Suicidal Tendencies

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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby knowmad » Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:36 pm

There's a song that the children sing
When darkness comes
And the fear it brings.
Shadows fade and they disappear
Into their minds,
and their trusting little hearts.
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby Elliot » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:10 pm

FIGJAM wrote:If your despirit, be fucking loud about it!!!!!!!!!!!

I believe I was, back in November (I think it was). A bunch of you so-and-sos heard me, anyway. 8)

FIGJAM wrote:The pursuit of happiness keeps me destracted from desperasion!

But does not do much good for your spelling, eh? :twisted:

:D :D :D
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby Elliot » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:14 pm

knowmad wrote:Just so you know, I have a list of people I will not sleep with.

If you want to write it down, I have a gum wrapper here. :wink: :lol:
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:11 am

I'm too busy to spill cricketly!

Faq ur dye! 8)
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby Elliot » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:41 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby knowmad » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:52 pm

Thanks elliot. The list is really more of a metaphor for "I am a slut."
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby graidawg » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:51 am

knowmad wrote:Thanks elliot. The list is really more of a metaphor for "I am a slut."


this would get a click on the like button if it was facebook.

can guys go on the slut marches?
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby MyDearFriend » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:25 am

graidawg wrote:
knowmad wrote:Thanks elliot. The list is really more of a metaphor for "I am a slut."


this would get a click on the like button if it was facebook.


Quoted for truth.

graidawg wrote:can guys go on the slut marches?


Come along with me, hon; my list is basically just first-degree relatives.
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby knowmad » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:22 pm

graidawg wrote:
knowmad wrote:Thanks elliot. The list is really more of a metaphor for "I am a slut."


this would get a click on the like button if it was facebook.

can guys go on the slut marches?

I went to Seattle's.
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby Nipple » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:43 pm

I read this morning on Facebook that a guy I know from high school committed suicide.

No note. Just left. He had plenty of people around him, and everyone is shocked and baffled by the whole thing.

I guess we all battle with our own personal hell. Some more hellacious, and some more privately than others.
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby MyDearFriend » Sat May 12, 2012 1:34 pm

I have a question for you all, but before I get into that I want to say how nice it is that I had to go back 5 pages to find this thread. 8)

Hooray for us!!!

Question, though: How old do you have to get before it's okay to commit suicide? I ask because I had a case that has really made me think about this. I got a call from a little hospital requesting immediate airlift of an elderly patient, critically ill. Not the oldest person I have ever been called to airlift to our ICU, but, past the age where such things are useful, statistically speaking.

Apparently this patient had taken a massive overdose of prescribed medication.

By the time I got my critical care attending on the phone, the family had agreed to honor the patient's advance directive to "Do Not Resuscitate." Cancel the transfer.

So at first I was like, "What are we doing?" but then I wondered, "What did we do?"

And as a person who has resisted suicidal impulse since I was a teenager, and comforted myself to sleep many a night with the thought that I am going to die eventually, I really wonder: At what age or stage of life does it become okay to take matters into your own hands?

Or does it ever???

Personally I hope I can reach a point someday where I feel like I don't owe anybody anything. But, I also hope to be happy at that point.

So I don't know. What do you think?
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby lucky420 » Sat May 12, 2012 3:45 pm

I think it is the right of anyone to take their own life. I know that it hurts the survivors very much so (my cousin committed suicide in dec 2011). But in the end it is THEIR life, is it not? Then if you factor in being critically ill and all that goes along with it (pain, burden to family, cost, etc) I would say that they have even more of a "right" to end their life.

Sad just so terribly sad for all involved, breaks my heart...
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby MyDearFriend » Sat May 12, 2012 4:06 pm

Yep. I hope that family hadn't spent too much on Mother's Day gifts... :(
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby Elliot » Sat May 12, 2012 5:09 pm

First thought that comes to mind is the Richard Dreyfus movie. But I'll get back to it -- right this afternoon I'm kind'a busy living. :D
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby delle » Sat May 12, 2012 5:17 pm

I think that the question is not so much of age, but of ABSOLUTE irreversibility of misery.

It's certainly easier to accept an ailing 85yr old's desire for it to be done than someone younger, who still has so much potential for EVERYTHING to change. ...Maybe the key word is potential...


...be nice if that particular switch came with a glimpse of the future. But it doesn't. Usually. And usually, our minds are not very helpful in envisioning anything much worthwhile while in that state.

I was shown my future during a particularly dark time. I was able to recall only one thing clearly enough to write down the details. The rest just melded into a blur that basically left me feeling that Everything Was Going To Be Alright. And it was. Starting that day, and because of that "dream", I changed many things, and found ME again.

(when that one detail happened some years later, it involved a building that had not yet been built and technology that hadn't been available at the time of the dream - making the trip all the more incredible. Someone really had my back that day!!!)

So I was glad to have survived the day and turned my world upside down to start anew -- and better.

Were I not blessed with that trip........... who knows?
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby Elorrum » Sat May 12, 2012 5:25 pm

My Grandfather who was dying of cancer had saved up medication and brought it into the hospital in his eyeglasses case. All his children came to visit and then the next day they weren't allowed to be with him unsupervised because the staff were convinced someone was giving him drugs, as he became unresponsive. He died the next day, and they found the eyeglasses case. We never say that he committed suicide.
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat May 12, 2012 9:02 pm

Absolutely when you're dieing. Oddly enough, I view suicide when you're basically healthy--apart from the depression--as throwing your life away, and suicide when you are dieing as regaining your life in some way.
But whatever. Those last few months of eeking by on a machine are no way to die. Is Oregon's law something like 6 months? I don't know what number I'd chose, but 6 works.
It's an obvious (to me) variant of "pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living."
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Sat May 12, 2012 9:19 pm

It's hard to put numbers on things, though, and whenever you're talking life expectancy, there's a number and a percentage, as in "90% chance you'll still be alive in 4 months; 30% chance you'll be alive in 8." And then, regardless of the amount of time left, there's quality of life, which is probably impossible to measure.

I also don't think it's necessarily right to legislate against throwing one's own life away. There are many ways besides suicide to accomplish that, and many of those are legal. There are also ways to commit suicide very slowly, and many of those are also legal.
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby MyDearFriend » Sat May 12, 2012 9:20 pm

Yes, Elorrum, things tend to get really blurry when you get near the edge like that. Actions and decisions are not real clear-cut and when they aren't congruent with our illusions we tend to just let them be. Can't fault your grandfather there at all; trapped as he seemed to have been by well-meaning cluelessness, he took charge of himself. Good for him.

Delle, that's an awesome story. I absolutely believe in prescient dreams, and I am so glad yours was so helpful to you.

I have to disagree with you about the age question, in the US at least. I have seen too many young people endure year after year, decade after decade, absolutely irreversible misery. They are urged to take treatments that are worse than the disease and are offered no respite or palliation of their suffering. It's unbelievable sometimes what people are urged to do by their families and how recklessly physicians will calculate the risk/benefit ratios of treatment for younger people. Gosh.

Anyway, I think it's easier for people with recognizable physical ailments who have done the round of all the doctors they can see and come to a (literal) dead end. We cut them some slack. We give them permission to die, if we are wise, or they are old. It's sometimes written, in hospital charts, "Allow Natural Death," which has a kind of sickening arrogance to it, don't you think?



*sigh*
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby Oldguy » Sat May 12, 2012 9:31 pm

From personal experience as a med/surg nurse, a patient often selects a DNR,( do not resusitate order ) to save the family unnessessary procedures, and crushing expenses for the family. My own father decided to come home to die, and go to heaven. He Knew it was his time... :cry:
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby MyDearFriend » Sun May 13, 2012 4:28 am

(((Oldguy))) yep, I hear ya, and as nurses we see. We know. Hospice is a wonderful service and I wish more folks would take full advantage of it.

*hugs (((Oldguy))) again for being there as "family nurse" in his father's last days*
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby Zhust » Sun May 13, 2012 6:23 am

MyDearFriend wrote:How old do you have to get before it's okay to commit suicide?


I find it interesting that my response (and I think most everyone else's) cites ages that are not our own. I'm 41 and struggling, but mostly doing okay, and my mood is pretty good right now, so I find suicide for myself — or someone else in my position — unconscionable.

I remember being a teenager and being told how much potential I had and how it's such a waste to kill oneself at that age. It was a terrible amount of pressure: what was this "potential" and how was I to use it? (And now, looking back, I think the term "potential" was imprecise in that I was accelerating learning about the world which I am now burning off; "anything" was not possible as I was bound by my upbringing, attitude, and luck.)

One thing that stings about a young suicide is that it indicates how society, friends, and family so dramatically failed. But we push that away and ask "why?" and say they were selfish. The answer to "why" is all around us, but we block it out (in part because we're not depressed and therefore not able to internalize it in any substantial way.)

I think the same thing is true of someone who is older, but we have a digestible answer to "why": some kind of deep suffering. But again we are unable to hear the more substantial answer to "why", and it's the same thing: a dramatic failure of society, friends, and family.

Reflecting on any suicide, there's usually some things we might have done differently (e.g. listening more), and there are some that we couldn't conceive any alternative (e.g. what can be done if you're unhappy about the nature of working for money?), and there are some that we never would have seen as a problem (e.g. how much was too much turpentine stripping that chair that weakened the liver that eventually failed and caused the suffering?)

I too take strange comfort in knowing that death will happen someday regardless.
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby MyDearFriend » Sun May 13, 2012 7:17 am

jaycerochester wrote:One thing that stings about a young suicide is that it indicates how society, friends, and family so dramatically failed. But we push that away and ask "why?" and say they were selfish. The answer to "why" is all around us, but we block it out (in part because we're not depressed and therefore not able to internalize it in any substantial way.)

I think the same thing is true of someone who is older, but we have a digestible answer to "why": some kind of deep suffering. But again we are unable to hear the more substantial answer to "why", and it's the same thing: a dramatic failure of society, friends, and family.



(((Jayce))) you really put your finger on it here. Whether it's a failure of attention, of empathy, of knowledge, or of courage, the bottom line I think in many cases is the desolation that results when suffering is devalued or denied or ignored by people we love and trust.

My own dear brother has been diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. He's 51, with 2 kids in college. "All we can do is stay positive," his dear wife told me, "stay positive and try everything." Ummmm... no. That's not all we can do.
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby Elliot » Sun May 13, 2012 8:31 am

Good morning. Looks like another fine day ahead!

The film I mentioned yesterday is Whose Life Is It Anyway, with Richard Dreyfuss. I don't remember seeing it, but it deals with this problem -- Dreyfuss portrays a suffering quadriplegic.

Judging by the many friends who have told me of their suicidal thoughts -- people from all walks of life; definitely not just a "group of people like me" -- it seems to me that suicidal thoughts are downright normal. Common, that is. So there may be a lesson there; go right ahead and talk about it, there is no stigma. We seem to be doing well with that here.

Cannot add much at this point. Good discussion!
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun May 13, 2012 9:44 am

jaycerochester wrote:One thing that stings about a young suicide is that it indicates how society, friends, and family so dramatically failed. But we push that away and ask "why?" and say they were selfish.

I really hate that "selfish" line. I do know a thing or two about being in chronic Weltschmertz, and it's not pretty. Someone struggled and struggled and couldn't see another way out, and you're calling him selfish? Can I call you shallow? huh? huh?
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Sun May 13, 2012 10:11 am

I worked for a few summers with a hospice & palliative care organization. I was doing communications work, which means I wasn't interacting a tonne with clients and their families (although I did some of that). A lot of what I did was edit and update their educational and outreach materials. The organization had a very strong anti-assisted-suicide belief that I ultimately don't completely agree with, but I kind of sympathize with their underlying assumption. Essentially, they ague that by allowing ourselves to hasten the death of others, we excuse ourselves from doing everything possible to help them live without suffering.

I'm always torn about assisted suicide. On the one hand, I am inclined to say that when there is no hope for relief of suffering, and that suffering has become unbearable, people should have the right to end their lives, and if they are physically unable to do so, they probably have the right to be assisted. But this requires us to judge the degree of another's suffering, and whether or not it can be eased.

And then I wonder about people who suffer from chronic, severe depression which is resistant to treatment. Does their suffering count the same as physical suffering? If they honestly, with real consideration and over a period of time, conclude that they really do wish to take their own lives, is it our right to tell them that they can't? And if it's not our right to do so, do we owe it to them to help them die in a way that's relatively peaceful for themselves and their loved ones? I shudder at the thought, and I worry about the possibilities for abuse of such laws, of course, but I am familiar with research which suggests that, where assisted suicide is legal, there is no evidence of a "slippery-slope effect," and I certainly don't think we should outlaw everything that is subject to abuse!

These questions leave me terribly sad. I'm glad I'm not a judge or a doctor. I hope I'm never asked to help somebody die. All I can take from this is that we all ought to do what we can to ease each other's suffering, but that the universe doesn't provide an instruction booklet for doing so.
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby Elliot » Sun May 13, 2012 10:20 am

catinthefunnyhat wrote:...but that the universe doesn't provide an instruction booklet for doing so.

I just heard this line in a movie: "There are no answers, only choices." So we simply make the best choices we can, and don't try for perfection, which does not exist. Right now I'm choosing to get ready for next weekend's Maker Faire, and chronic treatment-resistant depression be damned! :D
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby MyDearFriend » Sun May 13, 2012 10:21 am

theCryptofishist wrote:
jaycerochester wrote:One thing that stings about a young suicide is that it indicates how society, friends, and family so dramatically failed. But we push that away and ask "why?" and say they were selfish.

I really hate that "selfish" line. I do know a thing or two about being in chronic Weltschmertz, and it's not pretty. Someone struggled and struggled and couldn't see another way out, and you're calling him selfish? Can I call you shallow? huh? huh?


Absolutely agree with this. Some people are so fucking clueless...
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun May 13, 2012 10:23 am

For what it's worth, I am the one each of my parents has empowered to "pull the plug". I regard it as a trust. I also knew my husband's wishes in that regard; I'm grateful that his death was instantaneous, and I didn't have to deal with that shit. That would have been dreadful.
But I expect that I will have to do it twice...
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Re: Suicidal Tendencies

Postby Patsh » Sun May 13, 2012 10:59 am

My dear husband had suffered 3 strokes, 3 months before we met. He was half paralyzed and couldn't talk. His doctors' prognoses gave him weeks to a month to live. At that time he was definitely suicidal, and had nobody in his life to help him with the most basic needs. He took a liking to me, as I could understand most of his attempts at speech. His 'friends' didn't have the time to be bothered with him. I made it my mission to give him something to live for.
Nine and a half years later (!!!) the suicidal thoughts were back in full force... his body was giving out, he was depressed and angry with his body, he was losing his bodily control and could no longer form a coherent thought. Suicide was ever present in his mind. I talked to so many people about it, trying to get a clue... friends, counselors, hot lines, co-workers and on and on... all the while sadly knowing it was his best option.
He did take his life, knowing that if he had waited much longer, he wouldn't be physically able to. I can only imagine the courage that took.
I am extremely grateful for the years we did have together, and am now at peace with his choice.
Nine and a half years sure beat the original prognosis!
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