Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

Blogger promises to kill herself in 90 days

A blogger calling herself “90 Day Jane” is keeping a blog of her last 90 days on Earth. And if your first reaction is to assume this is a marketing gimmick, you are not alone.

Jane assures us this is not a cry for help and insists that she is not depressed. She also quotes 'Fight Club', never a good sign, and has taken to posting videos of herself on YouTube.

We live in a cynical times. On reading this, my first thought was to assume that the public sector had just discovered viral marketing.

This sounds like a publicity stunt for a suicide prevention campaign. Frankly, I hope it is. I hope this is some kind of cynical marketing ploy and that we're not gambling with an actual human life.

There are plenty of places to look for sympathy and counseling online, but if you're looking for a reason to live, you're not going to find it on YouTube.

Ironically, by allowing herself 90 days to think about it, Jane is actually following some good advice. Counselors often encourage patients to give themselves some distance, to hang on and wait for their natural defenses to kick in.

If Jane is serious, I would offer her this one piece of advice. Depression isn't just a feeling added on to your normal set of daily emotions. Depression is a filter that actually changes your perception of the world.

You think you're being rational and normal, but the depression is changing how you react to things — not just changing how you feel about things that happen, but actually actually enhancing your perception of bad things and filtering out the good.

Whatever your situation is, I promise, there is a way out. There are facts you haven't heard yet, alternatives you haven't thought of. And if you're really prepared to kill yourself, you've got nothing left to be afraid of.

If you're brave enough to end your life, you're brave enough to make a phone call. No matter how bad your situation is, take a moment and consider, maybe you don't have all the information yet.

Maybe there's a treatment you haven't tried. Maybe there's another way to pay the bills. Maybe there's a friend you haven't called. Maybe you're not the person you think you are.

Consider that your basic perception of reality is being distorted by a disease and do a little research before you give up.

Even if you don't “feel crazy” the depression is twisting things so you can't be objective about your own life. You've got to reach outside yourself. Talk to a counselor, a priest or a friend. Your brain is sending you the wrong signals and screwing up how you see the world.

Don't make your last decision based on bad information. Pick up the phone and get a second opinion.

Written by Michael B. Duff

February 12, 2008 at 11:33

Posted in Culture

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