There has been an alarming number of suicides lately, and as I’m typing “lately,” I’m thinking to myself that I can’t really isolate the time frame in which “lately” occurs. I was thinking the past year, but I feel like it’s an ongoing issue, almost part of normal existence. For example, these are some of the stories that made it to the headlines in the past year:
Marina Hamblin-Rock, 15, Commits Suicide By Jumping Off What Locals Are Calling The "Suicide Bridge"
Some suicides that I’m aware of didn’t make the news and I wonder how something that significant could have been missed. There was a suicide in April from the top of the parking garage across the street from the building I work in. I don’t remember seeing anything at all about that, and as soon as it happened I started scanning the news and twitter for any hint of what had occurred...why someone felt compelled to end his or her life via a jump off of a parking structure. Something similar happened a couple weeks after this incident, only it was the parking structure about 3 blocks away.
I wonder if the rate of suicides around here is normal and I’m just noticing it more then usual, or if there’s an increase related to all of the socio-economic shit going on. While surfing around to satisfy my curiosity to this query, I found an interesting document entitled Suicides in Oregon: Trends and Risk Factors.
From the executive summary: “Suicide is one of Oregon’s most persistent yet largely preventable public health problems. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Oregonians ages 15-34, and the 8th leading cause of death among all Oregonians in 2010...”
Why is this happening? What is driving people to feel so hopeless and desperate that the only perceivable way out is to end their lives? It’s hard to understand what someone else is going through and I have trouble identifying with the desire to die. In 2010, a local shop owner and prominent community contributor Greg Klaus decided to take his own life after trying to live with painful depression. I remember reading a moving and intense article that talked about Greg, his legacy, his struggle with depression, and the friends and family he left behind. It made me feel numb and sad when I read this, and I also thought about all of the times I dropped into that shop to buy something. I remember talking to Greg on several occasions and thought he was really nice. We had many random and brief conversations about everything and nothing at all. His former store, Greg’s on Hawthorne still exists with the exception that the store name has been changed to Memento PDX.
Could this high suicide rate be connected to environmental factors? Are the chemtrails finally penetrating our cellular processes? Are people’s brains are finally breaking down from the onslaught of pharmaceuticals and shit food they consume? How are we affected by food containing chemicals, GMOs and non-food fillers? It’s obvious that these substances do nothing to perpetuate life. I don’t understand why anyone who has had a basic biology course lacks this understanding. The human machine needs certain things to work—naturally occurring carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins. Variety is good, vitamins and minerals are good, and I think inherently most humans know that sweets and fried foods aren’t good for you, especially in large quantities. It’s important to support the building blocks that are responsible for creating organs, vascular and circulatory systems, and structural substances like bones and muscles.
Processed “Killer” Foods
About the 3:49 mark he references the “chemical cornucopia”
Think About What You Eat
A smart 7th grader put together this brief video about what’s really going on with fast food.
But I digress. Back to suicides--it’s been on my mind because I’m hyper aware of how many have been occurring downtown. I feel like they are underreported, the stories behind the circumstances that drove someone to end their life linger like a ghostly unanswered question.
I like how The Onion jumps on the suicide bandwagon:
Interesting they set the story in Portland. The funny thing about this is the whole PowerPoint angle. At least funny to me, probably offensive others but hey, fuck it, right? I don’t condone suicide but I also don’t feel that it’s my place to judge someone who is suicidal. I don't know what they are feeling and can't begin to identify with what they are going through. I do, however, have a natural inclination towards the preservation of our species. I also don’t want to see my fellow human in such a state of distress they feel the only solution is to cease to exist.