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Link between altruism & suicidal tendencies?

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Link between altruism & suicidal tendencies?

Postby andthistoomustpass » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:38 pm

Humans display altruistic behaviour, sometimes putting the good of the extended family (the tribe) before their own or putting themselves out or at risk to help a stranger. There is certainly a powerful cultural component at work here, I wonder if there is a genetic predisposition for our brains to work this way too. It would give a powerful advantage to the tribe who worked together when the chips are down and make it more likely that their culture and perhaps genes would propagate and so this behaviour would spread.

What if suicide is related to altruism? I've lost count of the number of posters here who say everyone would be better off without them. I've often felt that the world would be a better place for others without me in it. Perhaps there is a switch in our brains which is activated when we feel that we are not good enough, that we drag others down, that we are a burden. Perhaps that switch leads to suicidal behaviours. Perhaps some of us have a lower threshold than others for that switch to be activated.

I suppose I am wondering if such a switch or complex of switches exists and, if it does, then does low self esteem and the esteem we perceive others hold us in activate such a switch or are (non-compelled) suicidal tendencies always a response to pain and lack of hope, merely an escape.

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

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Re: Link between altruism & suicidal tendencies?

Postby gsb » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:36 pm

I have attempted suicide in the past and it is altruism that has gotten me beyond that. The desire to contribute, to make a difference, gave me a reason to want to live when I had no other. Charity work enabled me to help people, meet people and gave me a purpose and a feeling of self-worth. There's also a great feeling when altruism is reciprocated and you get a real boost!

So I think altruism is a wonderful thing and lessens suicidal tendencies. It's my favourite word too!
"There's no wreckage that's too broken to rebuild"

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