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Depression And Assisted Suicide


KrystalVisions

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I know this sounds crazy, but I've attempted suicide 3 times within the last several months always ending up in the psychiatric ward. I know supposedly suicide is wrong, and yes it would **** my family and boyfriend but I can't seem to think of anything else these days. I have severe anhedonia. I get no pleasure out of anything anymore. I can't even get aroused. A little background on me. Last spring I experienced a psychotic break where I heard voices, saw aliens etc. It was my second psychotic break in my life. When I came back to sanity I was happy for a few months, then spiraled down into the worst depression that I ever had in my life. Medications don't seem to work or take too long to work. I was just put on Lamictal yesterday and I hope to God it works but I am at my wits end. I don't know what to talk about with people anymore because I've just been in and out of mental hospitals since September. I feel like a walking corpse. I read that they have assisted suicide in belgium and some other countries for people with Severe depression. Whenever someone has a terminal illness, a lot of people are all for assisted suicide, but for mental illnesses, people say you have no right to end your life. that you HAVE to go on and keep suffering. I have to say I would rather have a physical disease than depression. Maybe that sounds crazy but it's true. I would rather be dealing with Cancer. At least there's hope with cancer, but no one can seem to figure out the brain. There is no magic pill that cures depression and anhedonia. When you get no pleasure out of ANYTHING what is the point in living? I read that Belgium assists people with suicide who have extreme depression. Do they help foreigners seek relief as well? I doubt it.

I wish to God they had a euthanasia clinic in the US that would assist people with chronic depression commit suicide. whenever I tell my family or boyfriend that I am suicidal they just get angry. But all I feel is suffering. I just want the pain to end. All I can seem to do all day is obsess over different medications and possible cures for depression. Nothing seems to be helping. I will give this new med a chance to work, but I have little hope. It's hard to be optimistic. I know I will probably anger people with this post, but I don't care. If there was a Doctor in the US who helped with assisted suicide, I would go see them immediately. If Belgium offers assisted suicide to US citizens I would spend all my funds to fly there to complete the job. Is there anyone else who feels this way or am I alone in this? I am afraid to talk about it with my family and boyfriend anymore. But I have nothing else to talk about but my pain. I feel like a burden and I feel like they would be better off without me. Of course it might give my dad no reason to live. He even said so. This makes me feel very selfish, but everyone wants me to stay alive for them. What is more selfish. Suicide or making someone suffer because you can't bear to let them go? I know I will get a lot of angry responses. I know people will continue to tell me "There is hope" and this and that, but it's very hard to see it when all you have is a dark cloud hanging over your head. I only get relief when I am asleep. When I wake up I experience the pain all over again. I do basically nothing all day but obsess about this and I don't know how to stop. Everyone tells me I just don't try hard enough and that its going to take work, but how can you work at feeling pleasure when it's all chemical? Does Anhedonia ever go away? Is anyone else here suicidal and wishing they had a doctor who could help assist in ending it? I would like to at least know I am not alone. Sorry for the long post. I just don't know where to turn anymore. Hospitalizations have done nothing to help. Thanks.

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I know exactly what you mean. I have often said that if it were possible to push a big red button which would cause me to stop existing instantaneously, I would push it in a heartbeat. I would go even further: If it were possible to do this and have the mechanism go back in time and erase all record of my having existed, I would do it without hesitation -- I would go back and prevent my own birth if I could. In fact, I would go even further than this (and this a lot of people will not like): If it were possible for me to somehow cause the entire Universe to stop existing, I would do it right now....

Notice that I am not whining about how "terrible" *my* life, in particular, is (as opposed to the lives of other people). I mean that the entire Universe is founded on a deception and an injustice: All living beings (and many non-living entities) exist by receiving energy from their environment; and all beings can only flourish by appropriating, to the greatest extent possible, the energy that should go to other beings. There is no help for this: this is how the Universe works. It is not "right" (fair, just) that it should be this way, but this is how it is. Of course, I can do nothing about it except end my own life. But I am too cowardly to do this. So I creep on this petty pace, day by day, as Hamlet says about Time.

Sorry to go on a rant (and go way off topic), but this is just to show you, Krystal Visions, that I know exactly where you're coming from -- you are not alone. The problem is, I don't know how to help you, or myself either....

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Hi Ues***a. I know what you mean about the Universe being Unjust. I used to believe in a higher power but I am not sure I do anymore. why would a higher power allow so much injustice in the world? Extreme depression, disease, war, misery etc etc. I used to love the natural world so much, but now it's hard to love anything. Nature is honestly so mean and unfair. And I don't know how to help you or me either. I wish we lived way in the future where they knew more about the brain and there could be a possible cure for this. I wish we lived in a Star Trek age. And I know what you mean about wishing you were never born. I wish that for myself too.

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*SNIP*

I know exactly where you are coming from. I just think if we're gonna call depression a health problem like anything else then we shouldn't exclude it from the terminal debate either. I'm actually such a strong proponent of it that I have my own euthanasia setup via instructions from our Belgium friends you mentioned, and of course I shall not share any of said instructions. Everyone says its temporary and for a good bit of people that's true, they get depressed due to a certain thing, wallow in the depression for a while, and then they get out of it; I've seen it with my own eyes. At the same time though, there are people who have been battling their depression for 20-50 years. Idk what actually makes some get out of it and others not so much so and I'm definitely not devaluing anyone's experience, but some people's depressions can be cured with a new job, new city, or some other new life change. I've been through pretty much all the recommended life changes and I don't believe its my life that I'm actually opposed to but life in general and by that I mean like the events, emotions, memories, etc. people endure throughout their "lives". Also, I think you hit the nail right on the head with a sledgehammer when you said, "This makes me feel very selfish, but everyone wants me to stay alive for them. What is more selfish. Suicide or making someone suffer because you can't bear to let them go?" The whole "suicide is selfish" thing is one of the most hypocritical, biased debates I've ever had the misfortune of witnessing (I mean using a shaming tactic on someone who is already feeling like the lowest thing on the planet is despicable). People will literally sit there and say "don't **** yourself, I don't want you to" and "don't commit suicide I need you", but then bash you for putting these feelings of yours above your friends and family. In my opinion, asking someone to stay specifically cause its gonna make you cry is worse than the act of suicide. No one would dare tell a terminally ill person to reconsider their euthanasia decision and yes I know they're not exactly the same thing, but depression has become a death sentence all the same at this point.

P.S. The first thing I learned while researching self euthanasia was that you'd better be prepared for a lot of angry responses lmao; however, why hold anything back?

Hi Ues***a. I know what you mean about the Universe being Unjust. I used to believe in a higher power but I am not sure I do anymore. why would a higher power allow so much injustice in the world? Extreme depression, disease, war, misery etc etc. I used to love the natural world so much, but now it's hard to love anything. Nature is honestly so mean and unfair. And I don't know how to help you or me either. I wish we lived way in the future where they knew more about the brain and there could be a possible cure for this. I wish we lived in a Star Trek age. And I know what you mean about wishing you were never born. I wish that for myself too.

I used to believe in a higher power too, but later on in life after some reflection I realized that I was just doing it to hold onto some hope that we were actually in a world where there was a person in the sky watching out for you; therefore, never allowing bad things to happen to the good people. Well I got tired of thinking that I was a bad person all the time, so I started researching theology and the universe and I basically came to this question: "Why would the universe/God/etc. favor certain people over others"? Well that got me thinking even more and I came to this conclusion: there is no just/unjust, what happens to us happens to us. I wish I could say that there's more to the events that happen on Earth than just random chance, but I believe that's exactly what happens. Like for example, you could leave your house for work five minutes late one day and end up getting hit by an airplane engine. The universe/God didn't have it out for you, you just left your house five minutes late that's all. I guess the main reason why I wanted to believe in a higher power was because it made me feel like no matter what happened I was going to be good because I was actually a good person deep down. I'd just rather feel terrible regarding the truth than to live in delusions anymore, its just not worth it.

*DISCLAIMER* In no way am I trying to bash organized religion or even suicide prevention

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No one is going to judge you here. You are in a safe place to say what you need to say. I do suggest reaching for the phone first before making any further attempts but we do completely understand what you are going through. Can I ask if your psychotic breaks have been addressed by a doctor? Have you been tested for schizophrenia? I am not a doctor but some of the symptoms you mention may point to it. From what I understand the right medicines can help tremendously with that condition. In any event, I agree that making someone feel guilty about wanting to leave will only make them feel worse. You are right, who is being more selfish. But on another note with the right combination of meds you do have an opportunity to have a chance at a happy life one day so hang in there and talk it out here as much as you need to. The people here are super supportive and can relate. In the end the main thing most of us struggle with is the pain. It can be very unbearable and all we want is for it to stop but things do change with time. And suicide isn't the only answer to alleviate the pain. Hang in there. We are all there for you.

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  • 6 months later...

I agree with you completely. I'm to sick to go to Belgium now, with this god awful depression. I don't know why the incurable depressives can't get assisted dying. I'd take it in a minute.

I don't see why assisted dying is for people who are likely to die anyway and not for us who have to keep suffering from psychic Hell.

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As DJmixer says, the universe is just random, some people seem to coast through life so easily, and others have things happen to them that make their lives unbearable. The idea of assisted suicide in my mind is to prevent some suffering, once the person reaches a certain stage where they just have no quality of life left, it's kinder to give them that option. But for severe depressives I don't think there is any quality of life either, so we are just staying alive because we have a useful shell of a body. many people do come out of depression, depending on circumstances, but other people can't.

 

I have anhedonia too, and even though I've tried to do all the things I should to get some joy out of life, nothing works, everything feels empty and pointless. I know it's all happening in my brain (though not caused by my conscious mind). If I could end it all I would because I'm at a point where I don't feel it's going to change and my life will not get better, but only worse as I age. If treatment for depression was more advanced, if doctors could test for and target the chemistry with specific drugs it would be great, but instead they just throw pills at you until something hopefully works except often it doesn't. I've been to so many therapists over the years, but no one can help me either. My depression now is so much worse than in the past and every day is a struggle. Back to your topic though, I agree that a humane way to end the suffering would be good so i understand where you are coming from. We are only on this earth for so long, but if all it is is psychological suffering then what is the point of being born.

Edited by bluegal
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I'm not so sure it's entirely "random", though that doesn't mean any god/higher power has to be involved.

 

I dislike the idea of assisted suicide personally because it breaks my heart to see people gve up and end their lives when, even if it doesn't feel like much, there is still hope. Though it's their choice, and no one else's. I don't think it's humane to forcibly keep someone who wants to die locked up.

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The reason they do assisted suicide to people with terminal illness and not to people with depression is that the people with terminal illness are going to die anyway.   Terminal means predicted to lead to death.   I'm not angry with you.  The reason people close to you get angry about this is because it would hurt them.

 

Everyone is going to die.  It's simply a matter of when.  

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Hi KrystalVisions,

No angry reply here. I absolutely understand where you're coming from. I'm 54 and have been depressed since I was at least 5 - off and on, for sure, and at times worse than others, but it never, ever went away for good and I've never been what I would call "happy" or satisfied with my life.  I've been on a ton of different medications and have gone through a million different therapists and therapies, and nothing really works.  I am basically staying alive for everybody else, for everybody who would be hurt if I died, for everybody would grieve when I passed, for society which thinks that suicide is a negative thing.

It all adds to our suffering, I think. If others want us to stay alive, then others need to find a way to help relieve our suffering. It's funny, in a way, because I am Buddhist and I understand the whole "desire is suffering" teaching, and I even believe it.  I study those teachings every day.  But...for those of us with severe, chronic depression, there is a point at which even the truths don't matter anymore.  We get stuck at the bottom of this deep, dark hole with nowhere to go and everybody expects us to crawl out of it on our own and WE JUST CAN'T. 

I actually feel, in some ways, disrespected by the people who have no true understanding for the depth of the depression some of us must endure.  Being chronically depressed for many years with no long-term response to treatment is an incredible burden to shoulder.

 

KrystalVisions, you don't mention your age or how long you have been depressed. I know what it feels like to be in the midst of one of those episodes when everything seems pointless and you get no pleasure out of anything, believe me. But if your depression has not been long-term (many years) and you have not exhausted all of your resources, I might suggest that it may be possible that your depression could still get better.  See, that's the thing.  With depression, and other mental illnesses, you just don't know until you've given the treatments a try.  And if you are able to find something that works, think of all the things you may have missed if you had killed yourself.  

 

Don't stay alive for others, do it for yourself.  

 

rhyl

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Hey, I'll be the angry one here. Throwing in my paranoia as well.

If they start treating depression as an incurable and "terminal" illness, what makes you think that the powers that be will stop there?

How would it be legislated or regulated? What if you had one bad night, went to see the euthanasia doctor and he/she stamped "terminal" on your forms and sent you off to swallow your hemlock?

Or worse yet, what if a family member, wanting your money or house, or just because they wanted you out of the way convinced you and your doctor that you were "terminal?"

Or the government decided that certain ethnic groups were more prone to "terminal" depression than others?

Listen, my friend. We all have a terminal condition and it's called life. We'll all die at some point, no one leaves here alive, so why not take more steps to live your life? You probably haven't exhausted every possibility. You can live life on your terms, so why not?

I like you KrystalVisions. You remind me of a friend of mine--who like you, and like me wanted to die, tried and didn't. It was from her that I got the idea of living life on my own terms, trying to see what that felt like. It's difficult, but not impossible. She's still alive (raising goats in a rural area, don't remember where).

So yeah, staying alive...I hope you do!

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Krystal, I know how you're feeling, because I've felt it myself; the depression part. But my solution to the same problem is not the suicidal route. I've turned that around and have the attitude that I'm gonna live, damn it!; no matter what! And I've told the doctors, psychiatrists and nurses that have worked with me this many times. And I say; even if you have to lobotomize me! And this is my way of being selfish; I'll be a burden, a pimple on society's ass; a huge expense, whatever; so be it! I say the Universe owe me! Or at least the people, society, culture and environment who made me what I am.  So you could say that I have self worth. In fact; my self importance is of a grandiose stature, probably. And; you're not crazy, and you should never get angry responses for expressing how you feel. But, yeah, people are stupid and ignorant, so the only thing we can do is to deal with them, somehow. Try to stick around. :) This place has some people with real insight, and I, for one, has learned a thing or two from them, plus it's always a nice thing to not be alone. So instead of anger; you'll be met with compassion and understanding. And just that, can be a step up, can it not? 

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Lately I've been imagining a lot about what the world would be like if everyone that wanted to die were given assisted suicide right away.  It doesn't seem like there would be many people left after awhile.

I have doubts if assisted suicide would ever be granted without having to meet a high criteria, even for people with terminal illness. There was a woman in France who went to the courts to be granted access to it, she had sinus cancer I think and became quite disfigured, and she was terminal, Im sure she was also in a lot of pain. The court turned down her request and she committed suicide on her own. All this woman wanted was to die peacefully and with dignity. The point is people don't need permission to commit suicide but they are left to do it in ways that can be brutal or leave them worse off if they fail, that's why I think assisted suicide in a humane way would be better but I can't see a situation where someone just has a bad week and could get assisted suicide, even if it were available, they would likely have to jump through many hoops. Our society is so against it, I mean if you admit you are suicidal you get sent to a psychiatric hospital, it's like govts believe people don't have the right to choose to end their own life so they just lock you up to save you from yourself. Even terminal patients are forced to endure so much pain and loss of dignity pretty much everywhere. Modern medicine can keep people alive longer without ever asking if it's the right thing to do.

 

e.g. I almost died 18 months ago from a severe haemmoragic stroke, and because of modern treatments they were able to save me. I I worked hard to overcome the physical difficulties but I've been left with what feels like a scrambled brain, I have anhedonia, severe depression, and bouts of extreme anxiety and I have no idea why they happen, except I've been told it's from the damage my brain suffered. Now they are going to prescribe some parkinsons medications to see if they help, but there's only a 60% success rate with them, and in my case they are going to be used off label so the results are even less predictable. I often feel I wasn't meant to survive and I have no life anymore, just a whole lot of confusion about who I am and who I used to be, and a brain that's messed up. If my brain was going to fully recover, it would have by now so this is my life now and even the doctors don't know enough about the brain to know what to do. I've just about exhausted all possibilities to get help, therapy can't fix my brain, I've been told ADs won't fix me either, I'm running out of options and I've been suffering for so long I'm losing my will to keep fighting this.

Edited by bluegal
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