Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

When do we have the right to intervene

Studies of mental functions, behaviors and the nervous system.

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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#41  Postby hackenslash » Oct 31, 2018 1:21 pm

To be clear, I'd never advocate telling somebody to 'go ahead and do it'. That's the sort of thing that somebody who's sceptical that the person would ever complete would say, and it's highly dangerous.

What I actually advocate is 'I'm here for you and I accept you as you are, even to the degree that I'll be with you if and when you decide to complete'.

Without acceptance, we can't hope to encourage people to come forward and look for whatever help they may or may not need.

There's an old saying: If you love somebody, set them free.

That's what I advocate.
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#42  Postby Evolving » Oct 31, 2018 1:23 pm

I agree, and I've just read your blog post in which you say the same thing in rather more detail. Basically: "be a friend".
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#43  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Oct 31, 2018 1:25 pm

Evolving wrote:A friend remarked recently à propos of a mutual acquaintance who has repeatedly said (not to me) that she doesn't want to live: why not tell her, ok, go on and do it? Who are we to say you have to carry on suffering?

I don't want to agree, but it's very hard to argue against it (hence this thread, I suppose).

I wish I had something more useful to contribute to this discussion.

You did. :cheers:
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#44  Postby hackenslash » Oct 31, 2018 1:27 pm

Evolving wrote:I agree, and I've just read your blog post in which you say the same thing in rather more detail. Basically: "be a friend".


It's amazing how many in some circles took me to be advocating actively encouraging suicide.

Of course, I suspect that stems from that phenomenon I talked about: passive listening.

Oh, and you did contribute. Thank you.
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#45  Postby surreptitious57 » Oct 31, 2018 1:46 pm

I came across this wonderful saying a while ago : shared joy is doubled and shared pain is halved

With regard to the latter this is why I think talking about mental ill health is so important particularly for men
Because the old sterotype of being strong and not showing any emotion still exists and it needs to be tackled
Young men should be educated on it and not feel that they are less of a man for talking about their problems
The notion of the strong man has existed as long as humans have and it is an evolutionary trait of our species
It will probably never be eliminated but that is no reason not to try
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#46  Postby surreptitious57 » Oct 31, 2018 2:01 pm

hackenslash wrote:
amazing how many in some circles took me to be advocating actively encouraging suicide

I read it and thought what you were saying was clear enough. I know of one in particular though who really thought you were advocating suicide. I suspect passive listening even though I cannot be certain but the criticism was persistent I have noticed

An important lesson here is that no matter how precise we are with language we can never guarantee that our audience will understand us. Less so on a medium with no body language to provide emphasis where there may be confusion or ambiguity
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#47  Postby scott1328 » Oct 31, 2018 2:16 pm

hackenslash wrote:

Even the language there exposes the underlying assumption, which stands unsupported by ANY data. Talking about 'risk of self-harm' casts suicide as being counter to the interests of the patient, based entirely on the notion that living is better than not, an unjustified assumption.

Really not interested in the law, because that's based on the unsupported assumption. That assumption is what I'd like to see justified, and nobody has made any inroads into that at all.


Since the proposition "Living is better than not living" is completely unknowable and its negation is also equally unknowable, then Using either as a premise is unjustified. But I read in your posts, a tacit presumption, that in some cases, not living is better.

"Living is better than not living" is a conclusion, not a premise. How one arrives at the conclusion is deeply personal and subjective. Professionals, such as Fallible, try to help those who have reached a negative conclusion examine their reasoning. But most people are not professionals, and they don't have the training and the experience to put their own conclusion on the matter aside, and adopt a truly empathetic stance and listen to their loved-one. And most feel morally bound to divert the person they care about from taking any final actions.

All this of course you already know.

What I don't understand is what your purpose in this thread is. Are you seeking to raise consciousness of the members of the forum? Are you seeking advice? Are you seeking validation? Are you seeking help?
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#48  Postby zulumoose » Oct 31, 2018 2:23 pm

I've been thinking about this part of what Fallible wrote, particularly the last few words:-

Severe depression is when one feels severe sadness, lack of motivation, suicidal ideation, etc. when these feelings are not in response to circumstances.


It has changed my perspective a bit on my experience, it got me thinking that what I have experienced could be called a kind of closed feedback loop. In those circumstances I think efforts to intervene are justified, even if they seem against the will of the person involved. It would be like taking the keys away from someone too drunk to realise they cannot drive. While the triggers that set off the depression might be real, the escalation and proportion of the response is a problem.

Once you are too far gone, you may be incapable of realising that your perspective is badly warped.
Of course this does not apply in the case of someone who has come to a clear decision based on reality, or something other than depression.
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#49  Postby hackenslash » Oct 31, 2018 2:30 pm

scott1328 wrote:Since the proposition "Living is better than not living" is completely unknowable and its negation is also equally unknowable, then Using either as a premise is unjustified. But I read in your posts, a tacit presumption, that in some cases, not living is better.


I'm using neither as a premise, I'm simply stating that the affirmative premise is unsupported.

"Living is better than not living" is a conclusion, not a premise.


Not only is this pedantic, it's categorically incorrect. The role of any proposition as conclusion or premise is entirely predicated on how it's being employed. For example, the statement 'everything that begins to exist has a cause for its existence' is a conclusion, arrived at by Aristotelian reasoning concerning prime movers. Yet its employment in the Kalam Fallacy is as a premise.

In this case, the proposition 'living is better than not' is being employed as a premise in the argument that we should intervene and violate bodily autonomy in some cases.

How one arrives at the conclusion is deeply personal and subjective. Professionals, such as Fallible, try to help those who have reached a negative conclusion examine their reasoning. But most people are not professionals, and they don't have the training and the experience to put their own conclusion on the matter aside, and adopt a truly empathetic stance and listen to their loved-one. And most feel morally bound to divert the person they care about from taking any final actions.

All this of course you already know.


Indeed.

What I don't understand is what your purpose in this thread is. Are you seeking to raise consciousness of the members of the forum? Are you seeking advice? Are you seeking validation? Are you seeking help?


That sounds an awful lot like you didn't actually read the OP, wherein all but one of these questions is unambiguously answered.

My purpose is to further discourse, same as it ever was.
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#50  Postby hackenslash » Oct 31, 2018 2:33 pm

zulumoose wrote:I've been thinking about this part of what Fallible wrote, particularly the last few words:-

Severe depression is when one feels severe sadness, lack of motivation, suicidal ideation, etc. when these feelings are not in response to circumstances.


It has changed my perspective a bit on my experience, it got me thinking that what I have experienced could be called a kind of closed feedback loop. In those circumstances I think efforts to intervene are justified, even if they seem against the will of the person involved. It would be like taking the keys away from someone too drunk to realise they cannot drive. While the triggers that set off the depression might be real, the escalation and proportion of the response is a problem.

Once you are too far gone, you may be incapable of realising that your perspective is badly warped.
Of course this does not apply in the case of someone who has come to a clear decision based on reality, or something other than depression.


Of course, but we have to gauge carefully how we respond in the instance, which is my entire point. Simply passing somebody off can be destructive, and will certainly make somebody think twice about reaching out.
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#51  Postby zulumoose » Oct 31, 2018 2:45 pm

Simply passing somebody off can be destructive, and will certainly make somebody think twice about reaching out.


My experience of this is being in a place where reaching out is unthinkable, when I get to the point where I can be around people or initiate a conversation it means I am on the way back. When I say intervene I only mean try to reach the person, try to influence things positively, not anything more dramatic.
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#52  Postby hackenslash » Oct 31, 2018 2:53 pm

I understand.

My own experiences have been that I scream on the way down and on the way back up, which is how I know that those are the times when I'm fighting hardest to stay in the game.

It's a constant battle, especially at the moment, because I'm fighting entire governments to solve my issues, and they, being governments, couldn't give a flying fuck about my problems.
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#53  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 31, 2018 3:43 pm

hackenslash wrote:I'm most interested in whether or not anybody can logically defend the premise that living is better than not living.


I can't say what living is better or worse than. I have nothing to which I can compare it.

I can compare living with chronic pain to living without chronic pain, and I can compare battling bureaucracy to having as much free time as I want. I have gotten to the point of feeling that everything was really boring, and realized who was telling me this.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#54  Postby surreptitious57 » Oct 31, 2018 4:00 pm

There is no objective answer to the question of whether living is better than non living because the first is entirely subjective
Living CAN indeed be better than not living but CAN be better does not automatically imply IS better so one is none the wiser
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#55  Postby Macdoc » Oct 31, 2018 4:01 pm

Hack
My own experiences have been that I scream on the way down and on the way back up, which is how I know that those are the times when I'm fighting hardest to stay in the game.



What I find dismaying is what SigOs are put through in that cycle. My daughter was with her squeeze for a decade and I could see the toll the downs and to a degree the careful managed returns took on her and also on his career.
She's split up now and feels both sadness and relief.
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#56  Postby surreptitious57 » Oct 31, 2018 4:10 pm

The only reliable metric is to compare the quality of your life now to how it used to be. That is still of course subjective
but it lets the question be better understood from an individual perspective rather than from a general philosophical one
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#57  Postby hackenslash » Oct 31, 2018 4:12 pm

I understand that, but that has little bearing on the subject at hand. It's also the central topic of the second of the two posts I linked to above. Here's the link again:

Selfish! Weak!

To care for those left behind is admirable, but a secondary issue to the kind of support that should be given. The best approach to managing suicidal ideation is to forget every consideration but the person reaching out. Even raising the spectre of the impact on those left behind is destructive.

All else aside, it overlooks the very real and continuing damage done to those significant others by the continued depression.

I have a favourite quote on this by Norman Cousins:

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#58  Postby hackenslash » Oct 31, 2018 4:13 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:The only reliable metric is to compare the quality of your life now to how it used to be. That is still of course subjective
but it lets the question be better understood from an individual perspective rather than from a general philosophical one


That's not a reliable metric, because it doesn't account for those whose quality of life has ALWAYS been shit.
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#59  Postby surreptitious57 » Oct 31, 2018 4:28 pm

It would help if the focus was predominantly or exclusively on the one reaching out as ideally it should be
But their relationship with others might actually be the reason for them being in that place to begin with
So it is not always possible to sufficiently psychologically isolate someone so that a solution can be found
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Re: Suicide and Bodily Autonomy

#60  Postby hackenslash » Oct 31, 2018 4:29 pm

I do wonder if anybody gives any thought to the notion of reality dysphoria. The simple statement 'I don't like it here' is overlooked in all of this.
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