By continuous pain, I meant physical pain.
In a message dated 4/1/2009 4:18:13 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

Diana  wrote:

"I do think suicide is not always the result of mental  illness; it can be a 
rational act."

Kate  wrote:

"First in response to Diana, I do not know that suicide  can ever be a 
rational act, except in cases where the person is terminally ill  or in continuous 

My point exactly. What's  yours?

Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 19:50:59 -0400
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject:  Re: To change the subject
To: [log in to unmask]

First in response to Diana, I do not know that suicide can ever be a  
rational act, except in cases where the person is terminally ill or in  continuous 
pain.  However, there are people who have committed suicide  impulsively, and if 
they had only had a good dinner and a few hours sleep . .  . . . these are 
not the people with deep mental illness.  They may have  been reacting to an 
event, a young person whose boyfriend texted her his  desire to break up with 
her, etc.  But, still, for a person in this  situation to go through with it, 
there was definitely a problem with the  person's self-defense mechanisms.
Now, Carrol, I would not think any person with depression to be  crazy.  
Crazy is college kids engaging in a drinking contest and one of  them ends up in 
the hospital or dead.  Crazy is Colbert.  But,  depression is not crazy.  
Mental illness is not crazy. And I certainly  know there is a difference between 
clinical depression and a period of  depression someone may experience after 
losing a job . . .or a father.   

I told you about my sister, who was worried since the day her daughter  was 
born over 20 years ago that she would inherit mental illness from her  
grandmother, my sister's ex-husband's mother, diagnosed with  schizophrenia.  I'll 
always remember this one day when my sister called  me, several years ago now.  
My niece would have been 14/15 or  so.  My sister sounded upset and I asked 
what was wrong and she said that  she and my niece had a fight the evening 
before.  I was not  very concerned, of course, a mother and teenage daughter at 
odds.  Then,  she told me what she said to her.  She said that "You are going to 
end up  just like your crazy grandmother."  I was so angry at my sister that  I 
had to hang up the phone and call her back later when I had calmed  down.   
My sister was taking her pent up fears and hitting her  daughter over the head 
with them, and setting up a self-prophesy type of  scenario for my niece.   My 
niece, fortunately, does not have her  grandmother's condition, but she does 
experience anxiety.     Since that day, Aunt Kate has kept in close contact 
with her niece, although a  million miles separates us, her in CA and me in FL.  
When she was  floundering after high school, I encouraged her to go to 
college, even though  she didn't know what she wanted to do and the world scared 
her. I tried to  find out what would be good for her, and she mentioned the Peace 
Corps and she  mentioned doing something important and I suggested nursing.  
She's now  almost through with the pre-requisites and will be able to enter 
nursing  school in the fall.  She's a good artist, but she wants to be  
independent financially, and so we talked about career.  She thought  doctor, too, but 
wishes to pursue her art still, and decided upon becoming a  nurse, maybe 
traveling after.   She talks to me about her anxiety. I  tell her that many young 
women her age have like feelings, about  being scared of the future, not 
fitting in, her looks, her looks (and she's  very pretty), being afraid to venture 
from the house sometimes, finding the  right man, etc, etc. etc and I tell 
her to try to strengthen her  self-defense mechanisms.  I tell her to enjoy 
life.  I tell her  it's good to think, but not about herself, not to analyze her 
every  move, her every conversation.  She's been on and off meds for the  
anxiety. She's doing good in school.  She has a part time  job.  She has a 
boyfriend. I just hope that she can overcome  the anxiety.  Aunt Kate has done her 
best, Carrol and she's  never once thought her or anybody like her crazy.
In a message dated 3/31/2009 12:27:14 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

Diana  Manister wrote:
> Dear Kate,
> Your statement  "then she was certainly mentally ill, going beyond
> depression" is  apparently based on the assumption that depression is
> not mental  illness. Major depressive episodes, whether part of the
> bipolar  cycle or not, are certainly mental illness. An agitated
> depression  includes a nearly unbearable level of anxiety as well as
> depression.  What would you label mental illness if not that?
> I do think  suicide is not always the result of mental illness; it can
> be a  rational act.

I think Kate really wants to say "crazy," but knowing  that that is no
longer socially acceptable tries to make the respectable  term "mental
illness" do the work for her. Kate, you are obviously  intelligent and
know how to think, but mere intelligence simply cannot by  itself make up
for profound ignorance.

Kate probably also confuses  clinical depression with "depression" as
used by those who say to a  sufferer from depression, "I know just how
you feel. I really went into a  funk after I lost my job or after my wife
died." Those who so speak  probably never know how close they have come
to losing a few teeth. And  as Diana notes, there are many features of
depressiosive illness other  than what I call "plain vanilla depression,"
intense anxiety being only  one of them. One can be deprived of sleep or,
on the contrary, be unable  to do anything but sleep.. . . Or suppose
that in Eliot's case there had  been a trivial error of phrasing which in
memory might seem portentious  in his last letter to Verdenal -- looming
ever larger and more  oppressively in his memory as a profound wrong that
could never be set  right! And so forth. I could go on for some length.
Or profound  self-depreciation: in 1958 it came back to me through the
grapevine that  Austen Wrren had been praising me highly behnd my back,
resulting not in  pleasure but in some loss of respect for Warren's
judgment (as in Groucho  Marx's "I would not belong to a club that would
have me as a  member").


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