Suicide and mental illness

May 7th, 2016by mysteriousvisitor

These studies (linked at bottom of page) already discuss some of the limitations of post-mortem brain tissue analysis and the conducting of psychological autopsies to determine a connection between mental illness and suicide, but I have additional objections to their reliability:

1. Since the definition of any mental illness is subjective and changes over time, and no specific biomarkers have been definitively established, the diagnosis is questionable even in living patients.

2. In diagnosing suicidal ideation as an illness, the psychiatric profession is labeling thoughts that do not conform to societal standards as “illnesses”. Psychiatrists are playing the role of thought police.

3. To diagnose a person post-mortem based on interviews with other people is irresponsible, to put it mildly! Their answers are 100% subjective, and how can a person truly know what their relationship with the deceased was like? How many of your relatives would claim that you were happy and they didn’t see it coming? How many of your abusers would admit what they did? How many people would make false claims about you based on ignorance or malice or self protection?

4. Under “Discussions” in “The Neurobiology of Suicide” they fail to mention a major flaw in the research: equating correlation with causation. How does one know that chemical changes in the brain were not in response to the same stimuli that led to the person’s suicide, rather than a contributing factor that caused the suicide? Life circumstances create reactions in the brain.

5. Studies, articles, and research reviews will frequently list situational causes for suicide and then subsequently dismiss them later in the text.

The fact is, there is no proof that most people who commit suicide have a mental illness. This belief is very profitable for the pharmeceutical companies and a convenient excuse for governments to excercise oppressive control over their citizens, but it is most certainly not a medical fact.

Imagine if cancer were diagnosed this way. Would we accept this? Let’s pretend that cancer is the same as mental illness and take a look at how this would work:

“We have diagnosed this deceased person as having cancer when they were alive. We don’t entirely agree on what cancer is. There are no biological tests to confirm the presence of cancer in the deceased, only speculation as to which biochemical changes might possibly contribute to cancer (and many of those studies have conflicting results). Β We are going to question the deceased’s relatives and friends about how the deceased was feeling, what symptoms he/she presented, etc. (of course, we have no way of knowing how accurate these answers truly are). When we are finshed with all of this, we will determine that the decessed must have died of cancer.”

No, that would NOT be acceptable! People would be outraged. So why do we accept this with mental illness and suicide? Simple, because both those diagnosed with a mental illness and those who are suicidal are viewed as less important. They are convenient scapegoats to use to increase profit and power, since almost no one will come to their defense and they frequently will not defend themselves.

(I have concentrated on post-mortem diagnoses, but points # 1 and # 2 would also apply to those diagnosed before committing suicide.)

http://jmolecularpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2049-9256-1-2

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK7126/?report=classic

 

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