Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Economics of Suicide

The Economics of Suicide

An interesting article from Slate. I have been thinking of studying suicide (if I persue Anthropology, perhaps studying it across cultures), if only to better understand my own suicidality. The author makes this incredibly astute observation:

Once you attempt suicide you suddenly have access to lots of resources—medical care, psychiatric attention, familial love and concern—that were previously expensive or unavailable. Doubters may ask why the depressed don't seek out resources earlier. But studies have demonstrated that psychological and familial resources become "cheaper" after a suicide attempt: It is difficult to find free medical care when you are sad, but once you try to kill yourself, it's forced on you.

The great talk therapy I receive now was available to me only because I had no insurance and no income. If I still had the insurance I got from my job, I would have long used up the benefit, providing I could pay the $35 a pop co pay. I do believe that this talk therapy has kept me alive and safe, and am terribly frightened of not having it available to me in the near future (it's coming up on a year and that might be the limit for therapy, I'm not sure).

I checked myself into the hospital last year to PREVENT a suicide attempt (which I was planning at the time). It is my opinion that I received less respect from my health care providers because I had not actually attempted, as well as much less after care from family, friends, and loved ones. It's really strange to think about, and it kept me awake last night. I was really angry about it this morning, which is probably a good thing. The more the anger is OUT of me, the less harmful it is.

The process of healing, and learning to mitagate my mood disorder (I don't think I will ever be 'fixed', just much better) is going to take much longer than I first anticipated. It's been more than a year and I'm still struggling. That sucks, but facing it seems better than pretending that I'm o.k. when I am not.

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