Changing the way we think about the urge to die
David Webb is opening up a different conversation worldwide about suicide and what it means to individuals, and our understanding of ourselves that sometimes some of us have the urge to die. And he’s encouraging us to ask ourselves some hard questions about what we can learn from ourselves about the way we view suicide and the way we conduct our research and design services.
David talks of his own experience – including how he felt when he failed to kill himself – “I guess suicide is like anything else – it takes practice” ; how the medicine and therapy regime did not help much. He talks of how his own spiritual inquiry led him to heal his aching psyche – his psyche-ache to understand accept and make peace with himself, his life and the world.
First Person Expertise
David Webb is changing the way we talk about suicide and changing the way we think about expertise. He talks about how when he first started looking at the published research on suicide he discovered a whole discipline – a profession even: “suicidology” that observed suicide from outside, making rules about it and pronouncing how we are to both think and act in its regard. The result of that approach is that we are now even more scared of suicide – and scared of depression too, because that same orthodoxy has sold it to us [and many of us buy it] that “depression causes suicide”.
He talks of his amazement at how the profession of suicidology had not even considered it useful to include the voice of people who had been inside the experience of wanting to die and trying to make it happen or, as he prefers, the first person voice of the first person experience… and of how when he first began to speak his ideas, he was dismissed as “not a real suicide attempter” because a “real” suicide attempt can only be one that succeeds.
The Third person expertise of science and research can help us learn many things – but, without the first person experience from the inside, it simply cannot understand everything it claims to know.
David Webb in conversation with Will Hall
Another typically excellent podcast – David Webb in conversation with Will Hall at Madness Radio.
More stuff on David Webb…