One really surprising issue we didn’t discuss three classes ago was when Solomon recalled trying to contract AIDS as a reason to commit suicide which he believed to be less painful for his family. This astounded me on multiple levels. 1) He considered his family and the repercussions of his act. I know a lot of suicide attempts have extensive planning behind them but suicide is often a selfish act and his thoughts were to his family as well as himself. Also, he was able to think of his suicide from his family’s point of view, not a thought many who are suicidal think about. 2) He waited to contract AIDS to commit suicide. I think this might have been a “flaw” in his plan because of the time it takes to contract and develop AIDS. In time many realize with regret that they don’t want to die. 3) He wanted to find a “valid excuse” for suicide.
All of these reasons seems like such a well thought out plan that usually doesn’t occur when one is planning suicide. I was curious to see how many other people have thought about using AIDS to commit suicide (which I think is a horrible way to end your life). I found a letter to an editor describing a woman’s attempt to contract AIDS to commit suicide. I think this plan for suicide is indirect and inevitably painful. Also, I question the success rate of those who try to contract AIDS as a way of suicide. Due to the fact that AIDS takes time to be contracted and develop (why do those who want AIDS fail to contract it? Ironic) then putting a halt to your plans until an unsure thing like this doesn’t make for a fool-proof plan for a “successful” suicide. Solomon changed his mind as well as the woman in this letter.
Another point the article brought up was group meetings for people suffering from depression. I wondered about how forums worked for individuals. Group therapy has been proven to aid in depression symptoms as it enables those who are depressed not to feel alone. I think that this is an important way for people who suffer from depression to connect with people who can understand and relate to each others’ situations. I found this website (http://www.survivingdepression.net/living/grouptherapy.html) because at first I was skeptical about depressed people talking to more depressed people. I thought it might make them feel worse and that there is no getting better, no hope. Instead group therapy is beneficial. One of the sources of depression is a feeling of isolation and being misunderstood and this group therapy relieves those feelings. Some are reluctant to attend these meetings but in the long run I think it is a method of relieving some of the feelings of milder depression.
I really enjoyed reading Solomon’s article. I think it’s important for those who study and work with depressed individuals to really have an open mind and try to understand what kind of pain they are feeling.