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Dissociadelic: Talking with Suicide and the need for an alternative response to suicidal distress


Dissociadelic is the 'state' when we can 'Talk with Suicide': Inspired by the Talking with Voices approach (Corstens et al, 2012), how Psychedelic drugs can create altered perceptions (Talking with Suicide does not use drugs!) and Dissociachotic theory. Many other theories, approaches, spiritual and cultural aspects will be found in the Talking with Suicide practice and we acknowledge the 'un-newness' in valuing and building on these approaches.

Talking with Suicide is one aspect of the Suicide Narratives approach. The process allows us to 'experience' suicide in a different way and hear the story behind its manifesting - consistent with other psychedelic experiences.

Recent and current approaches to suicide focus relentlessly on the need to stop the experience and, perhaps inadvertently, requires the person to continue to carry the story and burden behind the experience - that is often based in significant adversity. Suicide Narratives and some other emerging approaches look at suicide from alternative perspectives - read more here: https://criticalsuicidology.net/


We can understand the alternative approaches as first having to deconstruct the current and past dominant discourses that continue to inform mainstream approaches. In a broader context of human distress fabulous writing on this area of work of 'de-constructing' and contextualising can be found here: https://holisticelephants.wordpress.com/

Suicide Narratives, and especially Talking with Suicide (TwS), requires the listener to match the courage of the person in distress and witness the "social and emotional wounds; adverse environments related to trauma, racism, cultural unsafety, spiritual crisis, poverty, isolation, negative operation of power, or any oppressive process that causes ongoing distress that leads to a person reflecting on their ability to continue living"(Ball & Ritchie, 2020). Then the potential for healing in community can emerge. The person who is carrying the message and has been expressing suicidal realities does not have to carry the burden alone anymore.

Although challenging to the approaches to suicide that are driven by systems, risk and 'mental illness' constructs that dominate, it is time that we genuinely move to alternatives. Tragically we have not found a new journey of connecting and supporting those in suicidal distress (with a few exceptions) with the current mainstream approaches.

By deeply looking at the social and justice dilemmas we may just be to develop deeper understanding of the problems that manifest as suicidal experiences.


In walking with, not doing to, a person who is deeply distressed in this way, we may actually find mutual and community healing as we stand with one another and challenge the oppressions that have led to the deep distress. We could understand the expression of distress as an opportunity to grow collectively.

Suicide is not just about a person being in immediate crisis of considering ending their life. Many many people live with suicide as an ongoing daily experience, manifesting in a variety of ways. The systemic approach to getting rid of suicide (including the absurd target driven approaches) means those people who experience suicide on a regular basis but don't 'meet the threshold' for 'intervention', become increasingly alone and silenced.

It is time to bring the social and justice determinants that manifest as suicidal realities out of the shadows towards mutual healing. If Talking with Suicide sounds 'unusual' we might reflect that what we currently 'do', as a response, is 'bizarre' given that it often leaves people more isolated than ever (even if we intended otherwise).




For more information on Talking with Suicide, Dissociadelic and Suicide Narratives, you can download the free paper: https://www.humaneclinic.com.au/suicide-narratives



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