Suicide prone?

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slevin

Trad climber
New York, NY
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 25, 2010 - 03:00am PT
I know, it's a touchy subject, so bear with me. My old college friend, a practicing psychiatrist, said recently that "there is evidence that climbers are more prone to suicide then general population". She, in fact, came up with a theory that "rock climbing and mountaineering is a channel for self-destructive behavior for highly driven people".

Once faced with a statement like that I countered that unless there is a JAMA article, it's a crock of sh#t. However, empirically I do feel that there might be some truth to that statement. A lot of smart, highly driven people push themselves pretty hard to do questionable, risky things. We all do it, in some shape or form - free solo really hard routes, red-point R-rated trad climbs, climb avalanche-prone mountains etc. Worst of all, the risk is meaningless - there is no reward for summiting Everest and no fat paycheck at the top of that 5.12 that you solo.

Do you think climbers are more suicide prone then general population? Are we really out there to kill ourselves?
flyingkiwi1

Trad climber
Seattle WA
Mar 25, 2010 - 03:09am PT
Climbers embrace edges. Mortal cuts, going over, falling off; all are part of the possible for those having such an affinity.

Ian
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Mar 25, 2010 - 03:11am PT
I agree with your initial reaction - show me the real data.

People with depression are probably at highest risk for suicide.

From
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/suicide-in-the-us-statistics-and-prevention/index.shtml

Research shows that risk factors for suicide include:

 depression and other mental disorders, or a substance-abuse disorder (often in combination with other mental disorders). More than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have these risk factors.
 prior suicide attempt
 family history of mental disorder or substance abuse
 family history of suicide
 family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
 firearms in the home, the method used in more than half of suicides
 incarceration
 exposure to the suicidal behavior of others, such as family members, peers, or media figures.

[Edit to add:]
Perhaps your friend was using informal language - instead of "suicidal", maybe she mean "daredevil". Climbers might seem (to an outsider) to embrace an unacceptably high level of risk. Actually, we usually act to control the risk, so we get the thrill without dying that often - like a professional stuntman.
Fletcher

Trad climber
Just me and three kids
Mar 25, 2010 - 03:18am PT
I agree with Clint, show me the data.

I would ask the psychiatric community this: it seems to me that suicide is an intentional thing. With most climbers, then, it would appear that the intent is subliminal if the thesis is correct. Why the advancements in gear, safety systems, endless analysis on rc.noob, and more appropriately analytical documents like ANAM? If we all wanna die, then why all the effort to prevent fatality?

Maybe there is such an affliction as subliminal intent to to take one's life? That seems pretty odd.

Eric
mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Mar 25, 2010 - 03:19am PT
From what I have observed, and felt personally I would not disagree. As a group we seem to have an aversion to a Higher Power, and are independent, and self reliant. This leads me to believe, when life gets hard, and we are in a weakened state, we have nothing of strength to rely on. So death might be more appealing than continued suffering.
mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Mar 25, 2010 - 03:23am PT
Fletcher, good hypothesis. But my guess regarding gear/protection is that climbers fear injury/suffering more than death.
slevin

Trad climber
New York, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 25, 2010 - 03:35am PT
Climbers embrace edges. Mortal cuts, going over, falling off; all are part of the possible for those having such an affinity.
No kidding. Question is - are we driven to the edge because we want to eventually fall off? Personally, if anything, the state of risk makes me feel more alive. On the other hand, I remember thinking "what have I got to lose?" when I was preparting to redpoint an R/X rated 5.12 in the Gunks (No Solution) some time ago. Suicidal tendency might be more of a subliminal thing, though.

There are plenty of people out there who climb as a form of physical conditioning. For them, safety is paramount. A lot of recreational climbers I know would only toprope. Many of them would not leave the padded safety of the gym. Here, however, we are talking about the "climbing community", people that view outdoor climbing as their lifestyle.

I would definitely would refute the gear hypothesis - look at the recent explosion of ultra-highball boulder problems, multi-pitch free solos and A4+ aid routes.





nutjob

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Mar 25, 2010 - 04:55am PT
I disagree with the suicide thing as a blanket statement, but it might be safer to make a blanket statement like "there is more risk tolerance to get more out of life."

And maybe a propensity for OW climbers to grovel and suffer. Heck, even the abbreviation is an onomatopoeia! But can you really call it suffering if you enjoy it?

slayton

Trad climber
Here and There
Mar 25, 2010 - 05:25am PT
Give me a freaking break. Are formula one drivers more suicidal than the general public? Hang gliders? Moto Cross? Spelunkeres? Olympic luge participants? Base jumpers?

There are some that will seek out high adrenalin pursuits that put them on the cusp of life and death (most are with lots of safeguards to guarantee a continued life). Climbers, by and large, are out there doing what they (we) do not because of some death wish but because it makes them feel alive. And, by golly, it's just fun.

There's something to be said about these so called dangerous persuits. I think that it has more to do with the fact that in today's world the most dangerous thing we do is drive to work and not many of us think that's dangerous or feel the thrill of that danger. Some of us, who need it, seek it else where. Doesn't make it suicidal thought.

slevin

Trad climber
New York, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 25, 2010 - 05:47am PT
Are formula one drivers more suicidal than the general public? Hang gliders? Moto Cross? Spelunkeres? Olympic luge participants? Base jumpers?

Probably yes, implicitly. Suicide, generally speaking, is an extreme case of overriding the instinct of self preservation. Any sort of riding on the edge, be it climbing or base, is a less extreme case of the same override.
Ezra

Social climber
WA, NC, Idaho Falls
Mar 25, 2010 - 09:10am PT
I have thought about this not in terms of suicide, but more mental balance and the dark side of climbing.

Earl Wiggins comes to mind, He soloed scenic cruse in the black canyon at age 19 in some thing like 1.5 hours. 15 or so pitches in 1.5 hours (I'm sure some one will correct me).

Earl use to say (according to what I've read) he only really worried about soloing the first pitch and ending up injured. As you probably know Earl commited suicide in his own home several years ago. Was he attempting to kill himself years ago? Who knows, but he might have been.

Do climbers need to feel alive? Yes
Do we all want to die? NO

I have never been sucidial. That being said, the more my life has sucked in the past, the more I have been driven to climb hard stuff at the limit of my ability. Not because I wanted to die, but because climbing is so life affirming; for me at least.

-Ezra
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 25, 2010 - 09:24am PT
Suicide, generally speaking, is an extreme case of overriding the instinct of self preservation. Any sort of riding on the edge, be it climbing or base, is a less extreme case of the same override.

By this definition, any person, usually male, who ran forth in history with his spear to defend his group was suicidal? Were the men who stormed Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima suicidal? Any mother in history who risked her life to defend her young?

Of course no one would ever argue that because they see the direct cause and effect connection and because it was for others. In fact it is part of our evolutionary heritage.

What psychologists and the public can't understand are the people who still have those genes but no outlet for them in modern life except through the self expression of their sports.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 25, 2010 - 09:25am PT
i've written a suicide sonnatta here before.
i find my way down all kinds of thought paths.
for reasons of treason, to the status quo.

"A dramatic echo richochets down the steep canyon walls.

All life forms within experience this echo,
which resounds the report of the culmination of an inexhaustible dream.

To the author of the noise, the report sounds as but a whisper, entering thru one ear, and leaving thru the other.

Like a book, she closes her story in-line with it’s spine.

Hope, perched on the ridge of her existence: one leg dangles over the abyss of her ambitions and pleasures, the other leg over the slippery slope of her fears and depressions.

Simultaneously holding her hands triumphantly high in the air, and wielding a gun,

Spatters of her glorious existence temporarily take flight, like little angels, landing softly upon her defining smile.

Softly like the first snowflake upon a land."

Euroford

Trad climber
chicago
Mar 25, 2010 - 09:46am PT
a little risk helps one feel alive, and generally speaking risk is no longer a factor in most of our required daily lives. so we seek out recreational sources.

i imagine some people don't feel a need to hang out there, others do. this is no sign of mental illness. maybe their is a statistical correlation between risk takers and suicide, but i'm generally paranoid of statisticians.

mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Mar 25, 2010 - 10:01am PT
Aaahh crap! I was thinking this thread had something to do with climbing. Off to see if locker is lurking on the ZZ Tops thread.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Mar 25, 2010 - 10:19am PT
Slevin,

As with all psychologizing, your old college friend’s concept seems quite pat and easily swallowed by many. I have encountered this idea, by the way, off and on for decades--- it isn't that hard to cook up. People climb for quite a variety of reasons and most of these people’s efforts are not even dangerous at all. IN fact climbing may be safer than driving cars! For the few whose activities are in fact very deadly (as were mine certainly back in the day) again we have quite a variety of people performing the most drastic deeds and in quite a variety of ways.

I started climbing 47 years ago. Of the thousands of climbers I have known, I seem to only be able to count three or so actual suicides. (Hemmings, Dolt, Yablonsky, Wiggins) Hardly a run on suicides here, I would have to say. I really doubt there is much of a significant correlation to be found here. Rate of suicide for 1999 in the general population in the US is .01% (1.3% of total deaths are from suicide). There is of course the associated fact that suicide attempts may be as many 8-25 for every successful one.

Real suicide is very different than suicidal ideation---such thinking that occurs in everyone to some degree. The act of erasing oneself is in many respects the exact antithesis of high level climbing where you are doing all things possible to maintain and win. So in this respect a suicide theory could tempt one to assume it as the mechanism being toyed with (subliminally or overtly) in such other-worldly situations as maximum-danger climbing. That is to say, the individual contemplating a hard climb is also contemplating its adopted imagined opposite: that of an utter failure just as dramatic as total success would be---that the whole undertaking plays with a deck entirely made up of cards that say “die” or “live”, in this card game. But again, way too simplistic but surely there is always some truth as well.

So along with just about everyone here, I find the theory unfounded in fact probably and so generalized as to be useless and kind of corny but certainly a lot of fun.
slevin

Trad climber
New York, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 25, 2010 - 10:35am PT
Well, my reply was "show me the data".

My inner view was that we have a more reckless view on life with a bit of "what have I got to lose?" kind of mentality.

PS. Number of social misfits in adrenaline sports is higher too, at least so it seems.
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Mar 25, 2010 - 10:41am PT
What a bunch of deniers.
Gary

climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Mar 25, 2010 - 10:48am PT
"rock climbing and mountaineering is a channel for self-destructive behavior for highly driven people"

Me? Highly driven? That's a joke.

Mountain Dog is onto something about climbers worrying more about injury than death. Injury is such a PITA, especially as you get older and healing and recovery gets longer and longer. I only got so many good summers left, I can't be wasting them wearing casts.

Is climbing really so adrenaline driven? I like being outdoors, going someplace different. And solving puzzles. A 5.4 crack where the moves are not obvious and you have to stop and consider your sequence and ponder what you're going to do once you get to that spot, is more interesting than an obvious 5.9 climb. Heading into the Sierra for a third class ridge climb with minimal beta is a real hoot, now that's fun.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Mar 25, 2010 - 10:52am PT
Its all a crock. If climbers were suicide prone, they wouldn't ever use gear. Most climbers love life, and thats why they pursue climbing, the fabulous experience and the adrenalin. I think most psychiatrists/psychologists(wtfta) dream up sh#t like that simply to justify their own existence.
ec

climber
ca
Mar 25, 2010 - 11:00am PT
I had this girlfriend that was in the 'psycho science' field always speculating stupid sh*t like that. However, I have another psycho science friend that would disagree with your friend (she used to climb BITD). These guys like to prompt you for your reactions; that's what they do. PWNED
 ec
JoeSimo

Trad climber
New York
Mar 25, 2010 - 11:11am PT
I think like any sport of subject it depends completely on the people involved. I'm sure we can all point to people who climb for perfectly sound reasons and others that do so because they lose the adrenaline high. I know from my own personal experience I climb for love of the outdoors, the physical and mental challenge, the connection to nature and the joy of spending the day with good friends. Even as I now push trad climbing into the 11's and 12's in the Gunks, I do so with nothing but safety in mind. I don't want to be on a run out lead with the adrenaline flowing. I want to be in the moment, calm and inspired by the rock and route I am on.

However, I also know people that climb for reasons I don't get. Most it seems like ego. If I climb a 5.11 they HAVE to do the same route and will hangdog on it for an hour if need be to finish it. The same people also usually seem less concerned about safety than sending the route. The logic of "is taking 20 falls here and scraping myself up worth it?" takes a back seat to simply getting to the top. After they are lowered down I doubt anyone of them could clearly explain why it was so important to get to the top. Most would probably give a nebulous response of "because I wanted to get to the top." Ironically, had they just come down beforehand they could have climbed 2-3 other routes in the same period of time.

Like someone said already climber are not inherently suicidal, it's the individuals climbing that may or may not be.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Mar 25, 2010 - 11:25am PT
Worst of all, the risk is meaningless - there is no reward for summiting Everest and no fat paycheck at the top of that 5.12 that you solo.

I've not been atop Everest so I'll leave that one alone, but I have never earned a paycheck which meant as much to me as topping out on certain climbs. The reward is worth the risk, and sometimes driven by and amplified by it.



Gary

climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Mar 25, 2010 - 11:32am PT
but I have never earned a paycheck which meant as much to me as topping out on certain climbs.

Kris just hit paydirt here.

So to speak.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Mar 25, 2010 - 11:40am PT
I don't believe people get into climbing due to a subliminal thought of suicide. HOWEVER! It would be interesting to see if athletes in general have more suicides, and what athletics they do.

I've seen, in myself, that much like runners high, when I do a long climb or climbing trip, I'll be way up. A few days after, I feel like I'm in a slump and am depressed. Unlike a runner, who will just go out when the weather is total sh#t, we can't do that, and thus endure the depression of not exercising and getting the good endorphins.
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Mar 25, 2010 - 11:40am PT
I would think that the drive to climb and the drive to suicide are the exact opposite.

Climbing is feels good because you have power over your life for a change. You do live on your own personal terms on climb. Your success/failure is your own.

Suicide comes from feeling powerless. You feel like crap for so long and can't seem to find your own way out of it.

ec

climber
ca
Mar 25, 2010 - 11:44am PT
So...us climbers would rather spend all the time, money, effort, tie into a rope, place anchors to avoid falling to our death/injury because we're suicidal. If we are (in general), what your friend is sayin' is we're f*cking stupid because there's faster, cheaper and easier methods to kill one's self. Tell your friend to stop masturbating with their diploma.
 ec
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Mar 25, 2010 - 11:49am PT
Couchmaster, I've seen some of that stuff you climb on. You defintely have suididal tendencies or are somewhat looney. or both, ha!
and you called my Gorge crag choss......wtf,just not right! ;)
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Mar 25, 2010 - 11:50am PT
Unlike a runner, who will just go out when the weather is total sh#t, we can't do that, and thus endure the depression of not exercising and getting the good endorphins.

You need to read "Mountaineering in Scotland" by William F Murray...

"It's a fine day for a climb!!"
WBraun

climber
Mar 25, 2010 - 11:54am PT
All the responses in to this subject matter are in the area of ....

"I believe"

"I think"

"Maybe this maybe that"

The original came from this:
"She, in fact, came up with a theory ..."

This is all just pure mental speculation and guessing.

What a waste of time ........
ec

climber
ca
Mar 25, 2010 - 12:03pm PT
ST is the way I enjoy wasting time, but I never said the things you said I said Werner...
 ec LOL
WBraun

climber
Mar 25, 2010 - 12:09pm PT
You're right ec I should have said most of the responses.

I'm now going to commit hairy kary ......
bluNgoldhornet6

Big Wall climber
Tampa, Fl
Mar 25, 2010 - 12:16pm PT
An intresting thing i have noticed is how this community seems to have a common psychological disorder, mostly Depression. Look at JDF's post about him trying to kick antidepressants and see how many responses he had. Not to many who re-posted on that thread, but many people with similar condition.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Mar 25, 2010 - 12:37pm PT
Hairy Kari

That sounds messy.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Mar 25, 2010 - 12:37pm PT
If you were to talk about "climbers" killing themselves, wouldn't you first have to describe what a climber is ?

Is it someone who has roped up once in their lifetime ? Is it LEB who associates with climbers ? Or is it Werner down there in the Valley committing hairy whatever ?

Add another climber - William Nealy ( more of a kayaker tho' he did rope up a few times ......... ) who topped himself.

I agree w/ Peter Haan and add that there is not enough description of what a climber is to make a correlation and, furthermore, probably not enough "climbers" to make a statistical analysis.

I also agree with the above post about DEPRESSION - seems to be a lotta folks -"climbers" - on ST who suffer that horror........

nutjob

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Mar 25, 2010 - 12:49pm PT
What percentage of adult Americans have a prescription for anti-depressants. It would be interesting to compare that with the percentage of supertopians. My null hypothesis would be that they are similar percentages. As climbers, maybe a lower percentage because of physical activity and passion about something in life. But as forum readers and participants, perhaps sharing less of themselves with live people day-to-day. I'm not sure there is an inverse correlation of online/offline social contact any more though.


One thing I thought about that might bridge the gap between "death wish" and "risk tolerant to live life more fully": when we are making the risk/reward calculation involved in climbing, we assess these things subconsciously:
 what do we have to lose by doing it
 what is the opportunity cost of not doing it
 what do we have to gain
 what is the probability of failure

We might lower the perceived cost of a loss ("what do we have to lose") at the moments when we are more stressed in life, depressed, etc. At these times, we may also crave an anchor for meaning in life, crave beauty and peace and exhilaration and such good things to lift us from whatever ails us. This would cause the perceived benefit for the same activity to go up. I guess our moods can also affect our perception of success rate... some days it all flows so easily, and some days are high gravity.
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Mar 25, 2010 - 12:51pm PT
I know, it's a touchy subject, so bear with me. My old college friend, a practicing psychiatrist, said recently that "there is evidence that climbers are more prone to suicide then general population". She, in fact, came up with a theory that "rock climbing and mountaineering is a channel for self-destructive behavior for highly driven people".

Once faced with a statement like that I countered that unless there is a JAMA article, it's a crock of sh#t. However, empirically I do feel that there might be some truth to that statement. A lot of smart, highly driven people push themselves pretty hard to do questionable, risky things. We all do it, in some shape or form - free solo really hard routes, red-point R-rated trad climbs, climb avalanche-prone mountains etc. Worst of all, the risk is meaningless - there is no reward for summiting Everest and no fat paycheck at the top of that 5.12 that you solo.

Do you think climbers are more suicide prone then general population? Are we really out there to kill ourselves?


First of all, life is dangerous. No one gets out alive. Should we all just hide out in our closets scared of living because something might accidently happen, and heaven forbide we die? Of course not. What kind of life is that?

Also that doesn't mean we should put a loaded gun up to our head and pull the trigger.

Somewhere between the two extremes is really where most of us live our lives. It is a matter of degrees.

Another way of thinking about it is the fact all of us drive cars. Even granny who is often scared of her own shadow. So let me get this. You mean to tell me we all participate in an activity where we are driving down the road going 60mph just a mere few feet away from another driver who may or may not be paying attention going 60mph in the opposite way. Our combined speeds are 120mph. Man we must all be adrenalin junkies. Even granny who is scared of her own shadow yet continues to drive must be nuts. She must be suicidal. Wow, we are all suicidal and nuts.

No, I don't think so. We understand there is risk in living life. Some people accept more risk, and some people accept less. But make no mistake we are all risk, and adrenalin junkies. We all drive. Even scared to death granny drives (and she is probably one of the most dangerous out there on the road).

To say there are no rewards for risk sports and adventure I would completely dissagree with that statement. We are rewarded in very, very personal ways. We are rewarded spiritually (can't be measured except by the individual alone), and also with bio-chemical cycles. Perhaps many of us really are adrenalin and endorphine junkies. Nature's natural drugs. Hey, we produce it, and some of us crave it more than others and are rewarded when it is released.

I would like to think I'm more rewarded by the spiritual aspects of risks and adventure. I can't help but think GOD enjoys watching his creation, and enjoys seeing man-kind push the envelope physically, intellectually, and even in terms of risk and adventure, and do things that seem miraculous and on a higher plane of excellence and existance. I think it makes GOD smile when we pull it off successfully. Can I prove this? No. But, it is what I think. It is my hypothesis.
Gary

climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Mar 25, 2010 - 12:52pm PT
Werner:

I'm now going to commit hairy kary ......

Don't take it so serious, Werner. It's only make believe.
nutjob

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Mar 25, 2010 - 01:02pm PT
In support of my preceding thoughts... here's a link to the trip report for my stupidest adventure ever:
http://supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=531572

This happened at an emotional low-point in my life, in the final months of a decade of difficult marriage. I was NOT suicidal, but my circumstances affected my judgment of the variables in the risk/reward calculation. I had a great need for something positive in my life, I was less aware of what I had to lose, and I was assembling the pieces of my life to begin anew.
EdBannister

Mountain climber
CA
Mar 25, 2010 - 01:04pm PT
Here we go with the literacy thing again, sorry, forgive me, but... it's harakiri, not the descrption of your last girlfriend in camp 4, or an old baseball announcer.

anyway,
I climbed some with Rob Slater shortly before he went to K2.
He intended to die there.

and, the image of Tobin doing the green Arch, with the cord tied in a hangman's noose around his neck does come to mind... how do you belay that?
or not say it was suicidal?

on the other hand, there is just bold, strong, and confident...
I don't think that is suicidal at all.

If you haven't backed off stuff when conditions were not right,
then you either haven't been out there much, or...

Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Redlands
Mar 25, 2010 - 01:05pm PT
They may be suicide prone...but not really through the act of climbing. All the climber suicides I know of or have heard of did NOT have climbing as the method.
cowpoke

climber
Mar 25, 2010 - 01:30pm PT
I know of no empirical data consistent with the psychiatrist's hypothesis, mentioned in the OP. Moreover, I would argue that most theory and closely-related work are inconsistent with the hypothesis.

Some social-personality and clinical psychologists have suggested that sensation seeking is a trait-like personality characteristic; in turn, it is argued that people drawn to new experiences and high-sensation experiences are more likely than others to engage in risky behavior (e.g., climbing, drug use, etc.). Work such as the following fits in this literature: Serotonin transporter polymorphisms and measures of impulsivity, aggression, and sensation seeking among African-American cocaine-dependent individualsPsychiatry Research, 2002, 110, pg:103.

As far as I know, however, most studies indicate that sensation seeking is negatively correlated with depression (or unrelated), the most common precursor to suicide.

The only hypothetical links I can generate are contrived. For example, sensation-seeking climbers may be at heightened risk for drug use and, in turn, at heightened risk for depression.

This forum might provide anecdotal evidence consistent with the first link in that chain. The link between drug use and depression, however, is often due to the increased likelihood of using drugs due to being depressed, rather than the reverse.

In short, I'm skeptical.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Mar 25, 2010 - 01:38pm PT
Suicide, generally speaking, is an extreme case of overriding the instinct of self preservation. Any sort of riding on the edge, be it climbing or base, is a less extreme case of the same override.

I disagree with this statement.

Suicide is an attempt to escape a nightmare.

Actually accomplishing it is not exactly easy. The reason climbers accomplish it more often then say accountants, is because we have learned to deal with fear. I think any appearance that climbers are more suicidal then other groups could be attributed to the likelyhood that they would be more successful at an attempt because they have the physical courage to chose a more lethal method, and this success rate would then make them more noticeable. This would be true of any sport that requires physical courage. Base jumbers, race car drivers, ect..


I have been suicidal from childhood. I think that it is a combination of physical problems such as poor brain chemistry, and spiritual problems. I fully understand that some don't believe in spirit, so I have no answer for you. Your only hope is to find the right combination of pills, exercise, diet and lifestyle that will keep your brain chemicals in some sort of manageable balance. That can be quite a challenge. Those who have never dealt with long term chronic depression have no idea. Most folks have dealth with situational depression and try to liken it to that. Their dog died and they became depressed. They went out and climbed a bunch and got a new dog and now they are not depressed. So they think that it is fairly easy to overcome depression. Long term chronic depression is a whole nother ball of wax and is not so easily overcome.
cintune

climber
the Moon and Antarctica
Mar 25, 2010 - 02:58pm PT
Well just make sure you do it right the first time,
'Cause nothin's worse than a suicide chump


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4cjNUgZFr0

LDunn

Trad climber
Idyllwild, CA
Mar 25, 2010 - 03:27pm PT
Most Defiantly Suicide prone
Credit: LDunn
the figure in black in clark
the figure in black in clark
Credit: LDunn
Suicide rock that is Sun dance btw
Jingy

Social climber
Nowhere
Mar 25, 2010 - 03:40pm PT
a buddy of mine made mention of similar thoughts long ago in passing...

then I looked into it...

you can find eveidence that climbers that actually commmited suicide were self destructive before the fateful act..

but there is the overwhelming evidence that the majority of climbers are no "prone" to self destruct (suicide) just by the fact that they love or feel the need to climb.

The same arguement might be made about people that smoke cigarettes, or use addictive drugs (not that climbing is an addictive drug, but something tells me that once one has accomplished a climbing goal, the tendancy is to move on to the next goal.. once a person runs out of possible goals.. who knows what happens?)


So, I don't subscribe to this line of thinking that just because I climb I am more inclined to get rid of me at some point in the future....


Not to mention.. what does this claim say about those who climb to feel as though they are empowering themselves through these actions (pushing themselves to a goal, falling, etc., etc.)


the arguement no hold water (IMO)
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Mar 25, 2010 - 03:47pm PT
Studly said: Couchmaster, I've seen some of that stuff you climb on. You definitely have suicidal tendencies or are somewhat looney. or both, ha!
and you called my Gorge crag choss......wtf,just not right! ;)


LOL! Must be both!
tomtom

Social climber
Seattle, Wa
Mar 25, 2010 - 04:06pm PT
Climbers are considered suicidal.

Obese folks sitting on the couch with a bucket of ice cream watching reality TV are not.
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Mar 25, 2010 - 04:11pm PT
Some are some aren't- just like non-climbers
ec

climber
ca
Mar 25, 2010 - 04:21pm PT
more than likely, climbing probably saved more individuals lives vs suicide...

'just saying...

 ec
gonzo chemist

climber
a crucible
Mar 25, 2010 - 05:26pm PT
I guess this kind of mirrors what KSolem wrote,

Great risk can bring great reward.

I might not find a fat monetary reward at the top of each climb I complete, but I frequently find something so much more fulfilling...

I am wealthy because of my experiences, not my bank account...
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 25, 2010 - 05:38pm PT
Werner climbs?
Silver

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Mar 25, 2010 - 05:59pm PT
Werner is not climbing he has left to commit Hairy Kari. I suspect that after reading this BS he identified the suicidial tendencies in her and took her to the hospital. I think!

This is a national enquirer quality OP.

EC said it best.
These mind benders have to come up with some sort of crap to think about, and then write a grant to study the possibility that there bs is either bs or bs. Jacking off with their degree's. Well put.

We climb because we love it, and we die because we die. Hows that that for some PHD Psych. Crap!

Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 25, 2010 - 07:58pm PT
within sorrow hides hope.
and this hope, though untruthful, embodies inspiration.

as seekers, we must allow sorrow its rightful passage between our smiles.

then, and only then, do we discover the righteous explosion of of magic and wonder,

whose outcome is glorius.
Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Mar 25, 2010 - 08:57pm PT
I am really having problems. If the moment is about to happen who should I call?

Juan
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Mar 26, 2010 - 06:12am PT
hey there say, all....

as to suicide prone...

suicide is a choice that comes into play, when a key issue in one's
life has finally become unbearabale, so much so, to the point that all hope is gone, for ever overcoming, or even fathoming to do so, as to said-issue...

it can sneak up on one, after lengthy issues, or, it can hit suddenly, after a sudden heavy blow...

this can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any point in life, no matter what one's life style is, climber or not...

home-body, adventurer, child, older folks, etc...

keep an eye and ear open to your loved ones...
god bless...
Anastasia

Mountain climber
hanging from a crimp and crying for my mama.
Mar 26, 2010 - 06:27am PT
First explain to me what is normal behavior... I need to figure this out first before I can attempt working on your question.
cowpoke

climber
Mar 26, 2010 - 10:55am PT
Juan,
There are suicide hotlines online and crisis center in almost every metro area that do not require insurance. If your post is not a troll, I strongly suggest you do not wait for "the moment." Start seeking help right now.

A good place to start.

Peace,
Eric
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Mar 26, 2010 - 12:10pm PT
The approach to Suicide is certainly shorter than the approach to Tahquitz.

You can add Raleigh Collins to the successful suicide list.

Some people with abnormal brain chemistry may be drawn to climbing as a means of self medication, but it hardly means that climbers are suicidal. Even if the proportion of suicides who are climbers is greater than that of the total population who are climbers, it hardly establishes causality. Reminds me of a joke (we could use a joke, right?)

One day after sleeping badly, an anatomist went to his frog laboratory and removed from a cage one frog with white spots on its back. He placed it on a table and drew a line just in front of the frog. "Jump frog, jump!" he shouted. The little critter jumped two feet forward. In his lab book, the anatomist scribbled, "Frog with four legs jumps two feet."

Then, he surgically removed one leg of the frog and repeated the experiment. "Jump frog, jump!" To which, the frog leaped forward 1.5 feet. He wrote down, "Frog with three legs jumps 1.5 feet."

Next, he removed a second leg. "Jump frog, jump!" The frog managed to jump a foot. He scribbled in his lab book, "Frog with two legs jumps one foot."

Not stopping there, the anatomist removed yet another leg. "Jump frog, jump!" The poor frog somehow managed to move 0.5 feet forward. The scientist wrote, "Frog with one leg jumps 0.5 feet."

Finally, he eliminated the last leg. "Jump frog, jump!" he shouted, encouraging forward progress for the frog. But despite all its efforts, the frog could not budge. "Jump frog, jump!" he cried again. It was no use; the frog would not response. The anatomist thought for a while and then wrote in his lab book, "Frog with no legs is deaf."
Pate

Trad climber
Mar 26, 2010 - 03:25pm PT
Climbers aren't any more suicidal than the rest of the population. If they were, we'd never come back from our exploits.

nevahpopsoff

Boulder climber
the woods
Mar 26, 2010 - 05:30pm PT
This subject fasinates me,I have recently been involved in the euthenisa of my cat, I held her and felt her pulse stop, a dog, and my Dad's horse. Humans don't really have this option, a workmate's Dad is as good as dead from cancer of the entire body, yet he has to stick it out to the miserable end. I think about Ernest Hemmingwy, Hunter Thompson, Guy Waterman, go out on your own terms. Just don't blow your head off with a shotgun while you have guests in the house, makes you a bad host.
I climb because it's FUN, I climb harder, more risky stuff, when I'm bummed, because the focus distracts me from what's bothering me.
And I listen to people bitch all the time, and wonder why they even want to live if they are so miserable.
EdBannister

Mountain climber
CA
Mar 26, 2010 - 06:02pm PT
104 shows himself , again. to be a really excellent human,

I'm in too Juan,
anytime, just shoot me an email, ill send my phone number,
Ed
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Mar 26, 2010 - 06:24pm PT
I just saw Juan's post now.

Suicide is a very real and a very grave topic. It is a serious problem that people use to scream out for help. Sometimes we don't hear it or see it in time.

Suicide is a very touchy subject in my extended family. There is suicide in my families past. I take it very, very seriously. Some people for whatever reason reach such a state and low of despair they can not think or feel their way out of it. At that moment they need help. They are not in their right mind. They needed help long before then, didn't know how to ask, and maybe none of us listened?

Juan, don't do it. Seek help from a friend or family member. Perhaps you know someone here at ST that you feel comfortable talking to. Please do. If you want to talk with me please do. Suicide is very personal with me.

Personally, I know what suicide does to those who are left behind -- the family and close friends. You can not believe how bad it hurts those you leave behind. I do not think anyone wants to really hurt their family and friends, it is just that they can not see past the pain of the moment, the depression. Please seek help immediately.

I know how bad it hurts those you would leave behind. For me, no matter what, suicide is never an option. No matter how bad it gets, I would never do that to myself, my family, or my friends. I do not blame my mother. She was hurting beyond belief. If she was in her right mind, if she knew the pain that she caused by leaving us I know in my heart of hearts she wouldn't have taken her life and left me and my sister. I miss my mother everyday.

Do not do it. You don't want to hurt the ones you love. Talk to them. Everyone hurts and everyone goes through depression at sometime, some go through more than others.

GET HELP.


Glenn
(aka "Klimmer")
JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Peenemunde
Mar 26, 2010 - 06:44pm PT
I have thought about suicide over and over the years and years. I remember thinking about it since I was like 15. So in 35 years I am still here. So not to worry. The problem is that sometimes I just am not thinking straight and really worry I might do something in the heat of the moment. I got rid of all my guns years ago for this very reason. I plan never to own a gun again.

Since I stopped the Zyprexa my life has been hell. I have lost the ability to sleep and am in a constant state of anxiety. It is nearly impossible to drag myself out of bed and go to work, and when I am at work I am functioning at about 25 percent.

I keep telling myself just to relax and take one day at a time.
Things will get better.

I wish I could still climb like I used to, I found that spending the day free soloing at Taqhuitz would clear away all my depression in my 20's.

Climbing twenty pitches in a day would clear out all my blues for days.

Juan




JuanDeFuca

Big Wall climber
Peenemunde
Mar 26, 2010 - 06:44pm PT
I have thought about suicide over and over the years and years. I remember thinking about it since I was like 15. So in 35 years I am still here. So not to worry. The problem is that sometimes I just am not thinking straight and really worry I might do something in the heat of the moment. I got rid of all my guns years ago for this very reason. I plan never to own a gun again.

Since I stopped the Zyprexa my life has been hell. I have lost the ability to sleep and am in a constant state of anxiety. It is nearly impossible to drag myself out of bed and go to work, and when I am at work I am functioning at about 25 percent.

I keep telling myself just to relax and take one day at a time.
Things will get better.

I wish I could still climb like I used to, I found that spending the day free soloing at Taqhuitz would clear away all my depression in my 20's.

Climbing twenty pitches in a day would clear out all my blues for days.

Juan




Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Mar 26, 2010 - 10:57pm PT
My detailed plan I had two years ago was to jump off the summitt boulder at Stoney.

My second was hanging.

My third was standing in front of the Metrorail just down from the backwall

Only once was I psyched up to do it. At that point I called my therapist at 2 in the Morning. She put things back into perspective.

But what if I had a gun. If you know someone that even mentions suicide the first thing is to find out if they have a gun and get it.

I am also convinced that if most people have time to just chill and think it out. Put it off for 24 hours their odds go up drastically.


Working on a college campus is quite easy to spot the body language of the students siting in the hall. If one looks depressed I now make it my point to go over and talk with them. Let them know that the stresss of college are extreme these days to say the leasy. This student was taking a lab class I wrote the manual for. It was a simple matter to get the correct answers and explain what was going on. The student lighted up knowing two weeks work had been explained and finished. On this Earth we all really need to learn to live for our brother human beings. College Classes have to have a team effort to make sure everyone understands the material.


After seeing what I went through I really want to give something back - I plan to start a depresion support group for the students.

JDF
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 26, 2010 - 11:26pm PT
That's good stuff Juan.
Translate your own pain, empathize, extend that compassion to others.

You have really got something there.
 Roy
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Mar 26, 2010 - 11:31pm PT
If climbers were truly suicidal,there would be no government issue concerning fixed anchors on public lands.
Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Mar 27, 2010 - 06:36am PT
[img]http://www.topnews.in/health/files/depressed.jpg[/[img]
Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Mar 27, 2010 - 06:38am PT


I see this look on students all the time. A Lone wolf with the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Mar 27, 2010 - 06:49am PT


The vey classsic body language
Tobia

Social climber
GA
Mar 27, 2010 - 09:59am PT
Suicide and climbing?

Should I respond? I know a little about both.

I once lived in Yosemite. I got interested in climbing, but the heights freaked me out. I have been fascinated with the activity for a long time since those days. I loved the rush, the endorphins, the connection to the granite and nature, etc.

I have always wanted to do it again and would love to do a big wall, just hang out on El Cap at least once in my life. I still want to do it but have a few problems holding me back. After I read the TR from the guy in NY who had a lot less climbing experience than I do, I figured it just might be possible. I have a few physical health problems that I would have to overcome first.

Suicide: an action that I have considered seriously since I was old enough to know what the word means. I can almost remember thinking "there's a way out of this mess".

I always came up with a reason not to, my mother and father, my beloved dog, the fact that someone would have to clean up the mess....

Most of those "stoppers" are gone. I have brothers and sisters, some close friends, a lot of school children that it would hurt that make me resist.

My life is one big pain and I would love for it to end. Brain chemistry is a department I got shorted in. Doctors, medications don't help... I spent 30 years doing that. Running, swimming, biking and physically working myself to exhaustion always helped but that has been taken from me.

So I don't want to do the suicide thing for the above reasons; but I look forward to death and pray for it continously. I would gladly switch places with someone who has a terminal illness, they could have my time left on the clock. Anything to alleivate the pain in my brain.

Back to climbing. I never once considered that as a way out and don't think there is any kind of link between suicide and climbers that is significant, relevant or worth researching. People climb because they enjoy the challenge and all the other reasons that have been expressed with more clarity than I can muster. Bottom line as I see it: People who are suicidal are in every walk of life and their reasons are as varied as the number of colors in the light spectrum.

I am going to post this, but I reserve the right to delete it. I am not sure if I qualify to speak or I might read this and it will seem so pathetic that I have to "erase". More than likely it would be too embarrassing.

Right now my brain is screaming for some relieve and writing about it helps me understand what my thoughts are. I guess to some degree it helps to alleviate some of the pain and hopelessness I feel. I don't normally feel the freedom to let these thoughts get too far away from home.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 27, 2010 - 11:17am PT
Athens crumbled.
no stouter backbone of a culture ever stood.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Mar 27, 2010 - 01:46pm PT
What an interesting premise!

Maybe because we know how good life can get, yet how easy to lose or keep ahold of?
nita

Social climber
chica from chico, I don't claim to be a daisy
Mar 27, 2010 - 02:31pm PT
Tobia, Since you are someone i know and care about.. your post saddens me greatly. Wish i could say or do something to ease your pain.

Remember, This too shall pass..

Hold on and hold out for better days..

xoxxx
nita

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ6FcotLafM
Tobia

Social climber
GA
Mar 27, 2010 - 03:27pm PT
Rockjox: Thanks for the message!
Nita: Thanks for the vibes and the song!

I have two dogs now, the one I mentioned was one I had for 17 years. I love them like children and when I spiral downward they are a blessing.

I appreciate the advice on the meds; I was under the care of the docs for 30 years and have been through them all and practically any combination of them. They just don't work on me. The last one I was one was the MAOI inhibitors, transmitted with a patch; kind of a psych's last resort. The side effects were too hard, the risk factor too high and positive results were nill. The next move was to experiment with meds from other countries and buying over the internet. I elected not to do that as they utilized the same chemical mechanics as other meds.

As noted earlier aerobic exercise and physical work was the best preventive I have ever had; but I have a chronic injury to my lower back and that has altered my lifestyle greatly.

My depression comes in waves, no rhyme or reason; unpredictable as the the next thread to be started. I have managed this long; and I guess I will manage a while longer. As I said I kind of eliminated suicide from the options; but would go willingly.

I discovered faith a year or so ago and I depend on that; which makes the whole ordeal a little easier.

I didn't intend to make such a "me" post but couldn't figure out how to validate my opinion without a little background. A recurring response to people's tragic taking of their own lives is how much it hurts those left behind. I thought perhaps I could provide a little insight on that line of thinking. I have to believe that people who "off" themselves did not do so without considering their friends, children and loved ones; at least I hope not. My conjecture is that it is no easy choice; but it may be the only viable relief. I can't speak for anyone but me; I can take a lot of pain and have a high threshold for it but depression is one relentless, cruel beast. It is hard to fight something you can't see.

I have told more than one shrink that I would give anything for someone else to hear the noise I listen to in my head. It comes in many forms, distorted noise, my own thoughts, my perception of people's perception of me, negative vibes... I am not sure how many forms. I try to adjust the volume or find the on/off switch but it doesn't exist.

The abyss is deep and when there doesn't seem to be a bottom or a surface, then there seems to be only one escape. I have heard people say "how cowardly" suicide is; but I have to disagree. I think it would take a lot of guts to do it. After all it is a permanent move. Although we all have our ideas on what might happen next there is no way to know until you make the move.

I hope my ramblings here have some value. If not I apologize and will gladly delete.
Karen

Trad climber
So Cal urban sprawl Hell
Mar 27, 2010 - 04:36pm PT
When medication does not work, some people benefit greatly from ECT treatments.
dfrost7

climber
Mar 27, 2010 - 05:08pm PT
Tobia,

I agree. You have a great deal of courage to talk about one of the things people feel so badly (ashamed) about they keep it hidden. Fact is, you are probably in the company of those who are going through the same thing.

I got locked in depression after two close deaths in my life. I couldn't get out and couldn't talk about it to anyone. It would have been like trying to get people to believe in fairies or something. It lasted almost a year. It felt like it wouldn't end.

Thanks for talking about this. No one thinks it's a "you" thread. Darryl Mansfield (harmonica blues hall of famer) has a condition like yours. Very same description. Find him on FaceBook and friend him. He has made a public stand on the topic.

Keeping you in prayer, you matter.
Laurie
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Mar 27, 2010 - 05:44pm PT
The OP talks about feeling there is empirical evidende. I have seen none posted so far only anecdotal evidence. One of the big things with science is that correlation does not imply causality. Think of the thousands o sport climbers out there that climb regularly that take very little risk. Boulderers rarely could end there life by their activities, but might subject themselves to serious risk. Many soloists have their climbs wired before they attempt them and the same with hedpoints. If they wanted to kill themselves why would they practice. There are a few people out there that are doing things way over their head that may be suicidal, but I don't think that is the norm. I would go on to say that many of the people that die doing risky things were not intending to kill themselves theyjust make a mistake in judgement. Just my two cents.
Tobia

Social climber
GA
Mar 27, 2010 - 07:27pm PT
Karen, Laurie & Base:

Thanks for your kind words and input. Thanks for the prayers also! It seems like I have discussed the ECT with the doctors in the past; they seemed to think it wouldn't benefit me; I can't remember why. Sometimes I feel like grabbing some 110V and give it a whirl!

JOEY.F

Social climber
sebastopol
Mar 27, 2010 - 08:15pm PT
"Climbing is easy, it's living that's hard"
Spencer Tracy.
Well actually, he said it about Acting.

Brave Tobia,
Sending you good vibes, you send a lot of them back on the music thread.

And Wanda too...
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 27, 2010 - 09:42pm PT
Credit: Norwegian
suicide grovels in my esteem,
for i exploit chaos right up to the screamin bitter fukin end where logic and reality finally rear their calm and demeaning smiles.

not before, though. do i consent. for i see no real life within the realms prescibed by my diluted and ill defined culture.

chaos rules my strides. i go. and i go. and i go.

its like that placement where nothing below can welcome a dynamic entry... but you continue onward, upward, beyondward into your hopes and dreams and conclusions of, the beyond. the future. the possibilities?

often though, im left teetering upon my soul's capacity, just stepping beyond that which it reluctantly invites,
then i scramble back across the... vital... plane, where life is. and dreams MAY BE.
one day, perhaps i will brace and race forth into a psychological or physical realm where i've not appropriate footage, and then,

bang.

the process that began our tribes story, will end mine.

but we'll see. you. and me. any my daughters. and all that which can't fit within a sentence, but guides us.

Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Mar 27, 2010 - 09:42pm PT
Glacier Point Needs a counselor to spot potential jumpers.

Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Mar 27, 2010 - 10:07pm PT
Tobia so many in your situation. I feel your pain and will pray to God for you. How can we help you brother.


Jeff

dipper

climber
Mar 28, 2010 - 02:51am PT
Jeff,

I have been reading your words for a long time.

Long ago, back on rec.climbing, I could not believe most everything you wrote.

Little did I know what you were experiencing in your head.

I wish you well in your struggle.

You are not alone.

Have you ever visited the website "PostSecret.com"?

http://postsecret.blogspot.com/

You may find drivel. You may find solace.


It gets updated each sunday with 20 new secrets sent in by folks from all over.

Sometimes Frank updates it late Sat. night.

What is written below is up there now.

Cheers,
Cinclus mexicanus tequilas



-----Letter


Dear Frank

I thought about sending a postcard but wanted to share a story without anonymity. I'm a senior at Cornell University and at your PostSecret Event here two years ago, I shared the following secret: "My main motivation for applying to the PhD program in Clinical Psychology was to honor the memory of my three cousins who took their lives by acquiring the training to help alleviate the despair of others."

Recently I received an offer of admission to the USUHS in Bethesda, Maryland where I will be joining the Suicide Behavior and Prevention Laboratory. As soon as I received that offer, I remembered the secret I shared with the audience that night and how deeply meaningful it will be to follow through.

It makes me smile to know I'll be moving so close to where all the secrets are sent and being only a few miles away from someone breaking down barriers in the mental health field in a way science has yet to discover.

-Jen Bakalar



-----Response


I still have good memories of the Cornell PostSecret Event in 2008. And being a basketball fan I enjoyed watching Cornell's team go deep in the NCAAs last week. But I've also been distressed to see the lopsided media coverage of student basketball compared to the half dozen student suicides at Cornell this year.

According to Yahoo, 7,573 news stories were written about Cornell Basketball in the past 30 days. During that same period, only 275 stories were written about the six Cornell students who took their own lives.

Suicide is a secret that we collectively keep from ourselves. But if we can find the courage to tell the painful stories, together, we can take the actions that will bring help and hope to those of us who suffer in silence.

This year over 1,000 college students will kill themselves. March is the month with the highest rate of suicides. Here are five ways you can fight back today.

1. Support the Pick-Up-The-Phone 30-City Tour with headliner Blue October.

2. Tell your story (or your friend's story) and learn how Active Minds can help you fight suicide at your school.

3. Join Congressman Kennedy, HopeLine founder Reese Butler, Jamie Tworkowski and myself in Washington DC, April 12th, for the 6th Annual National HopeLine Network Capital Hill Press Conference.
locker

Social climber
Desert
Mar 28, 2010 - 03:01am PT

"Do you think climbers are more suicide prone then general population? Are we really out there to kill ourselves?"...


I think that we are ALL affraid to die and ONE of the things climbing brings us is MORE of an appreciation for LIFE...





Banquo

Trad climber
Morgan Hill, CA
Mar 28, 2010 - 12:20pm PT
I found this reference:

Delk, J. L. (1980) High risk sports as indirect self-destructive behaviour. In N. L. Farberow (Ed.), The many faces of suicide. New York: McGraw-Hill. Pp.393-409

But haven't read it.

Growing up, my dad was a field topographer for USGS and we moved usually twice a year, sometimes four times a year. We survey kids struggled a lot and hated the first day at new schools every few months. Our support group was small, maybe a sibling or two, your folks and the other survey kids. Since different families got different assignments, we weren't even always with the same survey kids. Once in awhile I look up a few of these survey kids and today they are a bunch of shivering, paranoid recluses as far as I can tell. Seriously, they are weirded out people now. I have never successfully reconnected with any of them, even the one that was my best friend through grade school and middle school.

One day in 7th grade I walked home from school with my best friend and fellow survey kid Jerry. My “house” (I grew up in a 700 square foot trailer) was on the way to the duplex where his family rented so we stopped at the trailer first. My mom was very distressed and sent Jerry off to the grade school to get his little sister. After Jerry left, mom told my brother and me that Jerry's brother had shot himself at home. She didn't want his mother to come home to the scene before it had been cleaned up and she wanted to stay at the trailer to be there when Jerry and his sister got back. Since there wasn’t anybody else to do it, my brother and I were sent to clean up. He had shot himself in the mouth and it was a f*#king mess.

Suicide by anyone had never really entered my conscious mind before but I decided then that it was something that I would never do because it was too cruel to all the survivors. I’m 53 now and I really haven’t had any other close suicides but there have been a few friends of friends and one parent of a friend of my kid. I have always come to the same conclusion. It creates more suffering than it cures. It seems very selfish.

I think that if suicidal people are climbing with a death wish, they are hoping that the exposure to risk will result in an accident. It’s like the story of the depressed guy sitting by a lake with a buddy. He tells his friend he’s depressed and thinking of killing himself. His friend, who is twice as big, grabs him, runs into the lake and pushes him under. The little guy fights like a wildcat to survive and comes up sputtering anger about his friend trying to kill him. Climbing is like that, when your feet start to pedal on a gritty slab and your fingertips tear on a tiny edge, you fight to hang on. Climbing is more about survival.
Home in Vale Oregon. The Malheur River (French for “River of Misfo...
Home in Vale Oregon. The Malheur River (French for “River of Misfortune”) runs behind the trailer. Me and my brother goofing off the neighbor’s dog.
Credit: Banquo

Postscript -

Suicidal people don’t make rational decisions and the decision to try and go through with it is certainly not rational. If you feel depressed or in any way self destructive, get help before you make a wrong decision. I think any of us or even anyone would help if they knew how and had the training. Suicidal people are fighting the blackest and loneliest fight there is and can’t win it alone.
Lost Arrow

Trad climber
The North Ridge of the San Fernando
Mar 29, 2010 - 12:56am PT
Still here, and plan to be.
My female boss talked to me about my depression on Fri and made me feel much better. At least I will get a good reference if I get laid off next month.

Juan
flyingkiwi1

Trad climber
Seattle WA
Mar 29, 2010 - 02:06am PT
Every now and then I read something that strikes me as the pure, straight, humble truth. I'm absolutely not intending to disparage any other posts by comparison but, Banquo, that was a dam fine post.

Ian
slevin

Trad climber
New York, NY
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 29, 2010 - 02:34am PT
Still here, and plan to be.
Yeah, stick around! Lot's of stuff left to do around here!
Banquo

Trad climber
Morgan Hill, CA
Mar 29, 2010 - 11:07am PT
"Death Giving George Taylor a Cross-Buttock" by Hogarth
"Death Giving George Taylor a Cross-Buttock" by Hogarth
Credit: Banquo
"George Taylor Triumphing over Death" by Hogarth
"George Taylor Triumphing over Death" by Hogarth
Credit: Banquo


Thanks Ian - it's as honest as I can make it.

Hang in there everybody, there are good days and triumph ahead.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Aug 6, 2010 - 12:15pm PT
Why is suicide such a big problem in our tribe, and how can we stop it?
Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Aug 6, 2010 - 12:24pm PT
Why is suicide such a big problem in our tribe, and how can we stop it?
Peter Haan wrote:
I started climbing 47 years ago. Of the thousands of climbers I have known, I seem to only be able to count three or so actual suicides. (Hemmings, Dolt, Yablonsky, Wiggins) Hardly a run on suicides here, I would have to say. I really doubt there is much of a significant correlation to be found here. Rate of suicide for 1999 in the general population in the US is .01% (1.3% of total deaths are from suicide). There is of course the associated fact that suicide attempts may be as many 8-25 for every successful one.
quietpartner

Trad climber
Moantannah
Aug 6, 2010 - 12:47pm PT
Reading psychological studies makes me want to commit suicide. ;^)
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Aug 6, 2010 - 01:03pm PT
I would suggest there is a correlation, with a different twist. Think of it as a form of self medication, most of us would agree climbing is theraputic. It's not the risk in itself that draws those with depression but rather the theraputic value optained from it. Endorphin's are a neurochemical that relieve's the negative symtoms of depression. We all can suffer from situational depression, a strained relationship, frustration at work or just listening to the news! How often have you simply put your shoes on and started climbing or taken a long run to soon find yourself relieved?

An old friend who I first started climbing with in 1965, stayed active all his life until he finally ended it several years ago. In retrospect he chronically suffered from depression and self medicated all those years with exercise and unfortunately also with alcohol and drugs. It wasnt the risk he was attracted to but rather the therapy he gained from it. I only wish I could have seen it and got him to seek professional help for his acute condition, such is life in the rear view mirror.
Norwegian

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Aug 6, 2010 - 01:32pm PT
you gotta do what you gotta do.
no amount of analysis or hypnosis or rigamortis will change your destiny's horizon.

self medicate. exercise. swallow risk whole. shift reality. lie on your back. stand up and run.

one's entire pursuit is to perpetuate the blink. as long as the brink will have you.

i have life confused with something more glorious, like sex. its just life and nothing worth a tizzy. i fumble it and drop it and drink it and live it and f*#k it. someday i'll die it, too.

for now i try to plant my feet where i think they'll not slip. so far so good. im an accomplished liver, with a compromised liver. i merely speculate on my next breath, and dream about dancing shoes.

ta ta i'll twirl off into the horizon with a ribbon and a bow, to this tune:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4WzPyGhLw8&feature=related
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Aug 6, 2010 - 01:44pm PT
^^^well said Chuck, you are wise beyond your age! Let's have that beer for life.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Full Silos of Iowa
Aug 6, 2010 - 01:51pm PT
Yeah. Two most excellent posts. ^^^
Johnny K.

climber
Southern,California
Feb 27, 2011 - 12:06am PT
slevin

She, in fact, came up with a theory that "rock climbing and mountaineering is a channel for self-destructive behavior for highly driven people".

ha.Our theory is,she is a gumby social city slicker who doesnt know how precious the mountains are to people like us.

Rock climbing,mountaineering,alpinism etc etc is a form of meditation and self enlightenment in mother nature so to speak.It could not be any further than self-destructive.

You tell her she can blow that theory up her arse.Tell her to enjoy life and stop trying to dissect things in life she will never understand.

There are more emo kids committing suicide in one month because their iphones lost service,than you can add up in a whole society of climbers in a lifetime.
LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
Feb 27, 2011 - 02:47am PT
maybe climbers and mountaineers don't fear death as much as others.
Rolfr

Sport climber
North Vancouver BC
Feb 27, 2011 - 03:17am PT
I call bullsh#t.

I take risks in business and in climbing, you can’t pick the fruit if you don’t go out on the limb.

I think climbers have more in common with entrepreneurs than people who commit suicide. Look at some of the famous climbers who have turned their accomplishments on the rock into successful businesses.
Dropline

Mountain climber
Somewhere Up There
Feb 27, 2011 - 09:43am PT
Rock climbing,mountaineering,alpinism etc etc is a form of meditation and self enlightenment in mother nature so to speak.It could not be any further than self-destructive.

followed by

You tell her she can blow that theory up her arse.

Hmmmm. How is that meditation and enlightenment thing working out for you? :-)
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Who'll stop the reign?
Feb 27, 2011 - 10:21am PT
Big tent; climbers. Lots of personality types. Are climbers more likely to be scientists? Authors? Photographers? Engineers? Carpenters?

If we use ST as an example, maybe.... Excitable OCDs, calm planners and brilliant athletes.

more than likely, climbing probably saved more individuals lives vs suicide...

'just saying...

ec

This might actually support the theory ec, if you think about it? The OP asks 'prone?'

How many wild out of control young men had declared that climbing saved them?

But see most young men 15-25 are suicidal, and most of them don't know it.

DMT
Brandon-

climber
Done With Tobacco
Feb 27, 2011 - 03:31pm PT
Climbing makes me happy, not feeling like I'm taunting death.

Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Feb 27, 2011 - 03:50pm PT
OP

Seems to be the same as saying "You're crazy" for doing what you do.

Same can be said of smoking.
Same can be said of self-mutilation (aka tattooing, piercing)
Same can be said of many other things I cannot come up with right now...
Motorcycle racing, race car driving, skydiving, base jumping... and on, and on.


Fact is, there are so many people out there who climb, and don't end up dead by their own hands.


The fact that every once n a while there is an offing does not make the numbers skew all that much. Like any other activity, people can "get into it" one day, and after the first climb be done with it. Then there are those who take up the activity as a passion for a short while, the weekend warrior, so to speak, then drop it when they find out taking it to the next level is going to take some amount of concentration. Then there are the ones who start, learn fast, take off, and burn out for any number of reasons, but they stop. Then there are those who have the rest of their lives to spend with friends, make new friends, and the like.... think of that 80 yr old dude... he knows what I'm taking about.

If all these people are taken as a whole, the rate of the suicide wouldn't be much more than the general population (though, we may never really know for sure the exact numbers because there is no getting a number on exactly how many people climbing, or exactly how many people make up the general population.


I disagree with you psychiatrist friend.
She may be taking the long winded way of saying "you're gonna die!!!"

cheers
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Feb 27, 2011 - 03:53pm PT
some are. some aren't. the latter should stick around awhile in case things change.
matlinb

Trad climber
Albuquerque
Feb 27, 2011 - 04:25pm PT
Pretty sure climbing saved me.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Feb 27, 2011 - 05:23pm PT
It is an interesting discussion but absolutey ridiculous as far as listing as a potential risk factor. My job is dealing with attempted or potential suicides. They don't rock climb, they are mostly depressed or suffer mental illness.
jstan

climber
Feb 27, 2011 - 06:05pm PT
Earlier in this thread a fellow who, I believe did later end his life, said he felt better after talking with his supervisor. She may have understood what he was going through. But ultimately the fiscal situation left her no choice.

Life is more of a loan than it is a gift. While living, people tend to do those things that give them the best return on that loan. It is only after some threshold has been passed that someone decides to pay off the loan.

I would propose everyone has such a threshold, not just a few. Everyone's threshold is different, and only a few are ever pushed all the way to it.

I think this thread makes a fundamental error when it assumes some sort of defect in a few people. If we work under that assumption, I think this thread cannot contribute.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Feb 27, 2011 - 06:38pm PT
I think climbers have a greater comfort level with regard to living on the edge. An acceptance as it were that we are all going to die sometime, so why not push it and see how we will fare? Test our limits? Maybe we have a greater acceptance of death, but I think that gives us a greater appreciation for living. So, no; I don't buy it. I've known the odd climber that seemed suicidal, but by and large climbers embrace life, all be it in a way that some would consider a death wish. So yeah, we challenge the beast more than the general population. That does not mean we have a desire to check out without fighting our ass off to live.
MBrown

Big Wall climber
Los Angeles, CA
Feb 27, 2011 - 11:43pm PT
i can see climbers being suicide prone when they cant climb...

yoginigirl

Social climber
Eureka
Feb 28, 2011 - 01:27am PT
Hmmm ~ If that is the truth then it would stand to reason that anyone who: surfs, hang-glides, skis, skateboards, etc,,, is also suicidal. I would have to see the data. From what I know that is not the case, most people do these things to feel fit, alive, and empowered.
michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
Apr 12, 2012 - 05:17pm PT
Maybe this is why I like highballs and want to get a crotch rocket.
Tobia

Social climber
GA
Apr 12, 2012 - 08:02pm PT
Strange.

Having a tough time right now; I sat down, with my head in a weird way, looking for a distraction. And what thread do I see? I wondered if I had opined.

I saw my posts from the past. I didn't read through ; but then again I didn't have to because I am pretty sure of what I had written. It's like looking in your rear-view mirror and seeing emptiness.

Way past twenty but wondering when the revolving seasons will end. Where are new dreams?
KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
Apr 13, 2012 - 02:52am PT
Way past twenty but wondering when the revolving seasons will end. Where are new dreams?

The dream began when I was in the 7th grade, and I was sent to the Illinois State science fair, at Crowne Hall on the IIT campus designed by the famous modernist Mies Van de Rohe.

When I came home, I announced to my folks that I wanted to attend IIT. They said, well, no, son, you ought to apply to MIT.

Via a childhood that, due to my Father's frequent transfers as a regional mgr of TWA, I ended up in a SF Peninsula HS, via Chicago and NYC. Flew back to Greenwich Village and back for a week, on Dad's passes, when I was 15, with 20 bucks in my pocket. I simply showed up at a PS8 School friend, unannounced.

I had to settle for a fine Public School, called the University of California at Berkeley. My parents divorced, and I was on my own at 19. I had to take a year off, during which year I eloped with my wife of 38 years. We put each and one another through School.

1st Dream.

Then, during my year of hell, during the recession starting in 1974, I realized that if I wasn't making a living doing something I was passionate about, I was condemning myself to a lifetime of cubicle hell. Not only had I discovered my life passions, I started on a path which, I hoped, would lead to a balanced and integrated lifestyle. I mean, I loved climbing...but I certainly did not want to Guide, for when play becomes work, what's play?

2nd Dream.

We moved here when I was 27. I'd decided the path to integrating career goals with lifestyle was to engage myself in www.MountainResortArchitecture.com

3rd Dream.

Last Easter marks the 30th anniversary of our move to the Eastside. The A+E firm I'd hired onto went out of business in 2 years, due to the recession of the early 80s. Which I'd anticipated, seeing all of the vacancies in Mammoth - I'd applied for a leave of absence from the Graduate program at Cal, for what I'd thought would be a 2 year sabbatical. Overdrawn $375 at the bank (having not been paid in a couple of weeks), and lacking busfare back to Berkeley, I decided to start my own architectural practice - with a 1 year old daughter.

4th Dream - Total Immersion. What did we have to lose by trying? even though no one was building anything out here. We learned how to ski (for free, at the Lift, before we were advanced enough to handle the backcountry of the Crest summits).

5th Dream, -
We bought a half acre here, and built our own house. Our choice of locale had to do with self-medicating for severe stress, CV difficulties, peripheral neuropathies, and everything that goes with being the sole breadwinner and Chief Rainmaker of a firm who went from $15/hr to $75/hr in one week. By running 7 miles through the Milks every other morning before work (to which I'd show up whenever I felt like it); free weights, yoga, nordic track and xc touring...and, of course, bouldering every Wednesday after work, when the acetylene sky disappeared behind Mt. Tom.

6th Dream -
My 1996 laminectomey, from a compressive lumbar fracture in 1984, failed - I think it was due to the squeeze chimney on Moses Jimmy Dunn Route. I wasn't being reckless - heck, I jugged the 40 feet of 5.11 below, to avoid a shock load. My PK's were advanced from CIII to CII. If you don't feel 100% on Lead, because a fall might induce permanent neuropathy (such as paralysis), then the Lead is no longer fun - in fact, you are at much worse exposure from a less than mortal fall.

Gee, I almost forgot about the OP.

Simple litmus: try taking a deliberate Leader fall, on Yosemite exposure. I dare anyone here to try. I'll bet you will try your hardest not to fall on a TR. Jim Beyer: "No, I don't have a death wish; I have a Life
wish."

Of course, when I hired Kevin to Guide me up Moab trophies, he was always very peculiar, and adamant, that that I remain well back from the Rim, and stayed tied in, until his supervised descent. I didn't need to ask why. I guess it does happen.

7th Dream-
In 2010, I was stiffed for $40,000 by a client. Having cleared out our life savings in a futile effort to absorb the loss, we were finally forced to sell our rental property, which netted a positive cash flow of $1,000/mo. Only after the sewer lateral failed, and flooded out both the house, and the tenants. About $10,000 in uninsured loss.
There's much more serious trouble on my planning horizon. And these entanglements pale in comparison to living in chronic pain for 14 years - the meds are almost as bad.

8th Dream-
Alright, you take it from here. What would your do in my shoes. Heck, I actually did a Sierra Peak FA just in 2010, failed to mention it.

Young people in their 20s, particularly men, go thru some dark and evil years. Often w/o any obvious precipitating factors. I lost my best friend (to a cancer that I insisted he see a Dr. about immediately, instead of writhing in pain on his office floor), my mistress, and work prospects, all within 1 month, 14 years ago...same time as I lost climbing, running, skiing during my lunch hour, to CII PK's.

No, clinical depression is not something you can "snap out of." I'm on a very effective SSRI med. Guess what I feel like doing every time I try and discontinue them (because I'm such a bitchen' strong Man)?

Tell you what: let's enter into a suicide pact. One condition: you must wait for 15 years. You're best years are quite a bit ahead of you. Nearing 60 myself (saw that guy in the mirror again yesterday), it's only of late that I've noticed that architects seem to do their best work in their 60's and 70's (if they live that long). It takes a certain touch, a maturity, to design something that will stand for at least a hundred years. And be accountable for it.

nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Apr 13, 2012 - 03:12pm PT
Tobia, It seriously brakes my heart that you are suffering )-;... wishing you brightness and comfort..

Hold on to your faith...

Sending up prayers for you....

Please talk to someone... don't be alone with your thoughts...

Saludos..

Love.. nita

graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Feb 7, 2014 - 12:21am PT
This has been on my mind all day.

How can we better support each other and do more to prevent this?
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Feb 7, 2014 - 12:42am PT
More time. That's what you want, and what everyone wants. Encourage anyone you suspect is going down that road to just give it more time.
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Feb 7, 2014 - 01:54am PT

This has been on my mind all day.

How can we better support each other and do more to prevent this?

Stay in touch with your friends and listen to them.

A few weeks ago I had a weird conversation with my friend on Skype. He had an accident a month before. He fell off the bike and lost consciousness for a few hours. He can't recall the accident at all. He doesn't know whether he had an accident because he lost consciousness or because he hit his head. He is scared now because he doesn't trust his head anymore. All his life he thought he had control over his life and that has been shattered.
He told me he was thinking about ending his life. Now, my philosophy is that a suicide is a viable option if life is unbearable, and he knew it. So, instead of telling him not to do it, I asked him how he was going to kill himself. He said that he was thinking of jumping from a cliff. I pointed to him that he might survive and end up being paralyzed. Also, I asked him what impact his death would have on his family and friends. Once he started talking using logic, his emotions calmed and we had a regular conversation. At the end, we made plans to get together this Summer. I asked him to stay alive because I don't talk to death people. He laughed.
I spoke with him two more times since then. No more suicidal thoughts!

Know your friends. Know how to talk to them.

Andrzej
SalNichols

Big Wall climber
Richmond, CA
Feb 7, 2014 - 03:07am PT
A few of us were going sailing one Saturday on my boat. Among us was one of my engineers and a very close friend. He was totally incoherent, as in "not in control". We never left the dock, but we couldn't get him settled either. Eventually he left us. He washed up in Half Moon Bay a day and a half later, having shot himself in the head before he went off the bridge.

If you know someone in distress, don't f*#k around. Dial 911 and get them help. We're not trained for this, all we can do is recognize the signs and punch the numbers.

I knew Hank was going to kill himself, and when my phone rang I wasn't shocked. I'll never stop thinking that I could have saved him with a phone call.
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Feb 7, 2014 - 07:25am PT
Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light.
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Feb 7, 2014 - 10:08am PT
Sal, perhaps you could have but more likely not. Don't beat yourself up, simply alerting the authorities is still a long long ways from diagnosing and effective treatment. Mental illness is a difficult and challenging condition for any family member or friend to deal with.

The one thing we can all do is talk about it, mental illness in this country is stigmatized and completely misunderstood. It is so unfortunate that most think of it as some sort of behavioral issue or weakness which is akin to thinking heart disease is a character flaw.

Statistically 3% of the population has a severe and chronic psychotic illness according to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill or NAMI. My family has a loved one with schizophrenia I can tell you without professional help and medication he would be a sad statistic. These people suffer beyond anything we can imagine, it's real to them and it requires medical treatment for a successful outcome.

I'm glad this thread was bumped up given the recent tragedy related here on ST. It's too soon for me to comment, people need space to grieve. That said without public dialogue and acknowledgement that mental illness is like any other unfortunate condition caused by a body's disease we'll force those suffering to hide beyond reach stigmatized by societies lack of understanding.

Charlie D.

gf

climber
Feb 7, 2014 - 11:38am PT
This has been on my mind all day.

How can we better support each other and do more to prevent this?

My only suggestion relative to this forum is to avoid internet bullying
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Feb 7, 2014 - 11:51am PT
gf, that is well and good but I would bet that the vast majority of suicides
are unrelated to internet bullying. And calling 911 is just a bandaid, if that.
KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
Feb 7, 2014 - 12:47pm PT
[url="http://lostallhope.com/suicide-methods/statistics-most-lethal-methods"]
John M

climber
Feb 7, 2014 - 02:49pm PT
great post Charlie D.


kabalarch.. what was your purpose in posting that link?
KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
Feb 7, 2014 - 03:17pm PT
Gosh, I was just trying to help expedite matters!

Just kidding, of course. It's an interesting site. Instead of "feel good" talk, its cold, matter of fact, presentation of methods, and statistical probabilities of success rates associated with various techniques is a pretty good, non judgmental, disincentive.

For example, if a benzo OD were attempted, it would take at least 2,000 mgs of xanax, and you'd have better odds of success at a casino.
John M

climber
Feb 7, 2014 - 03:23pm PT
thats cool. I get a bit sensitive about that stuff. It is an interesting site.
wstmrnclmr

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Feb 7, 2014 - 03:38pm PT
I didn't read all the posts but went to see Doug
Robinson give a presentation that's really pertinent and comes as close to explaining why we like risky adventure. He has a new book out, "The Alchemy of Action". A great read and a new look at understanding why we do what we do. I don't know if he's chimed in here but I humbly recommend it as an explanation to the OP.
May be on his site at movingoverstone.com
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Feb 7, 2014 - 03:43pm PT



Sadly, some climbers burn with a light too bright to sustain . . .
Nick

climber
portland, Oregon
Feb 7, 2014 - 04:53pm PT
The following brief excerpts are from a 1994 psychology today. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200910/risk

In fact, as researchers are discovering, the psychology of risk involves far more than a simple "death wish." Studies now indicate that the inclination to take high risks may be hard-wired into the brain, intimately linked to arousal and pleasure mechanisms, and may offer such a thrill that it functions like an addiction. The tendency probably affects one in five people, mostly young males, and declines with age. It may ensure our survival, even spur our evolution as individuals and as a species. Risk taking probably bestowed a crucial evolutionary advantage, inciting the fighting and foraging of the hunter-gatherer.

Yet research has also revealed the darker side of risk taking. High-risk takers are easily bored and may suffer low job satisfaction. Their craving for stimulation can make them more likely to abuse drugs, gamble, commit crimes, and be promiscuous. As psychologist Salvadore Maddi, Ph.D., of the University of California-Davis warns, high-risk takers may "have a hard time deriving meaning and purpose from everyday life."
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Feb 7, 2014 - 05:10pm PT
high-risk takers may "have a hard time deriving meaning and purpose from everyday life."

I think this is pretty key. Serious climbing puts you in so many mindblowing situations. The relationships you have with partners, the experiences are so far beyond normal everyday life and most jobs or relationships.

Yet it does not have a financial reward that allows most of us to live a reasonable life.

Climbing is life lived large with major sacrifice. Once you glimpse heaven it can be hard to come back to normal with much satisfaction.

Be well is my wish for all of you. Find amazement and joy in little things always around you.
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Feb 7, 2014 - 05:32pm PT
The one thing we can all do is talk about it, mental illness in this country is stigmatized and completely misunderstood. It is so unfortunate that most think of it as some sort of behavioral issue or weakness which is akin to thinking heart disease is a character flaw.
++
I wish science knew more about the brain to help those that suffer..

There are several taco folks that i know struggle with depression...I hope they realize there are many here and in their lives that care...

Please seek help, talk with friends , family,a counselor, clergy ...someone....


edit: Werner, ... both brain and operator.

edit " The problem, I think, is that for those who have forms of depression, we can understand the fact that people do care, but there is some sort of a block within that makes one unable to viscerally feel it.".....

Happi, mostly, I think you are right..But, I'm still putting the words up in print.. with hope...








happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Feb 7, 2014 - 05:43pm PT
The problem, I think, is that for those who have forms of depression, we can understand the fact that people do care, but there is some sort of a block within that makes one unable to viscerally feel it. I will admit that this is something I deal with and at times it sucks quite a bit(though I have never been diagnosed as having depression). I can feel FOR others, I can become emotional and sentimental over a cute little chipmunk munching on some nugget. But... to turn it around, I just have to "believe" that others feel the same for me. Fake it till you make it, they say, and that is helpful to a point. But only to a fleeting point.


So a person who isn't able to feel those sensations but knows they "must" exist gets a double whammy because of the guilt. It's sort of like when people say they think alcoholics should just be able to pull their heads out of rears and quite. In theory...sure. But the reality is very different.
WBraun

climber
Feb 7, 2014 - 05:49pm PT
I wish science knew more about the brain to help those that suffer..

It's not in the brain.

It's the operator of the brain.

The brain is not the operator.

This why science has failed so bad.

They have no clue who operator is.

The gears and motor of a machine is never the operator ......
John M

climber
Feb 7, 2014 - 06:33pm PT
He isn't joking and I agree with him on this point. That is speaking as someone who has dealt with the energies of suicide and depression for most of this lifetime. Disagree with him if you want, but don't tell him to shut up.
WBraun

climber
Feb 7, 2014 - 06:38pm PT
Why would I need to joke about suicide Andrzej?

It's not a joking subject matter ever.

Several good friends have succumbed to this terrible action .......
John M

climber
Feb 7, 2014 - 07:27pm PT
rsin, Werner believes in reincarnation. Try to appreciate what that can mean. Even if you don't believe in it.

and no.. I'm not talking about that you think it means he is crazy or a fool.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Feb 7, 2014 - 07:31pm PT
Try to appreciate what that can mean.

I do worry about what's next, so I'm hanging around here for as long as possible.
John M

climber
Feb 7, 2014 - 07:36pm PT
Sure rsin, But if you believe in reincarnation, then you start to see that there are few truly innocent children on this planet. So what part did your previous life play in the things that are done "to" you in this lifetime. That becomes a question.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Feb 7, 2014 - 07:52pm PT
I know you asked rSin, but I don't see reincarnation as taking along a lot of baggage on the next trip. We go but we don't know and no old toys come along. We don't know much. We don't know if we are on the other side of the universe from were we started or anything. In contrast to this, it's easy to see how we soak up what's around us when we land.
John M

climber
Feb 7, 2014 - 08:39pm PT
edit: looks like moosedrool deleted his posts


then you are rejecting those mental disorders that originate in the brain.

Its involves a philosophy Moose. some who believe in reincarnation and karma believe that physical trauma is part of ones karma. Meaning that ones actions and beliefs help create ones physical existence and experience. In the case of a brain injury, then that is not only the karma of the person receiving the injury, but can also be the interplay of the karma of those who have to take care of that person.

that is one reason why forgiveness can be so important. If you don't forgive someone, then you can be tied to them karmically and have to act out that karma again and again in following lifetimes until you learn what needs to be learned.

this is a very simplistic explanation. So please don't think that this is all that there is to it. the cycles of karma are very complex. Sometimes a person takes on a karma to help the world or to help someone in the world. There are many variables.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Feb 7, 2014 - 08:59pm PT
From one of the OPs comments;


My inner view was that we have a more reckless view on life with a bit of "what have I got to lose?" kind of mentality.

For me, the big climbs in my life were about what I have to gain. I have come out richer in spirit I'm sure. Or rather, I know! If one has much to gain, I do not think it means they had nothing to lose.
WBraun

climber
Feb 7, 2014 - 09:12pm PT
Andrzej

As you can see John M (moosie) does a very nice job of trying to explain to a layman the very difficult subject matter of Karmic reactions.

As John also says;
"This is a very simplistic explanation.
So please don't think that this is all that there is to it."

John always does an admirable job of trying to explain things to people on whatever subject he is involved with.

Moosie also has good experience with the subject matter pertaining to this very thread.

And ..... at no time do we resort this subject of suicide as a joking matter ever ......
John M

climber
Feb 7, 2014 - 09:40pm PT
thanks Werner. That is a high complement coming from you.

The concept of karma is very confusing. What part of my life is karma and what part is my doing?

every part of your life is karma. some karma is your own, and some karma is the worlds. the fact that you have to work for your food is mostly world karma. How hard you have to work is often personal karma. I say "often" because there are ways to dodge karma. Not forever, but certainly for a very long time. Some folks have dodged their karma for lifetimes. They appear to not have to work very hard. But in the end, karma wins. There is no way to fully avoid it. Karma dodging is an act of evil because it is an attempt to have someone else take on your karma. On the other end of the scale are Bohdisattvas. These are people with no personal karma who take on world karma to help the world. There are very few of these on this world. Most people have lots of personal karma.

It takes an expert to fully discern exactly which part of your life is your own karma, and which part is the worlds. The thing is, you treat them the same. You take responsibility, and then you do your best to rise above it. This is one of the things I like about rock climbers. Rock climbing often teaches one the need to take personal responsibility, so there is often a high level of personal responsibility among rock climbers. It is a thing of beauty.
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Feb 7, 2014 - 09:44pm PT
Thank you, MoosieMan. (as in John M)

Thank you, WonderBrawn.

ox
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Feb 7, 2014 - 10:15pm PT
HFC, as if you have any credibility on anything.... :-)
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Feb 7, 2014 - 11:17pm PT
Nahh.. you worry to much HFCS, there are more important things in most areas of life than being scientifically correct.

How we all care about the pains that causes some to chose an early end.. well that is important. That care leads to good science where needed when needed.
jstan

climber
Feb 7, 2014 - 11:28pm PT
Maybe just perform an audit to see who it is has an AR15.
John M

climber
Feb 7, 2014 - 11:36pm PT
Edit: I edited out some posts per an agreement with HFCS, who edited out his post. So some things might not make sense. He and I exchanged words, which hurt the intent of this thread. I hope that you can forgive me.
WBraun

climber
Feb 7, 2014 - 11:40pm PT
Here's classic karma.



Absolutely nothing woo woo about it all.

Right up your alley Fruity.

LOL

For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction

Newton's third law

Classic Karma .......
fresh pow

Gym climber
Plastic Paradise
Feb 8, 2014 - 01:28am PT
It's weird but I have been thinking about suicide a lot lately. I have not been to the ST forum for awhile but I came to look today and I was really hoping to see a thread about suicide and here it is. For me, suicide hit home last month and I thought, WTF? Why not go climb that big alpine peak I've always wanted to climb? What do I have lose if I take a greater risk than I normally would in the mountains? That is what the sadness and depression of losing my wife made me think of. That is the risk the OP was talking about. Suicide is not intellectual. It is devastation.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Canada
Feb 8, 2014 - 01:36am PT
Hey Fresh Pow,

Take it slowly and don't think so hard about anything, that it means reaching a conclusion.

This thread has a lot of suicide porn VS. suicide prone... Don't believe the hype, you're more than the sum of your circumstances.
fresh pow

Gym climber
Plastic Paradise
Feb 8, 2014 - 02:12am PT
Yes, take it slowly. I am learning how to be a survivor of suicide and am just looking for insight on how to deal with this issue. Thanks Jim.
mynameismud

climber
backseat
Feb 8, 2014 - 02:18am PT
I am just a bit surprised how this thread so quickly degenerated into who is and is not scientific. What is and what is not. Really?

WTF

Suicide is serious and some of the posts here are what help push people away and into deeper water. A bunch of back and forth and a bunch of hyperbole.

If you can speak from experience feel fee to step up and relate, if not perhaps just sit down.

I have seen some dark regions of whatever and really have no idea why I am still here but for whatever reason it played out. There were times when I literally was just putting one foot in front of the other with no idea of the out come. Part of that can be the problem. Read a good saying on a wall once. Without Vision Man Dies. The rest is, well, the rest. Latch onto something and go for it. See where it takes you, if you do not feel better at the end, do it again.

Here's to sweat in your eye
John M

climber
Feb 8, 2014 - 02:24am PT
this has been one of the hardest years of my life.

I would delete my posts, but HFCS posts would still be there. Edited as HFCS has edited out his posts.. I am sorry about the vitriol.
mynameismud

climber
backseat
Feb 8, 2014 - 02:33am PT
I hear you. The last year or two have been a challenge. Towards the end of last year I lost it a bit at work going back and forth with a co-worker who was really pushing my buttons and a boss that had no idea what my job entailed. Other stuff as well. I realized I just had to step away. Some stuff is not looking the way I want but I am more at peace.

Step back, relax and find a smoother way. Sometimes relief comes from strange angles.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Canada
Feb 8, 2014 - 02:40am PT
That's just it, John.

If you let others define who you are and how the narrative plays out, there's no room for an edit or a "F*#k you, what do you know" ?

Once anyone learns how to say no and mean it, it's a real turning point. You find out who to trust personally and whom to trust, that you work for.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Feb 8, 2014 - 03:00am PT

A world of color and shadow and the monkey on your back
A world of color and shadow and the monkey on your back
tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Feb 8, 2014 - 04:18am PT
Jim Brennan, you're such a dullard, I bet people commit suicide just from listening to ya for few minutes...are you a medical leech wannabe? Bring it on, little internet bully...haha..yep, sheit like ya never dares to fight in person. I wanna see dickless little wuss run your mouth about immigrants in my f*** face, fake canadian wuss.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Canada
Feb 8, 2014 - 06:30am PT
Welcome back, tioga !
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
Feb 9, 2014 - 12:56am PT
This is the first time I've seen this thread, and it contains a lot of thought-provoking and very thoughtful, well-considered insights. I'm grateful to everyone for the contributions, especially those that provided me with opportunities to really think. (I'm still looping on the karma idea because I had such a knee-jerk reaction to it -- means I need to spend some time there. Not intended to be a bad pun.)

I'd be a liar to say that what happened this past week didn't shake me up. I've written elsewhere about my own demons, as well as trying to come to terms with learning after 40+ years on this planet that my birth dad probably struggled with similar foes, only to lose. I think what eviscerates me is understanding those moments when you feel like you are trapped, being held under water, and you just don't know what else to do to make the pain STOP. To learn about vibrant, energetic, positive forces of nature succumbing to this point of abject misery is so difficult to accept as reality.

I've spent the last several months intensively studying the genetics of imbalances in body chemistries and cycles, and if there's one thing it's solidified for me, it's that no one really understands how the human body really works. Experimenting with food elimination and the addition of various vitamins, amino acids, healthy fats, etc. has taught me that (at least in my own experience) there is something very, very wrong with the way emotional health is addressed both by the medical profession and by the population at large.

The brain isn't a separate entity that just sits atop your frame, manufacturing or not manufacturing the "right" neurotransmitters, etc. It is integrated with every other system, cycle, function, etc. in your body. If something goes wrong in your cardiovascular system, or your liver's enzymatic production or detoxification systems, or your digestive system (or any number of other systems), odds are, it's going to impact your emotional health long before you even have an inkling.

Individuals that suffer from depression do not choose to feel this way. It is not a weakness. If anything, the folks that I've encountered that have also experienced chronic depression are strong as they are tough and resilient. Medications do not work for everyone, and it's frustrating when doctors and people on the street suggest that you just haven't found the right one. We have a whole litany of healthy (focusing on the positive here) coping mechanisms -- they're our very survival.

So I didn't intend to get up on my soapbox. What I really wanted to say is that this thread helped me a great deal; especially in focusing my thoughts on how and why things need to change, and how urgently imperative it is that the "stigma" be eradicated. Unless and until it's greatly reduced, millions of people will continue to suffer in silence, alienated...from help, from loved ones, and in the worse cases, life.

In response to the OP, IMHO, the climbing community is more willing to speak openly about things the rest of the world prefers to just sweep under a rug. Statistically, I'd be willing to bet that there are far more suicides that go unreported as such, simply due to the stigma attached. In my mind, these factors would lead me to believe that there are actually far fewer suicides among climbers as compared to the general population. But that's just my own humble opinion.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Feb 9, 2014 - 01:44am PT
Thanks Lilabiene
I think you are on the right path.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Feb 9, 2014 - 02:26am PT

given we tolerate and underline a social structure which gives them every reason to play and pretend as is well

Speak for urself
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Feb 9, 2014 - 11:43am PT
LilaBiene,

Thanks for your thoughtful contribution. Climbers are so self reliant and I see them often refusing any assistance when it comes to these kinds of challenges. Self rescue with the more severe cases of mental illness has only one option for those suffering, unfortunately choosing the ultimate relief from life and leaving a hole in the hearts of those that loved them. Feel the strength from all who know you holding the rope that bonds, best to you in your journey.

Charlie D.
scooter

climber
fist clamp
Feb 9, 2014 - 12:09pm PT
The only people that I know who have smoked themselves were climbers (except a kid I played football with when we were 16). It would seem every few months lately a climber on this site offs himself.
ec

climber
ca
Feb 9, 2014 - 12:41pm PT
BWhAhAhA!

'Sounds just like the same BS that a psychology student girlfriend told me BITD. It is strange how some peeps arrived to these conclusions without having fully investigating the facts or merely being biased against climbing because they haven't done it, or cannot fathom the reasons why...and many cannot answer that!

 ec
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Feb 9, 2014 - 02:13pm PT
I was merely underlining my intolerance for what society deems as "OK"

that's all
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Feb 9, 2014 - 02:52pm PT
We all will die some day. Taking your own life is OK with me under certain circumstances. One is excessive suffering without a chance to get better. The other, more controversial, is when you lived your life to the full, and don't wan't to see yourself old and fragile. Quit when you are still ahead, I guess.

Death is just the beginning. Right?

Andrzej
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Feb 9, 2014 - 06:12pm PT

Death is just the beginning. Right?

Yea but what kind of beginning do you create when ur last act was murder?
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Feb 9, 2014 - 06:21pm PT
You can't kill a soul, Blue.

There is no murder. Just the end of your mortal body.

You didn't know that?

Go to a church sometimes.

;)

"Don't try to add more years to your life. Better add more life to your years."
-Blaise Pascal

Andrzej
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Feb 9, 2014 - 06:34pm PT
There is no murder. Just the end of your mortal body.

Right!

But there is "murder" to the body. Like if I strangled the neighbors cat for meowing alnight.
And there is "murder" of character if I say "your a no good, thieving, lying, two time'in, SOB!"
When it wasn't true?


"Murder is in the eye of the beholder."
Blueblocr
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Feb 9, 2014 - 06:38pm PT
Murder to the body is meaningless if the soul lives forever.

You can't kill a character, because is does not exist. Character is just a play.

;)

Andrzej
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Feb 9, 2014 - 06:46pm PT
^^ I think you need to reread my post.

You can't kill a character, because is does not exist. Character is just a play.

I thought EVERYTHING is REAL?
WBraun

climber
Feb 9, 2014 - 06:56pm PT
Murder to the body is meaningless

No ... murder means you took and destroyed someones body without permission.

When the soul is sent to the material world it requires an appropriate material body to work in.

To kill without karmic reaction one must have permission.

A soldier in combat with other combatants under orders is free from karmic reaction is an example.

Without bonafide permission it's murder.

You have no bonafide permission to maintain industrialized animal slaughterhouses thus you're all murderers also.

Stupid Americans.

The law of karma will act whether one believes or not just as the doctor administers medicine which will act whether one believes or not ....
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Feb 9, 2014 - 07:15pm PT
Slippery buggers, Werner and Blue!

;)

OK. Killing somebody is not cool, but a suicide? It's up to me.

Also, Blue, I think I am more into Catharism.

Andrzej
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Canada
Feb 9, 2014 - 07:44pm PT
Werner,

So if your government says it's OK to kill, it's not immoral ?

That's the spirit !
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Feb 9, 2014 - 08:33pm PT

Without bonafide permission it's murder.

You have no bonafide permission to maintain industrialized animal slaughterhouses thus you're all murderers also.

YES!..... But if we haven't preconceived permission. We by divine right can go to Jesus Christ for remission of ALLsins.
John M

climber
Feb 9, 2014 - 08:45pm PT
Werner and I disagree somewhat on the karma made during a war. To protect yourself and your family, it doesn't rise to the level of murder. But there can be serious karma made, especially if your leader is enacting war out of ego rather then a divine leading. And yes, there can be a divine leading. Putting a stop to Hitler is the easiest example of that. And even if one is following a divine leading, one can still murder during a war. One example would be if one captures an enemy and then kills them outright. So how one behaves during a war is still important.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Feb 9, 2014 - 08:48pm PT

your still culpable here in this plane and responsible for your actions

Oh Yea,, reality, here, NOW! If i eat to much beef ill get high cholesterol and die.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Feb 9, 2014 - 09:35pm PT
Well The Stage is suicide.
A show I thought everyone bought a ticket to. I have been to many a matinee. I figured everyone went to go see Batman, wishing on the inside they were The Joker and it was them ending it in a ball of fire. Doing it in their own way! Then there's Robin, wanting to go down in a blaze of glory.
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Feb 9, 2014 - 10:44pm PT
It looks like both, Buddhists and Christians say it is OK to kill another being under certain circumstances, but it it is forbidden to kill yourself.

For me it is the other way around, but what do I know? I am an atheist.

:(

Andrzej
John M

climber
Feb 9, 2014 - 10:48pm PT
so if someone was attempting to kill your family and you walked in on them and the only way you could stop them was to kill them, you wouldn't? because that would be wrong in your ethics?

just curious man. not trying to start a fight.
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Feb 9, 2014 - 11:03pm PT
so if someone was attempting to kill your family and you walked in on them and the only way you could stop them was to kill them, you wouldn't? because that would be wrong in your ethics?


That is a hypothetical question with no answer until it actually happens.

This type of question is similar to:

"Would you throw a person under a train if you could save five others?"

I hope I don't have to face that dilemma.

Andrzej
jstan

climber
Feb 9, 2014 - 11:07pm PT

Would you cut your food bill by 90%, if this were the result?
John M

climber
Feb 9, 2014 - 11:07pm PT
I didn't ask you what you would do. I asked you what your moral reasoning would be. You stated

For me it is the other way around,

that implies that you believe that there is no moral reason to kill another. So I am asking you to clarify by creating a hypothesis.
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Feb 9, 2014 - 11:20pm PT
John, I am saying that killing myself is my business. Killing somebody else is none of my business, it is morally wrong. Some religions have it backwards, IMHO.

Not sure how to put it differently.

What is your opinion?

Andrzej
John M

climber
Feb 9, 2014 - 11:33pm PT
my opinion is that there are times when it is morally better to kill another person. such as when stopping evil.

numbers in my opinion have little to do with it. Its not morally okay to throw one innocent person under a train to save any number of people. But if killing someone who is about to kill another is the only way to stop that person, then I don't see it as murder. Stopping Hitler by killing the members of his army was not murder.

As for the morality of killing oneself. I wrestle with that all the time. I have a lot of empathy for someone who is in extreme pain and has no viable way out of it. Part of the problem becomes in determining what that point is, of having no more viable options. I know spiritual people who say that God can help one overcome any level of pain. so it is morally wrong to kill oneself for that reason. But I don't have a high level of experience with that, so I don't know.

I guess what I am saying is that I don't have a hard black and white line because there are a lot of variables.

To kill someone because of something like greed, or just because you want to. that is absolutely wrong. but there are cases where I believe killing someone could be okay, such as stopping Hitler. Am I 100 percent on this? nope.. I still wrestle with it.
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Feb 9, 2014 - 11:40pm PT
I still wrestle with it.

Me too.

Andrzej
WBraun

climber
Feb 9, 2014 - 11:42pm PT
Andrzej -- "I am saying that killing myself is my business."

No it isn't.

It's against the law.

Doesn't matter what I say nor what you say.

The law will act.

You are not the owner of your body.

Destroy your gross physical body by suicide and you will remain in your subtle body to suffer even worse.

You now have no physical body to work in nor can you move on.

You have now become a ghost.

You're worse off then ever .....
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Feb 9, 2014 - 11:48pm PT
Werner: You are not the owner of your body.

I knew you would say that.

:)

Andrzej
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Feb 10, 2014 - 12:21am PT

It looks like both, Buddhists and Christians say it is OK to kill another being under certain circumstances, but it it is forbidden to kill yourself.

For me it is the other way around, but what do I know? I am an atheist.

Here you go thinking with ur scientific- logical mind again. No one said that its OK to kill anything. It isn't logical to kill anything in the quest for continued evolution. Unless its kill or be killed. Killing to eat to stay alive is a social choice, not a moral one.


The definition of Atheist is, one that doesnot believe there's a God.
Do you define urself as one that does not believe in something?
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Feb 10, 2014 - 01:12am PT
Climbers may be more prone, but it would be something like 0.5 - 1.2% of the general population commits suicide while 1.2 - 2.4% of climbers will. To generalize anything to all climbers is really dumb.

The risk is not meaningless. There a many rewards/feelings you may get from climbing, accomplishment, thrills, adventure, satisfaction, challenge, beauty, and much more. Some climbers like danger and thrills (and many mistakenly assume it is an essential part of climbing for everybody), some like little danger and don't lead. Again you can't generalize.
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Feb 10, 2014 - 01:34am PT
Blue, we all believe in many things. I believe in free will, for example. But I have no way of knowing if I am right.

I believe that my life belongs to me.

I don't believe that God gave us life. I believe that there are "beings" out there superior to us, though. They may even have god-like powers. But they are not Gods. No more than I am a God to an ant.

Anyway, believes are harmless unless they interfere with yours or other's well being.

I am not trying to convince anybody to anything. Just stating my believes like anybody else.

Andrzej

Edit: Sorry for the thread drift.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Feb 10, 2014 - 01:54am PT
^^^Its Cool! I'm drifty too.
Oh there are other "beings" out there. And they to know the name Jesus. Just like the ants do.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Feb 10, 2014 - 02:20am PT
bLocker, ants cannot read bibles.  They can't dance, the QUEEN would n...
bLocker, ants cannot read bibles. They can't dance, the QUEEN would not approve, nor would a KING, had they one in the nest. And they have no need for books, nor time, and you spend too much time with your good book, good as it is--in my opinion. OK?
Credit: mouse from merced
A little more drifty than you might believe, dude.

But you do not oscillate, so it's a bad simile, he said smiling.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Feb 10, 2014 - 02:39am PT
^^Funny Moose, Woops! Mouse.
"For everyone that hath an eye, let them see. And everyone who hath an ear, let them hear The Word of God."
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Feb 10, 2014 - 03:04am PT
Talk to a lot of ants, BLUEBLOCR?
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Feb 10, 2014 - 06:59am PT
back on topic for a bit. Everyone i know who has either offed themselfs or tried to has done it over love or lack of love. never heard of anyone doing it because they were a climber. bunch of hogwash INMOP

in the end it is all about love. If you have it you are happy. If you don't life sucks.

sometimes they have pleanty of love and just don't know it because they are blinded in the moment of not haveing the love of the one person they feel they need above all others.....
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Feb 12, 2014 - 08:59am PT
there is a relativity in perspective
allowed us via our imagination.

reality is stubborn and steadfast.
but the imagination is cunning and creative.

who winds in the end?

for example:
i don't fall off a cliff and die.
my position is net zero; static.
and as i hold that position,
the cliff flies by me on it's free-ascent
up and up and up
and then the ground collides with me.
i don't die.
the ground though is battered and suffers
a blunt trauma.

action-reaction, i reciprocate that impact
and the ripples of eternity resonate across
my frame. my bio-rhythms are no longer
isolated within me, but are now a part of
the greater song.

the wind will sound different, now,
for i've joined the universal solvent,
and sooner or later i'll precipitate
out and reorganize some matter
and probably aspire, inhaling
god, enjoying the high,
and then exulting a coal-miner's daughter.
LilaBiene

Trad climber
Technically...the spawning grounds of Yosemite
May 20, 2014 - 08:53pm PT
Found this and wanted to share.

Filmed March 2014:
Kevin Briggs
"The bridge between suicide and life"

http://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_briggs_the_bridge_between_suicide_and_life

Climbed in the Gunks for the first time this weekend...it was awesome and beautiful, not just in nature, great routes...but in the best company with new friends. I found myself talking more about Dolt than I ever really have, and realized that I've been carrying around pockets of sadness, what ifs, whys, if onlys, I wishes...but tucked away where I won't accidentally reach into them unless I intend to do so. I've created for myself a place where I balance, looking for the good in that which is and was outside of my control.

And on balance, I am at peace, save the occasional delving into that which hurts so deeply that I have no words because they simply don't exist.



Thank you, Rudolph, my new friend, for sharing this (Watts) with me. The right words, at just the right time.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
May 20, 2014 - 10:32pm PT
I didn't read the whole thread, just a couple of pages, so this may have been said.

Climbers are a pretty strong community, a tribe as has been said, So when one of us ends their own life the chances that other people in the community knew that person, had met him/her, or knew of them. And with the internet news travels fast. This makes it look more prevalent in our group than others. How many people pay attention when a person who is not a part of such a group falls into depression and makes the same choice?

Most suicides are a terrible event. I've never been prone to depression, so I really can't understand (except perhaps when someone faces a certain drawn out painful death by illness.)
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
May 20, 2014 - 11:20pm PT
LOL.....A psychiatrist trying to gain insight into easy targets..pure..
Lollie

Social climber
I'm Lolli.
May 21, 2014 - 08:16am PT
Well...
I like Reilly's dark humour on this one. :-)
But I really side with mountaindog: “But my guess regarding gear/protection is that climbers fear injury/suffering more than death.”
I confess. That's my greatest fear. I fear waking up and being so broken up I only could move my eyes or something like that. I rather die. Way rather. Put me to sleep and pull the plug. Never ever let me wake up like that.

All my life, I have stepped on the gas, roamed places where I shouldn't ventured, hiked, scrambled, climbed, loved, played poker and stock markets, mixed with living a very ordinary life. I believe some of us are simply wired that way. It takes all kinds to make up the humankind.

Sure, I've contemplated suicide, but I'm too curious about life. I will die anyway. Sooner or later. So, I will get the dying experience anyway. But there were other experiences I won't get if I commit suicide. There's men to love, children to raise, mountains to climb, seas to swim.

It could be fear therapy through confronting one's fears, or if you're not living on the edge, you take too much space, or genes, or curiosity, or addiction. Addiction to that lightheaded feeling when you made it. When you know it's your skill which kept you alive, and don't make a mistake because then you're dead?

I wouldn't want to be without it. I find "I-would-never-dare-to-do-people" boring. But, they're allowed to their own hazards. Like trip on their own lawn, fall in the pool and drown. Fine with me.




“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”
Artur C. Clarke
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
May 21, 2014 - 08:19am PT
Climbing makes you feel alive...Suicide prone is a lame cliche...
sammer

climber
Santa Cruz
May 22, 2014 - 11:42am PT
I think it may be quite the opposite. Climbers generally want to live. Climbing makes us feel alive. Climbing gives us something to live for. Climbing makes us feel whole. Climbing gives us a venue to face our fears and challenge ourselves. Climbing gives us control over our fears and encourages us to seek out joy and work for it. Climbing makes us strong physically, mentally, and hopefully emotionally too. It is those who already feel dead or trapped inside who commit suicide.
hellroaring

Trad climber
San Francisco
May 23, 2014 - 01:16am PT
+1 for what the previous poster stated.
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