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is every person who is not motivated to live, depressed?

 
 
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 02:01 pm
if a person is as comfortable with the concept of death as he is with the experience of living, and has no actual motivation to carry on, why must he be classified as depressed? if a person has a nihilistic approach to the meaning of life, and sees no reason to live, but no reason to die, society seems to classify this as a person who has a mental condition. how is it not just facing what they think is reality? if we can't prove that death is something negative, isn't this person's comfort in death as valid as a person's fear of dying?
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 3,110 • Replies: 19
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JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 03:28 pm
@limewired,
An excellent post, LW. I agree that it is not necessarily sick for an individual to want to cease living, especially if he chooses to die for a cause he finds worthy. Neitzsche said that it's wrong both to deprive a man of his death as well as his life. I believe that Kervorkian may someday be seen as a hero. Regarding your use of "nihilism", I consider myself a nihilist in the sense that all meaning is artifactual: it is constructed by myself and my fellow humans. There is no absolute--especially God-given--meaning. But the knowledge that I (with my fellows) are the creators of our world fills me with a positive sense of freedom and purpose. Otherwise I would be like a painter who can only paint by numbers
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existential potential
 
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Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 04:23 pm
@limewired,
There are many people who choose to take their own life not because they are suffering from depression. For example, people who are suffering from the early signs of dementia sometimes choose to take their own lives, because they wish to die in a dignified way, and also spare their loved one's having to watch them slowly decay become a husk, a truly terrible thing.

However, there are others, such as depressed people, who wish to take their own lives, but their decision is deemed to be a symptom of an illness. Such people, in choosing to take their own life, do not make that choice with a "clear mind".

People suffering from the early symptoms of dementia are still able to reason, and make rational choices, but depressed people who are suicidal are not making their decisions in a reasoned way. Often depressed people have "exaggerated" and "distorted" opinions and perceptions of the world and themselves, and so their decision making is often based on inaccuracies, which lead them to act in unreasonable ways.

However, you could make the case that a completely reasonable man, who is in his "right mind", has concluded that the world is pointless, existence itself is pointless, and there is no point in continuing, and therefore he wishes to die. In this case its not that his "distorted perceptions" of the world have caused him to take his own life, but rather it was his reasoned conclusion that lead him to make the rational choice to take his own life.

The question, I guess, would be how do we determine what constitutes a "clear mind"?

George
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 04:26 pm
I can't speak for society as a whole, just for myself. It does seem to me
that having no motivation to live is out of the norm. As a rule, living
things strive, actively strive, to keep on living. So it comes as no surprise
to me that if someone doesn't care to continue living, people think that
something is wrong.
George
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 04:28 pm
Why does life have to have a point?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 04:32 pm
@George,
...if it has goals it does have a point...
I do have goals !
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existential potential
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 04:34 pm
@George,
abnormality is not defined by statistical infrequency. The motivation to take one's own life, although not statistically frequent, doesn't necessarily make it an illness or the consequence of some mental abnormality.

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Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 04:36 pm
@limewired,
Maybe this type of person could use a little help in finding ways to change their vision of life.
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wayne
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 04:53 pm
@existential potential,
Quote:
People suffering from the early symptoms of dementia are still able to reason, and make rational choices, but depressed people who are suicidal are not making their decisions in a reasoned way. Often depressed people have "exaggerated" and "distorted" opinions and perceptions of the world and themselves, and so their decision making is often based on inaccuracies, which lead them to act in unreasonable ways.


I don't necessarily agree with this. There may be episodes of situational depression where this could apply.
Clinical depression may not entirely fit this description.
The key element seems to be hope for the future.
As with the dementia sufferer, the person suffering from clinical depression, might at some point come to the rational decision that the future holds only more of the same. That perception, based on what has gone before, is not necessarily inaccurate nor distorted.
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limewired
 
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Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 01:10 am
@George,
the question is, why?
why is it wrong for people to see positivity in moving on to the next stage of being human, to perish?
i am not talking about those who want to die because they can no longer deal with the misery of life, i am speaking of those who have no fear in dying, and are truly comfortable in the idea that when the time comes they will die, and they will not take their life, but may do nothing to delay their oncoming death.
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 01:18 am
@limewired,
limewired wrote:

the question is, why?
why is it wrong for people to see positivity in moving on to the next stage of being human, to perish?
i am not talking about those who want to die because they can no longer deal with the misery of life, i am speaking of those who have no fear in dying, and are truly comfortable in the idea that when the time comes they will die, and they will not take their life, but may do nothing to delay their oncoming death.


What makes you think that society considers the attitude you've described to be wrong?
limewired
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 01:27 am
@wayne,
i'm ready to bet that if i went to a hospital with an illness and refused treatment they'd put me in the psychological disorders ward right away.
wayne
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 01:40 am
@limewired,
Why would you go to a hospital with an illness, only to refuse treatment?
Wouldn't it be simpler to just stay home?

Quote:
why is it wrong for people to see positivity in moving on to the next stage of being human, to perish?
i am not talking about those who want to die because they can no longer deal with the misery of life, i am speaking of those who have no fear in dying, and are truly comfortable in the idea that when the time comes they will die, and they will not take their life, but may do nothing to delay their oncoming death.


I don't think you've got a solid idea as to what attitude you're describing. In your OP you described someone who had no motivation to continue life, now you're describing someone who has come to terms with their death.
limewired
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 01:58 am
@wayne,
those can be two different situations seperately or two situations that affect one person at the same time.
either way what are your opinions on both?
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 02:41 am
@limewired,
It's not that simple.
There are suicidal persons, who see no hope for the future. Such an attitude is outside the norm for society, and rightly so. Society has some responsibility to help such persons find hope for the future, rather than just accept it as their right to feel that way.
No one feels that way because it is their right.

Aside from what goes on in our minds, human beings will fight to survive.
If you think people aren't motivated to live, present them with a clear and present danger and see how fast they become motivated.

If you're aim is philosophical, you need some better parameters than just a this situation or that, or both or whatever approach.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Aug, 2011 08:14 pm
A complex question. If one is not motivated to live, he may not be "clinically" depressed, but he surely lacks spirit. His reasons for suicide may be very rational, but to decide on a suicidal stratagem, no matter how rationally, is unlikely to be a joyful occasion. Many people just decide to continue their existence, but it is not too often that I see people who actually choose to live creatively and joyfully, to live a spirited life. Many of those few who do participate here on A2K, which is good reason for us to be here.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Aug, 2011 09:28 pm
@JLNobody,
...an aeschetic contemplative existence enlightens far more then a joyfull playfull life...in fact a joyfull life often diminuishes creativity and alertness...this is not to say that joy has not its rightful place, it certainly has and can be helpful in opening up your mind for the world and its diversity, nevertheless without quitness and meditation afterwards, one's joy can be of no good use and be wasted and wastefull...
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 22 Aug, 2011 11:24 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Sorry, I did not wish to imply by "joyful" a frivolous playfulness. Joy can be very quiet and serious. A friend of mine was with a zen teacher who was saying farewell to an Australian meditation group that she visited and instructed regularly for years. This was her last visit (in fact she died last month). My friend said that the teacher and her students were literally crying as they said their farewells. The teacher said to my friend as they boarded the plane. What joy!
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Aug, 2011 09:59 am
@JLNobody,
...agreed...thank you for clarifying the intended meaning in your words.
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existential potential
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Aug, 2011 08:15 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
I agree with this. Joyfulness and contemplation are both important elements that go into making one's life more well-rounded I guess you might say. Thought or contemplation can act as a kind of regulator in one's own life, if practiced regularly and properly.
0 Replies
 
 

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