Why My Daughter Died and I Lived


Despite our many similarities, my daughter and I have one major difference: she is dead and I’m not.

Aside from that, we were quite alike, as might be expected from people who shared fifty percent of their DNA. Our favorite movie was The Godfather, our favorite novel Heart of Darkness. We both grew up in the New York metro area. We were writers and social misfits who started feeling suicidal in our teens. We both got admitted to Columbia and arrived there for Orientation. There the resemblance ends. Martha Corey-Ochoa killed herself at age eighteen on her first night of Orientation, August 27, 2012, by jumping from her fourteenth-story dorm window, while her father is still here.

Suicidality is supposed to have a genetic component, so it’s no surprise we were both suicidal. What is more curious is why she went through with it and I didn’t. For me, suicide is a live issue every day, and not just because of my grief at losing Martha. Since holding a razor blade to my wrist at age fourteen to studying the lock on my skyscraper office window the other day, suicidality has been my steady companion. Yet I never made a suicide attempt. Martha made two: one that failed, one that worked.

Maybe someday someone will study Martha and me to identify the differentiating factors that led to her death but kept me alive. Maybe the results would help prevent more suicides. In the interests of such efforts, I will name one difference that seems to me pertinent.

Martha was on psychotropic drugs as a teenager and I wasn’t. This is in large part because American culture in the aughts, when Martha reached her teens, was more prone to medicalize strange ideas than in the 1970s, when I reached mine. I first admitted my suicidality in 1976 to a high school counselor, who didn’t refer me to a doctor, as counselors probably would now, but told me suicide was an “asshole move.” He talked to me for a couple of sessions, then, with my permission, talked to my parents. By then, I already had told them about my suicidality. The counselor and my parents were concerned, but it didn’t occur to any of them to get me a doctor who could put me on medication. When I told them I would rather not keep talking about it, they left me alone.

By contrast, in 2009, when Martha told me about her suicidality, medical care was my first stop. That was the culture at the time. The ideas that depression was treatable with SSRIs and that suicides could be prevented pharmacologically were widespread. I had bought into that way of thinking just a few years earlier, at the age of forty-three, by seeking psychiatric care, getting diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and being put on medication. I was primed to think that if that was good for me, it must be good for Martha.

Martha seemed, if anything, crazier than I. She told me that she had married a Russian prince, Aleksei, Tsar Peter the Great’s son, who had died three centuries earlier. (He really existed; you can look him up.) She was in love with Aleksei, and the turmoil of loving a dead man seemed to contribute to her low mood and thoughts of death. Since I had never had a comparable experience, I assumed this must be a delusion, and that she needed psychiatric care even more than I did.

So I insisted that Martha see a psychiatrist. My wife and I found her the best child and adolescent psychiatrist we could in our part of Westchester, and he diagnosed her with an unspecified mood disorder with psychotic features and put her on medication. For the next three years, Martha underwent a succession of changing drug regimens, received psychotherapy, and was hospitalized twice before she killed herself. Maybe I would have killed myself if I had gone through all that for three years. It didn’t save her; maybe it hastened her end. Nationwide, more psychiatric treatment has done nothing to curb suicide. Suicide rates in the United States rose from 1999 to 2016 even as use of antidepressants increased.

Possibly, one or more of Martha’s drugs stimulated her suicidality. For example, Martha was on the antidepressant Zoloft, which carries a black-box warning label for increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in pediatric and young adult patients. In addition to that increased risk of suicidality, the concept of mental illness is humiliating, and humiliation can make death look attractive. My daughter told me that the worst day of her life was the day I listened to her account of her love for Aleksei and told her that it sounded mentally ill and that she had to see a psychiatrist. She had trusted me with the thing that was most secret, high, and precious to her, and I had treated it as a symptom of disease. I inflicted that pain on her because I thought it would save her life. It did not save her life. In fact, it may have been a link in the chain of reasoning that persuaded her to end it.

The concept of mental illness is humiliating not because of some supposed “stigma” improperly attached to the concept that could be removed if we were more enlightened. The stigma is proper to the concept. The idea that I am diseased in the seat of what distinguishes me from other animals, my reason, means that I am less than human, and it is hard to know why I shouldn’t kill myself to remove a blight on my species.

At least when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I put myself in the company of famous artists and writers supposed to have been bipolar, such as van Gogh and Graham Greene. That gave me some consolation for the idea that the way I think and feel is fundamentally defective. I knew that if my diagnosis became generally known I might lose my job (as I later did, when it became generally known), but aside from that I was old enough to have a diminished level of concern about what people thought about me for being mentally ill. Similarly, although it was degrading to take drugs that made me gain weight (Zyprexa) and made my hands shake (lithium), I was middle-aged and had less concern about my body image than I did when I was younger.

Martha lacked these defenses. She wasn’t diagnosed bipolar, so she couldn’t fall back on the strange cachet that that diagnosis carries for artistic and literary people. She was deeply wounded by the idea of being personally defective. She wasn’t old enough to stop caring what other people think. I don’t think her drugs made her gain weight, but the possibility that they could probably haunted a teenage girl who, although of healthy weight, once told me she wished she would get an eating disorder. For all these reasons, I consider it possible that the categorization of Martha as mentally ill, in addition to the possible suicide-inducing effects of the medications she was taking, contributed to her suicide. In the 1970s, my suicidality was treated nonmedically and I lived. In the 2000s, Martha’s suicidality was treated medically and she died.

Since Martha’s death, I have had time to think about what I then called mental illness and now just call craziness or madness. I now think, following Thomas Szasz in The Myth of Mental Illness, that the concept of mental illness may be specious. The idea of mental illness arose by analogy to physical illness. A physical illness, or disease, is a bodily impairment, often diagnosed with the aid of biological tests such as throat cultures or X-rays. Mental “illnesses” by definition are not bodily (if one is shown to be bodily, it ceases to be classified as mental) and there are no biological tests for them. I suspect this is because they are not illnesses at all—just sets of thoughts and behaviors that violate social norms. I am willing to put this suspicion to the test, and have been doing so by slowly withdrawing myself from being a mental patient. With my psychiatrist’s help, I have been eliminating or reducing the dosage of the psychotropic drugs I take. Maybe someday I will be off all of them.

This is not to say I’m not crazy. I am, in the sense that I sometimes think or feel things that would get me called crazy if I expressed them. But I no longer think the best response to craziness is medical diagnosis and medication. The response I make to my own craziness is to listen respectfully to it and try to learn from it. I wish others would respond to it the same way. I wish I had acted that way when Martha told me of her dead Russian lover, instead of rushing her to a psychiatrist.

To be a parent of a suicidal child is to be in a terrible position, where you hold in your hands the life most valuable to you and know that any slip of your hands may end that life. So I am not trying to tell parents what they should do in that position, whether to seek or not seek medical care. But today, as when Martha was alive, suicide prevention is thoroughly medicalized, with suicidality taken as incontrovertible evidence of mental illness, which is treated primarily with drugs. Against that tendency I offer for consideration my hard-won experience as a suicidal father of a suicide. I tried to save Martha’s life with medical care. She died just the same. Maybe she would have died even if she hadn’t been diagnosed and treated as mentally ill. But I wish I could go back to the moment she first told me about her suicidality, and this time not assume it to be a medical issue but regard it as what Szasz called a problem in living, a human situation to be treated with humanity and respect. Even if she still died, at least she would have died with that much more experience of humanity and respect.

Martha Corey-Ochoa, 1994-2012


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


  1. Rick Warren Leads Mental Health Effort After Son’s Suicide- Warren, founder of Saddleback Church and a best-selling author, will team with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and the National Alliance on Mental Illness…

    Glad your speaking out instead of like that POS Rick Warren “Psychiatry killed my kid, so use it on yours”

    Warren told CNN that “the pendulum has swung the other way to human rights so much that many parents and family members cannot get a conservatorship, cannot get a control over somebody.”

    Rick Warren is a phony.

    “The evil one conceals himself, and comes with his very polite friends, knocking at the door, asking permission, but then moves in and spends time with the man and, little by little, starts giving the orders.” -Pope Francis

    I don’t know if all that is appropriate but its the first thing I though of. Too many times after tragedy parents go out with the message “psychiatry never did anything but harm my child but keep using it on yours” Their are several ‘parents of mentally ill children’ forums online and that’s all they do is parrot that.

    I am sorry for you loss and thank you for writing here.

    • Rick Warren wouldn’t use those words. He’d say nonsense like, “Despite the best psychiatric care my son killed himself.” But if his son had died outside the psych system it would be, “If only my son had remained ‘meds’ compliant he’d be alive.” No one calls folks like that out on this double standard of thinking. You find it in NAMI forums all the time.

      I guess we should feel sorry for him, but someone should (gently) ask him, “Rick, if psychiatry couldn’t save your son why are you so determined to force it on others?” My guess is Matt Warren was quiet and shy in a family/megachurch that worships extroverted behavior. His introvert tendencies and failure to conform led to a label of chronic depression.

      Lately Rick Warren has embraced the pseudo science of quantum mysticism. Quantum mysticism is to quantum physics what astrology is to astronomy. Or psychiatry to neurology.

  2. That was beautifully written and fills me with love for you and your daughter. I was suicidal in my tweens as well. I was met with complete rejection but wasn’t medicated. I was also medicated for bipolar when I was older. So I can probably relate with you more. I’ve also never attempted but lived with it for most of my life. I’m not positive what makes people jump, but I know what stopped me.
    1. My own body. Unmedicated depression heavily leaned me towards inaction. The closest I got to death was not eating or drinking, and I wasn’t very close.
    2. Memories of happy moments. One was very spiritual and another was pure joy.
    3. Acknowledging people cared but wouldn’t possibly understand. There was never a note I thought I could write. There was always someone to help me, sometimes badly, but there was help
    4. My cat.

    If someone didn’t have these I could see it happening. She sounds great. People alive have A LOT weirder beliefs than dead boyfriends and get to be heads of state or religions. Take care ❤️. I hope you get off those meds and continue to speak for her and yourself.

  3. Welcome, George.

    I’m so sorry you daughter did not survive. It is beyond tragic that it took her death to illuminate the lie that very likely killed her. Thank you for telling your story. May it reach parents (and teens) far and wide, and make them ask themselves the questions and gain the insight before it is too late for them. And in that way, Martha’s death could be the wreckage in the road that keeps them from traveling that same path and heading over the cliff too. In an odd and twisted way, Martha’s death could save many lives. I know that is no consolation. I’m so sorry. My heart goes out to you.

  4. First, George, I’m sorry for the loss of your daughter Martha. I just now visited her webpage, and looked at the photos in the gallery. I’ll spend more time there later, reading her writings. But one thing struck me about your stories here, based on my own life experiences. I think I need to share it. When Martha told you about her “Russian lover”, maybe it wasn’t as ONLY as “precious” as you describe it being for her. It’s possible that one reason she told you, was to “test” you. I remember once when I “came out as gay” to my parents at the dinner table. I wasn’t at all gay, but I was only saying that because it was the most outrageous, and hurtful to my parents thing I could think of to say to them. I wanted to shock them, test them, and mess with their heads. It was in partial retaliation for what my parents had said and done to me.
    I’m only playing “MAYBE….”, and “WHAT IF?”, here, but I feel I need to share my idea here with you. Is it possible that it wasn’t that you didn’t take her seriously enough, but rather that you took her TOO seriously?
    I think the grief and mourning process will continue for the rest of your life, of course.
    I’m basing my comments also on my own direct experience. My parents took me to a psychiatrist in 10th grade. I got a bogus “diagnosis”, and a prescription, and the next 20+ years of my life were wasted because of it. There’s NO DOUBT in my mind, that psychiatry and psych drugs did me FAR MORE HARM than good. I’d like to think your writing here, George, is part of a healing process, and an honor to Martha’s memory. Thank you, and may God Bless you. ~Bradford

    • As a young person who has had severe delusions due to bipolar disorder – I can say that she most likely did believe that she was in love with the Russian and that she actually was communicating on him at some level (spiritually). Truth is she could have been communicating with his spirit or a different entity pretending to be him. I wasn’t very religious until I began having these types of delusions. I think there is a spiritual component – and this is completely ignored by the main stream aethiest scientific community.

    • My point is: being told that you are completely insane when what you are telling someone something that is true on some level is incredibly painful (in that moment). I can go back and laugh at delusions I had. For example, one time I was convinced the CIA was breaking into our house and stealing my under wear (lol). My husband didn’t take me to the mental hospital as my family had in the past. He went through all the laundry, found all my under wear, and showed me that it wasn’t likely because there was less under wear missing than I expected. In that moment, it was incredibly embarrassing to immediately switch to thinking something I fully believed was outrageous. I held on to it. And he let me. He said but maybe they are but we are going to do a better job at keeping the house all locked up and the security system on. If someone does break into the house, our dog will bark. To this day I get micro delusions where I think someone is in the house and the first thought that calms me down is that my dog hasn’t barked, he is very sensitive and protective. This gives me the courage to check the house myself and know that no one is there. Now, because I had a lot of time to distance myself from the delusion (we simply didn’t talk about it for months after I stablized) I can finally look back at the delusion and laugh. I cannot laugh about almost any other delusion I had because the way I was ripped out of them was so devestatingly painful and embarrassing. This was a major difference between how my family reacted and how my then boyfriend and now husband reacted. He saved my life. He has a lot of bipolar people in his family and he had the experience to know what to do. It’s incredibly rare and I was very lucky.

  5. My condolences on your loss, George. Stay strong, and thank you for sharing your story.

    I hope LavenderSage is correct, and sharing your family’s story “could be the wreckage in the road that keeps [others] from traveling that same path and heading over the cliff too. In an odd and twisted way, Martha’s death could save many lives.” I hope your sharing your beautiful daughter’s story does save many lives.

    And I’d just like to share a theory from what was for me a spiritual journey, but was called “bipolar” (actual anticholinergic toxidrome induced) “psychosis.” The theory is actually based, in part, also on a song. It’s called “Closing Time,” here are some of the lyrics:

    “Closing time, Time for you to go out go out into the world … Closing time, Turn the lights up over every boy and every girl … Closing time, You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here. I know who I want to take me home … Take me home. Closing time, Time for you to go back to the places you will be from. Closing time, This room won’t be open ’til your brothers or you sisters come. So gather up your jackets, and move it to the exits I hope you have found a Friend. Closing time, Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. Yeah, I know who I want to take me home. I know…”

    My so called “psychosis” turned out to be about an awakening to my dreams where I learned about the theorized “collective unconscious” that supposedly exists within our dreams. I believe we are all “one in the Spirit” within the collective unconscious of our dreams. And God is, or will be doing, a final universal judgement of the living and the dead within this spiritual realm. So He hoped we all “found a Friend.”

    It could be true that Martha did find her true love within the collective unconscious, even though he is a dead person. Maybe it’s crazy to hope your daughter found her soulmate within the theorized collective unconscious. But none of us really knows, and hoping for the best is not actually crazy. And understanding “every new beginning comes from some other beginnings’ end,” might provide a modicum of hope. I hope and pray for a wonderful and love filled new beginning, for both you, and your beloved daughter’s soul. God bless, and thanks for sharing your story, George.

  6. I was 21 when I first hospitalized myself for suicidal thoughts. Since then I have been hospitalized against my will seven times. Every time I went into the hospital I got worse. I didn’t realize it at the time but the reason why I was getting worse was because my family was not supporting me (at all). For example, during my third hospitalization (which was my first manic episode caused by Zoloft) they decided to illegally take my dog to the pound. The reason why my family wasn’t supporting me, was because I was unable to communicate and the hospital did not attempt to communicate for me. When I went in voluntarily, the psychiatrist, social worker, and therapist all talked to me for hours and helped me problem solve, until I finally felt better and checked myself out to go home. That was the only voluntary stay and the only benefial one. Going to the hospital involuntarily was a different story. Most of the patients there involuntarily do not have a mental disorder such as depression or bipolar: they are drug addicts being forcibly detoxed off drugs. The psychotic ward is a different planet compared to the suicide ward. My “mental health team” talked to me inifisuslly for just a few minutes every few days. They treated me like everything I had to say was crazy (it wasn’t, I was a victim of kidnapping at the hands of an ex boyfriend (he kept me for a week) and went to the ER. No one believed me there or in the mental hospital because of my record.) and there was no point in talking to me at all. At this time they are charging my insurance $2000-$6000 a day – and I mostly sat in a dayroom full of criminals with nothing to do but be terrified that one would snap and hurt or kill me. They offered no therapy, no family therapy, almost nothing but a room with bars on the window. Don’t blame your self for her death. In most cases, it is entirely the hospitals fault. They failed to inform you how you could help her (because they haven’t even researched what is best or attempted different strategies to figure it out, ever). They did nothing to help her and instead put her in a stressful, dangerous, humiliating environment against her will. They save money by throwing all the people who are only mental disordered and not drug addicts into the same wards. People with actual mental disorders are the tiny minority. You can easily understand how counter productive this is. Suicide rates three months post discharge are 15 times higher. The suicide rate the immediate week following a discharge is 264 times higher than the national average (for women). you want to help prevent this from happening: learn more about the hospitals your daughter did not receive treatment from and spread awareness that mental hospitals will only cause more harm and do nothing to help (98% of the time, imo). This is why your daughter died. It’s not your fault. You are blameless. You did what you could with the tiny amount of information that was available to you.

    Source for suicide rates: https://ebmh.bmj.com/content/8/4/114

    • I also want to add: medication when someone is already in crisis is so incredibly dangerous. Medication has to be expiremented. Some medications will help a lot, but many others will make things a thousand times worse. Should you take that gamble when someone is already on the verge of suicide? The issue is that it takes two weeks for most psychiatric drugs to start making a difference. Therefore, any negative effects aren’t noticed until two weeks after the medication is started. At that point, you can’t simply go off the medication to stop the negative effects. You have to ween off slowly and try something else, with the drugs still effecting you for weeks or months. Drugs should be experimented with overtime when a patient is already very stable. Drugs are a prevention, not a cure. When someone is in crisis – especially their first one, treatment should primarily be therapy. However, therapy for psychotic people is non existent. You actually have to have a special certificate in most states to be legally allowed to treat a psychotic person. For two years I was psychotic and alone, and I searched my entire state and could not find one therapist that is trained to work with actively psychotic people. So I experimented with drugs and went in and out of hospitals. Attempted suicide twice (once after over three months of planning). Until I found: a boyfriend that could help and medications that actually worked. Hoping to magically be prescribed the drugs that will work for you your first go around is like expecting to win the lottery. It doesn’t happen. But mental hospitals only use drugs and they convince families that they will probably work. When it is the opposite. People don’t go off their meds because “they started to get better and didn’t think they needed it anymore” like all these stupid websites and main stream media claims. People get worse on their meds and have to go off them to save their own lives. Try being in a crisis caused by medication and your psychiatrist won’t see you for two weeks. What do you think is going to happen? They also pretend like it’s the physical side effects that people go off of meds for. No. The meds made me so manic I lost my mind. The meds made me so depressed I was about to kill myself. But it’s my fault I’m not getting better because I’m “not giving them a chance to work.”

  7. Sorry about the loss of your daughter George. Been on drugs since age 18 in the spring of 92, but it was a tiny amount. I took an SSRI anafranil in the fall of 93 and stayed awake for 3 weeks straight. Went bonkers, but the psych doctors refused to acknowledge the drug was responsible. Got labeled “bipolar” and believed I was a monster. I threw self control to the winds–due partly to “good insight”–but also the inability to control my thoughts or feelings on the drug cocktail. Went from depressed to full blown insane.

    I wondered if I had a soul. No one understood my existential crisis when I tried to tell them. Even religious people. If I needed a drug not to commit heinous crimes against humanity how could I be a true human being?

    Turns out the drugs were making me crazier. And believing I was hopelessly insane made me want to cleanse the world of the monstrous blight that was me. Off the drugs now. And I have rejected my label. I am a fully sentient, ensouled human being. Not a machine or trained animal.

    And I have a stronger conscience than a lot of prominent “soul doctors” I know.

  8. I am very sorry for your loss. As a parent of a son diagnosed with “schizophrenia” and then promptly medicated, I too wonder about whether the rush to medicate is like going after a fly with a sledgehammer. Not that something significant isn’t happening, but I agree with Szasz that these are problems with living. Problems with living can be understood by most people and handled with varying degrees of success, but medicalizing a behavior makes it strange, horrible and alienating for all concerned. This is the modern way and in my opinion, it is not progress. Okay, this is showing my age, but here’s an example from my childhood that shows how differently the same situation would be handled today (an age of hyper-alertness to what may be just passing behaviors. As a child my younger sister used to go into a sort of semi-trance like state where she would lie on her bed for perhaps 30 minutes or so and spin bits of yarn or string in front of her eyes while whispering to herself and drumming her fingers on her shoulder. My parents had never heard of autism. How did our family sensitively deal with this situation? We made fun of her and imitated her behavior. Sending her to a psychiatrist never entered my parents’ minds. Eventually my sister outgrew the behaviour. I regret the medicalization of my son’s behavior, but there was no competing philosophy that was widely known at the time.

  9. Thank you George for sharing this heart breaking story of your beloved daughter Martha. The death of a child is the worst nightmare a parent can face and the tragic story of her untimely passing will be of help to parents and other people in similar circumstances. I visited the website you dedicated to Martha and all she has written. It is a wonderful legacy and tribute to her writings and her memory. Martha certainly was a cute, adorable baby and a lovely young lady. I am so sorry you lost her at such a young age.

  10. Don’t blame yourself, George. You got duped by the #FAKESCIENCE , as millions of people have been. People shouldn’t pay an unbearable price for trusting the so-called “experts”. They alone deserve to be blamed for the death of your daughter. I extend my deepest condolences to you and everyone who loved her.

  11. Thank you for your moving story. I’m so sorry for the loss of your daughter. It seems there are two (or more) camps regarding how to respond to mental illness: treat it, or let it be. But Martha was competent enough to be admitted to Columbia before she committed suicide. Should the same rules apply to her as to the psychotic homeless people that we see on the street in major cities like San Francisco? I, for one, would want to be medicated against my will if I was found sleeping in my own feces or ranting on the street. Maybe psychiatric medication is not the enemy, or the savior, but one option to be tried with a gentle hand? I was very interested in RockieRaven’s story about how her husband responded to her delusion. That sounds like the Cognitive Behavior Therapy I heard about at a NAMI conference last year, which many professionals say is ineffective for major mental illness. But treating people with dignity and respect is always therapeutic. God bless and good luck to all of us struggling to help each other and ourselves.

    • Psych drugs like neuroleptics can sometimes calm people down if they’re upset. But if people are sleeping in their own feces or ranting in the street they can be helped without drugs at all. They did this a lot back in the 19th century and long before by showing the “mad” person TLC and helping them rest and eat properly. (For my part, I was nervous and depressed till psych drugs made me rip snorting crazy.)

      In the old days there were few life long madmen or madwomen because “madness” was understood to be a state of mind that was usually transient in nature. Not a life sentence. A lot fewer people became career mental patients. Then the Victorian asylum keepers found they could make big profits in locking up “crazy” relatives and keeping them insane with cruel treatment.

      For a bird’s eye view of the evolution of modern psychiatry and its inflexible bio-model, I recommend Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker.

      I do agree gentleness, dignity, and respect are good treatments for human distress.

  12. Dear George
    martha’s writing was truly beautiful thank you for sharing her work and all good wishes for your journey and in reducing your own drugs x. zoloft and respiridone almost killed my child i am lucky he has escaped the system but the damage done to him is slow to heal

  13. My firstborn and lovely one left in one sudden efficient moment when she was 16. Back in ’95.

    I have lived the territory of this as a shaped charge, and I live and walk a different world for being so undone.

    Pharma – to the best of my knowing – played no part in either her life or mine – though chain smoking was for some time my ‘handle’ of a sense of inability to handle.

    In my life, her death – her chosen suicide – activated me to live – yet in the stark sense of not knowing how.

    The answer being shown me, that of course I didn’t recognize in concept – was living me.
    In every cut through to the true of a great love I stayed with and felt and let flow.
    In every shift to me and my story mind – I chose not to feed it – and gave attention somewhere else.
    I could say this was a visceral embodiment of aligning in the Holy Spirit and letting the ego shout without demonising or reacting to it. Those terms are just terms I am accustomed to use. The voice for life is not clinging to survival, but abiding in the willingness of love. That’s my witness.

    I took what I needed because my need was fundamental – I was undone of my foundation – and therefore open to the movement of living from a true, rather than presuming truths were for me and my life to work better – in my terms.
    I did not welcome or appreciate sympathy – but I understood that most needed that DISTANCE. I did NOT accept or feel obliged to carry their upset and make it better for them – yet that was their action.
    Love’s honesty simply did not what to say and yet abided with me. True compassion is not a destructive distancing or dissociation under a sense of sympathy – but a genuine companioning. Being with.

    My then wife had the opposite movement to me. I needed to open all the windows and doors in terms of knowing I needed to let life in. She needed to shut all the windows and doors to keep death out – and let no more loss in…

    There are deeper Soul aspects to why we have the movements that we do. But I don’t think they are a problem needing solution excepting that whatever comes to me is for me to integrate or recognize the truth of and accept the true of it. I see that fear operates a self-fulfilling prophecy and that our hidden fears work us unawares – as a sense of trying to control or make sure ‘never again’. No one can look on what they are not ready to look on, and so they see what they can see or in ways that they can keep some sense of control.
    The whole notion of chaos and control, or a presumption of possession and control meeting lack of support, betrayal or rejection and abandonment is an ongoing recycling of a love of control, that borns and is born of a hatred of lack or chaos, to enact a ‘controlled love’. Whether with behavioural incentives or coercions or medical impositions.

    “It’s Life. Jim, but not as we know it” as the Star Trek line goes.
    That we are undone of what we thought to know and be – is a basis from which to ask, and feel and look, with new eyes.
    In this particular and unique life, are these key themes played out this way.
    My acceptance is that the life I have come to live, is more of a themed focus in ‘territories’ of the Soul – even under the sense of a world experience that cuts, sunders or suddenly leaves.
    I used to think I had a ‘waking up’ life – as if it was me that was going to awaken.
    There is a sense of a continuity of self – but so much that I thought was me is undone and what moves in the space that opens is of a different world – and so there is another ‘theme’.
    I see the ‘stranger in a strange world’ theme and seek to release it to a true belonging from which to live and give – even with the separate ones who know not what they do. So I don’t invest in self-pity or grievance, but let the cut of love become the connected loving.
    That’s the nearest I have to finding the gift within the madness of a self-destructive mind given power.
    Its a journey to begin, always from the now of a recognition I have slipped into self-negative habit patterns.
    Of course this awakening of self-responsibility meets every ‘pattern’ of resistance in time and over time.
    It’s the other way than running away – because it embraces and accepts running away – without paying it for a new game.
    Does that make any sense?
    It takes one to know one – and that means the true of us can and does communicate on some level even when the forms don’t seem to line up, or the signal is blocked, or the lines are cut.

    No one can change what they are not the willingness to own. Accepting what is – is not succumbing to a story about it. But it is the basis from which an old story can release to allow a fresh appreciation. Such as I find willingness, let me live it.

  14. I have no words. I can only recommend a book, a book that helped me understand the meaning of suicide, and it was “Suicide and the soul”, written in 70s, by James Hillman. It was, and it is still, a revolutionary book, unknown book, negated book. I can also recommend Re- Visioning psychology. Those books helped me to understand the ideological lies that have nothing to do with psychology, suffering ;and that we are living in completely anti psychological reality. To understand psyche is to accept the death reality. I recommend Hillman to everyone who is looking for the truth about psychological reality.

  15. People see suicidal person as a weak one, because they are thinking in theological way… And we supposed to think in PSYCHOLOGICAL way – EGO can not win with death reality, it is to small to cope with this extremely lethal power. Not everyone can touch this difficult reality and so they do not have idea about what they are talking about. Apollonians do not have idea about what they are talking about, when the talk about suicidality, psyche….

    Ego can be crushed by death and that can lead to bodily/biological suicide, (we are dead already, because death is mainly a psychological phenomena, and death is for those who are alive) There is also a great abyss between ego in apollonian reality and ego in Death (Hades) reality. It is psychology, it is mythical, this is not a science, and never will be a science. When we talk about psychological realty we talk about the phenomenology, which was completely destroyed by theology and Kraepelin and company.
    The problem with materialists (psychological apolllonians) is that death for them starts and ends in the grave.

  16. Hey, George, I realized I forgot to mention:

    Regarding tapering off the psych drugs- the vast majority of doctors don’t know what they are doing, and the guidance they offer is usually inferior to that of the Real Experts- people who have successfully navigated their own taper from the same drug. I encourage you to get in touch with the online support groups that can help you in that process.

  17. To talk about psyche and suicide as if it was a biological issue, it is barbarism. Read people, Suicide and the soul,chapter IX – PATHOLOGICAL BIAS.

    “Psychological disorder comes to mean childhood disorder, and the search is on for dissociating the present into past, the complex into simple, the psychological into material traumata. ” James Hillman.

    “As Dubos has said – this idea of health is utopian, it allows no place for realities of human health, which include disorder and suffering at every turn.”

    “The pathological bias has confused pain with suffering, numbing us to both.”


    The logos of suffering can not be described by a pathology textbook which uses clinical terms for soul experiences.

    The wrong cure, or the right cure at the wrong time, does more harm than the open wound.
    James Hillman

  18. George, I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I have known many relatives of folks who have decided to let go of life and it is hard because we have a great taboo about talking about this part of life.
    And trying to get help and not realizing that the help was mostly a sham. Those of us psych survivors and our family members again run into another great taboo. Silence can be con ie this but it hurts in the short and long term.
    There is also the issue of abuse and I have no idea where your daughter was in that issue. My grade school had a cluster of suicides but it was a Catholic school and there were issues but who know?
    I appreciate your courage and please keep in exploring and learning.
    My idea is to have trauma centers that are available 24/7 to all with all sorts of support and separate from any medical connection.
    Everyone could use it.
    Take care of yourself and read the old stuff I Trauma there are some gems in the dust.

  19. I’m sorry for your loss. You did the best you knew how with the information that you were given. Neuroleptics and antidepressants can cause suicide. It may be as simple as one pill. I would take solace in knowing that your daughter was not lonely. To love as she did is a beautiful sentiment. As I am sure you love her more every day. That’s not crazy.

  20. Heartwrenching. We panic, we want to fix what we have been thought ‘broken’ means. We don’t want it to become ‘worse’. You said what you said from the indoctrination readily available. Life or death, often changes our perspectives, often harsh lessons. What is so dark is that it does not change psychiatry. Why would it. After all, they join the club from an early age and by the time they realize what they are part of, their job security and ego security is set. I think many never even reach a point of realization because it is always someone else’s problem. It is the most difficult thing to look at oneself, and so it is for psychiatry. The human part is not there for them. It’s tragic really.