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LGBTQ Isn’t A Mental Illness And Neither Is Suicide

CBS News reported that 1 in 5 LGBTQ youth attempted #suicide within the last year (Source: The Trevor Project).

Does this mean #LGBTQ persons are more likely to have a “mental illness”? Do we really believe there is a causal link between sexual preference and/or identity and an increase in mental illness? In other words, do we really believe if you’re gay you’re more likely to have a mental illness? Or, if you’re gay your brain doesn’t work properly? Seriously?

Or, is it possible that LGBTQ persons are simply outcast and ostracized by society, at large, and THAT drives their feelings and behavior?

Imagine if you never felt like you belonged… anywhere? Imagine if everything you experienced in early childhood and as you were growing up indicated that “who you are, at your core” is considered “wrong”. Imagine if you didn’t feel like you could talk or connect with anyone because you felt different than “everyone” else and that difference was “socially unacceptable”.

How would you FEEL if who you are, the essence of you, “didn’t count” in your family, community or society? (Just thinking about this now makes me hurt.)

Suicide and suicidal thoughts are NOT a mental illness just like identifying with LGBTQ is NOT a mental illness. (We know that now, right?)

Not feeling #loved, #connected or #belonging because of “who you are” is NOT a mental illness or a mental health problem. It’s a feeling and when compromised effects a person’s state of Emotional Health.

A human’s state of #emotionalhealth drives their behavior more than anything else in life. Until we begin to acknowledge and accept this paradigm shift in thinking about mental health/illness and emotional health little is likely to change. (Just review the ever-worsening statistics regarding most any destructive behavior plaguing society.)

Attempting or succeeding at death by suicide is a behavior and action. LGBTQ suicide attempts are NOT indications of #mentalillness but rather a person’s attempt to ease their emotional pain due to feeling unloved, disconnected and like they don’t belong… anywhere!

We’re all people and we all DO belong! We may not agree on every value and belief (or ice cream flavor) but we ALL still matter.

Imagine how our LGBTQ family and friends will thrive and contribute constructively to society once we love them rather than stigmatize and ostracize them. Imagine how good you will feel too if you could love rather than hate.

Let’s try #loving and embracing our fellow humans no matter their sexual identity, gender, race, color, culture, political party, food or car choice. THEN, we’ll experience some really positive changes in behaviors. It’s worth trying, right?

Kevin Strausshttps://uchiconnection.com/
Kevin believes people yearn to feel closer to others. Not to everyone but to the people who matter most to them. He believes we long to be heard and valued because then we know we matter and that makes us happy. Happy people do good things and are less destructive to themselves and others. The closer and happier we are the better our world will be. Kevin is the Founder and CEO of Uchi, an app dedicated to helping people connect authentically with those who matter most to them by making conversations easier. Kevin’s career began as an "industry disruptive" Biomedical Engineer with a gift for identifying a problem’s root cause. His efforts have resulted in 75+ US patents and many peer-reviewed publications spanning several industries including spinal implants, psychology and behavior modification. It was nearly 20 years ago when Kevin wandered down a rabbit-hole, sparked by “human conflict”, that transformed him into an emotional health, connection, and human behavior expert. Now, Kevin and his team are bringing the Uchi app to the world’s stage to help people experience deeper and more meaningful relationships; something that matters to us all but often falls through the cracks. In addition, he continues to enjoy sharing this knowledge through workshops and speaking engagements. Kevin enjoys balancing his human connection work with expedition backpacking, ballroom dancing and as an 18-year, injury-free, Ironman Triathlete, and Coach.

29 COMMENTS

  1. I was only quoting to show that to support (as you have been trying too)
    The fact that the world health organization refers to Depression as an illness w

    Now you are generalizing, categorizing, and saying there is no God?
    So is there a devil… wait, if you know this. Then tell me where I come from.
    No creator?
    You are accusing the whole if civilization in the “we” references above…. what is done by a few is not the “behaviours” of the whole…
    I refuse to say this is so.
    I rest my case.
    Opinions like this keep it fundamentally an argument only for the participants with the same view
    Whose judging here?
    What we do and what we think do not always match.
    There is a God.

    I’m done here
    Thank you for your time Kevin
    🙏

    • Paula, my point and the truth is, most of what we humans have believed to be “certain truths” have turned out to be wrong.

      I do not “bow down” to authority. I ask questions and challenge the status quo. In doing so, I’ve learned so many things that showed the “experts” were wrong.

      Quoting an authority who won’t even recognize a different perspective carries little weight with me.

      I am published in four different industries including human behavior and psychology and I know how political and rigged the system is. If you don’t “fall in line” with the decision makers then you’re unlikely to be heard.

      When I was growing up learning about religion I wasn’t allowed to ask questions. I wasn’t allowed to ask WHY? Any system that deters questioning is suspect, in my opinion.

      If we never question authority we’ll never make any progress. Most progress in a given industry is made by people outside of that industry. Too often, but not always, the people on the “inside” are blinded and biased to what is true.

      My hope, at this point, is that in some way I’ve helped you see there are other ways of thinking and seeing the world that can truly help make it better for everyone… because what we’re currently doing clearly is not working.

      Peace. Love. Connect.

      • Kevin,
        I have always been a person to ask. You state right away your point is the truth. That just shows you are not open minded. You pass judgement my friend. I don’t like that. It is not our job to to change others, but to help. I completely disagree with your point of view that mental illness is a behaviour based choice. I see it as an illness. You have not answered many of the questions I have asked you. You have been condescending and patronizing to me. I am so open minded that I will just let you think what you want. You keep throwing your background and credentials at me without knowing mine at all….Or even taking the time to see that what I have to say and believe has some merit too.
        Just drop it.
        Have a good day.
        There are other things that need to take priority than trying to convince me I am wrong. No one is right and no one is wrong. An open mind respects as well. Dignity in humanity is our birthright. This I prefer to lend time with. 🙏

        • Paula, why are you attacking me personally? That position speaks loud and clear that you’re feeling triggered emotionally. This is not judgement, it is observation and a deep understanding of human behavior.

          Please, feel free to share your background. Is the onus on me to draw out your full history of experience through this dialogue? I do not believe so.

          You make absolute claims as well about a creator, God, suicide IS mental illness, if a person makes a “bad” (which is judgement) decision then the MUST be “out of their mind”.

          It is not about judgement, it is about truth.
          You say you’re open minded but you refuse to consider anything I’ve shared. This is why I was so hesitant to engage with you in the first place.

          My goal is not to be condescending or patronizing but I’ve learned when a person’s beliefs are challenged and they struggle to makes sense of it, having been deeply triggered emotionally, then they go on the offensive, as you have. I do not condemn you for this. I understand.

          I am very open minded and also a deeply critical thinker. I have heard all of your arguments before and for the past 20 years. They do not hold up. The evidence is clear if you choose to see it.

          Here is truth…
          1. Humans used to believe the world is flat. It was a known fact and anyone saying otherwise was exiled, imprisoned or killed.
          2. Humans used to believe the earth was the center of the universe. Wrong again.
          3. Humans used to believe if you left hay on the floor of a barn then it would turn into mice by morning. Wrong.
          4. Until 1987, pediatricians believed babies did not feel pain. Wrong.
          5. Humans used to sacrifice virgins to volcano gods but how foolish because we know there are many gods to worship (love, war, sea, etc.) but of course, then we realized how wrong that was because there is only one true god. When will we realize that is not true either?

          I knew, going into this conversation, your mind was made up. In fact, your position throughout has been to challenge me and tell me that I am wrong. That is why you first commented… to disagree and share what you believe to be evidence to prove YOUR case. After reluctance, I chose to engage to see how open minded you truly are. Unfortunately, I feel you have been incredibly judgemental of me and quite close-minded.

          I understand why you believe suicide is a mental illness and I also know why that is incorrect and there is evidence to prove it.

          Do you believe drug addiction is a mental illness?
          Do you believe LGBTQ is a mental illness? Please, I want to know your opinion.

          Thank you for sharing your perspective on this topic. Perhaps we can just agree to disagree.

          • I have not attacked you personally Kevin. You just turned this around to make it about you and all of your belief. It is just that. A belief. Nothing is completely reliable and valid. There are many factors, triggers, and mitigating circumstances here you are not observing but denying it seems. Triggered emotionally? If I believe in something and have a passion to stand up for what I believe in…is that what you mean?
            I am in full capacity my friend and I do not believe this shows you are in full understanding of human behaviour. You accepted my linkedin request.. did you read my profile? I am just as qualified as you and anyone else for that matter to have an outlook and educated standpoint.

            There is no absolute according to you. I did not make the statement that “bad” decisions are judgements? The reference to “out of their mind” is a twist of my words. It’s a thought and statement said by many. Communication is paramount. This is what people understand. Many say this, think this and believe it. I believe in the power of the mind. If you do not reign superior here, you have no power.

            It is most unfair for you to keep ignoring my questions and it seems you just want the last word. I know enough to turn away from what I find toxic or condescending. If dignity is not honoured, it is not practiced.

            You are close minded if you only see your truth as the absolute truth. I respect your right to think whatever you do.
            Please respect mine. It works both ways.
            As a writer who publishes, you have to be ready to accept there are other opinions. You have not. Hesitation is not an authors friend.

            You say I am offensive, does that make you defensive?
            Your direct statements are indeed structured so accordingly.
            I have no care if you condemn me or not. I couldn’t care less. You are not the judge of me. My thoughts are mine, yours are yours. But when we share in publications we have to be armed with the open mind and friendly debate. It’s great to share but in the correct approach.
            It is not your job to change my mind. Thought provoking is good, but if anything,
            After all of this? I believe only stronger in my advocacy for mental health and dignity.
            How can you even say you have heard all of the arguments? 7.6 billion people currently, including past and forecast to the near future…perspectives are equivocal to the number of sequences in the hands shuffled in a deck of cards.
            ( I have written about this too). Life is just like a deck of cards….

            If you think about it ..every life would be like a sequence of shuffling the cards
            52 cards right?
            There are 8.07×1067 sequences
            That’s more than there are atoms on earth! mcgill.ca
            If you started counting the number of sequences since the Big Bang/13.8 billion years ago…& continue for millions to come..You’ll never get the same sequence twice
            That being said..
            Let’s consider how many humans ever existed
            Since about 50,000years about 108 billion have been born (estimate by Population Reference Bureau (PRB)prb.org
            If we use the world population of 7.5billion (2017) That’s 7% of the total number of people who have ever been born. prb.org
            PRB estimates that by the year 2050 about 113 billion people will have ever lived on earth”
            THATS ASTRONOMICAL!
            LIVES that Ever Were! Are now! And are Yet to Be! So many stories…perspectives
            So when I say life is life is like a deck of cards..
            I’m really saying that no 2 are alike..never were, never are & never will be.
            We are all unique and have different deals. It’s how you play the game

            Life is like a deck of cards..
            “My cards,
            My deal,
            Life is learning the game.”
            #opism

            Yes another lengthy comment. You keep pressing on me, and repeating too.
            Not once did I say you were judgemental until you accused first‼️

            Please do not keep calling me out.
            You keep saying your done…
            I was not trying to convince you but supporting my case as you have yours.

            Try to live in peace. The human race is one I love dearly regardless of race, religion, colour, language, ideas, gender… etc

            It all comes down to the birthright of dignity! There is no denying that
            Please respect me.
            My energy is needed where matters of the heart are fundamental.

            You may or may not respond, but you seem to want the last word.
            I wonder why.
            Have a good day
            Paula

  2. Kevin, if I may, I feel that when a person thinks of committing suicide that there are other things going on, not necessarily because they have a mental illness. I think that I will have differences of opinions, but when one decides to take ones life, other factors have be woven in and it is when those factors increase beyond what one can handle the act is committed. I feel it is a hidden illness that is fuled by outside factors. The average person thinks of taking their own life or not wanting to be here anymore at least once in their lives, but I think your article goes beyond that. Thank you for this.

    • Hi Lynn,
      I agree it is an illness. I have to say it is only hidden to the visible eye…
      It is not a choice to commit suicide. It is the moment you have lost your mind and the evil talk over. No one in their «  right » mind wants to die. We think about it.. Some more than others…we think about a lot of things… what thé mind is fed it will do.. if we are not able to intercept… just my thoughts here
      Have a good weekend 🙏

        • The fact that he was suffering depression says there is a mental illness affiliated with the thoughts of suicide. To write a note is the intellectual self trying to relay what others don’t understand. What are the effects of depression? Suicide could be deemed a very bad side effect.. I still don’t see how it is a choice. You cannot change an infected mind if it is already affected beyond repair.
          I really am disturbed that people think this is a choice. So the smoker who gets cancer? Does it make it worse? The non smoker who has stage 4, do they have a better chance? When it’s your time to go, it happens. No one can determine the matter of the mind unless they have full access. Do any of us? If you pull a trigger, swallow pills, or jump off a bridge, the choice made was done in the negotiations between the mind, heart and brain. All have “ health” . That health has different levels of severity. Who is completely healthy?
          To lose something is to not have any direction. You cannot find what you need. If you keep heading in the wrong direction and need help, without the instructions.. your going to keep going in that direction. Evil thoughts are a killer.

          • Thank you for sharing your perspective Paula. I would challenge you to read Lost Connections by Johann Hari or review some of the work of Gabor Mate. Personally, I have been researching human behavior for ~20 years and I’ve learned the “mental” paradigm we’re following and have for nearly 150 years simply is not working. Destructive behaviors continue to get worse including suicide.

            I do not feel this subject can be properly and constructively discussed in this forum. If you’d like to continue, please contact me directly and we can schedule a time to talk.

            • You wrote this and discussions are prompted. Isn’t that what this is about?
              There are many who disagree with your view that suicide is a choice. Ask anyone who’s almost lost the battle. And lived to tell. Hello.
              I have sent you a connection request on linkedin.

          • For starters Paula, I am almost certain we subscribe to different definitions of mental health and emotional health.

            I define mental health as a person’s ability to think clearly, focus, concentrate and perform cognitive tasks.
            I define emotional health as a person’s ability to give and receive love, connection, and belonging.

            Depression is not a mental illness. Depression is a feeling and mostly rooted in not having a sense of belonging and connection; not feeling supported or loved. Again, Johann Hari wrote a fantastic book on the topic called Lost Connections.

            The research shows when a person feels more connected their depression improves. Yes, it is true a person’s brain chemistry may be “outside the normal range” but we (i.e. scientists and doctors) are not asking the right questions nor looking far enough back into a person’s life history.

            This gets into a MUCH bigger conversation, too big for this forum, but in short, brain chemistry is very much a product of our environment and I don’t mean temperature and humidity.

            If a child grows up (starting on Day 1 of life) not receiving the love they need then instead of oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin their brain makes cortisol and norepinephrine. THIS DOES change brain chemistry but it is not an illness but rather it IS a person’s natural reaction to the environment in which they are existing.

            That’s the key point we’re missing when it comes to “mental health”. What I’ve learned after researching and publishing on this topic, over the past 20 years, is that behaviors (including depression, suicide, addiction, eating disorders, etc.) are rooted in our Emotional Health and not Mental Health (see definitions above).

            We’ve been trying to “think our way” through all of these behaviors believing that we are consciously making decision and if we make a “bad” decision we must be broken or ill. That is NOT true.

            Humans are simple animals (although we like to think we’re so complicated) and our behaviors are merely an attempt to manage our pain or unmet needs. The real epidemic in humanity is our inability to authentically connect and that hurts our feelings. Our emotional health is severely compromised and we turn to behaviors to TRY and FEEL better…. and it doesn’t work.

            Just like our LGBTQ community, when a person is ostracized for their way of living that is a severe form of rejection. Rejection hurts our feelings but has nothing to do with our cognitive abilities. I can still balance my checkbook but I’m still upset if those who I thought loved me, for me, do not.

            I hope this helps provide a different perspective and something worth considering. I know it very different than what you’re used to hearing but it is the truth and what has been validated, even if not yet accepted, by several sources.

            In summary, Connection nurtures Emotional Health and that drives behaviors more than anything else especially when you understand that 95% of our actions and behaviors are subconscious (check the neuroscience research).

            • “Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. More women are affected by depression than men.Jan 30, 2020”

              Depression – World Health Organization

              Brain chemistry is greatly affected by what it is exposed to. The world is full of triggers. I hope you don’t find one to set you off.

              • Yes, all that is true about depression except it being a “mental disorder”. The question that is NOT being asked is WHY and HOW to treat it.

                All humans struggle with our Emotional Health because we’ve never learned, as a species, how to nurture it. Our emotional pain presents in our behaviors…. if it’s not depression it’s anxiety or drug addiction, alcohol abuse, eating disorders, gun violence, self-harm, horrible bosses, narcissists, sexual abuse, etc.

                Brain chemistry is effected more by our environment than anything else and it is the environment our parents create for us (or don’t) that creates the foundation from age 0-6.

                Just like the LGBTQ community, women are still, too often, considered “2nd class citizens” in the world. Being a woman doesn’t mean you’re broken or have bad brain chemistry but being constantly viewed as “not as good” and then not heard or valued throughout life really hurts. It feels horrible to not be heard and valued and that happens more for woman just because of their gender. It makes sense why more women are depressed but they’re not broken.

                You matter.
                You have value just for being you.
                I hear you and see you. 😀❤🙏

                • Yes. Socialization periods are varied for species.
                  150 years after Lewis’s Caroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”…. emotional pain is a trigger.

                  “It’s important to me to equate what it is, on the outside, that unequivocally thinks they know what it is inside of me!”

                  “It’s all in your head”
                  Makes sense to me.
                  And when it is said.
                  I simply agree!”
                  #opism

                  If it wasn’t all in your head…where else would it be?

                  “Depression is a common illness worldwide, with more than 264 million people affected(1). Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.”

                  Thank you

                  • Just because “it’s in your head” doesn’t mean you have control over it. Your heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, how much cholesterol to make are also all in your head and you have no direct control over those functions.

                    This is one of the major problems with the current “mental” paradigm. Just because someone takes action, presents behavior or makes a decision or choice it does not and typically IS NOT conscious. The current model seems to believe that every behavior is conscious but that is incorrect because we know 95% of actions are subconsciously driven.

                    Please, you do not need to quote the statistics on depression and suicide. I am well aware how prevalent it is. In fact, I have published research showing a way to improve depression.

                    We humans used to believe the world was flat. Wrong.
                    We used to believe the earth was the center of the universe. Wrong.
                    We used to believe, until 1987, that babies do not feel pain. Wrong.
                    We used to believe we had to sacrifice virgins to a volcano god… how ridiculous.
                    We used to believe there were multiple gods… how ridiculous.
                    Just wait until people realize there is no such thing as god.

                    And we seem to believe we are in control of every action and behavior through our supreme mental and cognitive abilities and if we do something that is destructive then we must be broken. This too is incorrect and why the current mental health model does not work and more people are struggling with their behaviors.

                    Behaviors are only a symptom of a deeper issue. That issue is emotional pain and most likely rooted in that person’s early childhood and the environment in which they were raised.

                    Address the emotional pain (love, connection, belonging) and the behaviors improve… it’s been shown time and again for most destructive behaviors including suicide and depression.

    • Thanks Lynn. Yes, it is the other factors and I would argue those factors are emotional. In fact, I would argue that suicide is not a mental issue at all but rather one of emotional and spiritual (which has nothing to do with god or religion) origin.

      The “hidden illness” you speak of is the poor emotional health people are experiencing (i.e. lac of love, connection and belonging). Those “other factors” ARE the emotional ones that are constantly overlooked and not considered. This may be the biggest reason why suicide (and other destructive behaviors) continues to rise… we’re simply not even looking at the problem correctly.

        • I’m sorry Paula but this kind of comment is exactly the kind of shaming and stigmatizing that is reinforcing the problem. When we describe someone as “mental” or having “evil thoughts” we are labeling them negatively and this adds to the destructive nature. Moreover, it reinforces the incorrect idea that a person’s behavior is “out of their control”.

          In short, the way we currently think and view “mental health” is NOT working. Humanity has followed this paradigm for ~150 years and it is clearly NOT working. The behaviors currently describe as being poor mental health or mental illness are ALL worse than they’ve ever been.

          We need a new way of approaching this problem and that is what I am offering. If you are interested in learning more and keeping an open mind in order to help support our LGBTQ community and people struggling with depression and suicide then let’s continue the open and constructively dialogue.

          • I am not shaming at all. You have continuously provided the same information and are calling this a problem. I never said that people are evil, thoughts are. And we all have them. I’m sensing a condescending manner from you and feel somewhat patronized. Does this make you add to the problem? I am by no means out to be destructive my friend. It is my mission to apply the birthright of dignity in humanity. A sense of value is what it all comes down too. So are we always in contro? We cannot control anything outside of us. I agree we control the premise of our own mind. The struggle between the two us a battle. Sometimes the loser is the self. If people were honouring dignity, the love and respect necessary to feel some sense of value would help reduce the mental anguish caused by bad behaviour. What is insanity to you? The “behaviours” are the actions. The thoughts are considered mental. If you use the word “health” with mental then what is deemed unhealthy with mental? The brain computes. The mind wonders. The heart loves. What takes priority here? Mental health illnesses are on the rise across the planet.
            In the first days of industrialization…

            When we refer to someone as being mental, for the most part we are doing more damage than good. It is a great disservice
            That’s right!
            If we look back to the industrial revolution in 19th Century England, we can perhaps shed some new light on this “madness”.
            It is during this time that many treatments of mental disorders were perceived to be directly related to very poor working conditions. Also during this time ‘lunatic asylums’, as they were called increased in capacity.
            Now I take you to the work of Carroll Lewis! Best known for his book, “Alice in Wonderland”. Carroll’s uncle (Robert Wilfred Skeffington Lutwidge), was an officer with the Lunacy Commission, which supervises such institutions.
            Interesting right?
            The ‘madness ’of Alice is born’!
            I’m not refuting the diagnosable ailments of PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Tourette’s and many more…These are modern Titles.
            What I am curious about is the symptomology ! Why? Because the symptoms are the same! Experts today in the field of Abnormal Psychology look at this fable for its many dipictions of mental abnormalities that haven’t changed over time.

            Once you truly unite with your inner self and embrace the wonderful being that you are you will discover a truly amazing transformation!

            Enlightenment is your place in the universe where you can achieve anything and knowing at the same time it doesn’t really mean anything to the universe. Your time and space has a clock of its own and patience is both relative and absolute!

            Sorry for the length again my friend🙏.

  3. I disagree Kevin. Suicide is an illness
    1 person dies every 40s by suicide in the world
    Suicide is an illness…NOT a choice
    Cancer is an illness…
    Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there!

    That sense of not feeling like you belong….stems fro a lack of dignity. In cases of abuse there is great psychological and mental damage. To not have the power to control your mind is an illness.

    Oxford dictionary…
    “ ill·ness

    -a disease or period of sickness affecting the body or mind.“

    DIGNITY is our birthright. It is an inherent attribute of #humanity
    We all have the same basic needs that are fundamentally challenged by that to which life we are born. What we need to value the most, is to master the realm of Dignity. Knowing your worth and that of others before anything else is what matters most. If one should lose all sense of dignity means they feel of no value, they are undeserving, loss of confidence, self esteem, unloved, like they just don’t matter…the trigger of a serious mental illness.
    #Mentalhealth disorders are on the rise in our #world

    How many times have you said “Nobody in their right mind would_____”?
    That being said just shows that they don’t have their “right” mind!
    What is the “right” mind?
    To say this, supports completely the fact that when someone is not in the right state of mind they are ill.

    I advocate for this awareness, and to see that you state it is not… that is your choice.
    I have personal experience here and no one ever cannot tell me it was not an illness.
    Thanks for the article
    Paula

    • Thanks for contributing to the conversation Paula. There is far to much to respond to via “comments” but based on my 20 years researching human behavior, I can identify many issues with your argument and also how some of what you shared supports the perspective I argue for.

      I’d be happy to have this discussion offline. Please reach if you’re interested.

      Ultimately, we have a common goal… reduce suicide. I believe the way in which it is framed is critical to achieving that goal because frankly, our current approach and that of the past 150 years is simply not working and it’s just getting worse.

      • Absolutely.. awareness is key… we keep replaying “Alice in wonderland” with every evolution. The demands of society are making it harder… we are being told what to think and not how. And thoughts are not real….so are what if’s. But we still need to engage in order to survive.
        Sorry for the long comment. I meant no harm I too have over 20 years researching the behaviour of humans.. all of us who interact really do at some level. In all my years of service and leadership roles, I think I do have a quantitative argument. Suicide is an illness.
        Is the act of committing a murder an illness? Who in their right mind does this? Mental health matters here. Without that you are susceptible to dire side effects.
        I will stop… feel free to keep in touch, happy Sunday. paula.

      • The fact that he was suffering depression says there is a mental illness affiliated with the thoughts of suicide. To write a note is the intellectual self trying to relay what others don’t understand. What are the effects of depression? Suicide could be deemed a very bad side effect.. I still don’t see how it is a choice. You cannot change an infected mind if it is already affected beyond repair.
        I really am disturbed that people think this is a choice. So the smoker who gets cancer? Does it make it worse? The non smoker who has stage 4, do they have a better chance? When it’s your time to go, it happens. No one can determine the matter of the mind unless they have full access. Do any of us? If you pull a trigger, swallow pills, or jump off a bridge, the choice made was done in the negotiations between the mind, heart and brain. All have “ health” . That health has different levels of severity. Who is completely healthy?
        To lose something is to not have any direction. You cannot find what you need. If you keep heading in the wrong direction and need help, without the instructions.. your going to keep going in that direction. Evil thoughts are a killer.
        ——
        ——
        You wrote this and discussions are prompted. Isn’t that what this is about?
There are many who disagree with your view that suicide is a choice. Ask anyone who’s almost lost the battle. And lived to tell. Hello.
I have sent you a connection request on linkedin.

  4. YES, YES, YES, Kevin! ” Or, is it possible that LGBTQ persons are simply outcast and ostracized by society, at large, and THAT drives their feelings and behavior?”

    If I had to run the gauntlet every day wondering if who I am would be automatically categorized as WRONG! BAD! IMMORAL! You name it … I’d likely be seriously hurt. I cannot imagine the pain of feeling like an outcast for something that’s essential to my inner person.

    Interesting to see your article right after mine … and many others that I’ve missed. Thank you!

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