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A Hidden Reason for Suicidal Thoughts

By       Message Peter Michaelson     Permalink
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Now we come to quite a startling consideration. Suicidal thoughts, as well as acts of suicide, appear to be psychological defenses designed to cover up our unconscious participation in (or emotional attachment to) the experience of inner passivity. Because we are desperate to deny our passivity (to keep it unconscious) we need to try to "prove," as a psychological defense, how much we hate to experience the helplessness. For the defense to work, we're required to accentuate the sense of our misery. The defense goes like this: "I'm not looking for the feeling of being helpless. I'm not wallowing or indulging in that feeling. In fact, I hate the feeling so much that I'm wishing I were dead and didn't have to feel anything." Also driving suicidal thoughts is the individual's temptation, out of profound inner passivity, to perceive suicide as a display of conviction and aggression.

Psychological defenses work in such a way that, in order to maintain their effectiveness as inner conflict intensifies, we often have to ratchet up the self-damage. Ghastly though it is, people kill themselves to "prove" they are innocent of any collusion in self-suffering: "I hate my suffering and now I'm going to end it." Consciously, we do hate our suffering. But unconsciously we cling passionately to it and fervently deny our collusion in the experience of it. When we understand this, we can stop suicidal thoughts in their tracks.
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Peter Michaelson is an author, blogger, and psychotherapist in Plymouth, MI. He believes that better understanding of depth psychology reduces the fear, passivity, and denial of citizens, making us more capable of maintaining and growing our (more...)

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