Friday, April 25, 2008

On Suicide: A Reflection in Questions

This article in the New York Times about the increasing number of people committing suicide in their Midlife fascinates me. "Midlife Suicide Rises, Puzzling Researchers"

The article reports:
A new five-year analysis of the nation’s death rates recently released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the suicide rate among 45-to-54-year-olds increased nearly 20 percent from 1999 to 2004, the latest year studied, far outpacing changes in nearly every other age group. (All figures are adjusted for population.)
The topic strikes close to home, as I recall the people who have taken their lives in my immediate circle of family, friends: classmate Greg Schulte, sister's friend Blue Mackey, brother's peer, and my sister-in-law's cousin Mike Claussen; and most recently, my neighbor: Harold.)

What is at the core of this problem?
Why does someone commit suicide?
Believing that we must be more? We are not enough as we are?
Battling depression, addiction, abuse of some kind? Always: dealing with our own battered psyches, spirits, yes?
What is the core reason for depression?
What is the root cause of not loving yourself?
Where do messages of "you are not enough" come from?
Where do messages of "you are enough" come from?
How do we address this in our psyches?
What is our responsibility as a society to examine this?
As a family?
What is my responsibility as an individual?

Just some questions, that I pose in prayer.
More soon,


Sr. Katherine said...

Your email got me to thinking. You know, I've never, ever had family or friends who have taken their life. As I think about what that would feel like, I shudder. Your last question is my first. I know I would jump to "how am I responsible?"
I will continue to think about it.

Thanks, Katherine

Suzann Bugenhagen said...

what timing you have...

I'm sitting here at the computer and out of the corner of my eye I see, through the window, a wet, heavy snow falling to the ground. It's gotten so heavy that it sticks to the window and now blocks the view of the snow falling to the ground. Hmmmmmmm? My mind always takes me back to March 1987 and all the feelings that go hand in hand with the 28th. I think if I can just make it though the month of March then I feel safe that we've escaped the chance of a spring snow shower (and the memories that are brought to light with it), but not this year.

I wonder about the flowers just beginning to bloom-will they survive?

Not that Greg will ever leave that space in my mind reserved especially for him, but thoughts of him are particularly poignant today.

My thoughts :)


Did I mention Fire and Rain by James Taylor playing over my iTunes party shuffle?

Reggie Harris said...

love the questions!

reggie harris
executive & artistic director
rTransitions, Inc