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
Spud......You are talking like a Rational Thinker......Unfortunately, anyone in deep emotional pain or depression is NOT thinking rationally, otherwise they would seek help......Unless you are familiar with depression, you have no idea how it can consume you, which explains why it takes so many lives every year......A victim of severe depression only thinks of one thing, ending their life. How they do it depends on whatever way comes to them first..
People talk about death and dying and how scared they are. I guess that's why they like religion. I tell people I am not afraid to die, it's just that I want no pain involved.
Talking to a friend a few years ago, I mentioned the actor/singer Ken Curtis who was Festus Hagen on Gunsmoke. Curtis died in his sleep. My friend and I both decided that was how we wanted to die.
This doesn't mean (as some mistakenly find out) that you can take a bottle of sleeping pills and die nicely. Even if you succeed this way it's a horrible way to go. The "cure" for this overdose is even worse. I have a relative who tried it.
Same for me. Not afraid to die, just want no pain involved.
I've had depression most of the time now for 30 years. It's mostly been at a low level, although before I escaped the stress and fear from religious indoctrination, it did reach a level where I planned my suicide.
I have a quick no-pain plan for when the time comes that it's needed. However, since escaping religion and coming-out to my family, my depression has been reduced dramatically. It's now at a low level, and I see no need for suicide in the foreseeable future.
My brother shot himself in the heart. Sounds like that could be a painful death also. But I think part of the reason he did it that way was because he wanted to make a statement.
A girl he liked was a little young for him, so her mother told her not to see him again. He went to their house, ask them to come outside, and then did it in front of them.
Whew! Some statement! Probably caused them years of anguish, but at least he didn't shoot them.
I had a friend, historian and author Peter Putnam, who—in a deep depression—attempted suicide as an undergraduate at Princeton, and blinded himself. He recovered from the depression and went on to finish his Ph.D. in history, married, and had two children. He wrote a number of books, including one about his experience afterwards. He was a delightful and intelligent man with a wonderful sense of humor. The message is that even after a botched suicide there is good life to be found.
I had thought -- and probably posted here at some time or other -- that the Stoics, with whom I tend to identify at times, were advocates of euthanasia including suicide, but they were not. I must suppose I reasoned from the specific to the general, using Seneca as my model. My own subject, in the writing I am doing, attempted suicide several times since adolescence, swallowing sleeping pills, nearly jumping off apartment buildings, and slowly drinking himself to death. Even after he finally offed himself, some said he was reaching out for a lifesaver before he made it and that friends had rescued him before but this time were not around. Do those who ignore the crying wolf live to regret it as guilt over not having "done more"?
Do those who ignore the crying wolf live to regret it as guilt over not having "done more"?
In the math department at Brown we had a young man who delivered the mail each day from the university's central office. We all liked him, but didn't know him well. He always seemed friendly and cheerful. He was in his early twenties, but very small. He killed himself leaving a note that said, "I'm tired of being small." Everyone felt bad that we had not known of his unhappiness and many said that if they had only known, they would have told him it doesn't matter. I don't know if that could have helped, but it just seemed to be the wrong reason for suicide.
@ Dr.Clark......When you say small, do you mean small in stature or small build or both?......If both,he may have looked very boyish and not manly ...He may have had trouble attracting women or carded for drinks at a bar ,even though he was over 21......Some short and small boned men are very sensitive about their stature....These men need encouragement and told that how big and tall they are does not make the man and give examples of many small statured men who have been successful......Even other men his age may not have wanted to hang out with him.....It is so unfortunate that no one reached out.....He may have been very shy as well...Too much attention today is made on how someone should look or dress....Some of it is peer pressure.....None the less, he was way too young to cut his life short...
It's so hard to explain to young people how heartbreak WILL get easier over time. My first breakup (first serious BF cheated on me) was awful, I didn't eat for 8 days straight, couldn't even stomach an aspirin. The first heartbreak takes a stupid amount of time to recover from.
Fast forward a decade, and I was breaking up with guys over the phone, via text..... figured that being "nice" wasn't getting me anywhere. Not that I'm no longer nice, but I've learned that it's not the ONLY thing guys want, and if I don't see a future in the relationship, no sense in being 100% nice about it.
Ironically- the guy I broke up with over the phone asked me out again months later (before dumping ME, in person. I would've preferred a phone call.) The guy I broke up with over text.......we're now married!
My point being, you can learn from those horrendous experiences. Doesn't mean you'll never be depressed again (I too have struggled with depression- took meds, went to therapy), but if only we could find a way to download the message into people's brains. You can't though.
My new manager isn't very tall, and she said that her husband is a LOT shorter than she is- so he's got to be under 5'! OH if only teens and 20-somethings could have a glimpse at life with an old person's perspective.
I'm sure Robin had more going on than we realize, or maybe he just had a great life up until the Parkinson's diagnosis. Figured, what more could there possibly be ahead? Are we being selfish to bemoan OUR loss, when he at least did it on his own terms? Just a thought, not saying it was the right thing to do.
He was about 5 feet tall as I remember. (It was quite some time ago.) He often wore a big cowboy hat, perhaps hoping it made him look taller, but it had the opposite effect of emphasizing his small stature. Women liked him—at least the secretaries in our department— as I recall because he was very nice looking, but I think they may have given him the impression they thought he was cute, and not to be taken seriously. Many years later I somehow ran into a man who had been his roommate and he gave me additional details, but alas, I have forgotten it all—I have a memory like a sieve.
"Cute" tends to be too generalized to mean much, doesn't it? My readings in popularized quantum theory explication convinced me that the distrust of language by many, from Korzybski to Wittgenstein,with a few Buddhists thrown in, is well taken. Concomitant to language is the problem of perception, and i am convinced also that if we are not present in the forest to hear the tree fall, it has not fallen. I once characterized men as cute and others as beautiful, but they tell you absolutely nothing about the persons attached. Korzybski as you know was famous for saying "the map is not the territory." Wittgenstein said there are no philosophical issues, only failures of language in discussing them.