Author Topic: Mental Illness, Suicide and Cosmic Justice  (Read 3048 times)

WifeLess

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Mental Illness, Suicide and Cosmic Justice
« on: August 24, 2015, 07:09:47 AM »
Today, exactly 6 years have passed since my wife's tragic death. To commemorate this sad anniversary, I am reposting "Mental Illness, Suicide and Cosmic Justice". Although public attitudes towards mental illness and suicide have progressed since I first posted it on the old YWBB in 2011, I think there may still be some value in having it appear on Young Widow Forum. From the perspective of SOS (survivor of suicide) members like myself, its message is an important one. Parts may also resonate with others here who are not SOS but whose loss nevertheless falls into the same specific situations category.

Though gone 6 years, the legacy my wife left behind lives on, including in the many lessons I learned from her valiant struggle to survive. One such lesson I try to convey below.




Mental Illness, Suicide and Cosmic Justice (by WifeLess)

Why do so many presumably educated people still believe the antiquated notion that those who die by suicide have committed some sort of 'sin' for which they must be punished in an afterlife or perhaps in their next reincarnated life? This is a shamefully unenlightened attitude that has its origins in the dark ages, long before the advent of modern medical science.

It is well known today that the vast majority of suicides, somewhere between 70 to 90 percent, result from mental illness so severe that one's capacity for rational decision making is seriously diminished. Why then, would someone fatally inflicted with such illness be cosmically treated so differently from and far more harshly than one who dies from some other natural cause?

Should those who die from terminal cancer be punished for acquiring their illness and succumbing to it? How about those who die of heart disease or stroke? Or perhaps accident or homicide victims? Are they responsible for their own deaths? Are they ever blamed to the point of meriting cosmic punishment after they die? If not, then why are those with psychiatric illnesses singled out this way?

The truth is that mental illnesses are just as real as 'physical' illnesses, and consequently, like those other causes of death, suicide should rarely be considered one's true 'choice'. This is well known to medical professionals and universally accepted by nearly all religious orders today. In fact, decades ago it was discovered that several types of psychiatric illness have a physiological basis that is often genetically inherited like many other disorders.

Bipolar and other such depressive illnesses, for example, which are responsible for most suicides, are actually diseases of the brain that involve an imbalance of its chemistry or a malfunction of its chemical receptors. This may cause, not only periods of mania or severe depression, but also delusions and even hallucinations. And either of these can seriously compromise judgement and deprive one of the ability to think and act rationally. It should be clear how deadly this could quickly turn under the right conditions.

So, after such a suicide, which I sometimes refer to as a 'fatal case of mental illness', one should be cosmically subjected to even more punishment? Additional punishment beyond genetically inheriting a disorder of the brain, the most complex and least understood organ of the body, which makes theirs one of the most challenging and frustrating illnesses to treat? Additional punishment beyond suffering for perhaps decades from the ravaging effects of their incurable and life-threatening disease? Additional punishment beyond bearing a larger financial burden than most others who are sick, since medical insurance benefits for mental illnesses are generally not on par with those of other illnesses? Additional punishment beyond having to keep their psychiatric condition a secret due to the stigma associated with it, which leads to social isolation as well? Additional punishment beyond being deprived of the long happy life they deserved? Additional punishment beyond the horror of sudden death by their own hand while in an irrational state of mind?

How could anyone believe such nonsense? I can think of one reason only: Ignorance. Medical and theological ignorance. But even if shockingly ill-informed with regard to these matters, how can someone be so rude and insensitive as well, to openly express such blatantly insulting and hurtful views before those of us widowed by suicide? How thoughtless and even cruel can someone be, to flagrantly dishonor the memories of our beloved spouses this way? Such overt ignorance and extreme callousness always astound me.

Having witnessed for decades my wife's valiant struggle with bipolar illness, I can say with certainty that she along with the spouses of nearly all other suicide widow(er)s I've ever encountered merit no additional punishment whatsoever due to their manner of death. Far from it, I know they are now at peace, free at last after years of suffering.

But not necessarily so for those who brazenly slander the memories of our spouses by heartlessly suggesting the contrary. If there indeed be an afterlife, then their ignorance, insensitivity and cruelty will likely earn them rather different consideration. Upon their death, it is surely they instead who have much to fear as they grimly face the firm hand of cosmic justice.

Wheelerswife

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Re: Mental Illness, Suicide and Cosmic Justice
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 07:21:08 AM »
Hugs to you, Wifeless.

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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mmg19

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Re: Mental Illness, Suicide and Cosmic Justice
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 08:20:15 AM »
What a wonderful post.  ((Hugs))

Bluebird

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Re: Mental Illness, Suicide and Cosmic Justice
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 09:55:06 AM »
WifeLess,

Thank you for sharing this amazing post here on widda.org. You give insight to the trauma of the sufferer of mental illness as well as those who loved them. Thank you for continuing to educate through your writing and for ensuring that the loss of Beverly at the very least brings understanding  to others.

Big hugs today and always,

Bluebird
My First Love, Peace Be Thine

A Tout Jamais

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Re: Mental Illness, Suicide and Cosmic Justice
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 04:26:01 PM »
WifeLess,

Thank you for being the noble and valiant defender of those who no longer have a voice and who made the ultimate, desperate choice for their final exit!

As you mention, for those who died by their own volition, whether through mental illness (the predominant cause), or who were driven to this act through other tragic reasons, society does not show much compassion and often treats them and the survivors as pariahs.

Such behavior is callous and inhumane and reveals indeed the true character of those who pass judgment, and NOT of those who have been affected. The very fact that the term 'commit' suicide is primarily used to describe this type of death insinuates at minimum tacit disapproval, as well as an imperious sense of moral superiority and hubris.

Neither blithering ignorance nor wrapping it in a mantle of moral/religious rectitude are exculpatory factors, but shameful behavior by self-appointed paragons of society in further hurting those who have already suffered unspeakable tragedy. I feel equally passionate about this matter! May 'cosmic justice' ultimately prevail!

As you reflect on this solemn day, may you take comfort in the beauty of her soul and the joyful moments lived and shared with her.





"Though my soul may set in darkness,
It will rise in perfect light!"

-- Sarah Williams


In memory of your Beverly, and in solidarity with You!

ATJ


« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 09:53:04 AM by A Tout Jamais »
"Tu n'es plus là où tu étais, mais tu es partout là où je suis."
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HoldingOn

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Re: Mental Illness, Suicide and Cosmic Justice
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2015, 07:48:46 PM »
Wifeless- I wish you peace today... it will be two years later this week for me. Your posts were a lifeline for me many, many times. You are so wise and I can't thank you enough for your posts. Hugs...

WifeLess

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Re: Mental Illness, Suicide and Cosmic Justice
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2015, 08:46:55 AM »
My Widowed Friends,

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful replies. As I posted many times during my first 6 years: "Without question, the single greatest factor in my emotional survival and recovery in the aftermath of my wife's death was this new set of YWBB friendships I formed." And the same can now be said of my new friendships here on Young Widow Forum.

As I begin my 7th year, I thank you all for your continued support.

--- WifeLess