Sunday, February 12, 2012

* "Ended his life on February 12, 2012"

My late brother, Christopher Keane (right) defeated suicidal thoughts with medication and therapy. Here he is with me, eight years ago, a few hours before his death from AIDS, fully engaged in living, even though he was at Death's Door and his body was abandoning him.


I am feeling avuncular tonight: like an old person who needs to share his "wisdom" with the young.

We have suffered a third untimely death in my small world here in Vermont, this a 27 year-old-graduate of St. Lawrence University, who "ended his life on February 12, 2012." 

Two other untimely deaths in the last year involved drug overdoses.

In another sphere  in which I operated from 2009-2012, Yale University,  (through  Yale Daily News' posting board) there were also, sadly,  two suicides, last year, not this:  A female and a male student, one from the  graduate school and the other, the undergraduate school.

Two years ago USA Today ran this headline: "Does 6 deaths in 6 months make Cornell 'suicide school'?

This is a disturbing pattern.

I am here to tell you, that if you are having suicidal thoughts, they are a chemical imbalance in your brain and they can be relieved by medication and therapy. 

Seek help. 

Interrupt the thoughts until you get help, even if you have to sing songs or chant memorized verses or (heaven forbid, in our secular world) "pray" ------- to interrupt and scatter unwelcome thoughts.

Do not believe your own head if it is telling you life is not worth living.  

You are being lied to by chemicals coursing through your brain incorrectly.

Almost forty years ago, I was one of hundreds who  participated in experiments at a Yale affiliated research center for depression. I donated two spinal taps, one before, and one after, participating in experimental drug therapy which included the possibility of placebos.

It is my understanding that the results of these experiments lead to the development of many of the psychotropic drugs in use today, and that the field of dopamine research was born from these experiments.

That is my theoretical background for telling those who might be contemplating ending their lives: DON'T

My practical experience is even greater. 

My own depression after witnessing the 1970 Kent State shootings (before the term PTSD had been invented), and my late brother's suicidal thoughts in the end stages of dying from AIDS, were both relieved by therapy and medication.

One can interrupt these gloomy thoughts.  You need not endure them.  You can kick them out of your head.

Seek professional help.  


So endeth the avuncular advocacy.

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