Common Signs of Someone Who May Be Suicidal

This is an interesting article I found on: www.psychcentral.com

See credits below.


About 70 percent of people who commit suicide give some sort of verbal or nonverbal clue about their intention to end their life. That means you could be in a position to guide someone to get help before they commit the one action that can never be taken back.

While 30,000 Americans die each year due to suicide, more than 800,000 Americans attempt suicide. Although women attempt suicide three times as often as men, men are four times more likely to be successful in their attempt.

Warning signs of suicide are not difficult to spot, but professionals differentiate between someone who simply has a passing thought of suicide or ending his or her own life, and someone who has persistent thoughts and has a definite plan. However you don’t have to know how serious a person is in order to help them.

Possible Suicide Warning Signs

Have you ever heard someone say two or more of the following?

  • Life isn’t worth living.
  • My family (or friends or girlfriend/boyfriend) would be better off without me.
  • Next time I’ll take enough pills to do the job right.
  • Take my prized collection or valuables — I don’t need this stuff anymore.
  • Don’t worry, I won’t be around to deal with that.
  • You’ll be sorry when I’m gone.
  • I won’t be in your way much longer.
  • I just can’t deal with everything — life’s too hard.
  • Soon I won’t be a burden anymore.
  • Nobody understands me — nobody feels the way I do.
  • There’s nothing I can do to make it better.
  • I’d be better off dead.
  • I feel like there is no way out.
  • You’d be better off without me.

Have you noticed them doing one or more of the following activities?

  • Getting their affairs in order (paying off debts, changing a will)
  • Giving away their personal possessions
  • Signs of planning a suicide, such as obtaining a weapon or writing a suicide note

Friends and family who are close to an individual are in the best position to spot warning signs. Often times people feel helpless in dealing with someone who is depressed or suicidal. Usually it is helpful to encourage the person to seek professional help from a therapist, psychiatrist, school counselor, or even telling their family doctor about their feelings. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) offers free and confidential support for people in distress as well as prevention and crisis resources for you and your loved ones.

Remember, depression is a treatable mental disorder, it’s not something you can “catch” or a sign of personal weakness. Your friend or loved one needs to know you’re there for them, that you care and you will support them no matter what.

Suicide is one of the most serious symptoms of someone who is suffering from severe depression. Common signs of depression include:

  • Depressed or sad mood (e.g., feeling “blue” or “down in the dumps”)
  • A change in the person’s sleeping patterns (e.g., sleeping too much or too little, or having difficulty sleeping the night through)
  • A significant change in the person’s weight or appetite
  • Speaking and/or moving with unusual speed or slowness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities (e.g., hobbies, outdoor activities, hanging around with friends)
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, slowed thinking or indecisiveness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, self-reproach, or guilt
  • Thoughts of death, suicide, or wishes to be dead

Sometimes someone who is trying to cope with depression on their own might turn to substances like alcohol or drugs to help ward away the depressive feelings. Others might eat more, watch television for hours on end, and not want to leave their home or even their bed. Sometimes a person who is depressed may stop caring about their physical appearance on a regular basis, or whether they shower or brush their teeth.

It’s important to realize that people who suffer from serious, clinical depression feel depressed for weeks or months on end. Someone who’s just having a particularly rough or stressful week (because of school or work demands, relationship problems, money issues, etc.) may not be suffering from clinical depression.

Common Signs of Someone Who May Be Suicidal

Related Articles

View Original Article

Hope you enjoyed reading this article.
Please feel free to share!

Preventing Youth Suicide: Strategies That Work

This is an interesting article I found on: www.psychcentral.com

See credits below.


American children are taking their own lives at an alarming rate. Over 7 percent of high school students say they engaged in non-fatal suicidal behavior, while 17 percent say they seriously considered suicide within the previous year, according to a nationwide survey. For children under 15, the prevalence of death by suicide nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017. Considering these sobering statistics, it’s no surprise that suicide has become the second leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 12 and 18.

Sadly, many parents don’t recognize the signs of depression in their children until a crisis occurs. It can be difficult to determine the difference between normal adolescent behavior and something far more serious. For National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day I want to use this opportunity to share strategies that have been proven to decrease suicidality in children and teens.

A few years ago a teenage girl named Alyssa* came to me for therapy, along with her family. She described feeling disconnected from her parents, who didn’t understand her interests. She spent a lot of time in her room watching anime, playing video games, and chatting with her friends online. Like many young girls, she had negative experiences with peers at school and felt acute academic pressure.

Her parents saw no cause for alarm until they were contacted by a concerned school counselor, in whom their daughter had confided. When they learned Alyssa had thoughts about harming herself, they decided it would be safest to place her in a hospital while they made a plan to address her challenges, which included anxiety and depression.

Prevention Is Key

Fortunately, Alyssa turned to a trusted counselor for help. For individuals concerned about child suicide, a number of protective factors have been shown to help reduce the risk of suicidal behavior. These include community connectedness, abstinence from drugs and alcohol, close family relationships, strong peer support systems, and regular involvement in hobbies or activities. Joining activities that promote positive self-expression (music, art or drama) or self-efficacy (such as sports or skill-based activities), and continuing them through adolescence, can support building a positive and stable identity, the primary task and stress of teenage years.

Other protective factors are more difficult to cultivate. People with a positive self-image, strong problem-solving skills, and the ability to regulate their emotions tend to be more able to cope in times of increased stress. If a child is struggling in these areas, especially while distancing themself from family or friends, it may be time to think about family therapy. Engaging teenagers in therapy isn’t easy, so building a trusting relationship with a mental health professional early for youth with heightened risk factors is instrumental in suicide prevention.

Working with youth also comes with a unique set of challenges. They can be more impulsive, have trouble seeing a long-term perspective, and be heavily influenced by their friends and online relationships. These are just a few reasons why it’s important to find a therapist with extensive experience treating youth. The right professional can advise parents on what’s typical versus when to access other services, and how to keep channels of communication open.

Trust Evidence-Based Therapies

When a child is in therapy for suicidal thoughts or actions, it’s critical to use an evidence-based treatment approach. As a career therapist and Director of Youth Shelter Services at Grafton Integrated Health Network, my team and I rely on the CAMS model. Short for Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality, CAMS was developed over 30 years ago to specifically assess and treat suicidal risk.

This method uses a highly individualized approach that allows patients to be actively involved in the development of their own treatment plans. Rather than shaming youth for their suicidal behavior, our therapists take an empathetic and non-judgmental approach, which helps us identify and treat the root causes of the client’s suffering. In randomized controlled trials, the CAMS model has been shown to more accurately assess the need for acute hospitalization and reduce suicidal thoughts.

We know this approach works. With the help of a psychiatrist, music therapist, and individual and family therapy using mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral interventions, Alyssa was able to feel more hopeful and connected, while reducing her thoughts of suicide. Her therapy included identifying and working towards positive future goals, improving problematic communication patterns, increasing connection in activities with supportive peers, and following a safety plan.

There is no quick fix for youth suicide, but promoting good mental health and seeking professional help early is the best prevention we have. It’s also never too late for a child and family to seek the right supports to build resiliency and move towards recovery.

* Patient name has been changed to protect privacy.

If you are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential.

Preventing Youth Suicide: Strategies That Work

Related Articles

View Original Article

Hope you enjoyed reading this article.
Please feel free to share!

a-new-chapter-of-my-life-begins

Psychology Around the Net: April 6, 2019

This is an interesting article I found on: www.psychcentral.com

See credits below.


This week’s Psychology Around the Net dives into how to stop worrying about what other people think of you, ways to defeat procrastination, why pets can help boost physical and mental health (especially in older adults), and more.

Enjoy!

Stop Worrying About What Others Think of You: 7 Tips for Feeling Better: The fear of rejection is at the root of caring what someone thinks of you. Learn how to understand what “rejection” really means, use rejection (when it actually happens) as a brilliant opportunity for growth, how to embrace your individuality, and more to overcome your fear of rejection and truly stop worrying what other people think about you.

How to Defeat Procrastination with the Psychology of Emotional Intelligence: A step-by-step guide to overcoming procrastination by using the psychology of emotion regulation and emotional intelligence, with some extra tips and tricks to boot? Sign me up! (Additionally, you might want to find out how anxiety affects procrastination.)

Here’s One Big Way To Help Working Mothers Thrive: This new study tackles how to reduce a mother’s work-family conflict and employment-related guilt.

Why It’s a Problem If ‘Joker’ Connects Mental Illness to Villainy: While most portrayals of The Joker have involved a character backstory that’s mysterious, if not outright nonexistent, there are hints that this new Joker will include not only a backstory, but a backstory that includes mental illness linked to becoming a violent criminal. However, shouldn’t we pause and determine whether the story links mental illness in general with violent and criminal behavior, or whether the story features one character who has a mental illness that drove him to violent criminal behavior?

Poll: Pets Help Older Adults Cope with Health Issues, Get Active, and Connect with Others: According to a recent national poll, pets can help older adults deal with physical and mental health issues; however, for some (18 percent of participants), pets bring various strains (for example, financial burdens and problems that arise from putting a pet’s needs before your own). Which is it for you?

What We Know and Don’t Know about How Mass Trauma Affects Mental Health: Researchers are working to figure out who is at most risk of suicide and other types of self-harm after mass trauma events such as wars and political violence, natural disasters, and — especially prevalent in today’s troubled climate — mass shootings, including school shootings.

Psychology Around the Net: April 6, 2019

Related Articles

View Original Article

Hope you enjoyed reading this article.
Please feel free to share!

University and First Year Struggles

See credits below.


Tuesday, 26 March 2019

University and First Year Struggles

Meg talks about the struggles that students can face and how to look positively to the future.
The year was 2011. The season was summer and, boy, was I loving life. A young, fresh-faced 18 year old who had passed their exams and bagged a spot into uni. I’d ticked off a summer holiday with the girls, my 18th birthday and school prom. What a time to be alive! Little did I know how my life would change in the coming months.
Hey, the name’s Meg. Nice to meet you! I’m 25 from South Wales and here’s my story of how my first year of university changed my life.
My amazing summer had come to an end and soon enough I would be moving far away from the South Wales valleys. 3.5hrs on the train to Derby was my new home and as most budding students feel when they leave home, I felt a mix of excitement and fear. I’d been chatting to my future flat mates on a Facebook group and we were all so excited to meet each other! I remember my first day like it was yesterday. I was so nervous. We hugged our families goodbye and there we were, a bunch of awkward girls from different parts of the country about to live together for the next year. Next thing, we are socialising with a building full of people and alcohol was flowing. And here started the student life!
The student life can be a very overwhelming experience for some with so much change happening at a quick pace and that’s certainly how it felt for me. My social life was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I was partying every week, sometimes every other night and all food and sleep patterns went flying out the window! It was exciting to meet lots of new people but also having to navigate around an unknown city and start a new course was very daunting. For a good few months I was building what I saw at the time as solid bonds with flat mates and constantly socialising but it wasn’t until a few months in did I realise how much it was all catching up to me.
After such a whirlwind couple of weeks, things started to go downhill very rapidly for me which felt like it came out of nowhere. All of a sudden, my emotions became very apparent and feelings of anger and upset constantly ripped through me (mainly whenever alcohol was involved). I was really disliking my uni course and I think I was probably very homesick and didn’t even know it. Nights out started to become very messy and dark and I soon found myself spiralling into a depression and started to self harm. I’d never known anything like this in my world. I’d always been the happy go lucky, positive bunny throughout my life and all of a sudden things were feeling very different. My feelings were constantly masked with partying and socialising and trying to nose dive deep into other people’s problems whilst I was also battling a tormenting habit myself. I was very much in denial and it took a very tragic moment of a thankfully- failed – attempted suicide whilst very intoxicated to snap me out of it.
Looking back now, it all feels like such a blur and I am thankfully not in that frame of mind anymore. It’s been a very long and continuing journey of recovery since those dark days but I am happy to be progressing and feeling stronger and happier. Although times were tough, I managed to push through it and I actually took the right steps to make things better for me by transferring to a university in my hometown and got to complete my degree, eventually earning a 2:1 and winning a student of the year award for my course. Woo go me!
And that’s really what this story is about is to just say, it’s okay and it can get better even at the lowest of points. I never thought I could get through what happened but here I am 7/8 years later, a homeowner and a fully fledged adult!!
First year can be fantastic and exciting and I certainly did have positives during some parts and lots of fun but it is also an overwhelming time and a lot to take on. I think it’s just important to keep an open mind in that good and bad days can happen whilst you’re embarking on your uni journey and if it’s truly not for you then that’s fine but sometimes with a little faith and willpower, you’d be amazed at what you can go on to achieve!


My name is Meg. I am 25 and live in the beautiful Cardiff Bay. I work in events/venue management for a University and am a part time secret singer and music lover. Concerts and musical theatre are my thing and I also enjoy blogging about my life and mental health advocacy. You can check out more of my music stuff on my youtube (www.youtube.com/mwigleysongs) or my blog at https://meganwigley.wordpress.com/.
For more information or support visit: Starting Uni
Posted by Student Minds Blogging Editorial Team at 14:35 Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest Labels: Advice, First Year (Freshers), Looking after yourself, Recovery, Self Care, Suicide, University Mental Health Day, Use Your Voice

No comments:

Post a Comment

Original Article

Hope you enjoyed reading this article.
Please feel free to share!

a-new-chapter-of-my-life-begins

Psychology Around the Net: March 23, 2019

This is an interesting article I found on: www.psychcentral.com

See credits below.


Ever wonder how food affects your mental health? Do you think social media addiction should be formally classified (and should the companies behind them be taxed for help)? What’s your stance on Amy Schumer’s discussion of her husband’s autism spectrum disorder diagnosis?

Let’s discuss it all and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net!

Nutritional Psychiatry: Can You Eat Yourself Happier? We’re not talking about eating your feelings but eating foods that actually affect your feelings. After struggling with anxiety and depression throughout most of her life, Felice Jacka, the head of the Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University in Australia and president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry, found that her diet, exercise, and sleep had a major affect on her mental health. Before you scoff (duh, don’t we already know this?), her findings initially weren’t received with open arms. Now, a ton of research, studies, and and peer-reviewed papers under her belt, it’s obvious what we eat affects our mental health.

Fluctuation of Depressive Symptoms May Help Predict Suicide: According to a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry, the severity and fluctuation of depressive symptoms are better at predicting suicide in at-risk young adults than psychiatric diagnoses alone. Says the study’s senior author Dr. Nadine Melhem, “Our findings suggest that when treating patients, clinicians must pay particular attention to the severity of current and past depressive symptoms and try to reduce their severity and fluctuations to decrease suicide risk.”

Social Media Addiction Is a Real Disease, U.K. Lawmakers Say—And Facebook and Google Must Be Taxed for It: The negative effects social media can have on mental health — especially teen’s and young adult’s mental health — is no news. We’ve been talking about it for years. Now, U.K. lawmakers aren’t just saying that social media addiction should be formally classified as a disease, but they’re also kicking it up a notch and claiming the companies behind social media platforms should have to pay a 0.5% tax on their profits to help solve the problem.

7 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned: Frankly, my life isn’t going quite as planned right now. This was helpful, and so I’m passing it along.

New Study: Performance-Based Pay Linked to Employee Mental Health Problems: Pay-for-performance compensation systems such as bonuses, commissions, piece rates, profit sharing, and individual and team goal achievements — which are prevalent in approximately seven out of 10 companies in the U.S. alone — are meant to act as incentives; however, according to this big-data study that combined objective medical and compensation records with demographics, these systems are actually taking a negative toll on employee mental health.

Amy Schumer Tells Why She Revealed Her Husband’s Autism Spectrum Diagnosis: Since her latest Netflix special, Growing, began streaming last Tuesday, fans and non-fans alike have talked more about how Amy Schumer discusses her husband Chris Fischer’s diagnosis than anything else in the show. Some are offended, claiming she had no right to talk about his health; others are fine, stating we shouldn’t jump the gun because, you know, Chris is her husband and therefore probably knew — nay, probably was consulted — about it long beforehand. Well, according to Amy during her appearance on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, “We both wanted to talk about it because it’s [the diagnosis] been totally positive.” She then goes on to talk about the tools and resources they were given, how they’ve managed life and marriage, and how they both want to encourage people not to be afraid of the stigma. So, yeah. It sounds like Chris wasn’t a pawn in his wife’s comedy routine, nor was he ignorant to what she was going to say. Watch the interview clip.

Psychology Around the Net: March 23, 2019

Related Articles

View Original Article

Hope you enjoyed reading this article.
Please feel free to share!

What It Means to Be a Mental Health Advocate—And How to Become One

This is an interesting article I found on: www.psychcentral.com

See credits below.


Over the years, the stigma surrounding mental illness has significantly decreased. One of the biggest reasons?

Mental health advocates.

These are the individuals who tirelessly share their stories in all sorts of ways. They remind us that we’re not alone in our struggles—and there is real, tangible hope and healing. They shatter stereotypes and myths about mental illness, helping the public see that people with mental illness are just people.

As Jennifer Marshall said, “By showing the world that we’re your neighbor, your family members, your friends, and we are not only surviving with these conditions, but thriving, we’re educating the world and changing the world for the better.”

If you’re thinking about becoming a mental health advocate, you might be wondering what advocates actually do, and how to get started. We asked advocates who are doing all kinds of incredible work to share their insights.

What It Means to Be a Mental Health Advocate

Therese Borchard defines a mental health advocate as “anyone who is a voice for those suffering from depression, anxiety, or any other disorder—who hopes to disseminate a message of hope and support.”

Similarly, Marshall said it’s “someone who learns how to take the best care of their mental health and shares openly about their story to help others.”

According to T-Kea Blackman, an advocate is “a change agent,” “someone who educates his [or] her community on mental health, reduces the stigma and fights for change in the behavioral system.”

Sally Spencer-Thomas, PsyD, thinks of advocacy as a “spectrum of engagement” from allies to activists. An ally is someone who feels connected to challenging the discrimination and prejudice related to mental illness, but might not act on their feelings. An advocate uses their voice to encourage change. An activist “engages in intentional action to move change along—getting people organized, moving legislation, changing policy.”

What Mental Health Advocacy Looks Like

There’s no one way to advocate. It really depends on what’s important and inspiring to you—and what you feel comfortable with.

Borchard mostly writes and has created two online depression support communities: Project Hope & Beyond, and Group Beyond Blue, on Facebook. She also serves on the advisory board of the National Network of Depression Centers, speaks to different groups, and helps depression organizations spread their message.

Blackman hosts a weekly podcast called Fireflies Unite With Kea, where she gives “individuals who live with mental illness the opportunity to share their stories.” She hosts mental health events and speaks at workshops and conferences. She also works as a peer recovery coach for a pilot program, helping others with their personal and professional goals.

Years ago, Marshall started a blog at BipolarMomLife.com, after being hospitalized for mania four times in 5 years. Today, she’s the founder of an international nonprofit organization called This Is My Brave. They share stories of individuals who have mental illness and live full, successful lives through poetry, essays, and original music. This Is My Brave hosts live events, and has a YouTube Channel.

Spencer-Thomas is a clinical psychologist, and one of the founders of United Suicide Survivors International, “pulling together a global community of people with lived experience, lifting up their voices and leveraging their expertise for suicide prevention and suicide grief support.” She also advocates for workplaces to become involved in mental health promotion and suicide prevention; for providers to learn evidence-based clinical practices; and for innovation in men’s mental health through campaigns such as Man Therapy.

Gabe Howard, who believes that “advocacy must start with open and honest dialogue,” primarily does public speaking, and hosts two podcasts: The Psych Central Show, and A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. He’s also testified in front of legislators, served on boards and advisory councils, and volunteered for various initiatives.

Chris Love has shared his story of recovery from substance abuse all over North Carolina. He works as a counselor at a substance abuse treatment center, and with the nonprofit organization The Emerald School of Excellence, which is North Carolina’s first recovery high school for teens struggling with substance use.

Lauren Kennedy is an advocate who speaks to all kinds of audiences, including police officers, high school and college students, and healthcare professionals. She also has a YouTube channel called “Living Well with Schizophrenia,” where she talks about mental health and her own experiences with schizoaffective disorder.

The “Why” Behind Advocacy

“Being an advocate is important to me because I believe the only way we’re going to eliminate the stigma, judgment and discrimination surrounding mental illness and addiction is by putting our names and faces on our stories,” Marshall said. “This Is My Brave does this one person and one story at a time.”

For Kennedy, being an advocate is important because “people living with mental health problems are just that, people; and deserve to be treated with the same respect and compassion as anyone else.”

Similarly, Blackman’s mission is to “show that mental illness does not have a look,” and to “show those in the African American community that it is OK to attend therapy, take medication (if needed) and pray.”

“We do not have to choose our faith over our mental health, or vice versa. Every human deserves the right to have access to mental health treatment. Therapy is not a white or rich people issue; this is a myth that must be dismantled in my community.”

Spencer-Thomas views her advocacy work as her life’s mission after her brother died by suicide. “Every day I get up to prevent what happened to Carson from happening to other people. I feel that he walks alongside me, encouraging me to be courageous and bold. My fire in the belly is fueled by the process of making meaning out of my loss. I would do anything to have him back, but he’s not coming back, so my work is part of his legacy.”

Howard noted that as someone with bipolar disorder, he’s been unfairly judged and discriminated against. He’s had difficulty accessing care—and seen others experience difficulty, as well, because of their finances, where they live, and other circumstances.

“I just couldn’t sit by and do nothing. It seemed wrong to me. I tried to ‘hide in plain sight,’ so I could avoid the negative reactions—but it felt so fake to me.”

During Borchard’s lowest points, reaching out to others relieved some of her pain. “In those times when nothing, absolutely nothing worked, becoming an advocate for those who suffer from depression and anxiety, gave me a purpose to strive for, to get out of bed. Today, I continue to feel the benefits of service. It connects the random dots of life.”

How to Become An Advocate

Becoming a mental health advocate can include big and small actions—it all matters!

  • Advocate for yourself. As Blackman said, you can’t be an advocate for others if you don’t first advocate for yourself. For instance, she recently talked to her therapist and psychiatrist about discontinuing her medication. They collaborated on a specific plan, which includes continuing to attend weekly therapy sessions and calling her doctor and returning to medication if she notices any negative changes. According to Blackman, advocating for yourself means getting educated, understanding your triggers, developing coping skills and stating your needs.
  • Share your story. Start with family and friends, which also will reveal whether you’re ready for a wider audience, Borchard said. Love said if you’re comfortable, consider sharing your story on social media. “The beginning of ending stigma is being able to put it out there and talk about it.”
  • Educate your immediate circle. “There is a tremendous amount of power in reflecting on how you think and talk about mental health, and how you can help others in your life to take a more positive and accepting stance on mental health and mental illness,” Kennedy said. For instance, you can correct misinformation, such as using person-first language (“person with schizophrenia”), instead of “schizophrenic,” she said. Blackman also noted that you can text family, friends, and colleagues articles about mental health. In fact, she started by sharing articles and videos with loved ones to help them understand what she was going through.
  • Volunteer. Many of the advocates suggested joining local mental health organizations and assisting with their programs and events.
  • Get a mentor. “Like most things, getting the right mentor is about building relationships,” Spencer-Thomas said. She suggested noticing people you’d like to be like, reading their posts, leaving comments, and asking questions. “Volunteer for events or at meetings where [this person] is present…Ask them directly about being a mentor and set realistic expectations.”
  • Get trained in legislative advocacy. Spencer-Thomas noted that one way to do that is to become a field ambassador for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
  • Find your niche. “[F]ind the thing that you are better at than most and that inspires you,” Howard said. This might be anything from public speaking to writing to fundraising to managing volunteers, he said.

Advocates who’ve been there also remind us that even though we can’t see past our pain right now that doesn’t mean this will be our future. As Blackman said, “…I am amazed at how I went from not wanting to live [and] attempting suicide [to] using my experience with mental illness to educate and reduce stigma.”

What It Means to Be a Mental Health Advocate—And How to Become One

Related Articles

View Original Article

Hope you enjoyed reading this article.
Please feel free to share!

Podcast: Talking Suicide with a Bipolar and a Schizophrenic

This is an interesting article I found on: www.psychcentral.com

See credits below.




Suicide is something that most people think they understand, but there are many misconceptions about it. We say it’s a serious problem, yet will mention it casually and insensitively in certain settings. In this episode, our hosts openly discuss suicide and their personal stories with trying to end their own lives.

SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

Google PlaySpotify

“I thought about suicide every day for as far back as I can remember.”
– Gabe Howard

Highlights From ‘Suicide’ Episode

[1:00] Frankly discussing suicide.

[3:00] Don’t belittle a person’s suicide attempt.

[7:00] Why did Michelle try to end her life?

[10:00] Discussing families and suicide.

[12:00] Why did Gabe try to end his life?

[16:30] Michelle shares her suicide story.

[23:00] Michelle can’t understand how her mom did not know she had a mental illness.

[27:00] Gabe and Michelle agree that things get better.

Computer Generated Transcript for ‘Talking Suicide with a Bipolar and a Schizophrenic’ Show

Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer generated and therefore may contain inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thank you.

Narrator: [00:00:05] For reasons that utterly escapes everyone involved. You’re listening to A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic and A Podcast. Here are your hosts, Gabe Howard and Michelle Hammer.

Gabe: [00:00:19] Welcome to a bipolar a schizophrenic and a podcast. My name is Gabe Howard and I am bipolar.

Michelle: [00:00:24] Hi I’m Michelle and I am schizophrenic.

Gabe: [00:00:27] And today we are going to talk about suicide specifically. How are we still alive after having been suicidal for so long. And this is kind of a tricky one for us to cover because Michelle and I you know we kind of like to be bombastic. We kind of like to be funny. We kind of like to be out there and well we like to yell at each other. And suicide is a much it’s a scary topic. It’s something that sort of lends itself not to humor but to I don’t know it’s scary.

Michelle: [00:01:00] It is a scary topic. It’s something that doesn’t really get spoken about. It’s kind of something that like is very hush hush. And if you’ve ever really attempted suicide you don’t talk about it because then people just really judge you very harshly and they would say why would you do that. Don’t you care about people around you? How is that going to affect people around you what you did was something selfish.

Gabe: [00:01:23] There’s 80 billion reasons that this show should avoid suicide. Given how we talk about living with mental illness our mental illness and mental illness advocacy. But there’s one very big reason that we should cover it and that’s that we’re not afraid and we talk about everything The Good the Bad and The Ugly. But it’s gonna be a challenge for us. The first thing that we want to say immediately right out of the gate is Trigger Warning suicide. We are going to be talking about suicide and I’m not going to tell you that an inappropriate joke may or may not come up because hey we’re Gabe and Michelle.

Michelle: [00:02:02] That’s right.

Gabe: [00:02:03] This is what we do. If you are in danger right now if you are feeling suicidal please ask for help.

Gabe: [00:02:12] Call 911 if you’re in America call the suicide hotline tell a trusted friend go to the emergency room. Most importantly Michelle and I are still alive because we got help because we talked about it openly.

Michelle: [00:02:25] And I’m really bad at suicide.

Gabe: [00:02:28] Oh and the first inappropriate joke is right out of the gate okay Michelle. We sort of we did some research we made a list of topics and stuff that we want to discuss. And the first question that I get asked a lot is it if you were suicidal why didn’t you just do it. So you must not have been suicidal because you didn’t die. So you’re a liar I have a million things I want to say to that. One of them is Fuck you. That’s not how mental illness works.

Michelle: [00:02:57] Yeah. Yeah that’s a big fuck you like don’t belittle somebody whose suicide attempt because if they want to do it again . . . If you belittle somebody suicide attempt they’re going to think oh I didn’t really try to kill myself. So maybe next time I’ll try even harder and succeed.

Gabe: [00:03:15] Well I love this whole idea of this. This if you try suicide or if you say you’re suicidal it’s just a dramatic cry for help.

Gabe: [00:03:24] You want to hear some other dramatic cries for help I’m drowning. Help. My house is on fire. How I’m falling out of a helicopter. But the difference is when people yell those things people come to help. People come to help them.

Michelle: [00:03:41] But when someone says they’re suicidal. Oh, you’re just being dramatic. What’s wrong. Did you have a bad conversation today? You’re not really suicidal. You know it’s just you’re so it’s really just stop being dramatic. You don’t actually feel that way like you don’t know what’s going on in my head. You don’t know my thoughts. You don’t know what I’m dealing with. Don’t tell me it’s all in my head. That’s not no.

Gabe: [00:04:07] It this is really little thing that we have where society acknowledges that it’s a cry for help but then also says that the best thing to do is not help. I just I cannot stress enough that if somebody says that they are suicidal. If somebody says that they want to die. That is not drama. It is not. It’s none of those things. That person needs help and you’re saying well what if the person is lying and faking then that person is a jackass.

Michelle: [00:04:37] Yeah.

Gabe: [00:04:37] But to literally ignore every single person that asks for help because they’re fighting with their own brain because they’re mentally ill because they’re having suicidal thoughts because they’re so depressed they can’t take it anymore because some dickhead out there is being dramatic. That’s literally nonsense.

Michelle: [00:04:57] Yeah after one suicide attempt my friend told me you weren’t really trying to kill yourself that time. You know what happened a month or two later. I then tried to kill myself again. Did that time count?

Gabe: [00:05:11] Michelle How many times did you attempt suicide.

Michelle: [00:05:14] Well I mean attempt. I mean like did I attempt but I attempted about attempted really it wrong. I didn’t know what I was doing but I would say maybe 7 times.

Gabe: [00:05:24] That’s a lot and you’re very lucky that you’re still alive. I do appreciate your joke. You must be really bad at suicide. I for one am glad this this statistically holds up for whatever reason women do tend to suck at suicide. There’s a lot of research into this one of these is the methods we’re not going to give methods because that just well we’re trying to be mature.

Michelle: [00:05:47] Something I did learn about women differently in women and men is that women like to be found looking like themselves.

Gabe: [00:05:54] Yeah men don’t care.

Michelle: [00:05:55] Yeah men are like you know find me find me all disgusting. I don’t care.

Gabe: [00:06:00] Aren’t you glad that vanity saved your life.

Michelle: [00:06:03] Yeah I guess so. I guess they saved my life.

Gabe: [00:06:05] Yeah the our society really messes with us but when you’re feeling suicidal at all this is an example of your brain not working properly. We as humans are our bodies our minds are. Our consciousness is set up to defend ourselves. If you walk up to a stranger and you throw a tennis ball at their face and they see it they’ll duck. They don’t have to think about it. They don’t have to consider it. They don’t have to wonder what all they know is that an object is coming at them and they immediately take evasive action. It’s biological. It’s built into our brains. And yet when we’re feeling suicidal or when we try suicide it’s we’re overriding that. And that’s the illness process. Our bodies have decided to steer into danger rather than away from it. And that’s an unnatural state of being. So that this the first way that you know that something is wrong.

Gabe: [00:07:01] Our bodies want to protect themselves. We just do.

Michelle: [00:07:05] Every time I tried to kill myself I thought I had to kill myself. I thought it was something that was better for the future. I thought everyone would be better without me and everyone would be happier if I was gone. I would be less of a burden on everybody’s life. But thinking back now that I can really do retrospective kind of thoughts it would have ruined people’s lives.

Gabe: [00:07:32] Oh yeah.

Michelle: [00:07:33] It would have really ruined people’s lives. So, the thoughts I have of oh I’m a burden. You know I should be gone.

Michelle: [00:07:39] I would have put horrible burdens on all of my friends and my family and they might still be thinking about me every day about what I did and how maybe they could have helped me and they couldn’t. And they might not be okay now because of what I did.

Gabe: [00:07:57] There’s a quote out there and I really like it and I don’t know who to credit it to it is not ours but it says that suicide does not end the pain, it just transfers it to somebody else. And I believe that that is so true.

Michelle: [00:08:09] Yes.

Gabe: [00:08:10] When I was suicidal I convinced myself that my granny didn’t love me. And as everybody knows I am granny’s favorite.

Michelle: [00:08:16] Yes.

Gabe: [00:08:16] I convinced myself that my friends my family just even strangers would be happy if I were dead. And this is nonsense because it looks like strangers don’t give a shit if I’m alive or dead. So, to have convinced myself that strangers would be happy that I was dead. It literally they don’t care. That’s why they’re strangers. I’m not. I’m not saying this to be mean to strangers I’m just they wouldn’t be happy or sad they’d be indifferent. That’s just how life works. We’re not emotionally invested with every single person that we’d see you live in New York City. If you were emotionally invested in every single person that you laid eyes on you won’t have time to podcast.

Michelle: [00:08:55] I wouldn’t I wouldn’t. I’m just kind of bringing at one thing this is about my mother that she is she of course she’s not going to like that I’m saying this but what I was in college you know her my grandparents were alive and my mom would call me and she would say “you know Michelle my mother’s sick my father’s crazy, can you just be OK, So I don’t have to worry about you.” What does that make me feel like? A huge burden.

Gabe: [00:09:21] Yeah it does. And let’s take this from your mother’s perspective because you know we want to be fair our parents. Mine too. I don’t know how my mom and dad and grandma and grandpa and brother and sister and friends and family escape my anger these days because they did all of those things too. They said that I was being dramatic. They didn’t get me the help that I needed as long-term listeners of the show know a complete stranger took me to the hospital my friends and family were not absent. My parents are good parents but they didn’t know they didn’t do anything. Your mother was just like hey get a grip and don’t cause me problems because I have other things to worry about. If your mom would have understood that you were sick, she never would have told you hey don’t be sick from cancer. she never would have told you. Like if you’ve gotten like a traumatic accident and you were like you know like learning to walk again, she never would have said hey can you just like walk today so this doesn’t cause a problem. Your mom’s not an idiot. She was just ignorant about what was going on and that’s an extra burden to people like us because now their ignorance becomes our problem and we’re already sick.

Michelle: [00:10:29] Yeah. How was I supposed to feel in that situation?

Gabe: [00:10:32] You were supposed to feel shitty.

Michelle: [00:10:34] What was her logic there like of her telling me. Can you just be better so I don’t have to worry about you?

Gabe: [00:10:41] Her logic is that you had control because she hadn’t yet understood that you didn’t have control as so many people. I did the same thing as your mother to myself. I thought that I was just an asshole and I can’t say it any other way. My parents would sit me down and say you can’t behave this way you can’t skip school you can’t stay up all night you can’t talk to people like that you can’t behave this way. And then when I became an adult and started well, we all know what I did as an adult. These were not the values that my parents taught me. I thought that I had control. I didn’t realize I was sick. I thought that I was just making really shitty decisions and I kept doing it over and over and over again.

Michelle: [00:11:22] Let’s pause and hear from our sponsor.

Narrator: [00:11:24] This episode is sponsored by betterhelp.com secure convenient and affordable online counselling. All counselors are licensed accredited professionals. Anything you share is confidential. Schedule secure video or phone sessions plus chat and text with your therapist whenever you feel it’s needed. A month of online therapy often costs less than a single traditional face to face session. Go to betterhelp.com/PsychCentral and experience seven days of free therapy to see if online counselling is right for you. Betterhelp.com/PsychCentral.

Gabe: [00:11:55] And we’re back.

Michelle: [00:11:56] Do you think that the world would have just been better off if you weren’t gone?

Gabe: [00:12:01] No. No. I thought it at the time I really did think it at the time. I thought that everybody would be relieved. I thought that they would be like oh we don’t have to worry about Gabe anymore. We don’t have to be concerned that Gabe is going to get fired or cause a problem or divorce his wife for cheat on his wife or yell at his wife or yell at us or we’ve all heard.

Michelle: [00:12:20] The wrath of Gabe.

Gabe: [00:12:22] Yeah. These things didn’t come out of nowhere. I kind of wish that I could escape that label because the wrath of Gabe hasn’t existed since you know treatment but I was a person with untreated bipolar disorder and you know bipolar rage is a thing as much as I hate the reminder that I used to be so out of control that I would just start screaming at people uncontrollably and non-stop like I was some sort of like Supreme Court justice candidate just bothers me.

Michelle: [00:12:50] Did you always believe that you were in there right when you were screaming?

Gabe: [00:12:55] Yeah.

Gabe: [00:12:56] Who starts screaming because they think they’re wrong. I had no ability to consider another point of view. None whatsoever. And the more they wanted me to consider their point of view the angrier I became and the angrier I became the more I would yell and the more that I would I just sort of built on itself so you can see where when you’ve got that kind of emotion just railing at somebody they’re going to look at you like you’re just insane they’re going to look at you like you’re an asshole and those would be the faces that I would think about when I would be contemplating whether or not I want to live or die.

Michelle: [00:13:33] So you 100% are glad you’re alive right now?

Gabe: [00:13:37] Unequipped I have achieved it more than I ever thought possible. I don’t know I mean for like a dude with bipolar disorder I mean like just for a dude.

Gabe: [00:13:48] I never thought I could get here. I had so many problems so many and I still have a lot of problems.

Michelle: [00:13:56] I have a question.

Michelle: [00:13:57] So how old were you when you first thought of suicide attempts and tried to almost make a suicide attempt.

Gabe: [00:14:07] Zero. I was 0 years old. I thought about suicide every single day as far back as I can remember. 4 years old 5 years old 6 years. I thought that everybody was thinking about suicide. I really did and nobody ever knew. Nobody dissuaded me of this.

Michelle: [00:14:26] Did you tell people?

Gabe: [00:14:28] No. Why would I. I thought it was normal. I did. And listen you know I have never seen my mother go to the bathroom.

Gabe: [00:14:37] I just I want to put that right out there for the general public. I have never seen my mother go to the bathroom but I do assume that she does.

Michelle: [00:14:45] Yeah.

Gabe: [00:14:45] It’s just an assumption. So, if my mother is the one person on the planet that never has to use the restroom she should tell me because there’s no way that I would know this. I thought about suicide every day but nobody walked up to me and said hey thinking about suicide is abnormal and I didn’t tell them because I thought they were all thinking about it too. This is just how it was. I just assumed that they were thinking about it and they just assumed that I wasn’t.

Michelle: [00:15:11] Was anyone berating me with insults?

Gabe: [00:15:14] I mean I wouldn’t say berating me with insults because that sounds like they were calling me like jerk face but there was a lot of negativity in my life that people didn’t realize was negative. Kind of like the example that you used of your mother like where she said look, I’ve just got way too much going on I need you to be okay because she’s going through the illness of her of her parents which is a real big deal to her.

Michelle: [00:15:36] It is.

Gabe: [00:15:37] But that put a lot of burden on you.

Gabe: [00:15:40] So nobody was berating me with insults but my family was not understanding of what I was going through and I really thought that I was an asshole. I thought I was a bad kid.

Gabe: [00:15:50] I thought that they didn’t love me and I carried this very day because I I cannot stress this enough. Michelle, my parents are good parents. They’re good parents.

Gabe: [00:16:03] They’re fantastic parents. I don’t have a story about how my parents were awful or beat me or called me names or treated me like shit.

Gabe: [00:16:12] They were good parents and they made all kinds of mistakes like tons of mistakes like every mistake they made just compounded and made my life even worse and worse and worse. But this isn’t because they were malicious or bad it’s because they were human and nobody taught them about mental illness either.

Michelle: [00:16:29] Well I have a story in 11th grade, I walked out of my physics class.

Gabe: [00:16:36] Your 11th grade was much different from my 11th grade.

Michelle: [00:16:39] Yeah I walked in our home. I took the keys to the car when I had a permit and I drove to a drugstore. I found some like you know it was sleeping pills but obviously they were not like prescriptions sleeping pills. Went home took all the pills went to bed didn’t die but my eyes were all dilated. Couldn’t read a book. I was sitting next to my mom. And the day just went on. I tried to kill myself that day. It didn’t work. And the day we just went on like a regular day.

Gabe: [00:17:16] And nobody noticed.

Michelle: [00:17:18] Well I got in trouble because I was the teacher said that I just walked out of my physics class. But that was it.

Gabe: [00:17:25] Yeah.

Michelle: [00:17:25] Nothing nobody said. What did you do. Did you do anything after. Nobody questioned anything after. Nobody said why did you walk out of your physics class? Where did you go? What did you do?

Michelle: [00:17:37] I remember I was home. My mom goes “Why are you home right now?”

Michelle: [00:17:41] Because she came home from work and I go “Oh I wasn’t feeling good so I came home,” but really maybe I should have been honest and what I did.

Gabe: [00:17:49] Right.

Michelle: [00:17:50] But I didn’t.

Michelle: [00:17:52] And there’s like so many things I would have wished I would have said to my younger self that like this. This is not the answer because just because you think you’re stupid and this physics class is so hard and you hate your life already this is not a reason to kill yourself.

Gabe: [00:18:09] You know it’s an interesting thing that you brought up there like what would you tell your younger self.

Gabe: [00:18:13] Like if today’s Michelle could call 20 year ago you know.

Michelle: [00:18:17] Like physics was like not a reason, but I mean things I would have told to my younger self was, why would killing yourself now, what would that do for anyone?

Michelle: [00:18:31] You’re in high school. Everyone’s going to like Oh that that’s the girl that killed herself. I don’t think anyone would have been like “Oh I’m so devastated.” I honestly didn’t wouldn’t even think that anyone would have even cared at that point in my life. I didn’t think anyone really liked me at that point in my life and I was definitely having schizophrenia symptoms. I remember sitting in the back of that physics class having a delusion cracking up laughing at nothing and a girl two seats ahead turns around and goes. “Are you okay.” And I’m like “Oh what.”

Michelle: [00:19:04] She goes “You’re laughing it’s something.” I go “oh sorry” I didn’t even know. So, I was having schizophrenia hallucinations delusions in that class and had no idea I was schizophrenic but I obviously was.

Gabe: [00:19:19] And nobody noticed.

Michelle: [00:19:19] And that girl who sees ahead notice something was wrong. But I didn’t know what it was.

Gabe: [00:19:27] It’s interesting to consider like what our families would have felt or what they would have done or how they would have reacted had we been successful at ending our lives. And as our listeners know we work as a speakers and writers and in addition to podcasting and we go to a lot of mental health conferences and I hear people’s stories all the time.

Gabe: [00:19:53] I interview people about their stories and I mean no disrespect when I say this but when you hear a story from a thousand different people you sort of build up a thick skin to it and they don’t really affect me like they did in the beginning and this is good. This is this is I’m not saying this in any bad way I love hearing stories and I want people to tell their stories and I’m glad that we play a role in getting stories out to the greater public. But myself you know I tend to remain kind of emotionless by them one time I got hired to give a speech and the keynote speaker was a gentleman running for judge. He was going to be a judge. So, I went on before him because he was the keynote. So, I was like I was like the opening act. And I just had low 15-minute thing and I came up and I gave my speech it’s you know it’s condensed and beautiful and I talked about it.

Michelle: [00:20:48] And I’m sure it was the greatest speech. The greatest speech Gabe Howard gives the greatest speeches.

Gabe: [00:20:55] Yes I did get a standing ovation while you’re mocking me.

Michelle: [00:20:58] Oh wow.

Gabe: [00:21:01] Yeah yeah.

Gabe: [00:21:02] I’ve only gotten 4 in my life but that’s not the point of the story. The point of the story is after I was done, I sat down.

Gabe: [00:21:09] I plopped my ass and my seat and the next person got introduced. This was this gentleman running for judge he was about my parent’s age and he was very very dapper African-American gentleman. He was wearing a suit and his wife. You know same age and beautiful and when they called him up, he walked up with his wife and you know I don’t really think anything of this like I said I’m kind of bored like I have to say the next hour you know whatever. It’s not even my town.

Gabe: [00:21:33] Like I can’t even vote for him for Judge if I wanted to. But he said we’re changing things up a little bit. And my wife wants to talk for a moment about why we’re mental health advocates and she talked for just like 5 minutes.

Gabe: [00:21:48] And she told the story of their perfect beautiful son who died by suicide in his first or second year of college.

Gabe: [00:22:00] And she said, “We did everything right. We lived in the best neighborhoods we sentence in the most expensive private school we could find. You know he went to Europe. He. He got into the finest college. We were so proud. You know my husband’s a judge were upper middle class. We both hold advanced degrees. We gave everything to our children.”

Michelle: [00:22:22] That means nothing.

Gabe: [00:22:23] Yeah. And that’s what she said. Except we did not understand mental illness. We did not understand that he was struggling we did not make a way for him to ask for help. He could not get out of whatever it was that made him do this. And now for the rest of our lives we don’t have a son. And I started to cry because as I was looking at them all I could think of as if I was successful would be my parents. These two, they did not set out to be mental health advocates. They didn’t want to be at a mental health conference. They didn’t know this guy was a lawyer that became a judge. I mean just they became mental health advocates because they missed it and because they were too late and because they don’t want this to happen to other people it could be my parents I’d be gone and my parents would just be standing there saying we don’t know what happened and we don’t want it to happen to other people. And that’s why we need to talk about this more. That’s why we need more mental health education.

Gabe: [00:23:24] That’s why we need to understand suicidality and mental illness because me and you Michelle we’re lucky it’s not our parents.

Michelle: [00:23:33] Yeah I believe in high school. My mom. Well when I was not doing my homework in high school it was more because I believed I would never graduate. I mean I believed I was going to die. But my thought. My mom. She believed it was a learning disability.

Gabe: [00:23:49] Sure.

Michelle: [00:23:49] Because she was really unaware of what mental mental health and mental illness was. So when she found out years later when I was in college that it was a mental illness.

Michelle: [00:23:59] She was like “Oh I never even thought of that.”

Michelle: [00:24:04] How could you not think of that?

Gabe: [00:24:05] Because we didn’t think about it either Michelle.

Michelle: [00:24:09] It’s just education and it’s just different because I think generations ago they didn’t do that. And even considering my mom never thought about mental illness when my mother’s grandmother lived in a psychiatric center from the moment my grandmother was born until she died and my mom has memories of going to visit her in the center where she spoke like a baby and was just just for lack of a better word she was looney tunes so to have that in our family and to not see anything like that in me.

Michelle: [00:24:50] How could it have been such a shock if it runs in our family?

Gabe: [00:24:54] Because nobody everybody thought that it was a one off that it was a one in a million that it was never going to happen. And just it’s like getting struck by lightning. You do. I have a family member that was struck by lightning. You know I don’t look up at the sky and try to avoid it right. I still go out in the rain. I just think here is a one in a million thing.

Michelle: [00:25:11] There’s my dad’s first cousin Lori. She’s schizophrenic as well.

Gabe: [00:25:15] Well there you go.

Michelle: [00:25:16] My mom’s sister takes anti-depressants. Was it denial?

Gabe: [00:25:22] Yeah probably. It was denial it was lack of understanding and it was ignorance and it was the ostrich.

Michelle: [00:25:28] I mean I don’t know I don’t hold it against her. I don’t hold it against her. That she didn’t see it.

Michelle: [00:25:35] I think maybe it was a denial thing. She didn’t look into it. She really thought it was a learning disability because she always said that I don’t read and if you don’t read, you’re not smart. Well I read some books but what was hard for me about reading is that I was so busy in my head all the time. It’s hard to read a book when your mind’s racing back and forth.

Gabe: [00:25:56] It’s all over the place.

Gabe: [00:25:57] Michelle what do we want to leave our listeners with. I mean because we’ve covered a lot. I mean this is this is you know this is not our normal. I hate Michelle, Michelle hates Gabe and then we start screaming at each other show and that’s for the best. But really is for the best.

Michelle: [00:26:11] I mean just to leave listeners with…suicide is not an answer. And like I said I tried that 7 times and I failed 7 times. It’s not even an easy thing to do. And most likely you’ll end up in a psych ward where that’s not fun to be in. So really weigh your options and then just don’t do it.

Michelle: [00:26:37] It’s not a good idea. You’re going to hurt more than just yourself. You’re going to hurt the people around you instead of the people that love you. And if you keep on going with your life things do get better. My life has just gone leaps and bounds better than I ever thought would ever happen in my life. I never thought I’d be recording a podcast with Mr. Gabe Howard and talking about mental health like I do now. I thought I’d be pathetic my entire life. I couldn’t I would never will.

Gabe: [00:27:10] Oh well the two are not mutually exclusive.

Gabe: [00:27:12] That’s going to be recording a podcast with me and still be pathetic.

Michelle: [00:27:17] I guess but I never really envisioned a future because I never thought I would get there. I mean at that point I’m still it’s still hard for me to envision a future but that’s almost my own insecurity thinking nothing will ever really work out.

Gabe: [00:27:29] Of course of course Michelle there’s. I want to leave our listeners with just a couple of quick things one.

Gabe: [00:27:36] As we said before suicide it doesn’t end the pain. It just transfers it to somebody else. There’s another quote that I really like that is suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Michelle: [00:27:48] Yes.

Gabe: [00:27:48] But the thing that I keep in my head probably fourth most of all after where I can find Diet Coke at 2:00 a.m. is at looking back now I realize that I didn’t want to die.

Gabe: [00:28:03] I never wanted to die. I wanted the pain to stop and I didn’t know how to make the pain stop. I just didn’t. And the only thing that my battered bewildered disease the brain could come up with was suicide. That is not a good option and it’s far from the only option. And once I got treatment, I found all of these better ways to make the pain stop. And that’s all I ever wanted. I never wanted to die. I just didn’t want to suffer anymore. And I would say to anybody who’s thinking about contemplating it has in the past or maybe in the future you don’t want to die. You want the pain to stop. There are much better ways to make the pain stop. Please invest in yourself and look into them. Ask everybody that you know for help. Go to the emergency room call the suicide hotline. Talk to your general practitioner.

Gabe: [00:28:58] Go to the local urgent care. I hear that you can go to the drugstore and Wal-Mart and see a doctor now do whatever it takes.

Michelle: [00:29:07] Your life is valuable and we want you in the world.

Gabe: [00:29:12] Completely agree. Thank you everybody for listening to this week’s episode of a bipolar, a schizophrenic and a podcast. Please review rank. Share us everywhere Facebook algorithm has gone I don’t know schizophrenic. Can we say that?

Michelle: [00:29:26] Sure.

Gabe: [00:29:26] Because it just it just pushes everything down. So at this point I think you’re gonna have to like share our Website via a smoke signal maybe like tattoo it on your arm and show people. I don’t know but whatever you do it for Michelle and I to maintain our high luxury standard of living. We’re just we’re gonna need you to be there.

Gabe: [00:29:47] We’ll see everybody next week.

Michelle: [00:29:49] We love you!

Narrator: [00:29:51] You’ve been listening to a bipolar a schizophrenic and a podcast. If you love this episode don’t keep it to yourself head over to iTunes or your preferred podcast app to subscribe rate and review to work with Gabe go to GabeHoward.com. To work with Michelle, go to Schizophrenic.NYC. For free mental health resources and online support groups. Head over to PsychCentral.com Show’s official Web site PsychCentrald.com/bsp you can e-mail us at [email protected]. Thank you for listening and share widely.

Meet Your Bipolar and Schizophrenic Hosts

GABE HOWARD was formally diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders after being committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2003. Now in recovery, Gabe is a prominent mental health activist and host of the award-winning Psych Central Show podcast. He is also an award-winning writer and speaker, traveling nationally to share the humorous, yet educational, story of his bipolar life. To work with Gabe, visit gabehoward.com.MICHELLE HAMMER was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 22, but incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 18. Michelle is an award-winning mental health advocate who has been featured in press all over the world. In May 2015, Michelle founded the company Schizophrenic.NYC, a mental health clothing line, with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. She is a firm believer that confidence can get you anywhere. To work with Michelle, visit Schizophrenic.NYC.Podcast: Talking Suicide with a Bipolar and a Schizophrenic

Related Articles

View Original Article

Hope you enjoyed reading this article.
Please feel free to share!

addiction-counsellor-gareth-parry-hebdencounselling.co.uk

When Life Continues: Recovering from a Suicide Attempt

This is an interesting article I found on: www.goodtherapy.org

See credits below.


A man observes the city at dawnIf you or a loved one is in crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Surviving a suicide attempt can lead to a range of intense emotions and feelings. Many people report feeling a new sense of hope or believing they survived for a reason. Others might feel renewed hopelessness or begin to have thoughts of making another attempt. Some people feel love and compassion from friends and family. Others might feel increasingly alone.

Other emotions might include:

  • Relief, or being glad the attempt failed
  • Disappointment or confusion
  • Embarrassment and shame
  • Fatigue, lethargy, or general overwhelm
  • Anger

Whatever feelings you experience, it’s essential to work with a counselor trained in helping people recover from suicide attempts. Healing from a suicide attempt is possible, though recovery time may vary depending on different factors. According to Tamara Hill, MS, NCC, CCTP, LPC, “Recovery is possible with planning, but recovery should be multi-dimensional.”

Getting Help After a Suicide Attempt

One of the first steps in recovering from a suicide attempt is seeking health care. It’s important to get medical attention for any physical injuries or illness related to the attempt. A mental health professional will talk to you at the hospital to see how you’re feeling and whether you’re still at risk for suicide. If you’re already working with a therapist, the hospital can contact them.

If you’re still in crisis or your doctor or counselor is concerned for your safety, they may recommend you remain in the hospital as a patient until your suicide risk has decreased. People at high risk for suicide who don’t want to be admitted to the hospital may be hospitalized involuntarily for a few days. This isn’t common. It’s only likely to happen if your care providers believe you are very likely to attempt suicide again very soon. You may not want to stay in the hospital, but if you plan to make another attempt, remaining somewhere safe is a good idea.

It’s important that you prioritize your healing and spend time with people who can offer support. Some of your loved ones may need time to work through their own feelings, but you can only be responsible for your own recovery. Once you’re home, your friends and family may ask questions you aren’t sure how to answer. Suicide is a topic that’s still surrounded by stigma, so it can be difficult to talk about what you experienced.

Remember that you don’t have to share anything you don’t want to. If you want to talk to your loved ones but need more time, let them know you’re still sorting through your feelings. Your counselor can help you work through what to say if you’re struggling to find the right words.

You’ve just experienced something very traumatic. Your family and friends may be affected by your decision to attempt suicide. Some people may say thoughtless or hurtful things out of grief or fear. It’s important that you prioritize your healing and spend time with people who can offer support. Some of your loved ones may need time to work through their own feelings, but you can only be responsible for your own recovery.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Suicide Attempt?

Recovery from attempted suicide can take time. The amount of time may depend on several factors, including the level of social/emotional support you have and how you continue to work through the challenges affecting your mental health.

Recovery typically happens in stages. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing lists five common phases of recovery:

  1. A person realizes that they still have business in life and/or that they don’t want to die.
  2. A person becomes aware that they need to seek help from others, such as professionals or loved ones.
  3. A person re-encounters stress and hardship in their life.
  4. A person adjusts their behavior to better cope with life’s challenges.
  5. A person accepts that there are good and bad parts to life and begins to invest in their own well-being.

The same study suggests recovery is often nonlinear. People often move back and forth between stages of self-awareness, adjustment, and acceptance. A person may feel average one day, stressed the next, and then hopeful the third.

Self-care is an important part of recovery.

  • You can take care of yourself physically by getting enough sleep, taking any medications your doctor or psychiatrist prescribed, making time for physical activity, and eating nourishing foods.
  • Activities such as listening to music, writing in a journal, or working with your hands or body can help you feel better emotionally.
  • Many people find yoga and meditation to be both emotionally and physically beneficial.

These things can all have a positive impact on recovery.

Therapy for Suicide Recovery

In many cases, the triggers leading to a suicide attempt don’t go away after the attempt. If you were working with a therapist before attempting suicide but therapy wasn’t helping, consider trying a new approach to treatment. Not every approach works for every person. Talk with your therapist about what’s working and what isn’t. If there’s a new concern in your life that’s adding stress, try to address this in therapy so you can develop ways to cope.

Check in frequently with your therapist, and be honest about what you’re feeling. Your therapist’s job is to help you, and they are trained to do so with compassion and without judgment.Another important component of therapy after a suicide attempt is developing your crisis/safety plan. According to Hill, this plan might include, “triggers, warning signs of evident regression in health, and a concrete plan of coping skills to use to avoid hospitalization or suicide attempts.” Hill goes on to emphasize the importance of societal support, which might include “addresses to local groups, registration information to educational seminars, and websites to local organizations that support suicide recovery.”

Your therapist can help you develop a safety plan. Check in frequently with your therapist, and be honest about what you’re feeling. Your therapist’s job is to help you, and they are trained to do so with compassion and without judgment.

If you have family support (or support from your partner or close friends), consider including them in your recovery plan and therapy if possible. Suicide is a difficult topic, and your family and friends may not know how to talk to you about what happened. They may be working through their own feelings about the attempt. Therapy can provide a safe space for you and your loved ones to share your thoughts—when you’re ready to do so.

Preventing Future Suicide Attempts

Making one suicide attempt is a risk factor for future suicide attempts. A 2014 review of articles looking at suicide found that one in 25 people who are hospitalized for self-harm complete suicide within five years. A 2016 study looking at 1,490 people who attempted suicide found almost 82% of those who didn’t complete their first attempt completed a second attempt within one year.

It’s important to have a crisis plan when recovering from a suicide attempt. This is something you might talk about with your therapist. Your crisis plan might include:

  • A list of what triggers suicidal thoughts or feelings.
  • A list of things that help you cope with triggers.
  • A list (or photos) of your loved ones, pets, and other things that are important to you. These can help you cope in a time of crisis.
  • Names and numbers of people you can reach out to, such as friends, family, your therapist and doctor, or others you trust.
  • Numbers for immediate care, such as the nearest emergency room, a suicide helpline, or other emergency services.
  • A list of steps to keep yourself safe if you are in crisis. For example, you might plan how you could avoid or get rid of items in your house that you could harm yourself with.

It’s also important to seek support from others. Re-establishing connections with people who care for you can have a significant impact on recovery. Different people in your life can help in different ways, so don’t be afraid to reach out to the people who care about you.

It helps to be clear about what you need. For example, if you don’t feel like talking, you could ask family members or close friends if they can keep you company when you’re struggling to cope with difficult feelings. You might say something like, “I don’t want to talk, but I want to distract myself from thinking about hurting myself. Can we go for a walk?”

After surviving a suicide attempt, you may feel lost and uncertain of your next steps. The journey forward may seem long and difficult. But recovery is possible! Take the time you need to heal, and make sure you have social and professional support as you work toward recovery. Remember, you are not alone. There is hope for the future.

References:

  1. After an attempt. (n.d.). American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Retrieved from https://afsp.org/find-support/ive-made-attempt/after-an-attempt
  2. Bostwick, J. M., Pabbati, C., Geske, J. R., & McKean, A. J. (2016, August 13). Suicide attempt as a risk factor for completed suicide: Even more lethal than we knew. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 173(11), 1094-1100. Retrieved from https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.15070854
  3. Carrigan, C. G., & Lynch, D. J. (2003). Managing suicide attempts: Guidelines for the primary care physician. The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 5(4) 169-174. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC419387
  4. Carroll, R., Metcalfe, C., & Gunnell, D. (2014, February 28). Hospital presenting self-harm and risk of fatal and non-fatal repetition: Systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE, 9(2). Retrieved from https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0089944
  5. Chi, M. T., Long, A., Jeang, S. R., Ku, Y. C., Lu, T., & Sun, F. K. (2014). Healing and recovering after a suicide attempt: A grounded theory study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 23(11-12), 1751-1759. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24251862
  6. Recovering after a suicide attempt. (n.d.). SuicideLine Victoria. Retrieved from https://www.suicideline.org.au/resource/recovering-after-a-suicide-attempt
  7. Sellin, L., Asp, M., Kumlin, T., Wallsen, T., & Gustin, L. W. (2017, February 28). To be present, share and nurture: A lifeworld phenomenological study of relatives’ participation in the suicidal person’s recovery. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Health and Well-being, 12(1). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5345596
  8. A journey toward health and hope [PDF]. (2015). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved from https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma15-4419.pdf

© Copyright 2019 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

Original Article

Hope you enjoyed reading this article.
Please feel free to share!