Today I watched an Internet Podcast of the 12th Annual Survivors of Suicide panel discussion by survivors (loved ones) of suicide victims. It was moderated by a suicide survivor/author who asked probing questions of a mixture of five men and women survivors.
90% of suicides are committed by people who have a diagnosable or diagnosed depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or substance addiction. These can be treated, once they’re identified, with medication treatment and intensive therapy, person willing. Appropriate support, lifestyle changes and spiritual connectedness might be additional management practices in my opinion.
Some people are just hell-bent on destroying themselves, and it’s just a matter of time until they do so. John Berryman, the Poet Laureate of Minnesota back in the 1970’s jumped to his death off the Washington Avenue bridge by the University of Minnesota. He’d alluded to suicide prior to the event in his published poetry and had sought therapy with a famous psychiatrist. But he was a depressed alcoholic who wouldn’t surrender to either his victimization complex or his alcohol addiction, so he acted out his death script.
In today’s The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, there was an article that stated that suicide is the second leading cause of death, behind accidents, of college students in our universities. To me, that’s an alarming statistic.
NDSU has enabled an email system that emails students a questionnaire about how they’re doing cognitively/emotionally. 4%-7% of NDSU students return the anonymous email filled out on-line. They also have the opportunity to chat on-line anonymously, if they choose not to be identified, with a counselor. Most students seen at the Counseling Center are seen for depression and anxiety, both of which I think are red flags for severe dysfunction. NDSU is the only university in the Upper Midwest that employs this anonymous email system.
I think that often the suicidal individual may experience a double-bind, no-win situation either internally or externally or both, inevitably for a prolonged period of time. Since the perception is that there’s no way out or no way to “win” (freedom), the surest escape from this perceived double bind is to put an end to it all, i.e. the self and the life.
That indeed ends it for this incarnation, anyway; but what happens the next time around the cycle of existence? Won’t it have to be dealt with then? The life force is infinite. The person’s soul never extinguishes and is going to re-emerge in some form with all the karma it left behind anyway, so why not get down to business with the personal issues? I realize it can be terribly painful but always worthwhile.
Let’s do our psychic work now and enjoy ourselves down the road and maybe even more the next time around…