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Unrequited Love or Life?

Unrequited Love or Life?

Suicide statistics for young men and women suggest that those ancient physicians who considered love sickness a potentially fatal illness were right. I have written about this in detail in my previous blog Reminiscing Unrequited Love. It has been said that problematic relationships are the cause of most suicides and suicide attempts in both adolescents and adults.

The rationale behind suicide, which is the intentional taking of one’s own life, can be as simple or as complex as life itself. Anyone who commits suicide may see this act as a solution to a severe physical or psychological dilemma. Depression is the root of the psychology of suicide. It is therefore important to take into account the clinical considerations as well as the facts when studying a case of suicide. At times the unrequited lover will leave a note indicating how he had suffered psychological torment, or was severely depressed. The note might even suggest that he believed that suicide was the last resort. Many of the suicide notes indicate an acute level of depression in lovers who chose to end their lives.

Depression is a mood disturbance characterized by feelings of sadness, despair, and discouragement resulting from some personal loss or tragedy. It can become an abnormal emotional state and lead to exaggerated feelings of sadness, despair, and discouragement out of proportion with reality. There are four major depressive symptoms; emotional, cognitive, motivational and somatic. A depressed individual is affected by these symptoms, dependently or independently of each other. In fact, when one set begins to affect the individual another starts reinforcing the depressive effect. Eventually, the emotional and cognitive clusters affect the motivational symptoms causing paralysis of sanity and/or psychomotor retardation. In severe depression the depressed person may actually experience a slowing down of his or her movements leading to trouble in walking and talking. The depressed individual experiences physical changes that further aggravate the depressive symptoms. The physical changes which occur are referred to as the somatic symptoms.

unrequited love 5 Aug 16

Sadness is the most common and visible emotional symptom in depression. Depressed people may even articulate their depression by statements such as “I feel sad.” This emotional symptom is felt more strongly in the morning usually as a result of being unable to sleep. Anxiety and loss of interest starting with work and extending into practically everything the individual does, are commonly seen. Eventually, even biological functions such as eating and sex lose their appeal depressed individuals.

Pre-existing depressive propensity mixed with unrequited love can become a recipe for potential tragedy. Given an average UK suicide rate of around 5,000 per annum, as many as three and a half thousand people kill themselves every year whose death is influenced in at least one way by unrequited love. These are sad features of a painful phenomenon. Here are some gloomy conclusions:

  • A person who grows up surrounded by our culture’s endless treatments of unrequited love is programmed to understand that this is not going to be a happy experience.
  • Aspiring lovers are sometimes disappointed and occasionally suffer to the point of depression and suicide.
  • Unrequited love brings more bad feelings than good, and it brings them to both the unrequited lover and to the rejecter.

As I have mentioned in my blog Falling Upward in Unrequited Love, on the whole, rejecters have a more uniformly negative and emotionally unpleasant experience than the unrequited lovers, in spite of not having suffered any moments as intensely bad as the acute pain felt by broken-hearted lovers. Unrequited love happens unknowingly, in all forms and types. The rejected lover, perhaps ironically, retains more good feelings about the beloved than the rejecter does, both during the episode and afterward.

The psychology of suicide becomes an integral part of the study of unrequited love, and oftentimes the information developed about the person, coupled with the contents of any notes and historical evidences, provides the researchers with a basis to believe that unrequited love could clearly be the event which ultimately becomes the reason for loss of a precious life.

In my next blog I am going to write in detail about the four clusters of symptoms of depression in an individual who takes his own life because of unrequited love. Please share your views about this article and your experiences in the comments section and I will add them to my future posts.

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