I was just at the Debunker's Forum and found a message of seemingly profound hopelessness... I cried over it. I don't know if it is just sarcasm, but I just don't think we can take chances on this. It's bound to come up, again and again. We won't really know who needs help and who doesn't. I think we will need to do more than help the newbies prepare. We will need to give hope and courage to those that do not see hope if Y2K turns out to be anything more than a bump in the road.

Therefore, I propose (1) a suicide watch of sorts and (2) an effort to communicate hope and plant the seeds of courage... on this forum and elsewhere. I am not a social worker or a psychologist, so there is need for clear and practical thinking (as well as the various dictates of professional experience) on how we should deal with those so deeply troubled by potential Y2K problems that they believe death is better. I do not believe suicide is an answer. Any suicide will make us LESS.

I also believe that other forums may not be adequately prepared to deal with things. CPR's reply to the person in question was logical, but it was somewhat hard (as is his style). While Mr. Decker might be of some assistance in providing reassurances and letting us know who needs help, there are some gentle souls here that might be able to better reassure Vera and others. As for me... tonight, I get on my hands and knees and pray for Vera and others to not seek out suicide.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

Vera's message is as follows:

Anyone thinking of compiling suicide suggestions? If even the more dull suggestions of the pessimists happen, then I don't want to be around for it. I'm thinking of arranging for a gun or something else to kill myself with, should the worst happen.

I have no experience in this area, obviously. Are there any books or web pages? Thanks. If the pessimists are right, this is the ultimate preparation for many of us.


-- Stan Faryna (, May 24, 1999


Stan, without even looking at the "message", given where it was posted, I would be real surprised if it was legit. That site is a "hotbed" for trolls, probably it was fabricated by one of them so that it could be answered "logically" and "rationally" from the pollyanna perspective.

Honestly, the best thing probably to do is to ignore it -- trying to engage in "thread therapy" by people who are not trained will do more harm than good. (But who the heck knows....)

-- King of Spain (, May 24, 1999.

Hello my friend:

IMHO this one reads nada. I have some personal experience here, but I'm obviously no Mental Health expert This one did not sound/feel right to me. I'm just guessing of course.

But you bring up a profoundly valid point. We will need help, from sympathetic Doc's of course. Gee I haven't even thought about that term for 30 years now. Sympathetic Doctors - Vietnam Era.

I'll talk to you on the *flip* side.


-- unspun@lright (, May 24, 1999.

I don't think it was a sarcastic post - but it does illustrate why some people are so passionately attached to the "no problem" scenario. The very notion of having our world plunged into chaos, our everyday reality irretreviably broken (no matter how creatively it may be re-made, seems truly unbearable to many. They cannot imagine how they could survive what seems like the loss of everything they know. Those of us who have survived such losses time and again have a little more faith in our own resiliency.

Those in denial are not in denial just to be obstinate - they are clinging to denial as a way to cling to life as they know it. To gaze into the void of Y2K is just too terrifying. To imagine how to build a new life on an entirely new basis is incomprehensible. Death seems like the best answer to avoiding terror, grief, helplessness. I don't agree with this solution, but I understand the paralysis when confronted with the yawning abyss. I can understand why it could seem better to go ahead and leap, and get it over with.

I have dealt with many suicidal people over the years. I usually agree with them that suicide is indeed a choice that they CAN make, but that it is a LAST resort, a PERMANENT solution to an immediate problem. It is a step they don't have to take *now*, as long as they can still try something - anything - else. I tell them that of course I will respect their choice, but that is not the choice I would make for them. That I personally value their life, and want to be a part of it with them. What's important to remember, is that suicide is an experience of being in control of SOMETHING when all else is saturated with helplessness. It is the last stand of the self. It is the ultimate pain relief. But if a person can see that when they are strong enough to take THAT step, then they are also strong enough to take a step toward life - then, no longer feeling completely powerless, they may choose life. "And today I set before you life and death; therefore, choose life."

-- (, May 24, 1999.


A lot of wisdom here - I've had to deal with a couple of suicidal folks too and it's the toughest thing in the world to do - thankfully they're still here and now leading happy and fulfilled lives. Personally I always follow my intuition in these situations - right or wrong :)

-- Andy (, May 24, 1999.

King of Spain,

I resent that...that site is a hotbed for trolls.... being a troll on that site, and feeling lonesome at times, I can asure you that there are very few trolls there ; )

On a more serious note...Stan, Thanx

-- CT (ct@no.yr), May 24, 1999.

It all ties into that whole"stages of grief" thing. The unfortunate part is that this is a process we need to go thru when stuff happens- loss of loved one, child born handicapped, loss of job, loss of home- whatever. We all, who have confronted the possibilities of a major Y2k event, have worked thru much of these stages. The unfortunate part of the whole govt "bump in the road" spin, is that it is keeping the population from confronting any of the serious ramifications or lifestyle changes that could occur. Instead of beeing able to work them out in their minds well in advance of being confronted by them, they may have to deal with the psychological impacts as well as the physical ones all at once.

It's much better in many ways to have some advance warning that your company is planning layoffs for instance. If you know this may happen, you can get prepared for it- cutting spending, preparing a resume, job searching, etc. Far better than to show up at work and the place is dark and locked- no job, no paycheck- everything hits at once...

-- anita (, May 24, 1999.

It is clear now that Vera is dead serious about her plans for suicide. I too hoped that her message was employing sarcasm. She tells us that she has mental illness and that she cannot face the kind of hardships that may come with Y2K failures. I think, however, her fears are premature. In fact, we still do not know with any certainty what will happen on January 1, 2000 or thereafter. It could look bad on January 1, 2000 and be managable seven days later. I wish there was something more I could do to give her courage to face Y2K despite any outlook.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

Vera writes:

"It just seems that the closer we get to y2k, the darker the projections are. I was watching 60 Minutes tonight. I won't be able to defend myself against civil unrest. I'm fine now but in situations of great crisis, I know my clinical depression will return with a vengeance. This won't be a big "camp out" for me. It will be hell.

If the new year means a dissolving of the social structures, including widespread failure of utilities and the basic things I require to get through a day, then I'm better off out of the picture. I just can't live in that kind of future.

People don't understand that people with clinical depression being expected to deal with such circumstances is like asking a paralyzed man to run an obstacle course. I just can't.

As I've said, I'm fine now. Quite happy, in fact. But I want the option.

I appreciate the one url that was sent, and I have located a book on the subject put out by the Hemlock Society. When the time draws near, I'll make my decision based on the outlook.

Thanks, everyone, for your kind input."

-- Stan Faryna (, May 24, 1999.

The single best solution to the fear of Y2K is to start to prepare. Deal with it now while you have the most options and before the worst of the problems are likely to develop. You can only maintain a level of extreme concern for so long. Start small, cover a range of bases (for instance, a variety of foods to last a few days, rather than 6 months of beans but nothing else yet), and think about what provisions you might need to prioritize. Try to explore what options you might have joining forces with family, friends or neighbors so that noone has to shoulder the expense for the entire package. The emotion and mental preparation is just as important as the physical. Even if you believe you are in this alone, there is a great deal you can do to soften the blow.

-- Brooks (, May 24, 1999.

Not intentional, but my previous post may appear somewhat glib in light of Stan's next posting of Vera's concerns. We had a thread about a month back by a clinical worker who was trying to devise a contingency plan for her emotionally and mentally-challenged patients to come to grips and make some headway towards next year. If anyone can remember where that thread is located, I think it might have some good advice.

-- Brooks (, May 24, 1999.

Stan, Save us the unnecessary worry. Just kill yourself

-- c mccullah (, May 24, 1999.

I think it's certainly an issue that sort of gets swept under the rug or takes a back seat to all of the other Y2K issues. I've often wondered how many people will end up killing themselves if things get rough.

I agree with Anita that it seems to tie in with the stages of grief topic. During the early stages of dealing with Y2K and trying to prepare, a couple of times I wondered if it was worth all the trouble trying to prepare and maybe I should just shoot myself instead and get it over with! (mostly just exasperated w/ grin).

Lately I've been having a new reaction when I start to feel overwhelmed. Even though I'm preparing the best I can, lately I've been asking myself the question "If I knew I only had seven months to live, what would I be doing right now?" (Think I'll start a new thread.)

-- Clyde (, May 24, 1999.

Hi Folks,

Well, I have a little experience here. My wife has depression and two suicide attempts behind her. She is as sweet and decent person as you will ever meet, but depression , when untreated will change the entire view a person has on life. Not due to any fault in the person's charachter, but due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, just like diabetes causes imbalances in blood sugar. She currently takes prescription meds for the disorder and is doing great. We are GI's who have been preparing for several months and are pretty advanced in our preparations. One of the most important areas of our preparations has been medical. We can't count on my wife's meds being available in the future, so we're buying a supply of St. John's Wort as a substitute, and we're buying seeds to grow it ourselves to replace our stock should the disruptions become permanent. We've also bought books on how to grow the St. John's Wort and convert it to useful medicine. There will be life after Y2K, and as in all things, it will be what you make of it.


-- Wardo (, May 24, 1999.

King of Spain:

you said "that place is a hotbed for trolls" I disagree. have you been there? They put your ISP tag-naumber on all posts (I won't post there because of that) When I asked a friend who has been online for over a decade "why would they do that" he commented

"it must be a 'grown-up' BB" then he explained how that type of ID cuts down on nonsense and "off-topic" stuff. the moderator can actually block those numbers from posting if they become disruptive. It's also impossible to impersonate someone else.

I was offended by the "grown-up" remark, but the rest makes sense to me.

-- aol (, May 24, 1999.


If you can't live with the fact that you've been misleading people, and the pain and sorrow that will result in, please have the courtesy to dig your own hole before you commit suicide.

Thank you for thinking of others,


-- Dano (bookem@blacksand.srf), May 24, 1999.

Anyone expressing hopelessness or suicide ideation should be taken absolutely seriously no matter what the reason. Whoever sees someone like this should call their local Crisis Clinic for advise on how to handle the situation. They are trained and can provide appropriate advice. The person, by sharing their thoughts, is crying for help. I have not read about Vera. Whoever has read, call the Crisis Clinic and learn how to help. I speak as a former Crisis Line volunteer for five years.

-- leslie (***@***.net), May 24, 1999.


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-- two little fishies (splash@blue.bucket), May 24, 1999.

We are born to pursue a fullness of life which far exceeds the dimensions of our every day life and its difficulties. There is a greatness and inestimable value of human life. Life as lived every day, is the fundamental condition, the initial stage, and an integral part of the entire unified process of human existence.

Life, death, and suffering are not controlled by taking the decision into your own hand. To make such a decision is against reason (which commands us to life). To choose death over life by one's own hand is to surrender oneself to overwhelming force that deprives you of any prospect of meaning or hope.

At every step, the challenge of life is to choose hope over despair. To choose hope even when one undergoes or faces suffering is beginning of freedom. To be free is not to be the slave or victim of the overwhelming forces that oppress you. In this freedom, your meaning will be clear.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, May 24, 1999.

It is not helpful to try to "talk some reason" into someone feeling hopeless or suicidal nor is it helpful to make generalized statements about YOUR beliefs. What is important is to recognize someone in pain, acknowledge the need for trained help to deal with the situation and make use of an agency far better trained to learn how to help. You do not have full knowledge of whether they are clinically depressed (something you can't talk someone out of), are in mental health treatment, are taking their medications, or have the means to carry a suicide out. Learn how to be of REAL help to hopeless or suicidal people. Call the Crisis Clinic and ask for their advice if you see this type of person. Let them help you be of REAl help to them. Don't ASSume you know what to do.

-- leslie (***@***.net), May 25, 1999.

leslie who has an MSW and worked five years as a Crisis Line volunteer.

-- leslie (***@***.net), May 25, 1999.

I'm the Vera mentioned in this thread. While I appreciate Stan's reasons for doing so, I must affirm that I am not now depressed. I'm medicated for clinical depression, and am quite happy and functional. However, just as a paralyzed man wouldn't be able to fight on a battlefield, I will not be capable of dealing with anything short of mental paralysis should y2k turn into even a moderately bad scenario. Anyone who works with the mental illness or the clinically depressed can assure you of that.

Just as one puts down a dog no longer able to function, I will choose to terminate my life should the y2k scenario seem suitably bleak. It's just my right and my option and I will deal with the consequences, no one else.

I want to thank the fellow who wrote about the "yawning abyss". I agree. I thank you for respecting my choice.

Anyone feeling similarly, check out 00725

Anyone who is now clinically depressed, I would strongly suggest you NOT read y2k forums. I'm not depressed, but wish to make a personal, tough-minded choice.

Thank you, v

-- Vera Crichton (, May 25, 1999.

In light of Vera's comments, just who will have blood on their hands come 2000; those who say "calm down, don't panick" or those who yell "fire!" in a crowded theatre [when there is no fire]?

-- old brit (, May 25, 1999.

Here's my new web page to centralize my search for information:

-- Vera Crichton (, May 25, 1999.

Old Britt said, "In light of Vera's comments, just who will have blood on their hands come 2000; those who say "calm down, don't panick" or those who yell "fire!" in a crowded theatre [when there is no fire]?"

.... Sorry, there is a fire in the theatre. Vera is responsible for her own life, as she has taken pains to make clear. If Vera wants to burn in the fire rather than take an exit to safety, she will face the consequences.

I will pray for her (in fact) but not trivialize her. Or her choices.

-- BigDog (, May 25, 1999.

I'd just point out that "exiting to safety" isn't an option for people like me. We don't have the ability to find it. But otherwise, I appreciate your respect for my choices. That means a lot.

I'd rather not be a further burden to the support systems. There are children and elderly who are better off going before people like me.

Even if I choose to leave this world, at least I'll be able to choose the date and time rather than have the choice taken from me by some riot or something.

-- Vera Crichton (, May 26, 1999.


You say that you are not depressed at this time... that you are using appropriate meds right now. Good. I can understand that you got fears. But if everything is fine now, why are you so hell bent on your own self-destruction? It isn't reasonable to be so intently focused on killing yourself without any seemingly rational evaluation of the other kinds of decisions that can be made. You aren't even willing to explain why you can't see yourself getting through hypothetical hard times. Re-evaluation of your meds and dosage isn't even considered. If you aren't capable of intelligent thinking on this matter right now, you may not be capable of making an intelligent decision about your life. In fact, hard, cold facts aren't going to add a qualititative difference to your present inability to think rationally about this subject. I hope that you will seek medical attention and consider the possibility that you, Vera, are in need of medical care right now.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

P.S. Please keep in touch and let me know when you have seen a doctor.

-- Stan Faryna (, May 26, 1999.

>why are you so hell bent on your own self-destruction? It isn't >reasonable to be so intently focused on killing yourself without any >seemingly rational evaluation of the other kinds of decisions that >can be made.

I'm not "hell bent" on self-destruction nor focused on killing myself. It's my profound hope that I stick around a long, long time. What I've been trying to put forth is the plan I am putting together. It's the sort of thing a lot of people do. People with terminal illnesses do this, in case the pain becomes unbearable. I was hoping to simply trade information with people who are in similar straits but I found my small post re-posted to tons of places and suddenly I'm getting an email account closed down.

>You aren't even willing to explain why you can't see yourself >getting through hypothetical hard times.

Stan, if times get *too* tough (talking about darker Yourdon and Gary North type scenarios), I can't "get myself" through anything. Trying to explain this to someone who hasn't suffered from severe clinical depression is like describing a color to a blind person.

>Re-evaluation of your meds and dosage isn't even considered.

My meds and dosage are fine. The last ECT I had fairly broke the back of the depression. I'm quite capable of intelligent thinking, but as I'm not the same as you or as some of the other people here, my choices are more limited.

>I hope that you will seek medical attention and consider the >possibility that you, Vera, are in need of medical care right now.

Stan, I've spoken with my doctor and he is quite clearly of the opinion that I'm not suicidal, just as I know I'm not.

I've never been a person to shrink from the facts. I want to know the truth so I can better determine the choices I must make. They are choices I will make calmly and only after careful analysis, eg not anytime soon.


-- Vera Crichton (, May 26, 1999.


(Vera and I have chatted elsewhere. Hello, Vera.)

I'm the one who is hoping to convince our clinic that we need to deal with y2k NOW. Current plan is to "put together some kind of fact sheet, you know, things they can do, like call 911. Maybe do it in October, before the holiday crunch." And THIS is a clinic where I hear "The patient comes first" every day, and where they mean it and use it as their prime consideration in decision making. Just are ignorant as the average dude on the street about y2k.

I'm going to print out some of the Vera stuff and give it to the clinic director, the crisis director, a few others. I wrote some comments yesterday, hope to finish them today. ANY input you can give regarding preparation of the mentally ill will be most welcome.

Vera, if you have any suggestions I would welcome them.

-- Faith Weaver (, May 26, 1999.


My friends-

I have been diagnosed and medicated for clinical depression for almost three years now. This forum (and others) has been one of my saving graces, with all the "friends" I have come to know, even though I don't post often. Clinical depression (along with my panic attack/anxiety disorder) is indeed a medical problem. Just as Old Git has to find pharmaceutical options, so do I.

The last thing I would ever consider doing, however, is removing myself from this earth before my God-designated time. I have 6 children and a husband to care for. It is not for me to decide when I am to die.

This post is not to trivialize clinical depression in any way. I have experienced it's crushing weight which makes it hard even to get out of bed sometimes. The medication keeps me humming along on a fairly even keel, however. Living in the Midwest, the biggest challenge is those long winter days.

St John's Wort seems to be the best option, should my meds become unavailable. Stocking up on that. Light therapy helps too...will be reminding myself that ANY natural daylight helps more than artificial light. No caffeine, regular sleep....many things are available to help.

Give in? NEVER!!! Life is too precious, and so is my family. They need me. And I love them.

Preparation HELPS.....significantly reduces the anxiety/depression/"I'm doomed" all aspects, not just Y2K.

I am blessed to have recourse to a strong, faith filled group of like minded friends, GIs and DGIs. This also helps, no matter what the circumstances.

Just some thoughts.


-- Mercy (, May 26, 1999.

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