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April 23, 2009 - 3:36 am

I often reflect on why people take their lives for financial or even job-related reasons. While waiting at the doctor’s office yesterday, I read emReader’s Digest /emand came across this quote from April 1930 entitled, a href=”http://www.rd.com/content/printContent.do?contentId=115285KeepThis=trueTB_iframe=trueheight=500width=790modal=true”"On Keeping Perspective:”/abr /br /blockquoteThere is something about the possession of wealth which is not good for the soul, perhaps. It places artificial value upon secondary things. A man losing a million metal tokens will put a revolver to his temple and pull the trigger. But he has lost nothing but money. He has deprived himself of life because misfortune has deprived him of luxuries. br /–Clarence Budington Kelland, The American Magazine /blockquotebr /br /The quote made me think about a href=”http://www.cnbc.com/id/30344311″the recent death of David Kellermann/a, acting chief financial officer of troubled U.S. mortgage giant Freddie Mac, who may have taken his life (a medical examiner is looking into the death). Often, like the quote above, people think that it is loss of money or perhaps, shame that causes people to kill themselves but it is much more than that: the way that people construe events can lead to a person taking his (usually) or her life.br /br /Kay Redfield Jamison, in her book, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0375701478?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0375701478″emNight Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide/em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0375701478″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / makes some good points:br /br /blockquotePsychological pain or stress alone–however great the loss or disappointment, however profound the shame or rejection–is rarely sufficient cause for suicide. Much of the decision to die is in the construing of events, and most minds, who are healthy, do not construe any event as devastating enough to warrant suicide. Stress and pain are relative, highly subjective in their experiencing and evaluation. Indeed, some people thrive on stress and are at sea without it: chaos and emotional upheaval are a comfortable part of their psychological lives….br /br /In short, when people are suicidal, their thinking is paralyzed, their options appear spare or nonexistent, their mood is despairing, and hopelessness permeates their entire mental domain. The future cannot be separated from the present, and the present is painful beyond solace…..People seem to be able to bear or tolerate depression as long as there is the belief that things will improve. If that belief cracks or disappears, suicide becomes the option of choice. /blockquotebr /br /Which is why it is so important to get someone who is suicidal help to change their a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognition”cognition./a Change in thinking patterns can lead to a change in behavior.

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