know the way I figured it out was to never stop believing that it's better to be alive. Make sure you're always reminding everyone around you of that.
  9. Mar 12, 2016 #8
    Well, we just lost another one to an apparent suicide, Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer fame:


    RIP Keith

    I'm not an expert in this area but what seems curious to me is the later age that many of these recent suicides seem to be happening. Keith was 71, Brad was 56, Robin was 63. Throw in Hunter S. Thomson in there too as well as probably many others. I always thought that if you made it past adolescence, you were pretty much homefree. Perhaps the later-life grief in celebrities comes simply from that loss of fame, love of adulation that probably drove them to become celebrities in the first place. IDK. But 60-ish seems a weird age to commit suicide if you don't have some sort of intractable disease condition. I'd think that if you've made it that far, what you're mostly concerned about is squeaking out what few years of health you have left. It would seem as if you would have by then developed strong techniques to deal with psychological depression.

    Edit: I did a little more reading, and here may some insight into my own question, at least regarding Hunter Thomson:


    "Thompson's inner circle told the press that he had been depressed, and always found February a "gloomy" month, with football season over and the harsh Colorado winter weather. He was also upset over his advancing age and chronic medical problems, including a hip replacement; he would frequently mutter "This kid is getting old." Rolling Stonepublished what Doug Brinkley described as a suicide note written by Thompson to his wife, titled "Football Season Is Over". It read:

    "No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your (old) age. Relax — This won't hurt."[48]
    Thompson's collaborator and friend Ralph Steadman wrote:

    "... He told me 25 years ago that he would feel real trapped if he didn't know that he could commit suicide at any moment. I don't know if that is brave or stupid or what, but it was inevitable."
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  10. Mar 12, 2016 #9
  11. Mar 12, 2016 #10
    I am 18 and I guess too young to talk about this but I do know one thing. Whenever I feel sad and wonder about why it is that I even exist, I don't think of myself. I think of people near me. I think of my family, my friends and my loved ones.
    I think of what I mean to them. Most of the times we just don't know what we mean to people. I believe it is here that the problem lies.
    I have always believed that deep down, all a human being desires is love. He /She wants someone who loves them.
    So when one is sad, one should think of people one loves and people who love one back.
    The simplest way to prevent suicides would be to tell the people you love that you care. That there is someone they can rely upon. That there is a larger cause to life.
    Social forums like this one could help a lot too. I mean, just open a random General Discussion thread and see if you don't end up laughing. Most of the time Psinter or Drakkith or Phinds end up making a hilarious joke which brightens the day up.
  12. Mar 12, 2016 #11
    This is all very nice and I see that it could help a healthy person. So far it is helping me (I haven't thought about suicide for some time now). It's just that if someone has a chemical imbalance in their brain, these things will not help. It's the same as telling someone with broken leg to look at other people running and try to do the same.
    There are times when joke can help and there are other times when joke and watching people have fun can increase the pain.
  13. Mar 12, 2016 #12

    When she doesn't want to smile, but you keep making faces and funny stuff until she finally smiles:


    The one with the camera probably was: "Eh, eh, eh? Ahahahahaha."
  14. Mar 13, 2016 #13
    Helping you in what Sophia?

    Psinter you ain't like that man. Your jokes are nice. Even the creepy forest didn't sound too creepy coming from your tongue (or keyboard).
  15. Mar 13, 2016 #14
    Just saying that currently I am in a much better state than I used to be. Internet and little jokes and fun comments can improve my mood.
    A year or two ago things like these didn't help much.
  16. Mar 15, 2016 #15
    I, like a few others I know, all over 70, hope to end our lives on our own terms. I cared for my mother for the nine years she lived after a devastating stroke. My mother-in-law lived to 102 and the last four years were excruciatingly difficult for her, but she did quite well till 97. Difficult calculation while living is still pleasant.

    "Suicide is also in my opinion the paramount of selfish acts. Whether it's intended or not the message that is sent through suicide is "f**k you all.""
    Yes, generally "suicide is a selfish act". And *to hell with you all" may, on rare occasion, be part of the motivation. But more often a person is just overwhelmed by pain, either physiological or psychological. To take it as a personal affront is not helpful to one's self or particularly rational.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2016
  17. Mar 15, 2016 #16
    as I gave the link in my previous reply,
    modern neuropsychiatric point of view:
    depression and tendency to suicide are organic and sometimes genetic brain disorders.
    I have bipolar disorder.
    my depression periods are sometimes treatment resistant but I have no tendency to suicide.
  18. Mar 15, 2016 #17
    I was going to make a joke about suicide, copyrights and terms of service, but I'll leave it for another occasion, another place, and another audience. Edit: Which at the same time reminds me of someone commenting once something along these lines:
    I agree, therefore I liked your post. :wink:
  19. Mar 16, 2016 #18
    Doesn't seem to be proven so far? Scary thought though.
  20. Mar 16, 2016 #19
    Yes and when they choose to end their own life they shed all that pain to everyone they care about. They get the one way ticket out. Suicide causes permanent damage to more people than the direct victim. The act of suicide conveys a hurtful message irrespective of whatever the one who carries it out wants to say. Sometimes it can even be part of the intent. It's nothing glorious. It just spreads the misery around.

    I just don't believe you get the choice in that part. It's fine to excercise a right and demonstrate control over your own life and make it your own choice but if there's anyone in the world who cares about you I can promise they prefer to have you around. Severe pain and suffering aside, it's a choice you make to deprive others of your presence so that your own experience might overall be less unpleasant. It's a selfish decision plain and simple.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  21. Mar 16, 2016 #20


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    That is too simplistic. It might be true in many cases, but in some cases -including some of the ones mentioned above- the decision has to be up to the individual. The obvious example would be someone who is already terminally ill, is in a lot of pain or knows that he/she will be suffering from severe dementia in the near future. In these cases no one else has a right to say whether or not this is the right cause of action or not. Ultimately, it has to do with quality of life.

    That said, one would hope that everyone involved is aware of this and that it has been discussed openly so that it does not come as a complete shock (that is certainly the case in my family).
  22. Mar 16, 2016 #21
    Complicated answer to a complicated problem. For someone who is completely serious and determined about leaving this world there is absolutely nothing that can be done. These are the ones that don't talk about it, they don't tell anyone what's on their mind. They just do it. For those that are on the fence, they usually discus their feelings, they show outward signs of inner pain. They give you clues. For those who are seeking recognition and acknowledgement they usually come right out and tell you. Because they are hoping someone cares enough to intervene the "cry for help" type. For the first type there is no solution other then recognition of vague signs, (giving away of property, contacting old friends and saying goodbye, sad and depressed, preferring isolation instead of social interaction. ect) then observation and acknowledgment that they may be having a problem, and hopefully they will give a solid clue as to their intentions. But even then if they have a made up mind there is little that can be done.

    I always tell anyone who even talks casually about suicide 'its a permanent solution to temporary problems, eventually all storms pass"
  23. Mar 16, 2016 #22
    I'm a firm believer in the decision resting with the individual. Really I have a lot of problems with most of the western legal doctrines regarding suicide as I view it as law depriving one of a freedom. And since there's no way to avoid the end of life anyway its a rationalization.

    It's not too simplistic. It's always a component. When someone watches another fight some malady or cling to life until the bitter end, it can be a painful and traumatic thing to endure in itself. In the end it's the disease that takes the loved one. When someone decides they don't want to go that route, or even take the chance of it in some cases, that can spare the survivors and the victim alike the suffering of a painful decline. It might be a worthwhile trade off. It's still a trade off.

    This is not a social trend I see a problem with. Suicide for other reasons is a different story. I think that's the main focus of this thread, it's not so much the freedoms of suicide as the motivations of those who are not terminally ill or otherwise and yet still see death as the only way out of what they view as a bad situation.
  24. Mar 16, 2016 #23
    We are also considering the case of someone who seemingly kills them selves out of the blue. Here people on the outside are completely unaware of the titanic struggles going on within the individual nor have they any inkling of the pain the person is in. So it is easier to condemn them than someone who is seen struggling to swim to shore but who finally loses that struggle to the currents. For outsiders both are sad, and both are tragic to their loved ones. The suicide of course leaves searing questions, and when we are deeply wounded we are want to find blame. But this kind of anger/hurt is probably best handled by introspection done with the help of a carefully chosen professional.
  25. Mar 16, 2016 #24
    Actually einswine this is primarily what we're considering here. And this is why. In the case of, say, an elderly family member deciding they want to die with dignity through an arranged suicide, this is something that is normally brought before the family, discussed, everybody involved gets to come to terms with it prior, not just the person considering suicide. It's not the same thing as someone who is buried under crushing pain inside and ultimately relents through taking their own life.

    Your arguements dilutes the issue of this latter form of suicide which is really only synonymous to what you're addressing in name and legal description. It's not productive in a discussion of suicide as a social problem. The legal subject of living will and elderly health and care is a loosely related but separate issue.
  26. Mar 16, 2016 #25
    Well in some cases I wouldn't exactly call that a "suicide". Many hospitals will aid a dying adult with the option of a legal document called a (DNR) that's what happened to my oldest brother. He was on a ventilator his kidneys were failing and he had blood poisoning from gangrene in his right leg. He made his wishes known to only one person (I'm not sure of its validity) but she had power of attorney. According to her he didn't want to be kept alive on a machine. I think everyone can say that with conviction and toughness till that moment comes. His eyes told me a different story. The physician told us he had one chance to live and that was amputation of the leg and dialysis they gave that option a 50/50 chance if they could get the infection under control. However my niece and myself were the only 2 to want to try and treat him. Everyone else opted for the removal of the breathing tube and "comfort medication" in the form of a massive dose of morphine. The breathing tube came out, the morphine went in and within 30 minutes his heart stopped. The hospital assisted in 2 ways, They removed life saving equipment and gave him a medication that can slow your breathing and O2 saturation. I watched his blood pressure drop to 50/40 seconds after the injections.

    That's more like euthanasia then it is anything else.

    And just so you know he was conscious until his heart stopped. He couldn't speak but could mouth words. and he really didn't appear to understand what was happening at the time. I truly don't think he knew what was going on when they took out the breathing tube. He even appeared somewhat confused by people telling him goodbye and then staying in the room.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
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