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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Suicide (Page 4)

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Author Topic: Suicide
Ryuko
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Interesting idea... Will to live due to morbid curiousity. (apologies if this isn't what you meant, God... with a long o)

'I'll get up in the morning, if only just to see what crappy thing will happen to me then...'

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ak
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Godric, I never am suicidal when in the depths of depression. If I'm like that, I am like you say, hardly able to move or think or anything. The only danger I'm in is from neglect of myself: lack of sleep, food, water, oxygen. Sometimes I feel like it might become too much trouble to breathe and I will suffocate, for real.

It's usually when on the way down from a very happy state (I am very mildly bipolar, what they call cyclothymic) to the depths of depression that I get suicidal. It's the transitional periods that are most dangerous. That's true in general, I think. Manic depressives are at much higher risk than people with depression alone. So mac is in a lot more danger than am I. <<<<<mac>>>>>

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mackillian
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Yep. I have a possibly fatal illness. [Roll Eyes]

I wonder if I can outline a typical cycle.

At first you feel okay. "Normal" as it were.

Then things start to rev up. You spend some time wondering if you're just in a good mood, or if you're starting to get hypomanic. You wait.

You start to wake up during the night, several times. Confirmation of hypomania.

You hope that it'll level off and return to normal.

You notice more symptoms as they being to pile up. You're talking faster, you're agitated, you're irritable and prone to temper outbursts, you get lots of ideas for projects and try to complete them all and never quite succeed.

You're still rational. So you start to get a little worried.

You stop sleeping altogether. You become irrational and paranoid, possibly having hallucinations. When you talk, not everything is quite clear in the rapid fire speech. You spend wild amounts of money. You do incredibly stupid things. Take chances, drive recklessly and fast, put yourself in dangerous situations. You can't hold onto your thoughts, they're all jumbled up and packed inside your crowded head. You can exercise and work out all day and not get tired. Your muscles are sore, but your mind is still wide awake and refuses to let your body sleep.

This can go in a couple directions. You will either continue upward until you're completely psychotic or will churn into a mixed episode, where you're depressed AND manic, and this is usually when suicidal thoughts begin to seep in.

Once you're knocked down either with medication or drop from sheer exhaustion, depression can set in. Deep, flat affect, will to do nothing, everything is crap, act like a jerk, depression.

Then it will lift. Back to normal, back to watching for symptoms.

I spent all of July in a mixed episode that wrecked a lot of the things I'd worked for. The prognosis for bipolar often leads to more episodes with more frequency as you age.

Whee.

Stupid cycle. The best part is guessing just where I am in a cycle, ne?

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ak
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What's interesting is that so very many of the people recognized as the best artists, writers, poets, musicians in our civilization's history have had some form of this. That doesn't mean all have, nor that everyone who is like this will be a creative genius, yet the connection is there.

The incredible intensity, the constant changes inside one's own head and heart, show one things about life that really aren't brought home to most people... That it's not at all simple. That there's so much more there than we can ever dream. The hypomanic state is one of great creativity, expansive thoughts, and free flow of ideas. The anguish and the pain of the transitional state cries out for some release. Some outlet. In people of intelligence and ability, Art provides a focus for all of this.

It becomes possible and almost necessary, really, for the wild creativity, the agony, and the joy of this way of being, of the various times, to be shaped by intelligence and ability during the quiet periods into something that makes sense to the human soul. Life is given to us, and Art is what we turn it into. Art is our gift in return.

People like us, mac, are given life Extra Grande. The only response to that gift I can find is to go ahead and live it that way. Not to hide under the bed and wail in terror as I think sometimes I will have to do, but to say "Yes", this is me, this is my gift, and live it as I find it, shaped by who I am.

[ August 31, 2003, 11:40 AM: Message edited by: ak ]

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Godric
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You seem to be almost romanticizing the condition, ak. I do that myself, at times, about my own depression. However I'm also very aware of the burden I place on those around me during my despair. And I hate that -- I don't find it romantic at all. Pretty much every relationship I've ever had has been seriously effected by my depression. I'm grateful to my family and friends who stick with me during my dark moods, but at times I wish I didn't have to put them through what I'm going through...
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ak
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Believe me I don't romanticize it. You can't live through it and do that. What I finally can do, after years and years of kicking myself and loathing myself for being this way, is ACCEPT that this is how I am, that God made me this way, that I'm SUPPOSED to be this way, even. That there are good things about it as well as the awful. That all this pain is not without some reason or meaning. That I'm alive, when all is said and done. I can't choose to be different, I can't deal myself another hand, but I can take the hand I'm given and accept it and play it and try to make my life into something I'm not ashamed of. Maybe even proud of.

But what almost everyone in the world will always do is say WHY DO YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE TO BE LIKE THIS???? ARRRRRRGH!!!!!!!! And go away. I accept that possibility, that near inevitability. That, for certain, is the very worst pain of all.

[ August 31, 2003, 03:10 PM: Message edited by: ak ]

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mackillian
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I hope God didn't make me this way. This illness is a curse, not a gift. Or if it is a gift, it's from the Magi.
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kerinin
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i know this is way late, but i really want to respond to dan's post on the previous page. my sister failed to commit suicide a little while ago so maybe i'm a little touchy about the subject, but the hairs on my back really started to raise reading the post. this isn't the post for histrionics though.

first, most of the instances of 'suicide' mentioned weren't really suicide, at least not in the sense that it has been discussed for the majority of this thread (ie, the result of depression).

what bothered me was the finger pointing, the doling out of blame, and the implied dismissal of the problem, as though suicide is simply the result of someone being too inconsiderate and self-centered to know better. and to be honest in certain ways this is true, obviously suicide (or attempted suicide) causes incredible suffering for those around the person, but that's not really the point is it? framing the issue like that doesn't really get you anywhere does it? how can you solve a problem if you start off by dismissing the causes of the problem?

further, just to reiterate something mentioned earlier, i refuse to accept that i have a responsibility to the world around me to live; if i decided i don't want my life any more thats my choice and i have no responsibility to the world around me to seek approval for it. suicide may anger you (thanks btw for the interesting quote regarding this on the first page) because it insults your beliefs or sense of self value, but in the end is it not the ultimate excercise of free will?

do those two paragraphs contradict each other? i don't know.

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mackillian
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victim blaming is very common with mental illness, assaults, and suicide attempts/completions. For mental illness/suicidality, the belief can be helf that "it's a mind illness, so you can choose not to be ill, to fix your symptoms" and a moral/value failing if you do not. For assaults, especially sexual assaults, the victim is often blamed for choosing the wrong place, the wrong outfit, the wrong words.

It's what happens.

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MarekAgain
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quote:
Originally posted by mackillian:
For mental illness/suicidality, the belief can be helf that "it's a mind illness, so you can choose not to be ill, to fix your symptoms" and a moral/value failing if you do not. .

i get this a lot, people insist that i should see a doctor about depression and suicidal thoughts, which i have done before, but now sort of figure, either i'll kill myself, or i wont. If i don't then i didn't really need the meds, and if i do, then the problem is solved anyway
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JanitorBlade
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I'm sorry Marek. Do you feel doctor visits have been ineffective?
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MarekAgain
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Generally i find them ineffective. The medication might alter my mood some, but things don't really get better. So i feel like they are a waste of time, money, and energy, all of which seem in short supply.

like Mack said 16 years ago, if you don't seek help, people treat is as a moral failing. I know she might have been saying people think "being better is all a state of mind, so just choose to be better" but i also see it in the way people react to untreated depression, like its some sort of grave sin

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