I was having a conversation re suicide with someone on his blog, and I thought i’ll put it up here, and perhaps get more views… Neither of us are experts on the subject, so pardon the ignorance if you are! (oh do share your views if you are = ) )
( The original author is a post-doc at the Biopolis, originally from China, so his native language is Chinese. He did his own English translation of the original Chinese post)
7 days ago, 3rd July, a male caucasian jumped from high floor of Fusionopolis, Singapore, died from suicide;
Some months ago, a research assistant from China committed suicide in Nanyang Technological University, died;
It says that some years ago, a post-doctoral fellow committed suicide in Biopolis, died too.
It says that the suicide emotion is contagious. The human resource of our company sent an email to suggest people who got affected by the incident go for counselling. There is no shadow in my mind resulting from this incident, but I am curiously wandering what kind of difficulties drove these persons with high IQ, high education, decent income and social respects to the dead end?
When a person don’t fear of death, what kind of things can make him fear and crush?
It says that it is a very short time between suicide impulse and suicide behavior for majority of suicides.
In this short period of time, their rational thinking give way to strong emotions, abruptly make up their mind, the valuable life soon gone with winds…
However, the things are not as bad as they believed when their mind were occupied by impulse.
To me, a person who love life and play in it at will, suicide is an absolutely impossible decision.
To me, the life is like taking a journey to a new place, I am here to watch sceneries as I travel, the journey only ends when I died naturally.
What I need to do in my life is to go to more places, view more beautiful sceneries, get more happy experience and give more contribution to the society when I am capable of.
In the journey of life, it is inevitable to encounter difficulties. It is good to solve the problems, however, when we cannot solve it, we can just pass around it. It is like when we travel to the foot of a huge mountain and no way to climb it, we can try to pass around it; if there is no way to pass around, we can return to the road which we came from and explore again when new roads show up.
Life is a free journey without boundries! There must be somewhere suitable to you!
When we feel not accustomed to certain kinds of life style, works get troubles, lonely, very upset and we cannot figure out how to solve it, let’s just move to another place. The most extreme situation is to go to a totally new place, cutting off all the connections to the old life and start a new one. This extreme situation is much much better than suicide. If we don’t fear of suicide, how can we fear of going for a long term vocation in a brand new place?
mathia Lee wrote:
“I am curiously wandering what kind of difficulties drove these persons with high IQ, high education, decent income and social respects to the dead end?”
Many artists, writers, singers, brilliant minds etc etc suffer from depression, insanity, drug/alcohol problems, eating/sleeping disorders……….
“When we feel not accustomed to certain kinds of life style, works get troubles, lonely, very upset and we cannot figure out how to solve it, let’s just move to another place. The most extreme situation is to go to a totally new place, cutting off all the connections to the old life and start a new one. “
The thing with some successful people is that they thought moving to another place, or getting rich, or achieving their goals would make them happy. When they have succeeded in moving, getting rich or achieving their goals, and they still do not feel happy, things seem hopeless, because they start to feel as if nothing in this world can ever make them happy anymore. That is when all the problems start coming in . The drugs, the depression, the deaths.
If you notice, a lot of religions that stand the test of time and give people hope, tend not to emphasise happiness. What they do instead, is to convince you that suffering is good and meaningful. When people reconcile suffering with living, it becomes easier to move away from death and despair, because happiness is no longer a goal.
阿龙 Along wrote:
1. What I want to know is “what kind of difficulties–the real problem they faced”. The suffering you say about some artists, writers and singers is true, but I don’t think it fits on these three researchers.
2. I agree that many religions try to convince people to be able to bear sufferings, in Chinese it is called 修炼.
I think we are talking about different aspects of the question of “how to deal with suffering?” The suffering I am talking about is the outside difficult environment a person faces, and the suffering you are talking about is the inside struggle a person bears in his mind. That is why I ask the person to get away from the suffering environment and you said the person will still carry the suffering even move to a new place. : )
Even the suffering is becasue of the inside struggle in a person’s mind, I believe when he move to a new place without outside pressure, he can also feel much less struggle in his mind. That is why we normally feel fresh when we go travelling, forgeting the daily troubles after getting out of the old environment.
mathia Lee wrote:
Why do you think that these researchers are facing external real problems and not those inside?
A lot of times, personality is the main determinant.
I know someone (you know also lah!) who was brought up in a family where for 4 generations of women, they are taught to be wary of other people. (not in a consious manner, but because they are unconsciously influenced by the personality of their mother/family. ) They will interpret everyone else’s actions as having the worst intentions they can think of. If they children don’t call or visit, they won’t think “oh, my son is so busy these days, I wonder how i can help him to ease his burden?”. Instead they will think “Even my son doesn’t love me anymore. He doesn’t even make an effort to care or be filial”
When you talk to such people, they will be able to tell you a lot of real external problems. If you just met them, you might believe them. But if you know them well enough, you will know the real reason.
And if you take this person to a new environment, it won’t really help. The same thing will happen. This person will think she has hostile new neighbours. And because of her belief, she might act in an unfriendly way to a new neighbours, and that will make her problem real.
If this person doesn’t realise the root of her problem, or doesn’t want, or is unable to change that root of her problem, she will take her problems with her everywhere she goes, and in everything she does.
After a while, things like depression, alchohol problems, eating/sleep disorders etc etc will set in. Then this person will interpret this in the worst way too, think that she has uncurable illnesses, that her doctors are lousy, and start thinking about suicide
This is just one example.
You, Along, are a happy person. You are very blessed to be. Because I know you personally, I know that your personality has alot to do with your happiness. Even when you see things or experience things that are problematic to most people or even to yourself, you do not see it as a reason to be very upset. You take it in your stride and deal with it. You need something super major —– taiwan bombing xiamen for example (??? hehhehe = ) ) —- to be really upset. Which is wonderful.
Therefore, when you look at other suicidal people and wonder what kind of problems they had, you are looking at them with your personality, where you need real big problems to be that upset. But to understand suicide, you need always to think about their personality and mental state.
The above example is only one type of personality that puts the person at high risk for suicide. There are other examples. I’m sure there is a lot of literature.
Leo Tolstoy wrote “Anna Karenina” a classic. I am fascinated by his character development. The internal thoughts, feelings, personality are so well described as the characters face different situations. The main character “Anna Karenina” is a woman who has everything — great beauty, style, intelligence, wealth , a lovely son. She doesn’t really love her husband passionately, but she cares about him and is a good, rational wife. Then she meets this man she falls head over heels in love with and leaves her husband. This man also loves her very much. She should be happy, but her personality makes her impossibly demanding of this lover. That creates conflict in their relationship even though they both love each other very much. In the end, she is driven to suicide.
Many readers/reviews I found on the internet hated Anna Karenina. They couldn’t understand how she could think/feel/behave like that, and feel that she is selfish and spoilt. I didn’t think so. I was thinking, given her personality, the way she was, was it even possible for her to escape her fate?