Can You Make Yourself Die?

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horseshoes | 16:49 Sun 10th Feb 2019 | Body & Soul
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This sounds a strange question. My mum died very recently and had been carer for my Dad (she 86 he 87). Obviously he's grieving but he keeps saying he just wants to die. He is totally lost and devastated. I know he wouldn't take his own life, and apart from being very infirm and needing care, his heart is strong. Can a person make themselves die?


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I've seen it before where people seem to give up, lose their appetite and their will to live.
One day they just don't wake up.
There has been research done as you might expect and the results are varied.

I believe you can give up and of course refusing food etc would accelerate any demise but as for choosing to go - I doubt it.

Some reading here.
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It's very, very sad and pitiful to see him.
I've often read of a spouse dying very soon after they have lost their husband/wife because they simply cannot go on without the person they have spent so many, many years with. My own Dad said once that if Mum went before him he wouldn't want to live on as 'there is no point going on without your partner'. He died first though, so I'll never know if this wold have happened, but somehow I think it would have, knowing Dad as I did.
If you could make yourself die, there wouldn't be any need for places such as Dignitas.
In your position although very hard to do, you must just allow him to feel as he does and reassure him they'll be together again when the time is right.

The toughest thing we ever do is give those we love permission to go.x

Heartbreaking for you.
horseshoes, has he been offered antidepressants?
Grief is overwhelming, my mum grieved for my dad and had no appetite at all, she was put on antidepressants. It took the edge off a little.
I am sorry for your dad and you, but I agree with other people. You can't make yourself die, but a partner often passes on soon after the loss of their loved one.
I’ve often heard it said that the second half of couple has died of a broken heart. Whether it is physically possible I don’t know.

I do know that my Mum made herself die by refusing to eat or drink because she didn’t want to be in a nursing home.
Through grief and the resulting absence of motivation/interest in going on your health can/will be severely affected. Research suggests that unhappy people are more likely to fall ill, especially with infections, likely due to suppression of the immune system. It follows that illness leading to an earlier death than otherwise might occur seems distinctly possible. Additionally, a form of stress is at work and thus anyone inherently weak (heart, circulation, stroke) seems likely to live under very adverse conditions, and can therefore be brought to an early death.

Can you will yourself to die, all other things being equal - very unlikely I would have thought.
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Thank you for all your replies. I believe he may already have an antidepressant tablet. This has happened very suddenly, with EVERYONE assuming he'd die first, and its such a shock. I've barely taken it in myself. We'll see how it goes. He has lots of care, love and support. Thank you all.
You have extra support here too should you ever need it.

Take care.
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Thank you x
IMO you can't make yourself die ... but you can lose the will to live.
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Talbot........ yes.....that's it isn't it?
thinking of you at this difficult time Horsey xx
I believe we can die of a broken heart if we have loved and spent a whole life time with one spouse, ensure he knows you love him, give him the best care and let nature take its course. Best wishes ,
You can die of a broken heart.

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