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when there is ‘no clearly definable source of frustration’ other than her or his own personality, then ‘suicide becomes a more viable option for the patient’ (Lester, 1972: 757). This explanation is problematised, however, by the aforementioned fictional and factual discourse that situates visual impairment in a causal relationship with suicide.


According to the fictional discourse that has been considered in this paper, people with unimpaired vision can become prone to suicide if they are faced with visual impairment, as can people with impaired vision if they are faced with visual restoration. Moreover, both scenarios have been reported in factual discourse to induce temporary and longer term psychopathology that is usually followed by psychosocial readjustment, but that sometimes results in suicide (de Leo et al, 1999). In order that some sense might be made of this incongruity, the way in which visual impairment and restoration are both situated in a causal relationship with suicide, it should be born in mind that cultural constructs of "the blind" and "the sighted" are divided by an unbridgeable chasm. Thus, owing to the internalisation of stereotypes, the conscious and unconscious influence of Blind Mythology and its affect on common sense discourse, it is quite logical that sight-loss and sight-restoration both present the bearer with the same disturbing sense of a chasm to cross. In short, suicide is precipitated by neither the loss nor restoration of vision, but the ideology that underpins binary constructs of "the blind" and "the sighted", by the erroneous notion that a fundamental difference exists between people with impaired vision and people with unimpaired vision.


Allport, G. W. (1954) The Nature of Prejudice. London:


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