I know that there have been times that I wondered if I gave up on living, due to depression or hard times, if I could actually die of that. And while it has been awhile since I felt that way, it seems that there is actually a series of stages that lead to this occurrence.

According to a study conducted by Dr. John Leach at the University of Portsmouth, they are actually quite dramatic. Often referred to as give-up itis, psychogenic death stages often begin after a severe trauma, which leaves the person with the mindset of feeling trapped in pain. To them death is the only logical way to avoid it. 

Psychogenic death is real. It isn’t suicide, it isn’t linked to depression, but the act of giving up on life and dying usually within days, is a very real condition often linked to severe trauma.”

The doctors who helped him with his research believe that it is all due to the fact that our anterior circuit begins to shut down. While intervention techniques like physical activity, or anything that causes us to product dopamine can counteract the motivation center of the brain from shutting down, it isn’t always a condition that is noticed, making it even worse. If not thwarted, the following takes place:

Social withdrawal

They become isolated and stay inside their own comfortable bubble, leaving family, friends, and the outside world behind.


They no longer care about anything. They don’t care if they live or die, and lose their energy.


They lose all motivation to do anything or even to speak.

Psychic Aknieasia

When this level is reached, they cannot even respond to pain. Oftentimes, they will lay in their own waste, because they don’t care, they can’t feel, and they can’t move.

Psychogenic Death

This is the end of the cycle, when they decide to let go.

While this can happen to anyone, it is most often seen with those who were in war scenarios or those survived the Holocaust. Sadly, many of them die within the first three weeks after the first symptom surfaced.

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