A Thousand Moments of Solitude

(A Personal Encounter With Suicide)
by Federico Sanchez
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Publisher: Xlibris US

Publication Date: July 14, 2015

ISBN: 9781462833092

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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On November 12, 2002, at the age of twenty-two, my son Mitchell committed suicide. His sudden and unexpected death sent me reeling down a path I needed to travel if I ever wanted to escape the forest of grief and loss in which I found myself. This book recounts my journey to come to terms with the death of my son. The path I started down—to fulfill a promise I had made to my son while he was alive, to find answers to the mental problems he suffered—took me places I had not anticipated. The path became a network of four intersecting paths, and my journey took me far beyond the death of a son to the human condition where we are governed by forces, both internal and external, over which we have little control and little understanding. Intricately connected, the four paths explored in this book are: 1) the autobiographical: the story of my life with my son Mitchell as we struggled with the mental problems that eventually led to his suicide. 2) the diagnostic: the various diagnostic tools available to psychiatrists, which illustrate the level of knowledge in the field and show some of the failings of our present approach to mental disorders. 3) historical fiction: narrative accounts of the lives and deaths by suicide of both historical and fictional characters, including the son of Queen Isabela of Spain; Meriwether Lewis; Vincent Van Gogh; Miguel, a slave working at the Count of Valenciana’s silver mine, La Boca del Infierno, in 18th-century Mexico; and Michele, a passenger on the Titanic. By telling these stories, sometimes in the first person, I found a way to express my own anguish and pain, something I could not do directly, as well as a way to explore further my relationship with my son and my son’s complexity and fullness as a person. 4) scientific explanation of how the brain works: a theory of how the brain works, explaining in detail how mental images and thoughts are formed and travel through the nervous system, how we live in a world of illusions, and how ...