I know that sounds awful. And really disrespectful to anyone who’s actually suffering from a terminal illness as well as their loved ones.
However it happens to me.
It happened to me before and these kind of thoughts seem to creep up from behind and come to my mind again.
Of course you could argue that having bipolar or depression can be a terminal illness. The numbers change from one study to another but to round it up around 10% of people suffering from depression will eventually succeed in taking their own lifes (if you can call that a success). It’s even more for those who are being diagnosed as bipolar.
As alarming these statistics may be, of course it’s not what I am talking about.
I am talking about wishing I get really sick somehow and die.
«Logic of Life» vs «Logic of Death»
It’s against all «Logic of Life» but once you enter into the «Logic of Death» it seems to be quite a «reasonable» wish.
I mean if you think about it in the following way: You are suffering from a severe depression. Maybe not the first time. And even if you know intellectually that it’s «just» a phase and it will probably pass, you can’t feel it. It doesn’t lift your mood or change your feeling of hopelessness one bit. You are scared it will never change. Or it may change but it will come back. Again and again. So sooner or later you are probably contemplating suicide. You start thinking about how to end your life. You start fantasizing about what became over time a thinkable option.
I don’t know if there are any studies to support this but I am pretty sure fantasizing about having a terminal illness is very common with people who are suicidal. Most people suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts don’t want to hurt their relatives and friends. They just want a way out of the horrible pain that’s haunting them. So hoping they may somehow become ill and die without hurting their loved ones by committing the act themselfes – letting their surroundings wonder forever and ever if they could have done something to prevent it – seems like a pretty practical solution.
Again, if you’re thinking in the «Logic of Death».
If you look at it this way, it’s a pretty perfect solution to your problems.
You feel you are in inbearable pain which will never pass and you don’t want to exist anymore. You get terminal ill and die from it. So you end up getting what you wanted: you’re dead. You don’t have to feel guilty because hey, it wasn’t your fault after all, cancer and stuff. Plus you don’t have to do anything, no sliding your wrists, jumping off a high building, organizing a rope, gun or a car or whatever else may come to your mind. So no mess, no insecurities to end up crippled afterwards and having to deal with the consequences of your acts. And of course, you’re dead so you don’t feel anything anyway.
The bonus is that your loved ones may be devastated at your eartly passing, however they won’t have to deal with the guilt of people having lost someone to suicide.
What is the best way to attract Malaria?
I know I am not the only one wishing for this terminal illness thing even though most are (understandably) too ashamed to talk about it.
A few years ago I read in a forum of a guy who asked if anyone knew in which countries Malaria was the most widespread and deadly. His plan was to go there without vaccination, attract incurable Malaria and die from it in a hospital back home. The problem was he didn’t have enough money to travel anywhere.
I don’t know if he ever got through with his plan but it was good to read that others where struggling with similar thoughts. At the same time it made me lough. I know, I am horrible, but I really had to laugh. This plan, written down in the words from someone else, seemed to me really stupid. I could totally relate to his death wish and not wanting to concern his loved ones, but what cracked me up was him not having enough money for it.
I thought: «Come on! That’s a stupid excuse! If you don’t have the money just get a loan from one of these credit companies with impossible high interest rates. You don’t have to worry about paying them back, you’re going to be DEAD, mate!» So much for my compassion.
What kind of worries me right now is that I don’t even feel especially bad. I wouldn’t say that I am in a depression right now. I feel stressed because I am looking for an apprenticeship and even though it doesn’t seem entirely impossible, it still is pretty hard. I have no certainty yet and I start to feel that time is running out. I don’t know what else to do and I’m scared I won’t find anything and my whole life will be (or continue to be?) a pretty big mess. So yes, I do feel pressure and am scared, but compared to other times, it’s still at a rather reasonable level.
I know that my suicidal thoughts are triggered VERY quickly. Ridiculously quickly, actually. I missed the bus once and my first thought was: «This sucks! I should just jump off this bridge right now!» Which made me lough, too, because it was so dumb. Anyway: These are automatic thoughts. They are there before I can even think – let alone – laugh about their inredible stupidity.
I just researched with key words like «fantasizing about terminal illness», «I wish I was dying» adding «depression» to the mix when I couldn’t get any good results, but I got mostly responses about how terminal illness may cause depression and suicidal thoughts. I did this in English, French and German using three different search enginges and I didn’t really find what I was looking for.
I thought there may be some articles from psychologists or psychiatrists who explain why people may wish for terminal illness. What is the meaning behind it. There is supposed to be a meaning, right? So if I understand why I am having these thoughts, what the problem or wish behind it is, I could maybe work on and eventually fix it.
Because I feel fucked up having these thoughts. Caught in between trying out mindfulness compassion and judging myself for being incredibly pathetic and guilty.
Mindfulness Me claims: «It’s okay to feel this. It’s okay wanting to have cancer and hoping to die from it.»
The (not dead) parrot answers instantly: «What the fuck is WRONG with you? You don’t even know how painful that is! You have no idea! Suddenly all your life is shortened to a few weeks and there’s nothing you can do about it! You are a despicable, horrible person and you deserve to get cancer just when you enjoy life the most and want to life! That will show you!»
Mindfulness Me is coming back reminding me that: «This is your inner critic speaking, the mean parrot. You are not horrible. Remember that time you donated a dime to a beggar? Someone truly despicable surely wouldn’t engage in such acts of kindness and humanity.» Well and the two of them could go on like this forever.
My own interpretation of what it may mean to hope to die from a terminal illness
As I didn’t find anything useful on what’s bugging me, I hereby offer my own interpretation:
Wanting to die from a terminal illness when not really sick from a physical disease but probably suffering from a mental disorder like depression probably means:
- I don’t feel good, something’s off
- I don’t want to hurt my loved ones
- I don’t actively want to hurt myself
- I am scared
- I want to be loved and cared for
- I prefer leaving my destiny to some higher power, nature or whatever as long as it’s not me
- I feel unable to change my situation
- I do not want to face my real problems but rather die from something else
- I want to get out
- It somehow feels familiar to be a victim which somehow feels right
- I feel helpless (or do I even WANT to feel helpless and powerless?)
- I don’t want to make decisions myself
- I do not want to take action
- I want to escape from my current situation without taking responsability of my acts
I don’t really know what to do with these thoughts or conclusions now. What do they tell me about these fantasies? What should I do?
However I think I am probably not a horrible person, but yeah, my mind’s fucked up. I am bipolar which pretty much is the definition of a brain that is fucked up. It’s not my fault that I am suffering from bipolar and it’s depressions. However it’s my responsability what I do with my life.
I’ll speak to my therapist, even though I am really ashamed. It’s probably still better than trying to attract Malaria, though.