David Foster Wallace's suicide

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by arete, Mar 19, 2009.

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  1. arete

    arete Member

  2. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

  3. Ziggy

    Ziggy Antiquitie's Friend

    I'm going to contradict myself here, but hey this shouldn't surprise you by now...

    1) Does it matter who? People unfortunately commit suicide, so does it really matter if the person is a famous musician, actor, or writer? They're just a person like anyone else

    2) I'm really glad Beethoven didn't commit suicide. The world is better off because he didn't. But then should you stay alive for the benefit of other people?
  4. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    So many creative, eccentric individuals are susceptible to depression and often suicide. He went the way of many prominent writers and artists.

    I wonder if his was an impulsive act? Many depressed individuals often commit suicide suddenly or under the influence of a drug.
  5. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    Other way around.
  6. hammockmonkey

    hammockmonkey Well-Known Member

    Suicides are susceptible to creativity? nah man, just the grave.

    I always felt bad the John Kennedy Toole killed himself because he couldn't get his novel published (A Confederacy of Dunces, which won a Pulitzer).
  7. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    You think so? Now that I think of it I have noticed many of my depressed and/or suicidal friends becoming somewhat more artistic when they're in a low state. I suppose it just gives you a different outlook on things and opens you up more.

    I think its a two way street personally.
  8. BioHomocide

    BioHomocide Well-Known Member

    Well it is usually always the people who think the most who find depression. When you open your mind to all it can consume you.

    Funny how the ignorant people are the happiest.
  9. hammockmonkey

    hammockmonkey Well-Known Member

    There are plenty of people who think just fine and are creative that do not blow their brains out, or even think of it.

    Any correlation between creativity or intelligence and suicide are coincidental and do not imply a causational relationship.
  10. BioHomocide

    BioHomocide Well-Known Member

    I see it as intelligence makes you more susceptible to depression. While ignorance keeps you blissful and unaware.

    True there isn't an actual correlation between creativity or intelligence and suicide but there could be to depression.
  11. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    I disagree. There's some genetic evidence linking creativity with depression, in addition, people with creative jobs, i.e., writers, are exposed to more environmental risk factors such as isolation, financial insecurity, and perception of social failure than other people.


    Here's some excerpts from another article:

    "Nancy J. Andreasen, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa with a PhD in English, did a 15-year study of 30 creative writers on the faculty of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where students and faculty have included well-known writers Philip Roth, Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving, John Cheever, Robert Lowell and Flannery O'Connor. She found that 30 percent of the writers were alcoholics, compared with 7 percent in the comparison group of nonwriters, she wrote in the October 1987 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry."

    "Andreasen had begun her investigation to study the correlation between schizophrenia and creativity. She found none. But she did find that 80 percent of the writers had had an episode of affective disorders, i.e. a major bout of depression including manic-depressive illness, compared with 30 percent in the control group. Two thirds of the ill writers had received psychiatric treatment for their disorders. Two of the 30 committed suicide during the 15 years of the study."

    From Ann Waldron's http://www.unhooked.com/sep/writers.htm
  12. hammockmonkey

    hammockmonkey Well-Known Member

    my point is intelligence or creativity is not in a causational relationship with suicidal thoughts. They may be correlated, that does not imply a causational relationship. Being islated, being financially insecure and being sensitive to your sucesses or failures (perceived or actual) are in direct causational relationship to suicidal tendencies.

    The sites you posted, while interesting actually offers no solid evidence. Dr. Andreasen's study is too small and not directed at depression to really use it as a good case study, in this instance.

    By the by, "Darkness Visible" is one of the only reasons I didn't kill myself, but that's unrelated.
  13. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    No not evidence. Just food for thought. :)
  14. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    I've read studies that seem to substantiate that there is a correlation. However you raise a compelling argument that I'm now keen to explore.

    I've got a lot of art friends to talk to :p
  15. hammockmonkey

    hammockmonkey Well-Known Member

    Correlations is not causation, now everyone repeat. EVERYONE!

    Please, this is one of my petpeeves sorry. It's silly to be upset with people over stuff they can't know. But I do.
  16. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    I meant causation, forgive me :p I learned that in Statistics years ago but I still mix them up.

    Essentially, the idea is that when one is depressed or afflicted with mental illness, particularly Bi-Polar Disorder or Clinical Depression, they handle their depression through a somatic outlet that often includes creative works (be it art, music, writing, etc). Depression also tends to open up one's mind to many thoughts and ideas that similarly open up to artistic outlets.

    Granted its a chicken and egg argument and studies are still very recent, but I just thought I'd throw it out there.
  17. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    The correlation is what makes it interesting. :laugh: Who cares what causes it.
  18. hammockmonkey

    hammockmonkey Well-Known Member

    I've always been much more interested in what changes, what creates. The cause. THE CAUSE! that's what I like.

    Just too much of a scientist I guess. Too bad at it to.
  19. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Nothing wrong with that, it's quite admirable!
  20. wunderwood

    wunderwood Well-Known Member

    psychology is a soft science. you deal with correlations over and over until you can have a reasonable basis for a theory. It sucks, but that's all we've got.
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