With the recent suicide of Robin Williams, there
has been a lot of talk of depression, suicide, and, amazingly
enough, brain damage during cardiovascular surgery. (Who knew?)
Depression is nearly epidemic. Itís almost as if
it was contagious. Although the connection between nutrition and depression
is not accepted by conventional medicine, they still havenít a clue as
to its cause cloaking every aspect of the epidemic in two terms:
We know that psychoanalysis isnít a cure. Even before
he died, Freud admitted that psychoanalysis just makes people
angrier and meaner.
Iím convinced there is a connection between
nutrition and lifestyle, and depression. However, I also know that
sometimes, we suffer from sadness, and thatís okay. We are allowed
to be sad. To our Native American brothers and sisters (the Lakota,
more specifically) depression is an inner sadness surfacing.
There are some very simple, but temporary,
solutions to depression. One is exercise. Iíve seen people
clinically depressed who smiled and laughed all afternoon while
Then there is helping others. When we are helping
others, we lose the focus on our own problems and this alleviates
As a youngster, growing up in a ďmedicalĒ family,
I had an interest in medicine. The field I was most interested in
happened to be psychiatry. This, however, was prior to the
pharmaceutical takeover of psychiatry.
I remember listening to a lecture on suicide back
then, and it must have made an impression, because certain aspects of
the lecture have stayed with me all my life.
I remember the lecturer saying: Three things are
needed for a person to commit suicide:
The person must want to die.
The person must want to be dead.
The person must be able to murder.
The difference between 1 and 2 is very subtle.
Many people want to be dead, but they donít want to go through the
action of dying. Fewer want to actually experience the act of dying,
but donít want to be dead. And the last one was a shocker when Iíd
heard it, but it soon made sense. The individual has to be cable of
murder. He or she is taking a life.
With all the violent shootings in our society
ending in suicide of the shooter, itís pretty clear that the suicidal
is capable of murder.
There was a real hubbub in the press when someone
on Fox News called Robin Williamsí act: selfish.
I have to admit, calling it selfish is ďclose.Ē
Close but no cigar.
In Catís Cradle, a book by Kurt Vonnegut,
he creates a religion called Bokononism. When a member of that
religion commits suicide, he says: "Now I will destroy the whole
I donít know if Kurt Vonnegut had ever
contemplated suicide or whether he was just darn intuitive, but he
hit upon something that few people realize; something only someone
who has been there knows.
You see, a Bokonist, on the verge of suicide is
more than selfish; heís solipsistic. Solipsism is a belief that only
the self exists. Nothing else exists; everything in the universe is
the creation of the individual.
Thus, if the individual kills himself, heís
actually killing the world, the universe.
As I said, this was either something Vonnegut had
experienced or he was very intuitive because, I happen to have been
Does the suicidal person think of those around him? Of
course. At first, he does. But then the universe begins contracting
as the potential suicide slips deeper and deeper into the void. Itís
silent, painless, and emotionally freeing. The universe has
contracted tighter and tighter, swaddling the individual warmly in
its squeeze, so tight that there is nothing else; just the
individual, as big as the universe.
The next step is not just ending oneís self, but
ending the universe.
When a person reaches this point, there is
usually no turning back. Itís not a cry for help. Itís not a selfish
act. It is the ending of everything. The end of all pain and
Personally, I donít remember exactly what brought
me back. Iíd had close friends. One of them got me to the VA. I
spent time, institutionalized here and there.
But I will never forget entering the void.
Yes, the suicide hurts mainly the people around
him, but one can only imagine the pain he felt in order to get to
that point; to end it all.
Now you can regurgitate all the clichťs about
suicide till youíre blue in the face: Itís a permanent solution to a
temporary problemÖetc etc etc.
What people need are loving friends. Real friends
who are there when times are great and when times are rough.
And we need that special friend who sees into us
and knows when we need a friend.
Often there are signs that afriend needs us. And
sometimes there are none.
Iím not an expert on this subject, but I do know
that nobody commits suicide who is convinced he is loved and loved
We need more of that in the world and a lot less
bullshit, anger, hatred, bullets, and greed.
If you have a story about suicide that you think might interest
readers (who've arrived at this page), please send it to
[email protected] and tell us how much you want us to publish
(private info and things like that)