8 Comments
Aug 13, 2023Liked by Owen Scott Muir, M.D

Well said Owen. More people need to understand the phenomenology of isolation and what it does to us and our brain. https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-loneliness-reshapes-the-brain-20230228/

Keep up the good work!

Expand full comment
author

Thanks Alex! It's poison! Agreed.

Expand full comment

Suicide is a big category. Is there any data available that breaks them down by motivation, type, etc.?

Expand full comment
author

There is type data available on the CDC website. I don't believe any of this to be accurate. Motivation is extremely hard to get at. What I suspect is likely to be the case is that completed suicide and suicidal ideation are different entities. I think we focus on suicidality and suicidal ideation because it's in front of us, and completed suicide is completed for reasons that are almost by definition hidden from subsequent exploration.

Expand full comment

I agree about motivation, it’s a marsh to wander in. But even general distinctions such as disprised love, loss of income, too drunk to know what you were doing, chronic illness, or just some form of non-specific despair, would be useful. Some types of suicides could be considered reasonable, don’t you think? Obviously a sense that one’s life is not worth living is behind them all, but that leaves a lot of room for distinctions.

I think a lot of the ineffectiveness of suicide prevention that you discuss is rooted in our panic about it. I would also be interested in knowing how much the population of the United States changed in the two years you covered with your statistics. In other words, the per capita rate.

Expand full comment
author

These are not the kind of numbers that we have easily accessible.

Expand full comment
author

But the change over time has been documented, and i have written other articles about it...

Expand full comment

Thank you for speaking about this. As a teen (almost 16 years ago) I was involuntary committed after an OD.

It was the most degrading and dehumanizing experience of my life. Upon admission to the ward, I was forced to do a strip search and cavity search in front of the nurse and a group of medical students. I had all of my belongings taken away.

The “care” their consisted of giving everyone antipsychotics and forcing us to fill out stupid worksheets.

The staff were cruel. We were denied access to our families, charged thousands of dollars for “care” and I saw one tech get abusive with a foster boy.

The incident was so deeply traumatic that I avoid most all medical care now.

I was able to find a natropath... I am someone skeptical that it is more than pseudoscience but she is super sweet and there are no forced cavity searches.

I dont think psychiatry should be so abusive. What I needed was understanding and instead I got punished.

Expand full comment