Suicide is the Result of Severe Brain Dis-ease: The Brain is Diseased, Dis-eased
The last two weeks have brought five suicides to my attention. Not my personal loved ones, but people and families that are facing this new and horrible fact. Their loved one will not ever return, and they are stuck with the WHYs and the “I should haves.” Even distant friends and family, maybe those pushed away earlier by the deceased, will feel somewhat guilty — over the phone call not returned, the slightest tiff, or the hugest argument — for what they could not do: prevent the brain disease.
It is a tremendous pain in the brain that cannot, for the moment, be alleviated with medicine, exercise, drinking, sleep, or logic.
The brain, in its dis-eased state, cannot be reasoned with or cooled down.
It is searing fire. In its fight or flight mandate to survive, [the brain] will attempt to problem-solve, and herein lies the very misdirected thinking that leads to suicide. “If I end my life, I will fix (stop) my problems. I’m not helping anyone and this sickness is more than I can bear. It will never go away. I am a burden to others.” Suicide is the decimation or domination of clear thinking, overpowering coping skills and pushing out any feelings of being loved or needed. And like many diseases, we don’t understand where it originated, where it took hold, or why such a loved one got it when others did not. Diseases do not favor one person over another: we cannot say, “He was so talented, why him?” or “She had so much to live for, how could she have given in to _ .”
Many narrowly escape this terminal ending of brain disease.
After more than three decades [as a therapist], I have been “close” to suicide more than the average person. I have spoken in depth to loved ones who have lost a family member to suicide (child, parent, spouse), as well as folks who have tried to kill themselves and failed. Also a few who tried and ultimately succeeded.
Have you ever tried to solve a complicated math problem? If it’s beyond your abilities, you will probably give up, knowing it’s pointless. You will say something like, “I will never get this. I don’t have the brainpower, patience, or motivation to work it out. I can’t solve it!” The fact is, there are math problems that I simply will never be able to solve, and I know it. Life is sort of a math riddle: lots of rules that nobody can ever accurately relay to us. We just kind of “get it” at some point, if we’re lucky (“luck” is defined as the cocktail of DNA, family, health, temperament, spirit, opportunity).
If we’re not lucky, we may conclude, “I can’t get this thing called life. Other people can. I can’t and I never will. It’s just out of my reach and I give up.” That is the exhaustion and frustration speaking.
Those who complete their suicide have almost always tried it before — maybe once, usually several times. Suicide is the end of a long road. It’s physically painful. Air hurts. Not for a day. Not for a week, or a month, but years. Feelings of hopelessness, combined with impulsivity, mix with things like chronic pain, job loss, a recent heartbreak.
Problem-solving experiments show that the first thing to go when pressure is increased is creativity. Creativity is an outgrowth of time, patience, clear-thinking, freedom, respite. Once creative problem-solving is squashed, ideas run dry and hope for the future is greatly diminished. Thinking becomes like molasses.
Finally, suicide is not meant to punish other people. That’s far too devious a motive to ascribe to the person buried under a mountain of ash, unable to gasp a full breath, [afflicted with a] racing heart, feelings of dread, terror, panic, shame…these are the words and feelings I have heard about.
Please do not refer to someone’s suicide as a selfish BIG FUCK YOU. See it from their pinhole shaft of light. Would I be angry at another disease that takes a loved one’s life? Would I feel shame if my child or parent is taken by cancer or pneumonia? No...I would understand that an illness took his life.
Blog title: All Things Mental | Post Title: What is Suicide? | Post Date: April 24, 2015
Author: Christina Neumeyer, M.A. | Blogging from: Carlsbad | Blogging since: February 2010