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To escape the self: Thoughts on the suicidal mind.


Being suicidal is an altered state of consciousness. Our decision-making is compromised and distorted, much like being under the influence of some sort of drug. We are just not thinking clearly in terms of the likelihood of whatever problems we're facing being resolved in the future. We are myopically focused on the present. Our perception of time is impaired, it feels like you're acutely bored and time is just dripping by very slowly. It's excruciating, this state of suicidality.

Writer Jesse Bering explains what happens in the brain of the suicidal person - from the feelings of shame and isolation that push people towards suicide, to the experience, immense and immediate, of wanting to kill yourself - and why we're all succeptable to this fatal frame of mind.

Jesse is author of the book Suicidal: Why We Kill Ourselves from University of Chicago Press.

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Jesse Bering

Jesse Bering is a writer, research psychologist and Director of the Centre for Science Communication at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.


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