Friday, 13 April 2012

Does Suicidality cause Apathy?

Unlike the many anxieties in my person that should NOT by any means be there due to my outright lack of caring about life (decreased with medication), suicidality has penetrated into the recesses of my mind, and resulted in a personality change of sorts. I care little about social situations and do not exactly mind my autism* showing (this is, naturally, equal to or worse than my genitalia showing). I no longer care about 'wasting time'. Well, not exactly. I do. It is just that it is in complete contrast to my previos thoughts ("Work as much as possible, make every second count!") - that is to say, I aim to get through as much time as quickly as possible so that my life ends naturally in a period of time shorter relative to what its original death date was. I am not exactly seeking pleasure per se, though I do seek for my brain to perceive time as flowing as quickly as possible, which is highly related to pleasure (can't be bothered finding studies to show this). I also still somewhat care about achieving my goals, but this is showing some signs of waning, especially with regards to the sciences and mathematics. In actuality, I consistently enjoy them both when not anhedonic, but since I haven't partaken in learning them much over the last few weeks, as the saying goes, 'out of sight out of mind', and I have ended up disregarding whether I become fluent in the languages of logic any time soon. In any case, besides the rambling, my point is this: I have changed. Possibly permanently. All because of my suicidal thoughts - I wager. I am quite sure this is the case, because now that I wish for a quiet death (but not in a painful way), I feel acceptance of a great many things, especially where social skills and romantic relationships come into play.

This brings me to a question: are all the apathetic symptoms of depression caused by suicidality? Or am I mistaking my own suicidality for the apathetic symptoms of depression? Knowing which one to choose is a toughie - though it is something of a false dilemma. I guess SOME apathetic symptoms could be caused by suicidality, others by general depression. Here's my main thought experiment for this: some depressed people desperately wish to do things, but simply can't, while others do not care at all whether they accomplish anything (and if my hypothesis is correct, this is because they want to die very strongly).

It is generally thought that suicidality will go away once depression has been defeated, but in my case, it is now a constant in my life. I can become happy to an extent (for me), and still know that given an opportunity that would not hurt my family or friends, I would probably take my own life. Suicide has become ingrained into my mind. Instead of being possessed and haunted constantly by that evil spirit of destruction, I believe myself to have embraced said spirit, and incorporated it into my very soul. Now I don't actually know if I really should (hypothetically - probably will never do it in my lifetime due to loved ones). If I get better, will I be able to convince myself that the fleeting moments of joy are not absolutely demolished and cast aside by the abundant suffering in our universe? And to be honest, depression having 'enlightened' me, I feel that I couldn't convince myself of that. I am relatively high right now (antidepressants seem to be working for once), and I can still say that I do not like life at all. In fact, I despise it. Not at the moment, but as an absolute concept.

I do not want to live in a world filled with suffering. Even if I could live somehow without the constant torment of work and social rejection, I intuit that the suffering of mankind would still drive me to hate the world. But maybe I am equating suicide with destroying the world? But the thing is, there is little I can do in this world anyway to prevent suffering - I have no way of knowing whether my acts will backfire on me or not and cause more suffering - I could help out a professional torturer get through a divorce. It is better to opt out than to cause more suffering. If you are entirely happy, there may not be anything you can do to prevent the suffering of those around you - save someone's life, and they may repay you by conceiving a child. Even by simply living you are probably causing someone, somewhere to suffer. Things are disgustingly interlinked that way. So I could never be entirely happy, knowing what goes on in this world (including one of the most heinous of crimes - birth). And that also means not being entirely deluded as to what the point is in attaining more and more pleasurable feelings in my brain. I am not saying that everyone should commit suicide, I am simply remarking that my mind is such that I do not think I could ever be in a situation where I would not flick an off-switch, if easy means were available to me and no one would suffer at my death. If no one suffered, and my social skills existed, then we'll talk about me continuing to exist. But even then there would come a time when I would be so tremendously bored of the 'perfect transhumanist utopia' that it would take many many opiates to convince me to live on.
Take samples of depressed patients who say they are not long-term suicidal, and those who say that they have been suicidal for a long period of time, and compare the symptoms across the board. More acceptance of the horrors of this world, more lack of volition and goals, less caring about social norms and customs and less caring about the consequences of actions? If this is demonstrably associated with suicidality, then the correlation might point to suicidality causing these things (it could also point to apathy causing suicidality, or another factor causing both). How do you prove it's suicidality causing this and suicidality alone? Monitor patients for the first signs of apathy, and see when suicidality appears along with it, or vice versa. I can't think of anything else at the moment, being a mediocre amateur at this kind of thing. I'm only just an adult, and not at all a genius.

*Still not god damn diagnosed. Enough cause for them to do an assessment on me, but still not diagnosed. Why oh why are psychiatrists so incompetent? I suppose it's not as high priority as fixing my longstanding depression, but come on. If you can't fix my depression or act like you give a damn abut it, at least teach me something about myself that would explain a lot.


  1. Personally, what made me apathetic was the realization that I am average---or even below average?---and as a result won't achieve anything of worth in life (not that we can achieve anything of great worth anyway). Another source for my apathy is the knowledge that the universe does not need us, that we are needs that don't need to exist, that we don't serve any purpose and will die out some time, making all our accomplishments worthless. In short: my own shortcomings and the overall futility of existence.

    1. I think your apathy may be a result of - to take a page out of Sister Y's book - your life now no longer having the potential to be an entertaining story. Or at least your belief in that, anyway. That's my take on things.

      I think I would probably be in your exact same situation were my subconscious mind not an idiot. You see, though I initially grew depressed for quite some time realising these things, I did not, as such, mentally internalise them for years because they were not a repeated stimulus in my life. I actually KEPT GOING with regards to attaining status and becoming a 'remarkable person'. Only suicide really got jammed into my brain, since it was an ever-constant stimulus, so it caused my apathy, due to not valuing the world very highly as a result.

      Existence is indeed tremendously futile - one point I generally try to get through to people is that it would be pointless even if we could live forever. What are achievements essentially? Things either our brains or other people have decided are worthwhile. Do they hold any actual worth, set in stone, to the universe? And the answer is that they hold no actual value, and even if they did, you have no reason to value things in the same way as the universe, or even trust your brain on this matter and value the things anyway. I guess it goes back to the nihilistic 'nothing has inherent value'. This seems pretty intuitive for me so I tend not to argue the points much, but as far as I can see, you can't prove things have worth and there are conflicting accounts of what has worth, so therefore objectively nothing can be said to have worth - or at least, the evidence is in favour of that.

      Sorry, by the way, if I have driven you off with this comment, I tend to freak people out by being overly verbose and too pompous in my response comments. That's how it seems anyway.