Monday, July 1, 2013

"The Suicide Detective", Kim Tingley

Coincidentally, not long after venting my spleen about Bright Eyes' "No Lies, Just Love", a (seriously dissatisfying, in light of the songwriter's demonstrated talent) song (putatively) about attempted suicide, I came upon this New York Times piece. It's a profile of Dr. Matthew K. Nock, "one of the most original and influential suicide researchers in the world", and a brief overview of what we know about suicide.

What do we know about suicide? Not much.

Recent psychological theories posit that suicide is driven by intense mental pain: hopelessness, a yearning for escape, a sense of not belonging, feelings of burdensomeness.
I try not to be snarky about scientific research but I can't help observing that anyone who has had suicidal thoughts could have told us that. I'm dismayed our knowledge of the subject is at roughly the stone-knives-and-bearskins stage.

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