The news of the loss of Robin Williams is saddening. I however can't help feeling that it is the shared delusion of a better place to go that was likely the cause. This is not a new idea as suicide to speed along the journey to "heaven" that caused the church to announce that it was a sin. Those who say religion isn't harmful if practiced alone I believe are mistaken or have never lost a loved one who was alone with their ideas of a better place. Maybe this idea is ill timed, but I have seen many instances where life was lost due to someone hoping for the promised land because their ideas were allowed to manifest unchallenged.
Just my thoughts
I think some people have complex medical problems that are unfixable and they just give up.
The novelist Ernest Hemingway, who enjoyed writing, big game hunting, fishing, and travel to exotic places, learned he could do none of the above after a plane crash left him close to death. He fell into depressions, and his poor wife, misled by the psychiatric community, recommended shock "therapy." This made Hem even more despondent, to the effect that, one morning, he got up, went downstairs, and blew his head off with a shotgun. To me, this is an honorable death. Hemingway was an atheist. He did not take "the easy way out" -- killing yourself takes enormous courage -- but simply discontinued consciousness because he no longer could live a life with meaning.
Yes, I remember that. And I certainly understand.
It's sort of what my friend, another atheist writer, did.....only as far as I know she wasn't hopeless; she just didn't believe she could survive without her husband (who had died of cancer the previous year).
And there are mornings when I wake up dizzy, sweating, try to get up, fall down, and think, "Oh, shit! I'm still here."
Diseases such as Parkinson's
Sorry for the misspelling.
Mork and Mindy Meet the Racists
Oh! It might be that he thought he had a better place to go; I suspect he just wanted his misery to end. There were complicating matters that appear to be on his mind, such as working as hard as he was at his age and getting tired of it. Or it could have been that relationships were difficult for him and he wanted to be free of complex associations. Or might have felt that he was on a downward spiral and just wanted off the merry-go-round. Or his addictions seemed to be out of control. Or, maybe he felt that he had to be on stage all the time and wanted off.
Just some ideas.
The celebrated writer Virginia Woolf committed suicide rather than face another episode of madness. She left a poignant note for her husband Leonard:
I feel certain I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that – everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer.
I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.
She filled her pockets with stones and walked into the river Ouse in 1941. She was 59 and had suffered several previous breakdowns. There was a histroy of mental illness in her family. Her cousin, J.K. Stephen, who tutored Prince Albert Victor and was himself suspected of being Jack the Ripper, was also bipolar and had committed suicide by starving himself to death in 1892.
@Dr Clark........I never knew that J.K. Stephen may have been Jack the Ripper or that he was related to Virginia Woolf.....Very interesting......Thanks for that tidbit of history.....
Virginia Woolf's maden name was Stephen. She was the daughter of Leslie Stephen, who lost his faith and became an agnostic. He wrote "I now believe in nothing, to put it shortly; but I do not the less believe in morality, etc. etc, I mean to live and die like a gentleman if possible."
He also said, "…religions are preached, not because they are true, but because they are a highly convenient substitute for police regulations. There may be no such place as hell, but we can't afford to let the criminal classes into the secret." [The quote is out of context.]
The Stephen family was quite distinguished. Leslie Stephen found the Dcitionary of National Biography and his brother, J. K.'s father was Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, a prominent judge.
J. K. himself was a poet and scholar and is recalled by A. C. Benson as a great wit of immense charm. I don't believe he is a serious candidate for the Ripper, but the ground has been gone over so many times that Ripperologists need material for new books so they run through the list of suspects and dismiss them one by one in favor of their latest favorite candidate.
I always wonder when I hear of people suffering from hallucinations, anxiety, depression - whether they could have been saved by a special diet.
Celiac disease can aggravate hallucinations, anxiety, depression. A gluten-free diet normally makes those problems go away.
And, delayed-reaction food allergies can cause anxiety and depression.
Both of those problems are extremely underdiagnosed in 1941, when Virginia Woolf suicided, They are still severely underdiagnosed, although (you would hope) Robin Williams would have good enough care to have heard about them.
So many people must have suicided because they didn't have this knowledge. And many more have suffered a lot their whole lives. I suffered a great deal before I found out.