Newspaper Covers Suicide Prevention Conference in Daytona

The Daytona Beach News-Journal had a very interesting and informative report on a suicide prevention conference held there, Survivor shares experience at suicide prevention conference.

On the opening day of the conference, a report was released showing a 41.5 percent increase in deaths by suicide overall in Volusia County: 109 in 2010 compared to 78 in 2009. In 2009, the rate was historically low, according to Mental Health America of East Central Florida in Daytona Beach.

15 of the 109 in from Volusia in 2010 were aged 16-29.

Volusia County had 107 suicides in 2008, up from 87 in 2007.

Flagler County had 11 suicides in 2008, down from 18.

Daytona Beach is in Volusia. This is a hardly surprising statistic. Volusia County, according to Wikipedia, has a population of 496,575 (ca. 2006) people while Flagler has a population of only 49,832 (ca. 2000).

I’ve always wondered about the motivations for suicide attempts, and to what extent a certain amount of over-indulgent selfishness might be involved.

It’s also a “tragic misconception,” he [Florida State University psychology professor Thomas Joiner] said, that the person usually believes he is a burden to others and his death will be worth more than his life.

As absurd as the activities of the vast majority of the people here and abroad are, why would this or that person’s presumed insignificance be exceptional?

“That person is wrong — they are not doing anybody a favor,” Joiner said.

Strange leap here, I suppose. If a person doesn’t pull the trigger, he or she is right; if a person does pull the trigger, he or she is wrong. Dead or wounded maybe, I don’t think pulling a trigger decides right and wrong.

Seven out of 10, he said, also express the wish that they want to die before taking their life.

I, and pardon me for doing so, blame poor parenting skills to a certain extent, but at the general and not at the specific level. You’d think that if parents were intent on instilling in their children a sense of awe at the magnificense of life, and particularly in the magnificense of one’s own life, maybe suicide would be a little less prevalent than it has, with the passage of time, become.

8 Responses

  1. If psychiatric drugs were able to reduce the suicide rate, we would see it in the numbers.
    We don’t.

    Because the drugs are innefective.

    Suicide is caused by lack of hope.
    Drugs don’t help people have hope.
    In fact, the labels, the drugs, the so-called “treatment” causes a sense of hopeleness.

    We have to begin to exercise some sanity.
    We need to try new methods that give people hope.

    Duane Sherry, M.S.

    • I agree. People kill themselves because their lives aren’t what they’d have them be. Labeling people, putting them on drugs, and perpetually treating them for imaginary illnesses will not solve the problems they face in their lives. Actually dealing with the problem works better than evading it. Often mental health treatment presents a way of evading the need for finding solutions to problems. One is stuck in this parenthetical world of pretense. Psycho-social rehabilitation, for example, is a way of avoiding real work in favor of pretend and non-paid work. There’s not much hope in evading real issues.

      One sane person in an insane world doesn’t make a great deal of difference. Two sane people, and you could be beginning to get somewhere.

  2. As an alternate point of view on suicide, as children, if we held our breath or screamed until we got what we wanted, and this method worked on our parents, it might be an unconscious voice in the suiciders head. The suicider says “Give me what I want or I will kill myself” and we ( the sane observer) cant say to the protester” Go ahead and do it then”. the sane observer has to help.

    Reminds me of a scene from the Blazing Saddles Movie 1974
    Bart: [low voice] Hold it! Next man makes a move, the guy* gets it!
    Olson Johnson: Hold it, men. He’s not bluffing.
    Dr. Sam Johnson: Listen to him, men. He’s just crazy enough to do it!
    Bart: [low voice] Drop it! Or I swear I’ll blow this guy’s* head all over this town!
    Bart: [high-pitched voice] Oh, lo’dy, lo’d, he’s desp’it! Do what he sayyyy, do what he sayyyy!
    [Townspeople drop their guns. Bart jams the gun into his neck and drags himself through the crowd towards the station]
    Harriet Johnson: Isn’t anybody going to help that poor man?
    Dr. Sam Johnson: Hush, Harriet! That’s a sure way to get him killed!

    “Suicide is caused by lack of hope.”
    Why doesn’t someone have any hope? They have been tricked into thinking there is no future. Locked in a box. Get them out of the box, both the physical box and the metaphorical one.

    • Unfortunately, all too often, “the box” is seen as a “disease”, and one’s distress over being “boxed in” is seem as a symptom of the “disease”. “The box” is not a “disease”, “the box” is a situation, and a particularly trying or bad situation. Let people out of “the box”, and you manage to “cure” them of their distress.

      A false door is like a false hope. It only serves an ornamental or a deceptive purpose. One problem we’ve got is that some real doors come to resemble false doors. This or that person is so used to other people’s low opinion of him or herself that they can’t imagine a different opinion. There are different opinions out there.

      Suicidal tendencies are not a “disease”. You can be certain that if a person attempts suicide they are going to receive a “mental illness” label. We need to go back to the reasons why people feel they must end their lives. “Mental illness” is not a reason. People attempt suicide because they feel they are miserable. When people are living the kind of lives they want to live, they don’t want to kill themselves. Human progress involves evolving situations in which people do better rather than worse than they had previously done. When progress is not the order of the day, more people commit suicide.

  3. From one of my favorite movies of all time, ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’…

    “Watching the world series would be good therapy too, wouldn’t it, Nurse Ratched”..

    … “What do you think, you’re crazy or something… Well you’re not… You’re no crazier than the average…”

    How about a little decency?
    Treating people the way anyone would like to be treated, and inviting someone who suffers into our lives, as an equal.

    Hasn’t really been tried yet.
    Maybe it’s worth a shot!


    • Why are people so miserable that they want to kill themselves? Who really cares, beyond the rhetoric, and the bureaucratic bullshit, about those who do feel so miserable?

      I think we need to do something about giving the idea to people that they are worse than nothing, and that the world would be better off without them. I think that when we have a more liveable world people will be less inclined to commit suicide. I think we have to get beyond people’s selfishness to get to that more liveable world.

      This means inclusion rather than exclusion. Exclusion is a big part of the problem. Exclusion is how 10 % of the population gets 90 % of the wealth. When people have been robbed of so much, and to such an extent as they have been robbed, no wonder some of them wind up killing themselves.

  4. Oh, Miss Honey — if you have to TEACH someone about the awesomenosity of life and all of its wonderfulplicities…. you’ve already missed the boat.

    • Do we have a world in common, or only a world for those with a ticket? This would exclude many people living in impoverished areas of the globe. Bygones, I suppose…

      If you’re saying Miss Honey, and somebody, should be taking a tour instead. Maybe. You can’t teach “the awesomenosity of life and all its wonderfulplicities”, but you can experience it (& then the tour comes to an end.)

      Excuse me, am I speaking to Big Daddy Moneybags? Do you live in a gated community or sumthin’? Are you 1 of the 10 % owning 90 % of everything? & getting tax-breaks richer?

      If so, I hope the revolution finally catches up with you and your boat rides, free or otherwise…

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