Tag Archives | Suicide

A Buddhist Perspective on Suicide

Happy Feet Two Australian Premiere With Robin Williams And George Miller At Entertainment Quarter In Sydney. By Eva Rinaldi via Wikimedia Commons

Happy Feet Two Australian Premiere With Robin Williams And George Miller At Entertainment Quarter In Sydney. By Eva Rinaldi via Wikimedia Commons.

One of the most effective ways to combat depression is to do the exact opposite of what you feel like doing: taking care of yourself.

via The Huffington Post (please click through to read the entire piece):

The news of Robin Williams’ passing is shocking and touching so many of us. I was waiting for a friend at a bar when I first heard. All around me people erupted in a variety of emotional reactions as the word quickly spread. In the time since, a common reaction has been deep sadness, often paired with a sentiment of “I never thought someone like him would kill themselves.”

What we mean when we say “I never thought someone like him…” is that we can’t wrap our minds around certain people whom we deem successful or joyful or wise suffering from the same sorts to the demons that we ourselves face.

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Awake Between Midnight and 4 AM? You Might Be At Risk For Suicide

Pic: The Hour of the Wolf (C) Still shot for illustrative purposes only.

Pic: The Hour of the Wolf (C) Still shot for illustrative purposes only.

According to a new study, more suicides occur between midnight and four AM than any other time, and suicidal behavior during this period peaks between two AM and three AM. It seems like folklore is ahead of science on this one: The wee hours of the night have been called by many things in European culture, not any of them good: The Witching Hour, and even more relevant: The Hour of the Wolf: A time in which it is believed most births and deaths occur.

I first ran across the latter when I watched Ingmar Bergman’s psychological horror film of the same name. I can’t recommend it enough if you haven’t seen it.

Anyway, get some sleep, disinfonauts.

DARIEN, IL – A new study provides novel evidence suggesting that suicides are far more likely to occur between midnight and 4 a.m.

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Doctors Can’t Reattach Rapper Andre ‘Christ Bearer’ Johnson’s Johnson

PIC: PD

PIC: PD

Bad news for Andre “Christ Bearer” Johnson: The Wu-Tang Clan affiliated (or maybe not*) rapper cut his penis off before leaping from the balcony of his second-story North Hollywood home, and doctors are not going to be able to reattach it.

Via New York Daily News:

The Wu-Tang Clan-affiliated rapper who cut off his penis before leaping off the second-floor balcony of his North Hollywood apartment has lost the appendage for good, according to a report.

Andre Johnson — who raps under the name Christ Bearer — was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after he apparently flayed himself during the bizarre suicide bid early Wednesday, TMZ reported.

Read the rest at the NY Daily News after you’re done given your own wedding tackle a good inspection.

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Is Air Pollution a Risk Factor for Suicide?

PIC: Joseph Herman Bolduc: (PD)

PIC: Joseph Herman Bolduc: (PD)

John Upton writes at Pacific Standard:

Saying “it’s so smoggy I could kill myself” may seem as flippant as uttering “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.”

But it’s not.

Four years ago, Asian researchers reported links between air pollution and suicide rates in South Korea; and between air pollution, asthma, and suicides in Taiwan. Now, University of Utah scientists say they have uncovered similar links in pollution-prone Salt Lake County.

Delegates who have gathered in Los Angeles for the American Association of Suicidology’s annual get-together will hear this evening about the unpublished research, which compared the timing of 1,500 suicides in the Beehive State with air quality data.

Suicide can be difficult to talk about, but it’s America’s 10th leading cause of death. It’s the eighth-leading cause in Utah, home to some of the nation’s smoggiest cities. Earlier this year, the pollution problem prompted a 5,000-person protest outside the state’s capitol building.

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Multiple Banker Deaths Rattle Banking Industry

Canary Wharf 200810We’ve been reporting on the multiple suicides by bankers around the world for a while now, and the rash of seemingly unrelated deaths has the banking industry asking “why?” The bankers’ ubiquitous news service Bloomberg reports:

Coroners in London are preparing to investigate two apparent suicides as unexpected deaths by finance workers around the world have raised concerns about mental health and stress levels in the industry.

The inquest into the death of William Broeksmit, 58, a retired Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) risk executive found dead in his London home in January, will start tomorrow. The inquest for Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old vice president in technology operations at JPMorgan Chase (JPM) & Co., who died after falling from the firm’s 33-story London headquarters, is scheduled for late May.

The suicides were followed by others around the world, including at JPMorgan in Hong Kong, as well as Mike Dueker, the chief economist at Seattle-based Russell Investment Management Co.

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KIRO On Cobain Death Investigation Story: Police Dept. Flacks Arguing ‘Semantics’

Cobain2-1024x722

PIC: Seattle Police Department (PD)

The internet was abuzz Thursday when Seattle CBS affiliate KIRO reported that the Seattle Police Department was reopening their investigation into Kurt Cobain’s apparent suicide. You may recall my skepticism about the report, commenting “Something about this story seems sketchy to me (…)” in a Disinfo post linking to KIRO’s original announcement. It looks like that skepticism was well-founded. Well, maybe.

In a statement posted to their website the SPD confirmed reports that  veteran cold case department detective Mike Ciesynski was reviewing the Cobain file, but the case remained closed. April 5th marks the 20th anniversary of the musician’s death, and the department stated that the review was conducted in anticipation of any questions that might arise from the public. The statement also mentioned that the detective had found four undeveloped rolls of film during his review.

KIRO didn’t issue a retraction. In a follow-up report to the initial story, the station argued that whether the case had been reopened or not was a matter of “semantics”:

“After KIRO 7 first reported the re-investigation Thursday morning, the Seattle police public affairs unit took issue with semantics, saying the case was not technically “reopened” — despite the new interviews and processing of film that had not previously been developed.”

Ciesynski’s own comments might have added to the confusion.… Read the rest

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Rory Viner Makes Music Out of Suicide, Rape and Murder Statistics

Pic: Rory Viner (C) Tokyo-based experimental artist and composer Rory Viner got in touch with us about his fascinating experiment in musical psychotopology:
"Using Japanese suicide statistics, I assigned each statistic point to a piano note. Each section of twelve notes encompasses a year of self-killings within a prefecture. I then did that for every prefecture, decontextualizing dry statistics and weaving them into a sonic map. I also created a sonic map for U.S. murder and rape rates, which may especially be of interest to your readers."
Here's Viner's "One Year in Suicide Statistics in Japan for Piano" And two other compositions...
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The Biology of Altruistic Suicide

Pic: Neon_JA (CC)

Pic: Neon_JA (CC)

Kanina Foss writing at the University of the Witwatersrand:

The question of why an individual would actively kill itself has been an evolutionary mystery. Death could hardly provide a fitness advantage to the dying individual. However, a new study has found that in single-celled algae, suicide benefits the organism’s relatives.

“Death can be altruistic – we showed that before – but now we know that programmed cell death benefits the organism’s relatives and not just anybody,” says Dr Pierre Durand from the Department of Molecular Medicine and Haematology and the Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience (SBIMB) at Wits University.

When Durand and his colleagues from the University of Arizona released the results of their first study on suicide in single-celled algae in 2011, they showed that when an organism commits suicide by digesting up its own body, it releases nutrients into the environment that can be used by other organisms.

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Study Says Suicide Rate Will Fall Significantly In States With Legalized Marijuana

Marijuana jointApparently legalizing weed saves lives, the New Republic reports:

The American Journal of Public Health has just published a study suggesting that states that legalize medical marijuana can expect a reduction in suicide rates.

A team of economists looked at state-by-state statistics on suicide rates over a 17-year period, from 1990 to 2007, comparing data from states that voted to legalize medical marijuana with those that kept it criminalized. According to their calculations, in the three years following legalization, the suicide rate dropped, on average, 10.8 percent among men in their 20s and 9.8 percent for men in their 30s.

“The negative relationship between legalization and suicides is consistent with the hypothesis that marijuana can be used to cope with stressful life events,” wrote the authors.

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