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"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem"


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Does anybody else think this saying is horseshit? Well, actually, it does apply in many cases, so there is some truth to it.

But what about those of us who have chronic, debilitating, treatment-resistant, severe, major depression? Is that a "temporary" problem? I think not. If I ever end up making the decision, it won't be a "snap" decision. It will be a long thought out, well-reasoned decision. While this will likely be an unpopular opinion, suicide for me will just be the humane thing to do. Getting through a single day is hard enough. Living the rest of my life in agonizing pain is not something that I find to be a palatable solution.

I am NOT actively suicidal. I'm talking openly and honestly about my long-term thought patterns. I will continue to try different treatments as long as my doctor allows it. If my doctor gets sick of trying new approaches (this has actually happened to me in the past), things might get real. If/ when I end up doing it, it won't be for a lack of trying. I'm in the middle of a 5 year long depression that shows no signs of weakening. I will try anything at this point, even ECT. The only bottleneck is doctors. If they're on board with an aggressive approach, I'll probably survive a lot longer.

I think a lot of us think this, but of course, nobody wants to say it out loud. Again, I'm just trying to be honest about my thought patterns and I needed to get this out because I'm struggling a bit right now. I think about inpatient, but then, what's that really going to accomplish? A four day stay in a hospital is not going to change anything (given that meds take at least 4-6 weeks to work for me, and more like 8-12, and then there's the fact that they, um, never seem to work).

I know, I know, new treatments might come out. Is it worth suffering for another 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? These are some of the things that run through my mind when I can barely get through the 16 hours that it takes for me to be able to go back to sleep. That's my shitty fucking life. Is that humane?

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I'd definitely say that saying only applies to normal healthy people who are experiencing a life circumstance that once changed leads to them feeling normal again. For us on these boards however suicide is a permanent solution to a permanent problem. Doesn't mean we should all kill ourselves but accept the reality that our life may suck and may not get better and we need to be okay with that while trying new solutions and getting any joy we can out of a bad draw of dna.

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I am the same, except I have been given up on and it has been 6 years longer, coming up 7 this year. I have had suicidal preoccupation for most of my life, even years before I was diagnosed with a depressive disorder. 

And for the majority of my illness I acted on it. However I have matured since then and have not for a while now. I must admit the reason for that is just as horrible, if not worse than having to exist with 24/7 suicidal preoccupation and struggling with just how logical it really seems to me given my life circumstances. 

For me, I am not alive and existing, living, whatever you call it is not a choice. It is the hardest thing to do. But for whatever reason, I am still here. I think its because I have to be.

Because if it was a choice I would not be here, the insanity of it is beyond justifiable in my eyes. There are far too many aspects of me and my life that are uncontrollable and inescapable by my own volition, too many absolutely unacceptable realities and so forth for me to consider it is rational to live. 

I am a very rigid person, I don't believe things will change unless it is proven that they will change, thus far no such thing has happened in this area. 

So for what it is worth, I appreciate your honesty and I respect what you go through. It is extremely hard to have to live with when it makes no sense whatsoever. I understand it probably sounds ridiculous, but if at all possible, remember to take care of yourself because the depression will tell you that you aren't worth it, but you are. 

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On 1/27/2017 at 0:45 PM, DopamineSick said:

If I ever end up making the decision, it won't be a "snap" decision. It will be a long thought out, well-reasoned decision.

DopamineSick -

I am one of those who suffers from chronic, debilitating, treatment-resistant, severe, major depression. I have fought it for almost 40 of my 50 years on this planet. At times I have been on my knees begging God to kill me and make an end of it. (He clearly hasn't seen fit to do so; I think I'm not allowed to die for some reason.) But I have never tried to do it myself, because the one thing I have always clung to is my ability to reason. That has pulled me through during all the years of MI misery, and especially the suicidality, because - and this is key - suicide is never a well-reasoned decision.

The human mind is wired, in its base instinct, for self-preservation. Among our most powerful impulses are the fight/flight/freeze instincts that, in the final analysis, govern almost all our reactions to stress. Any time a person can rationalize self-destruction as a rational benefit to himself, that is clear evidence that something has gone terribly wrong with the proper function of the brain at that point. Invariably, when I talk to people here about their feelings that they want to commit suicide, they ultimately realize that they do not, in fact, actually want to die - they just want the pain to stop.

In my case, my pdocs have never found a combination of meds that drive my depression into remission. That's never happened. But my current pdoc has found the mix that prevents me from having suicidal thoughts. Those thoughts are not rational conclusions drawn by my well mind; those thoughts are products of my pathology, akin to delusions. Those thoughts are false signals - false alarms - fired by malfunctioning neurons and neurotransmitters in the biology of your brain. They seem like your actual rational thoughts because they come through the same mechanism, but they don't originate from the same source. The goal is, first, to be able to identify the false thinking and separate it from the true thinking, and then teach yourself to intercept those thoughts before they become part of your cognition. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be useful for some people in this regard, though in my experience faster progress is made using a combination of CBT and the right medication.

Your right mix of meds is out there, and if you can't seem to find it, as you point out, you can try ECT, which is known to provide relief. I have considered it myself, and don't rule it out for the future. But the well-reasoned decision is not whether or when to die, but how best to find the solution to live well.

Edited by Cerberus
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And if the thoughts are reassured by society? Or caused by it? Where is the fault and lack of rationale in that scenario? 

Because most, if not all of mine are that, and have been caused by that and other people's actions towards me, not my brain on its own depressive accord. 

I have a hard time believing that my brain has any inkling of self-preserving left because it was destroyed. At least not willing self-preservation, none besides physiology which to be honest, I wish didn't exist. Survival isn't something to be glorified, it can cause damage too. 

Edited by Hopelessly Broken
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3 hours ago, Cerberus said:

when I talk to people here about their feelings that they want to commit suicide, they ultimately realize that they do not, in fact, actually want to die - they just want the pain to stop.

I totally agree with this.  I was watching a Dr. Phil show the other day, and this very thing came up ... that do they want to die, or just make the pain go away.  And their answer was the pain to go away.  I am not saying this is everyone's view though. 

*All of this (making the pain go away) is much easier said than done though.

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On 1/27/2017 at 11:11 PM, Hopelessly Broken said:

And if the thoughts are reassured by society? Or caused by it? Where is the fault and lack of rationale in that scenario? 

Because most, if not all of mine are that, and have been caused by that and other people's actions towards me, not my brain on its own depressive accord. 

I have a hard time believing that my brain has any inkling of self-preserving left because it was destroyed. At least not willing self-preservation, none besides physiology which to be honest, I wish didn't exist. Survival isn't something to be glorified, it can cause damage too. 

HB -

You're right, simple survival isn't the end goal. It's not enough to simply exist, and I think that is what DopamineSick is basically talking about - quality of life. I myself struggle with the question of whether there can come a point where quality of life for someone suffering from acute long-term depression will reach a point where, as with a terminal cancer patient, the pain reaches a tipping point at which death is in fact a rational alternative to the quality of life one would experience going forward. I fear that one day in the future my strength will finally fail and the pain will be too great for me to bear.

But the point is that until I have tried every last possible chance at relief - every single one - death is not rational. There are medicines I haven't tried. I have never had ECT. It may be that relief, and quality of life is within my reach, and I am unaware of it. It would be irrational for me to act in a final, self-destructive way on ignorance when I know of alternatives.

Above, you ask how I can suggest that suicidal ideation is false thinking if it is reinforced or caused by other people. Other people cannot cause you to think in any particular way. The words and actions of other people are simply stimulus like any other stimulus - if you had no eyes, ears or sense of touch, you would not be aware of them. Your senses take in their input exactly the same way as they take in the cries of birds, the twitch of a cat's tail or the impact of a charging rhinoceros (if you're spectacularly unlucky). Your brain parses that input as signals and interprets those signals on the basis of its vastly complex and poorly understood biological mechanism using the software of your personality and psychology, which is constantly in a beta stage of development. (If a human mind ever reaches the rollout stage of its software product, we call it 'Nirvana', but then the new iPhone comes out and nobody's interested anymore.)

So even though people have treated you in a shitty, shitty way, it doesn't change the fact that when you were born your human organism, like everyone else's, came with the Do-Not-Self-Destruct Kit installed. Unfortunately, brain wiring went wonky and the brain started producing false signals contradicting your instincts, and the false signals sound so much like your real thinking that when your brain interprets the input from other people, it sounds as though they're reinforcing your real thinking - but it's still false thinking.

If another person tells you - or anyone - that they ought to kill themselves, that's a statement about the speaker, not the person being spoken to, and is simply cruel. But it isn't true. It's clear that others' behavior has created an environment in which it has been much more difficult for you to challenge the false thinking you deal with, but that doesn't make those thoughts any less irrational.

Edited by Cerberus
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Thank you for the explanation, Cerberus. Unfortunate, but I can see that is what happened to my brain, otherwise I obviously would not be alive, because without that mechanism there are more than enough instances that I would not have lived. 

And whether they are available or not, yes there are relief methods I have not tried. I appreciate your wisdom. 

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I can so relate to what you're saying. I don't know why anyone who this applies to would even attempt. Not to minimise anyones experience but its not something you generally do the first time you think of it. 
My occasional 'optimistic' thought is you're alive for what, maybe 70 years maybe more, maybe less. You have eternity to be dead and I know it really effing sucks now but you might as well see if things get better? There must be some reason so many people want to be alive and even fight to stay alive. We've survived 100% of our rubbish. We deserve to see what its like on the other side, when things are better. I know realistically it may never come and its been a waste of time & effort. But so many people have gotten better. Maybe luckily for them it took a lot less time. But surely we deserve to see that after all we've been through.

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I think one has to differentiate between situational depression and lifelong endogenous depression. Certainly for situational depression suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem because situations change and change all the time. For chronic depression, things are different. That's not to say that suicide is ok; it just means that the argument that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem doesn't carry as much weight.

Edited by jt07
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8 hours ago, jt07 said:

I think one has to differentiate between situational depression and lifelong endogenous depression. Certainly for situational depression suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem because situations change and change all the time. For chronic depression, things are different. That's not to say that suicide is ok; it just means that the argument that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem doesn't carry as much weight.

That is a really good point, jt.

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I only want to add that there are so many treatments, do many drug "cocktails" and therapy and TDocs that its hard to dismiss things getting better.   I've had the worst doctors and some of the crappiest drugs that made things worse.  Now that I've found a good TDoc and GDoc and have played the meds go round a bit?  Well something to ponder.  

If the doctors a dolt "Vote with your feet" and get out and find someone new.   Meds for me are a problem because I fear (A lot) changing to something that will make things worse but same thing if its not working.  A good doc will be active in asking for results and checking things.   If not?  Run!

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15 minutes ago, HAL9000 said:

I only want to add that there are so many treatments, do many drug "cocktails" and therapy and TDocs that its hard to dismiss things getting better.   I've had the worst doctors and some of the crappiest drugs that made things worse.  Now that I've found a good TDoc and GDoc and have played the meds go round a bit?  Well something to ponder.  

If the doctors a dolt "Vote with your feet" and get out and find someone new.   Meds for me are a problem because I fear (A lot) changing to something that will make things worse but same thing if its not working.  A good doc will be active in asking for results and checking things.   If not?  Run!

Yeah, this is right. I didn't stumble upon my cocktail overnight. It took a lot of work and a lot of trying meds that just made me feel sick (looking at you TCAs). In fact when I started, Abilify had not even been invented. But fortunately, with the help of a good pdoc, I was able to build a good cocktail that works most of the time. Now I can't even imagine how bad I was when I attempted suicide.

It is hard work to find the right meds, and it doesn't happen overnight. But things certainly can get better.

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I know I've had that thought before, chronically. I was suicidal 24/7  from 19 - 36ish? 37?  Yes, I think that people who say that don't understand the pain of chronic, debilitating depression. I bet it's right for many people making a snap decision, but so many of us suffer every day.

The only thing that kept me going for those 25ish years was guilt. My plan was to go when my parents passed away, but I finally found a med cocktail which has alleviated or at least mitigated a lot of that daily suffering. I don't even think about suicide, but every few months or so. My opinion is that you are right, that saying is condescending and ignorant as shit for those of us with chronic MI. However, yes,  some med treatment might come along and alleviate that pain for you. I certainly did not think it ever would for me until it happened. I hope my meds will hold because it is a different world when ending it isn't the goal. I hope you find the right cocktail for you and soon. Best wishes.

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3 hours ago, HAL9000 said:

I only want to add that there are so many treatments, do many drug "cocktails" and therapy and TDocs that its hard to dismiss things getting better.   I've had the worst doctors and some of the crappiest drugs that made things worse.  Now that I've found a good TDoc and GDoc and have played the meds go round a bit?  Well something to ponder.  

If the doctors a dolt "Vote with your feet" and get out and find someone new.   Meds for me are a problem because I fear (A lot) changing to something that will make things worse but same thing if its not working.  A good doc will be active in asking for results and checking things.   If not?  Run!

Kind of ignorant. Very ignorant, actually, even if it is true for some. It is far more complicated than just trying another pill, or finding another doctor if yours is not sufficient. 

I respect the honesty and your opinion, but this isn't true for some of us. I wish I could just do that, I wish it was so easy. 

But I can't, it isn't and I am sick of hearing it. Good if it keeps you going but personally that reason does not exist and even if it did, wouldn't be anywhere near sufficient. 

The fact that situations change is also crap. Some do not, especially political ones that effect quality of life. 

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So, my experiences with being suicidal and self mutilating are all from psychosis and not depression, admittedly, but it isn't always about stopping pain. But even if it were, there are far worse things than death. especially if it's pain in others. I'm just saying.   

 

 

 

 

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