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Death (suicide) in America
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Genius. Redefined
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PostPosted: 07-03-2007 17:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

hokum6 wrote:
What actually happens to the human body when someone jumps into water from that height?

Depends how they land.
Feet first, the best that can be hoped for is a couple of completely shattered legs. Worst case scenario would be the leg bones to be pushed up into the torso. This has happened to pot holers who have fallen great heights in confined places.
Front or back, first, then the rib cage will snap and rip through the lungs, or, the spine will break and do a similar job with other organs.
Head first. Well, I'm sure you can guess, it ain't going to be pleasant.
Jumpers rarely, if ever, drown, nice and peacefully, as they might wish.
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I was Dora Suarez
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PostPosted: 07-03-2007 18:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure if you jumped you wouldn't be expecting to drown - you'd still be after a speedy exit. It's just that places like the Golden Gate bridge and Beachy Head offer a nice substantial drop that suggests a little more romantic departure than throwing oneself off a multi storey car park or something similar.
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PostPosted: 12-03-2007 13:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

PeniG wrote:
There is a meme - I cannot vouch for its accuracy, but if it's not true it's widely believed, which has the same practical effect - that any publicity of any sort given to suicide is correlated with a rise in the suicide rate in the area covered by the publicity; i.e., if a teen magazine published an article on depression and the warning signs of suicide, a statistically significant portion of teens who read that issue would commit suicide before the next issue came out.

If true, this poses a horrific conumdrum for anyone wishing to raise awareness of how to prevent suicide and recognize and treat depression. You can't educate people without communicating with them! If not true, it still creates a difficulty for media professionals from authors to librarians to network schedulers, because the perception of its truth is so widespread and no one wants to risk being the cause of anyone's suicide, and also creates yet another problem for depressives (who don't need any more, thank you) because it represses open and honest discussion of the subject.

Well it looks like an open and honest discussion of the subject is not the way to go, if you want potential suicide victims to stay alive. Perhaps the only thing stopping any of us killing ourselves at some point in our lives is suppression of the impulse alone, until a high lifts us up again and reinvolves us in life once more, so that we don't want to die?
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Proud children's writer
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PostPosted: 12-03-2007 13:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only if the meme is true, though, and I don't have a source for it. It's just out there floating around.

It's also the exact opposite of my experience. If you don't want teens to get pregnant, people to abuse those they have power over, ordinary folks to die of poor nutritional choices, ethnic groups to hate each other, or dyslexics to think they're stupid, you've got to keep the information flowing. And I know two depressives - one of them me - who haven't committed suicide because they understand the physiological basis of depression and know that it can be waited out. I think a lot of teen suicide is due directly to their not grasping that how they feel right now is not how they are condemned to feel for the rest of their lives. Once you've ridden it out once, you know can do it again and again (though the notion of having to do it again and again is pretty depressing if you think about too long).

There's also anecdotal evidence of a certain kind of heartless, realistic discussion of suicide discouraging the behavior, but it's only going to work on some people. In Lions and Shadows, for example, Christopher Isherwood describes how he went around dropping dark hints to his friends about having bought a gun. A medical student friend respended by cheerfully giving him gruesome advice on the "right" way to do it and the consequences of doing it "wrong." This worked on the narcissistic Isherwood because it gave him what he wanted and needed - attention that undercut his drama rather than encouraging it and pulled the romantic suicidal fantasy into the realm of ugly, unromantic reality. On a different person, the tactic might have backfired, making him feel so unloved and disrespected that he pulled the trigger just to show everybody.

All generalizations are false, and many of them are dangerous. So I don't believe the meme exactly, but the fact that you can't control who reads print material or watches video makes me hesitate anyway.
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In love with the
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PostPosted: 12-03-2007 16:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

gncxx wrote:
PeniG wrote:
And if you were a convinced that, as a result of your actions, even one person would commit suicide, while any good that might come of it was problematic and unprovable - would you perform that action?

Of course not, just the same as I would never murder anybody. But as you can never be sure when discussing suicide whether you might help a vulnerable individual or harm them, isn't it better to take the chance that you will be helping? That's what the Samaritans are for, after all.
The basic problem with all this sort of oof is that it kind of assumes that you can be responsible for someone else's emotions or decisions and ultimately, fundamentally, you can't - only they can.

Publishing a short story doesn't 'make' anyone kill themself, in that direct cause and effect way, any more than buying someone a pint 'makes' them say thank you, or video games 'make' people go on killing sprees. Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy (I think I spelled it right that time Wink ).

If you are shit-nasty to someone who is obviously depressed and they subsequently take their own life you are not going to feel good about it, but being deliberately unpleasant to people isn't something you should feel especially proud of under any circumstances in my opinion, although it does sometimes seem justified, sometimes you can't seem to help it, and sometimes it is downright fun. Occasionally it is actually perversely an act of kindness. But you cannot go around worrying that any and every random thing you do might impact on someone else's fucked up head. Even if, as an example, your husband does string himself up in the garage after you leave him it is *not* your fault. It's just not a healthy way of thinking.

Took me a long time to work that one out after I 'caused' someone to attempt suicide.
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PostPosted: 24-03-2007 11:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

undergroundbob wrote:
A few years ago the UK banned the sale of paracetamol in bottles or packs of more than 12 (I think it was 12) to try and cut the suicide rate.

The other day I saw a shop with an offer on, prominently displayed at the entrance to the shop, something like "5 bottles of paracetemol for the price of 3!" It must have been illegal, and I remember thinking at the time that I had not seen anything so mind-bogglingly stupid in quite a while.
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PostPosted: 01-09-2010 15:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just watched 'The Bridge', an amazing piece of cinema. Reminded me a lot of the documentary '102 Minutes That Changed America'.

Obviously you can criticise it for its glorification of suicide or for profiteering from individual suffering, but take it down to base level - a study of human behaviour - and it falls into the same territory of nature documentaries. Where do you intervene on life as it happens around you.

I'm going to California next month for a road trip and GGB is one of the top places I'm excited to visit, having watched this film though I am now a little apprehensive. While most famous landmarks and tourist spots are places of awe and inspiration this one now will be a little tainted for me and I will be slightly on edge that we happen to witness a suicide. Average of 24 in a year means that is a little slim, but still, more likely than say Madame Tussauds or Alton Towers!

Plus, part of me will now feel like talking to anyone stood alone staring out off the structure, which could make for a long trip over!

Anyhow, definitely worth watching. One of the best documentaries I have seen in ages.
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PostPosted: 01-09-2010 17:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

The trouble with The Bridge is that it may have good intentions due to wanting to prevent suicides off the bridge, but there's the nagging feeling that when they set up their cameras, what they most wanted was to capture someone jumping and dying.

I know they would try to talk to anyone they were worried about, but there had to be better ways of going about their concerns than filming actual death and putting it in their movie. It smacks of needless intrusion into personal tragedy.
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PostPosted: 01-09-2010 18:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

gncxx wrote:
The trouble with The Bridge is that it may have good intentions due to wanting to prevent suicides off the bridge, but there's the nagging feeling that when they set up their cameras, what they most wanted was to capture someone jumping and dying.

Obviously. It'd be a rubbish film if they didn't catch it. But then you can look at it from the point of view that if the cameras had not been there likely there would have been 24 suicides anyway. You can look at it from a voyeuristic point of view, that if you were simply sat on a bench every day for a year looking at the bridge through binoculars you could see the same thing. And you would be as utterly helpless as the cameraman watching from distance.

Depends on your personal feelings I guess. I'm prone to look at the bigger picture of human existence and that when you drill it right down we are just another species of animal on this planet and this docu is just filming an aspect of our behaviour as another would film wild animals. There was a very harrowing BBC film about komodo dragons stalking a wounded mammal over a course of days where the filmmakers could have intervened. I found that hard to watch, just as many probably found this hard.

The story of the teenager who survived made a very positive impression and I feel his part of the film probably does as much to turn people off the idea as the glorification does in giving impressionable minds ideas. How many times do you get to hear from a suicide victim what they felt at the moment they made that choice? very rarely, and his insight that the moment he let go he realised he wanted to live probably captures the feeling of many jumpers.

Obviously it is a very debatable subject matter and no doubt the filmmakers were delighted to capture a few of the plummets but I think the most telling part of the film is the various reactions from the friends and family interviewed. That is in many ways a lot more difficult to watch and comprehend than the actual jumping.

Rightly or wrongly I found it a compelling piece of work that really opened up some questions both about my opinions on suicide and human compassion / indifference towards loved ones / friends. Cannot recommend it highly enough, if you are open to being challenged and going through what is a tough watch.
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PostPosted: 26-02-2014 17:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Golden Gate Bridge hits record 46 suicides in 2013
Published time: February 26, 2014 10:09

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California (Reuters / Robert Galbraith)

San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge has seen a record-breaking level of ‘jumpers’ in 2013, with 46 people ending their life, according to a watchdog group. This is 1.5 times higher than a year before.

The Bridge Rail Foundation urged the authorities to install a safety net to prevent further escalation of the suicide rate at the 1,280-meter bridge, which towers more than 65 meters over the entrance to San Francisco Bay.

However, the Foundation doesn’t hope for the government’s reaction any time soon.

"I know it won't be built soon, and that's the most frustrating thing about this," Dayna Whitmer, board member with the organization, told Reuters.

"We hate to see any more 17-year-olds jump or 86-year-olds jump, it's just not right," she added.

The authorities have been planning to set up a special safety net to catch people who jump. However, $66 million are needed to build the construction. Three years ago, a company was given $5 million to design the safety net.

The previous record of suicides is believed to have been 40 or 41 fatalities in one year, Whitmer said.

The total number of those who died by jumping off the bridge remains unknown, partly because there were almost no records of the suicide rates, and also due to the fact that some bodies are never found.

Whitmer's 20-year-old son, Matthew, is believed to have committed suicide off the Golden Gate in 2007 after he was reported missing and the car he drove was discovered near the bridge, she told Reuters.

Initially, the information on the casualties came from the spokeswoman for the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, Mary Currie, who has been keeping an unofficial count of suicides since 2000.

Currie also said that police officers or others stopped another 118 people from jumping to their deaths. To stop the people from ending their lives, there are bicycle patrols, plus two to four officers on the bridge’s sidewalks, according to California Highway Patrol spokeswoman Andrew Barclay, as cited by Reuters.

In 2012, the number of suicides stood at 33.
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