Why people choose suicide.
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Why people choose suicide.

This is a discussion on Why people choose suicide. within the Suicide Prevention forums, part of the Resources category; Why Suicide Has Become an Epidemic--and What We Can Do to Help - Newsweek and The Daily Beast It's a ...

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Old 06-02-13, 11:55 PM   #1
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Default Why people choose suicide.

Why Suicide Has Become an Epidemic--and What We Can Do to Help - Newsweek and The Daily Beast

It's a lengthy article, but well worth the read. As a mid-30's male who has spent over half his life trying to intellectualize periodic impulses to make a permanent exit, I think Thomas Joiner has nailed it with his universal theory of how individuals reach the "desire to die."

To summarize, it's a set of three overlapping psychological conditions, one or more of which we've likely all experienced at one time or another:
  1. "Low belonging". It begins with an aching loneliness and having our fundamentally human needs for inclusion and belonging thwarted.
  2. "Burdonsomeness". When people see their effectiveness as providers for their families, resources to friends, contributors to the world at large undermined, it metastasizes into the perception of oneself as a liability. Feeling that we fail those we need, we may prefer death than to continue burdening those closest to us.
  3. "Fearlessness" or "the ability to die". It's a trait that emerges slowly, over time. Suicide is born from a slow habituation to pain and numbness from violence. It's not impulsive or weak. It's not about cowardice. Overriding the body's natural instinct to endure and flee from death requires a certain kind of courage -- and not one that's laudable, yet tragic nonetheless.
The intersection of these three conditions is where those intent on suicide or a near-lethal attempt find themselves. Foiling any one of those three variables could very well be the key to finding a way out from the grip of suicide.


My synopsis doesn't do justice to the article, but if you are considering suicide, you owe it yourself to at least read it. I promise it's not preachy, won't assault you with guilt, or offer a glib list of ineffective and offensive banalities spun from the mind of the obnoxiously and perpetually positive who just don't get it.


The way through is the way out. And through this essay, you may just find a way to step away from the ledge.
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Old 06-03-13, 03:58 AM   #2
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Thanks for the post!
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Old 06-03-13, 04:12 AM   #3
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Now that is interesting. And I agree completely...
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Old 06-03-13, 12:40 PM   #4
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I don't see suicide as a choise, it's something that happens when pain exceeds the resources of coping with pain. It's not something you just decide to do, you do it when you've given up on making your life better. In my opinion, that is. I dunno, maybe that's obvious, and a matter of interpretation.
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Old 11-20-13, 04:32 PM   #5
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ItsSoDamnSad, thank you for posting the link. I think the article does a good job of illustrating Joiner's work, which seems to be the most exhaustive research on the topic of suicide I've ever heard of. Much of what the author points out resonates with me very strongly. Unfortunately, I tend to agree with Joiner - societal ethics and practices may have as much to do with suicidal tendencies as biochemical or genetic sources. And personal environmental influence may be a primer, but not necessarily the trigger that puts someone into the dangerous "triple overlap" Joiner has developed. I have wondered about, and even posited to multiple therapists, that this may very well be (likely is) the problem myself. I was either met with scepticism, hinted at that I was being reluctant to receive therapy, or told that, since changing or affecting society was too difficult to conceive, there was no point in considering that as the source of the problem.

But according to Joiner, that may very well BE the source of the problem. I work in a highly technical, R&D environment. I've spent over 25 years in that environment. Just because an answer to a problem is difficult to define or achieve, that is NO excuse not to pursue that answer. I agree with the findings in his results from personal experience - if an answer to a problem is too hard to achieve, or even to fathom, the average person in our "modern" population simply doesn't pursue the answer. They either live with the problem as "unsolvable", or pretend it's a different problem that they like the answer to.

And with regard to the issues of suicide and suicide ideation, my personal experience is that most people's reactions and conclusions defy not only logic, but contradict their own set of values. And these same people don't seem to care - the alternative "answers", the reasons Joiner points out, are simply too hard for them to handle.
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Old 09-19-14, 01:32 AM   #6
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Thank you:)
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