Originally Posted by Marvin
Ok good, that's a reasonable suggestion. However, what would psychological counselling achieve? Basically, you just tell a stranger what your problems are.
If someone has an almost (or entirely) empty left column, i.e., if someone cannot think of virtually anything he can do that can make him happy (e.g. "I used to play the violin, and I used to have fun doing it, and I haven't done that in years, maybe I should it again"), then it's most likely a sign of a mental block. That is, there are
things that would make him happy, but due to a number of reasons, the person cannot recall them, or has a distorted memory of them (e.g., "I hated playing the violin!", even when one in fact did enjoy it). The usual cause for something like this is trauma; that is, a terrible event in the past may overshadow, cloud or distort one's perspective on one's own past and current life.
What I'm getting at is this: the person would start telling stories from his life that he might regard as dull, "normal" or even negative. A good trauma therapist would listen to them and ask the person questions that tend to throw the patient completely off-guard, in a "I never thought of it like that!" manner. This kind of epiphany can help the person remember that the left column of the list could really be a lot fuller, and that some entries of the right column actually aren't so negative after all.
This is not a matter of manipulation. In fact, the opposite is the case: one's mind has manipulated itself
throughout the years, and the goal is to undo
that harm, to clear
one's thoughts, and to ultimately reconsider one's views on life.
There are manipulative solutions, too, most importantly neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). In an almost eerie 1984-esque way, this works by convincing yourself repeatedly of an assertion until you start completely believing it. The purpose is to balance out fears with strengths. Consider a person you're afraid of, e.g. a high authority (your boss's boss, or something). Your mind might inadvertently create an image of that person that makes the person look bigger (quite literally so) than they really are. Through NLP, you create a counter-image whereby this boss's boss is actually the size of a dwarf. Once you have convinced yourself that this person really is tiny, your fear of them will diminish.
NLP, of course, is highly controversial. It works for some, but not for others (not for me, either). The better, but more long-term and more difficult method is the one I stated above, i.e. trauma therapy.
Ultimately, your recovery is dependant on your own willingness to accept the advice they give.
Absolutely. If you are completely unwilling to accept advice, however, that really is your own loss. Sorry to be blunt, but that's the way it is. All
suicidal persons I know are actually quite willing to listen to advice. They may disagree with it, but they certainly have open ears.
But those who don't? Well, frankly, they haven't sunken low enough. I know how harsh that sounds; I hear it thrown at myself over and over. But most of the time it's true. If you're unwilling to make anything out of your life, or even to listen to someone's advice how you might
be able to accomplish anything positive at all, nobody
aside from yourself will be able to help in any way at all. Psychological research can only go so far. The one person who understands you best is always yourself; you just sometimes "don't know it", and that's when you need professional help.
Without that, would you agree that there are cases that will not have a solution other than suicide?
It's a cop-out, not a solution. It's the thought process of 1) my life isn't worth anything, 2) I'm not willing to listen to anyone who might be able to convince me otherwise, 3) I'm right anyways, everyone else is wrong, 4) therefore, I'm wasting my time, 5) let's go commit suicide.
1) is already wrong, but many make that mistake. I certainly fall into that trap a lot. However, there's always 2), and that's where things get interesting. If you're willing to "Think Different" (hah), even for one brief moment, and listen to something somebody else has to say, no matter how crazy it may sound, it could make a huge difference. And if not, well, tough.
Strangers can't give your life a purpose, they can only suggest ways in which you might find one.
Yes, absolutely. But every life does
have a purpose, no matter how hard one might convince oneself otherwise. Suicide can only follow years over years of negative inadvertent self-manipulation. A person's job is it to turn that around.
Life is an opportunity. Take it or leave it.