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The driver's view: 'The memory of a rail suicide never leaves


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#1 caravanman

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:37 AM

UK Train Drivers are what the USA call Engineers...

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41996546

 

 

Ed.

 

 



#2 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 11:03 AM

From the article...
 

Anything you can do to stop somebody taking their own life is worth trying.


I'm all for helping those who want to be helped and for doing whatever we can to prevent suicidal people from harming innocent victims in their plans, but if someone's life has become so completely intolerable that they'd rather be dead than go on living, I'm going to presume they know the value of their own life better than I do.  If my response seems uncaring or callous keep in mind that I live in a culture which routinely tolerates and forgets an almost unfathomable number of mass shootings and murder-suicides.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 15 November 2017 - 11:11 AM.

I used to be with ‘it,’ but then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now what I’m with isn’t ‘it,’ and what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary.


#3 Maglev

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:28 PM

Because the costs of suicide are so high in terms of impact on innocent operators and bystanders, first responders, family, friends, and business associates; our society should do whatever is possible to prevent suicide.  But the same mental health care which could prevent mass shootings (for example, see the case of Arcan Setin and the Cascade Mall shootings, which was just a few miles from here at my local Macy*s) and prevent suicide is sorely lacking.  A person who is mentally ill cannot properly evaluate the value of human life.

 

I agree with the locomotive engineer, that "Anything you can do to stop somebody taking their own life is worth trying. It's better to try something and if you get it wrong then at least you tried."


Edited by Maglev, 15 November 2017 - 01:52 PM.

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#4 FrensicPic

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:42 PM

Nice succinct article...effectively conveyed the message.

The drivers/engineers are the overlooked "victims" ... at least by the public.

I have since shared it.


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#5 railiner

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 03:17 PM

Nice succinct article...effectively conveyed the message.

The drivers/engineers are the overlooked "victims" ... at least by the public.

I have since shared it.

It can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome....just like combat veteran's....


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#6 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 10:52 PM

It is abhorrent that a person seeking suicide should hurt an innocent, but as a person who has been living on the edge of taking his own life for years... it is none of anyone's business besides my wife. The rest of my family are mostly contributory to my feelings. So scroom.

I don't need help. It is arrogant, in the extreme, to assume I do.
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#7 caravanman

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 03:19 AM

I guess we have all done or said things that looking back, we wish we had done differently. Trying to help someone who is suicidal over their immediate crisis gives them a chance to at least reconsider.

 

There is no logic in mental illness, very hard to "reason" with an ill person, to debate or get them to see any other view than their own... Their view is the only "reality".

 

(Of course, all train fans like us are quite sane, it is all the others who don't share the hobby that are "odd"... )  :D

 

Ed.



#8 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 07:30 AM

Peoples reality is often mired in their reality, and it is often the lack of comprehension of that reality that makes others think the act is senseless.

My back is busted beyond repair, I will likely soon lose the ability to walk, I am losing my memory, and I spend all day in pain ranging from discomfort to excruciating. Several doctors tell me that without opioids I cant solve the pain issue - and I refuse, and the rest is generally incurable. Why is it senseless for me not to desire living another fifty years like this?

I agree that requireing others to be involved in taking ones own life is abhorrent. I hold that one should do ones best to avoid people bearing witness to it. But saying that any suicidal person must not be thinking clearly is chutzpahdich.

My only unclear thinking is that I dont want to put my wife through that, and its unclear because her watching my suffering is probably a worser evil.
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#9 Bob Dylan

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:51 AM

Although compassion for those suffering is admirable,and wanting to help is understandable,I agree with Lion and DA on this topic.

As the old saying goes when it comes to others, "Walk a mile in their shoes."
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#10 caravanman

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 09:45 AM

Certainly, if folk are in pain, and not suffering from mental illness, nothing wrong with taking the long sleep. Most public suicides I believe stem from mental anguish rather than physical pain, but I am not certain of this.

 

Ed.



#11 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 04:06 PM

A person who is mentally ill cannot properly evaluate the value of human life.

 

Human lives do not have a single universal value. Each life can range from amazingly magnificent to horribly tragic. If a person's own life has become an unbearable burden to themselves it makes no sense to force them to stay alive for the benefit of their family and friends, let alone random bystanders and business associates.

 

I agree with the locomotive engineer, that "Anything you can do to stop somebody taking their own life is worth trying. It's better to try something and if you get it wrong then at least you tried."


Well, you could criminalize suicidal thinking and lock those people up and put them in solitary confinement so they simply cannot ever kill themselves. I find that to be a horrible idea devoid of any sympathy or compassion, but it helps explain why broad terms like "anything" tend to make for bad policy.


I used to be with ‘it,’ but then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now what I’m with isn’t ‘it,’ and what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary.


#12 caravanman

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 03:09 AM

I think the bit that is missing from this "discussion" is the hope that mental illness can be cured, or at least made more bearable, if suicide can be avoided.

Given the current state of the world, I think it is an uphill battle to "cure" the majority of the world's population... :D

 

Ed


Edited by caravanman, 18 November 2017 - 03:09 AM.


#13 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 04:56 AM

In many cases mental illness cannot be cured, at least in the conventional sense. Its more likely that the best case scenario is to continue treating the illness for the rest of the patients life. Unfortunately the treatment often brings its own set of compromises and complications. Thats one of the main reasons why you read about people who stop taking their prescribed medicines and relapse into psychosis.

I used to be with ‘it,’ but then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now what I’m with isn’t ‘it,’ and what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary.


#14 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 08:04 AM

I think it is because most people who do not suffer from mental illness can not conceive of it as real. Especially when the person in questions illness doesnt have them thinking they are Napoleon or something obviously off like that.

If you have a mental illness of some kind, you can actually appreciate what things like depression, anxiety, and neurosis are.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#15 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 08:50 AM

I think it is because most people who do not suffer from mental illness can not conceive of it as real. Especially when the person in questions illness doesnt have them thinking they are Napoleon or something obviously off like that.

If you have a mental illness of some kind, you can actually appreciate what things like depression, anxiety, and neurosis are.

I had postpartum depression and anxiety (still get anxiety on rare occasions).  Neither are pleasant things.  When I had my depression, I was known to say that it was depressing be depressed.  Luckily mine was not as bad as it could have been and the meds helped but did not take it completely away.  Also, postpartum depression usually goes away on its own within a year. 

 

I had really bad anxiety once and had trouble getting out of bed to face the day.  Anxiety affects you physically, not just mentally.  I ended up going to the ER because it was so bad.  I won't go into the story of why this happened.



#16 railiner

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 10:55 AM

It surprises me that people are bearing some very personal things on this not-so-anonymous forum.   I hope that in some way, this is therapeutic for them and wish them well....


Edited by railiner, 18 November 2017 - 10:50 PM.

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#17 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 12:29 PM

It surprises me that people are bearing some very personal things on this not-so-anonymous forum.   I hope that in some way, this a therapeutic for them and wish them well....

For me not therapeutic but educating others.  I never hid my depression from anyone.

 

http://stopthestigma.org/



#18 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 04:23 PM

I am who I am. I havent done anything criminal within statutes of limitations so governing those things. Im not sure what somebody knowing about my problems will do to damage me.

It is a lot more important to me that people understand that it is the epitome of arrogance to think that just because you dont want to take your life does not mean that I must be wrong to have a desire to.

If we can crack that kind of stigma, maybe we can get the situation under control enough that we can manage to educate people so inclined on ways to do so while minimizing trauma to innocent people.

The crime in a suicide by train is not the self inflicted mortality; it is delaying passengers and traumatizing train crew and first responders who have to clean up your mess. I can understand inflicting such trauma on people you know- oftentimes that is intentional because that person or persons are far from innocent. But not somebody who has nothing to do with it.
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