Author Topic: The Suicide Culture  (Read 689 times)

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Offline MirrorMask

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Re: The Suicide Culture
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2018, 03:40:14 AM »
Some years ago I thought that suicide was the most selfish of acts, and an easy way out. I've come recently to realize that it's impossible to judge what goes on in the minds of people close to you, let alone famous people. There is no definite "scientific law" to predict what affects someone's behaviour, and the thought process that brings them to commit suicide.

Also, there is need for a big social awakening about depression. Depression is not being very sad. Depression is not what you feel after having seen the Red Wedding on Game of Thrones. Depression happens because something in your brain doesn't work properly, it's an ilness and should be treated as such. The brain is an organ of the body like anything else, and something not working within the brain is an illness just and precisely like when your kidney isn't working, or your liver. Depressed people needs support and proper and qualified medical help and medical cures, not a walk in the woods or "trying to not be so sad". Yeah, try not bleeding so much after you've cut yourself.

I don't know how much today's interconnected society has to do with it, and how the social media "fame" of random people or the actual stardom of "famous" people can influence someone.

Most of you here know Kamelot; Roy Khan, their classic singer, left the band some years ago due to a burnout. Recently in an interview he said that he was starting to feel the pressure of performing at such a high level, and he was bothered how night after night countless fans would wait for him for autographs and pictures and that got him anxious, prone to drinking, and sleep deprived. Eventually after Wacken he decided he couldn't handle the pressure of it all and walked away, getting anxious whenever someone even tried to talk about the band.

He got away with that.... I firmly believe that another person in his place, with different walks of life and maybe with different problems, might have considered suicide, rather than "just" leaving the band and retiring to the countryside. Everyone reacts differently to problems of both fame and everyday's life, and you can't predict or try to find signs you should have seen that weren't there.

A better awareness for all the social problems is the key to try to stop it whenever possible. I believe that, while it's not that someone decides to kill themselves or to shoot kids in school just because someone else does it, in the subconcious the idea that these things exist makes these options somehow "real" and avalaible. No one thinks on wedding day "If my wife is gonna cheat on me I'm gonna kill her", but years and years of hearing of husbands killing their wives somehow makes it seem, under stress and duress, as something belonging to the list of things that one could do, while maybe in other situations it was unthinkable. Look also at terorrist attacks - 9/11 shocked me mainly because I couldn't even THINK of hijacking planes to crash them into buildings. If severe security measures would have not been implemented, I believe further attempts would have been made. Now it's easier to use trucks and that's what terrorists do, once someone got the idea everyone followed.

The problem of suicides won't go away stopping to talk and report it, so that less people may even think or remember it's an option avalaible. But as I said a better understanding of the problem, of depression, and encouraging people to reach out to a support system may help to make people remember there's a way out, when they think there is none.
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Re: The Suicide Culture
« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2018, 08:05:45 AM »
Great post. One thing I'd like to add is that depression and addiction/alcoholism go hand in hand. At some point the substance serves to alleve the symptoms, or makes them tolerable, but with the compounding effects of the usage(and the social,  physical and spiritual toll that the lifestyle takes), it only adds to the hopelessness of the situation and makes eating a bullet or jumping off a building seen a very plausible and acceptable answer. (I do speak from past experience).

Also, alcohol causes and compounds depression. I was neck deep for years, and within months of getting sober a majority of it lifted.
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Re: The Suicide Culture
« Reply #37 on: June 09, 2018, 08:55:20 AM »
Two things.

One, I really wish people would get away from saying "commit" suicide.  That's a huge part of the stigma why it's still a taboo discussion topic.  If it wasn't viewed as a crime or a mortal sin (again, let's stay away from the P/R side of it as Bosk said), perhaps more people would be open to discussing it, and that would give those in real need of a release an outlet for that release - rather than deciding their only release of the pain that they are in (see below) is to take their own life

Second (forgive me if this was mentioned, I didn't read every post yet), but I see it as a way to escape immense and intolerable pain - tantamount to EB's reference of those with an incurable physical illness.  I firmly believe that a significant (all?) number of people who die from suicide view their mental pain and aguish as something that is incurable, and they have made the tragically difficult decision to end their pain.
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Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: The Suicide Culture
« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2018, 09:15:29 AM »
It's been tough just to read through this conversation and not participate because a large part of how I view suicide is spiritual/religious in nature. Not in a condemning way but in the aspect of for someone to reach that point in their life where ending it is the 'best' option.....that person has zero hope left....zero reason to remain living. That's flat out sad to see, no matter who it is. It's really hard to imagine ending my life is the best option
I have but then again I can't imagine the physical/emotional pain that someone has endured to get them to that point. It must be an intolerable weight and burden if it defeats the innate....natural instinct that is in us all to continue to live and survive at all costs.

I attribute that condition to more than just a sum of horrid physical pain or chemical imbalances in the brain....I do think there is a spiritual aspect to it as well. I'll try to not derail and go full on P/R with this statement but I don't see it as just a simple 'lack' of a spiritual/religious 'lifestyle' but the realization that there is a constant spiritual warfare going on in our lives with an enemy that hates us and anytime he's withered a soul into submission where suicide is the best option it's just another small victory for him yet devastating loss (and spiritual hit) for all those who love and care for the individual who has ended their life.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Suicide Culture
« Reply #39 on: June 09, 2018, 09:23:21 AM »
The sad thing for some is, it could be someone who fights whatever demons they have really well nearly every day, but have just one really bad day where they don't want to fight them anymore and decide to put an end to them.  You often hear stories about those around someone who committed suicide along the lines of "he/she seemed fine," which maybe they were most of the time, but they had a really bad day where everything in their head just came crashing down at once and they had a bad moment.  I think, in a very real way, social media has made it far worse for people since you always have people who act like their life is so great, making it easy for those who think theirs isn't to think, "Everybody is doing so great, while I am not," which just speeds up the downhill slide.

I used to be of the "you are weak if you commit suicide" line of thinking, but not anymore.  I remember reading the story about Robin Williams and all of the health problems he was having.  I think it is clear that he thought they were never going to get better and just couldn't take the daily pain anymore.  Does that mean he was weak?  I would say no.  The mental and physical pain just beat him down and got the best of him.  We are all only human, after all.

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Re: The Suicide Culture
« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2018, 09:27:41 AM »
Two things.

One, I really wish people would get away from saying "commit" suicide.  That's a huge part of the stigma why it's still a taboo discussion topic.  If it wasn't viewed as a crime or a mortal sin (again, let's stay away from the P/R side of it as Bosk said), perhaps more people would be open to discussing it, and that would give those in real need of a release an outlet for that release - rather than deciding their only release of the pain that they are in (see below) is to take their own life

Second (forgive me if this was mentioned, I didn't read every post yet), but I see it as a way to escape immense and intolerable pain - tantamount to EB's reference of those with an incurable physical illness.  I firmly believe that a significant (all?) number of people who die from suicide view their mental pain and aguish as something that is incurable, and they have made the tragically difficult decision to end their pain.

If I may, I think the two points you made - excellent points, by the way - are related.   Related in the sense that if you don't feel that way it's hard to communicate about it realistically, and if you do feel that way, it's hard to incorporate that someone else might understand what you're going through.

One of my close friend's brother passed in this manner.   His own sister (my friend) and his parents were SHOCKED.  These are the people that ought to know him best, ought to maybe have some sense of understanding, and yet...   this was the guy that was the first one to family reunions.   The first one to offer the toast.  The first one to call on birthdays and what not.  Successful businessman.  Beautiful wife and kids.   

We're at a conundrum (and I'm sorry to beat the dead horse, but the social media and the social agenda don't help here, only make it worse):  we have this conflicting need to be a part of something bigger (which by definition requires you to compromise and soften your edges) and this incessant need to be "unique".   I think some of this emphasis on "you be you" has inadvertently served to reinforce the idea that "no one thinks like I do".   Hell, I don't (thank GOD) suffer from depression, but I spend more time in my therapy than I ought to asking "is it just me, or?"   I think we've done our society - and the people within that society - a disservice by trying to simultaneously sell the idea that we all have an equal part in this, we're all the same, we're all wonderful, but only if we're different and unique and interesting and special.   

I believe the reality is both: we are not all the same, but we are not all unique snowflakes (used in the physical sense of the word, not the political perjorative sense).  Meaning, we don't all respond exactly alike, but there are patterns in the human psyche.  When faced with crisis, some of us  drink/drug.  Some of us deny and subvert.  Some of us get angry/defensive/rebellious.   Some of us internalize and take ourselves out of the game. 

I don't know; I know what I say is sort of iconoclastic, but I think we have to get away from the popular tropes of our society.   I think we have to get away from the stereotypes that we've created around being "unique". I think there's something to be said for rounding the edges, for doing your part to fit in, as opposed to being confused, isolated and alone when you make this bold, possibly misunderstood statement and it falls flat.   

Offline MirrorMask

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Re: The Suicide Culture
« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2018, 09:31:46 AM »
I used to be of the "you are weak if you commit suicide" line of thinking, but not anymore.  I remember reading the story about Robin Williams and all of the health problems he was having.  I think it is clear that he thought they were never going to get better and just couldn't take the daily pain anymore.  Does that mean he was weak?  I would say no.  The mental and physical pain just beat him down and got the best of him.  We are all only human, after all.

Very borderline case, but a famous italian director, Mario Monicelli, commited suicide at 95. He had terminal prostate cancer and he was going blind. He jumped out of the window pf the hospital he was recovered in.

Of course this is an extreme situation, his suicide was not a "weakness" but basically a middle finger to death. One does not live to be almost 100 to die painfully over the course of few months.
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Re: The Suicide Culture
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2018, 10:02:59 AM »
I used to be of the "you are weak if you commit suicide" line of thinking, but not anymore.  I remember reading the story about Robin Williams and all of the health problems he was having.  I think it is clear that he thought they were never going to get better and just couldn't take the daily pain anymore.  Does that mean he was weak?  I would say no.  The mental and physical pain just beat him down and got the best of him.  We are all only human, after all.

Very borderline case, but a famous italian director, Mario Monicelli, commited suicide at 95. He had terminal prostate cancer and he was going blind. He jumped out of the window pf the hospital he was recovered in.

Of course this is an extreme situation, his suicide was not a "weakness" but basically a middle finger to death. One does not live to be almost 100 to die painfully over the course of few months.

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Offline ReaperKK

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Re: The Suicide Culture
« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2018, 12:18:09 PM »
There have been a lot of great points made in this thread and I don't really have anything more insightful to add but I believe that you'll never know what's going on in someones head, people fight private battles within themselves all the time and unfortunately some may view that suicide is the only answer. I think the fame and fortune doesn't solve all inner conflicts that you may have. I've read stories of celebrities who have reached all their goals in life yet still feel empty and hollow on the inside.

As far as social media goes I can definitely see it as a contributing factor. If you scrolled through my social media page you would think that everyone is happy, successful, and living a rich and full life.

Offline TheCountOfNYC

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Re: The Suicide Culture
« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2018, 02:58:03 PM »
The first is religious, so I'll just post my thoughts without veering too far off into P/R territory (although if anyone cares to debate it, we can do so in the P/R forum--please keep this part of the forum relatively free of P/R debates, please).  But I think having faith and conviction in the existence of God and his promise of an eternal afterlife is a big factor in helping a lot of people pull out of those feelings of despair.  There is joy and hope in something FAR beyond and more lasting than whatever trials of this fleeting 80-something year life (or thereabouts).  Without that, yeah, I can see it being far harder to pull out of that depression cycle when it feels like all is lost and not seeing a way out.

I think there is an overwhelming amount of truth to this. When I used to work retail, I worked with some of the most miserable 40+ year olds I have ever known. The only thing keeping their lives from completely falling apart was that they were able to tell themselves "This is part of god's plan. For whatever reason, me suffering here on Earth is fulfilling whatever it is he needs done to accomplish whatever it is he's doing. I happily accept his challenge. In the end, this is just a small amount of sorrow compared to the eternity of bliss that awaits".

Without going too far into my opinions on this (I stay away from the P/R forum for a reason), Iím gonna disagree with the idea that having religion in your life can help counter depression. I think the two are unrelated. I grew up in a religious family but Iím a non-believer. Iíve suffered from depression and anxiety for my entire life, and I didnít start coming out of it until I finally came face-to-face with my beliefs (or non-beliefs) and admitted to myself that I donít think that thereís a higher power who can fix this and that I need to do it myself. For others it may be different and no matter what works for each individual person, I support them, but thatís my point. I donít think we can say ďoh this person decided to end it all because they donít have God in their lifeĒ or visa versa. Depression, anxiety, and suicide are very solitary experiences in the sense that everyone goes through it alone and in their own way. Using a broad analysis will never paint a full picture of the issue. The only way to figure out whatís going on is to look at each individual going through this as...well...an individual. Trying to understand each personís struggle instead of every personís struggle is how we can understand what would compel someone to end it all, and in turn, is what will lead to us being able to help those who are too afraid and/or miserable to help themselves.
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Re: The Suicide Culture
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2018, 08:55:14 AM »
I'm not at all going to speak for anyone here on matters of religion, but while the devil is in the details, I think there is a way of looking at what Chino and Bosk are saying and what you are saying, such that they are similar.   I'm not sure it's GOD, per se, that is the answer to depression.  But I think there is some benefit to the notion that there is SOMETHING.   Whether it's god, some other spiritual representation of a higher being, or family, or self, the notion that there is hope, there is a plan, there is a path to whatever form the light takes is an important step in all of this.    It may not be the only step - certainly there are medical and, for lack of a better word, pharmacological aspects to all this - but I don't know that psychologically there is a thousand miles difference in Neal Morse's rock solid belief in Jesus Christ and Gene Simmons' rock solid belief in Gene Simmons when it comes to personal outlook.