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kiota and doctor jamison

I'm impelled to look up stuff that would maybe help me to know about.
For my healing this time and to make me something of a possible preventer next time.

There's an incisive book by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison entitled "Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide". This woman has written widely and staffs two hospitals here and in Scotland, and she's published more than just a bunch of dry med studies with charts and graphs. Her book has a lot of focus on people as people.

She says to her readers, from her med perspectives, almost exactly what Kiota was telling us in the last weeks:

"We know that the brain's inability to think fluently, reason clearly, or percieve the future with hope creates a defining constellation of depression. We also know that depression is at the heart of most suicides. Depressed people are more likely to recall their negative experiences and failure, as well as to recall words with a depressive rather than a positive context. Their thinking is more constricted and rigid, their percieved options narrow dnagerously, and death is seen as the only alternative...even as a highly seductive and romantic one. A 19-year-old college student illustrates this in drawings which she gave to her psychologist, which portray suicide as a tranquil surcease of pain, a lulling alternative to the problems of life.

People seem to be able to bear or tolerate depression as long as there is the belief that things will improve. If that belief cracks or disappears, suicide becomes the option of choice."

With this as backdrop, Kiota is heard saying "I hate myself" and "I can counsel everyone but myself" and "I don't ever see things getting any better."

At the end, she was still avoiding making appointments with a local psychologist. She said that it would hurt too much. To recall all of the terrors and miseries for the past ten years. Not recalling them, or recalling them at her own pace [as she was doing in her class paper] was as much as she could bear to do. I think that was an important defense against being completely shattered.

When you are not depressed, when you can think fluently and reason clearly and have hope, it's easy to lecture anyone about just going off to the therapy industry and getting help. I didn't lecture Ki becasue i respect her immensely --- but I prodded as gently as I could. I suppose in at least the first of those last four days I was trying to fit her into some healthy model of personality I knew about. I think she came to trust our face-to-face relationship partly because I tried very hard to be open and to listen and she sensed that. I sensed her need for hope and I tried to feed it with real stories of how my theatre family had re-joined me, the previous week, with love and joy after six years and 2000 miles of separation. But I think now that, in my effort to bring hope [she was invited to visit Austin] I am afraid that I just was bringing more envy and despair about how well Brad fits in and how poorly Anna would.

Ki wrote about hearing magic words to "save me" but I'm afraid nothing could have reached to her inner ears that she could have opened to, and understood, and taken comfort and direction from.

That is tragedy. But, as we understand pain, she has not a bit of it any longer. And that is a big victory to celebrate.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 21st, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
If you don't mind, I have a lot of things I'd like to talk about. I don't know if you've got the time or inclination, but do you think we could have a private exchange—AIM, email or something? Thanks. :)
Apr. 21st, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
Sure, Mex, love to. Have both the time and certainly the inclination. I'll scoot over to your LJ Inbox and send you my Email :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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