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I don't understand suicide


lostone
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Preface : suicide I can understand is where you are tortured or suffering from a terminal illness

 

I have a emotional detachment to suicide.  When I hear about it, I don't get it.  Why do something where you impact your family in such a way?  I look at the situations I grew up around and don't understand.  How can these people deal with life but others can't?  

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Learned helplessness is one topic to look into and consider why people commit suicide. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness

 

Foundation of research and theory[edit]

Early key experiments[edit]

American psychologist Martin Seligman initiated research on learned helplessness in 1967 at the University of Pennsylvania as an extension of his interest in depression.[4][5] This research was later expanded in experiments by Seligman and others. One of the first was an experiment by Seligman & Maier. In Part 1 of this study, three groups of dogs were placed in harnesses. Group 1 dogs were simply put in the harnesses for a period of time and later released. Groups 2 and 3 consisted of "yoked pairs". Dogs in Group 2 were given electric shocks at random times, which the dog could end by pressing a lever. Each dog in Group 3 was paired with a Group 2 dog; whenever a Group 2 dog got a shock, its paired dog in Group 3 got a shock of the same intensity and duration, but its lever did not stop the shock. To a dog in Group 3, it seemed that the shock ended at random, because it was his paired dog in Group 2 that was causing it to stop. Thus, for Group 3 dogs, the shock was "inescapable".

In Part 2 of the experiment the same three groups of dogs were tested in a shuttle-box apparatus. All the dogs could escape shocks on one side of the box by jumping over a low partition to the other side. The dogs in Groups 1 and 2 quickly learned this task and escaped the shock. Most of the Group 3 dogs, which had previously learned that nothing they did had any effect on shocks, simply lay down passively and whined when they were shocked. This is a dramatic example of the retardation of learning that typifies learned helplessness, as defined above.[4]

In a second experiment later that year with new groups of dogs, Overmier and Seligman ruled out the possibility that, instead of learned helplessness, the Group 3 dogs failed to avoid in the Part 2 test because they had learned some behavior that interfered with escape. To prevent such interfering behavior, Group 3 dogs were immobilized with a paralyzing drug (curare), and underwent a procedure similar to that in Part 1 of the Seligman and Maier experiment. When tested as before in Part 2, these Group 3 dogs exhibited helplessness as before. This result seems to rule out the interference hypothesis.

In these experiments there seemed to be only one cure for helplessness. By Seligman's hypothesis, the dogs do not try to escape because they expect that nothing they do will stop the shock. To change this expectation, experimenters physically picked up the dogs and moved their legs, replicating the actions the dogs needed to take to escape from the electrified grid. This had to be done at least 2 times before the dogs would start jumping over the barrier on their own. In contrast, threats, rewards, and observed demonstrations had no effect on the "helpless" Group 3 dogs.[4][5]

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5 hours ago, lostone said:

Preface : suicide I can understand is where you are tortured or suffering from a terminal illness

 

I have a emotional detachment to suicide.  When I hear about it, I don't get it.  Why do something where you impact your family in such a way?  I look at the situations I grew up around and don't understand.  How can these people deal with life but others can't?  

Ya, my best friend committed suicide. We had made plans to hang out that week, but never got the chance.  Its rough man.  And it takes a long time for those left behind to deal its after effects. 

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5 hours ago, MayorWest13 said:

Learned helplessness is one topic to look into and consider why people commit suicide. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness

 

Foundation of research and theory[edit]

Early key experiments[edit]

American psychologist Martin Seligman initiated research on learned helplessness in 1967 at the University of Pennsylvania as an extension of his interest in depression.[4][5] This research was later expanded in experiments by Seligman and others. One of the first was an experiment by Seligman & Maier. In Part 1 of this study, three groups of dogs were placed in harnesses. Group 1 dogs were simply put in the harnesses for a period of time and later released. Groups 2 and 3 consisted of "yoked pairs". Dogs in Group 2 were given electric shocks at random times, which the dog could end by pressing a lever. Each dog in Group 3 was paired with a Group 2 dog; whenever a Group 2 dog got a shock, its paired dog in Group 3 got a shock of the same intensity and duration, but its lever did not stop the shock. To a dog in Group 3, it seemed that the shock ended at random, because it was his paired dog in Group 2 that was causing it to stop. Thus, for Group 3 dogs, the shock was "inescapable".

In Part 2 of the experiment the same three groups of dogs were tested in a shuttle-box apparatus. All the dogs could escape shocks on one side of the box by jumping over a low partition to the other side. The dogs in Groups 1 and 2 quickly learned this task and escaped the shock. Most of the Group 3 dogs, which had previously learned that nothing they did had any effect on shocks, simply lay down passively and whined when they were shocked. This is a dramatic example of the retardation of learning that typifies learned helplessness, as defined above.[4]

In a second experiment later that year with new groups of dogs, Overmier and Seligman ruled out the possibility that, instead of learned helplessness, the Group 3 dogs failed to avoid in the Part 2 test because they had learned some behavior that interfered with escape. To prevent such interfering behavior, Group 3 dogs were immobilized with a paralyzing drug (curare), and underwent a procedure similar to that in Part 1 of the Seligman and Maier experiment. When tested as before in Part 2, these Group 3 dogs exhibited helplessness as before. This result seems to rule out the interference hypothesis.

In these experiments there seemed to be only one cure for helplessness. By Seligman's hypothesis, the dogs do not try to escape because they expect that nothing they do will stop the shock. To change this expectation, experimenters physically picked up the dogs and moved their legs, replicating the actions the dogs needed to take to escape from the electrified grid. This had to be done at least 2 times before the dogs would start jumping over the barrier on their own. In contrast, threats, rewards, and observed demonstrations had no effect on the "helpless" Group 3 dogs.[4][5]

Huh interesting study.  A follow up experiment should have had those researchers tested for sociopathy.

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It could probably be said it is equally selfish to expect another person to continue to stick around for your own reasons?

As someone who is terrified of dying(ie wants to live forever), I don't get it, but on the other hand I can't imagine being at the point where that seems like the best option.

It also seems like if you are for end-of-life solutions for people, the reason or timing shouldn't matter.

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7 hours ago, lostone said:

Preface : suicide I can understand is where you are tortured or suffering from a terminal illness

 

I have a emotional detachment to suicide.  When I hear about it, I don't get it.  Why do something where you impact your family in such a way?  I look at the situations I grew up around and don't understand.  How can these people deal with life but others can't?  

If you can understand someone deciding to take their life under those circumstances, then you should be able to understand someone doing it for internal reasons.  Mental illness can be every bit as tortuous and merciless as a debilitating physical illness.

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Sometimes people are so depressed that therapists don't get through to them, the people around them don't understand their reality or perception of it and feel as though they have no other option to escape.  A suicidal person thinks they are doing their family a favor by dying not as a selfish act.  I don't think there's really a way to understand suicide but what should be focused on is prevention and not just the typical outlets.

 

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My friend had been diagnosed with depression and was no longer taking his medication. So I would assume his had to do with a lack dopamine and serotonin along, with quitting an antidepressant, and things not going well.  

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It's the thing you do when it's the only way you feel you can affect your own life when your life is unbearable. It's possible to become so alienated that every experience and interaction becomes a new burden to suffer as a person incapable of reconciling its duality as a social being with a full interior life separate from that persona. It isn't so much a matter of total misery experienced in a lifetime, as much as it is a belief that deciding to no longer exist is a viable solution to an intolerable state of being.

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I can't relate to the feeling of hopelessness and/or helplessness  that it seems would take to push someone to that end. 

That being said, I know my brother has been to the place where he had contemplated killing himself and he was later diagnosed with depression and bipolar. Also, I feel like the substances he was using to cope were only making him feel worse, especially with guilt. It's a whirlwind of things and I think it is less commonly one factor or another and more commonly a myriad of issues compounding one another. 

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When it happens close to you you have all kinds of thoughts and emotions about it.  Denial, blame, guilt, anger, sadness, empathy and finally understanding. They were at a point they made an extreme decision.  It was their decision. It effects everyone around them, but life is a right, and what you do with that right lies in their own hands.  Surely it is not the actions of a person without an extreme stressor. It take extremity in life or the mind to end one own life.  

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It is something that is hard to explain.....I have been to that point..when you can be in  room full of people who care about you and you care about them yet you still feel isolated. I also would thinki.about passed relationships and the ways I mucked them up and just feel overwhelming sense of guilt....even for the smallest things.

I have been to very dark places in my mind and I got to the point where I was just indifferent about living....it was not so much that I wanted to die but I just did not care if I lived. 

 

I am glad you do not get it.....it means you have never been to that point.

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41 minutes ago, unbelievable said:

Suicide survivors admit that they rarely thought about the impact it would have on the people around them.

To be perfectly honest that is one reason things did not go differently for me....the guilt that knowing my mom would blame herself was a powerful motivator .....but ofcourse that also makes it worse when you are in that state of mind.

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I haven't done the research into this subject, but I can think of several categories that have different motivations.

The terminally ill is one. They've lost hope of finding a cure. They are tired of living every day just to fight whatever it is killing them. I can see this clearly, because I'd probably prefer going gently than drawn out suffering.

Those living in physical pain. Ex sports players, for example. This typically leads to emotional pain, but the daily pain that won't subside even with drugs seems like a pretty straight forward reason for wanting to die.

Those living in mental pain. This is different than emotional pain. Emotional pain is temporary. Family member dies, emotional pain. Mental pain endures time and is similar to the hopelessness of incurable disease or everlasting physical damage/pain.

Accidental. Darwin.

Brainwashed. Darwin.

And last but not least, being associated with Hillary Clinton. This one, I can relate to. I feel their same sense of hopelessness. 

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On 9/7/2016 at 6:07 AM, lostone said:

Preface : suicide I can understand is where you are tortured or suffering from a terminal illness

 

I have a emotional detachment to suicide.  When I hear about it, I don't get it.  Why do something where you impact your family in such a way?  I look at the situations I grew up around and don't understand.  How can these people deal with life but others can't?  

Unless you're ever there you never will. Be thankful you don't.

On 9/7/2016 at 2:01 PM, Joremarid said:

I have no clinical psychological training but if I had to guess I would imagine it's mostly related to depression and substance abuse and a small percentage of suicide may be related to existential crisis.

Substance abuse is more of a symptom than a cause.

 

 

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