There is something about knowing your choices that is empowering.

At a panel discussion recently a young woman spoke of dark times she experienced during a psychotic break. She said that she was consoled by the knowledge that she had choices about living. Knowing that she could choose not to live helped keep her alive. The knowledge that she could leave somehow kept her safer. That’s difficult to comprehend and I believe her, life and death choices aren’t talked about a lot, we should talk more.

The experience of that fabulous woman was backed up by this short blog entry about Physician-Assisted Suicide and Behavioral Economics: “The paradox is the finding that when terminal patients in Oregon receive lethal medication (under Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act), they often feel a sense of greater wellbeing and a desire to live longer. In 2010, of 96 patients requested lethal medication, only 61 actually took it. Even more interesting are the many anecdotal accounts of terminal patients, upon receiving lethal medication, that feel a surge of wellbeing and a desire to persevere through their illness.”

That’s really interesting, we can be empowered to live by feeling empowered to die.

Crisis counselling is available around the world. In Australia Life Line 13 11 14.