Posts tagged Suicide
Posts tagged Suicide
I can’t honestly blame her. As soon as I actually tried saying the stuff in my head out loud, it was all a bit… disastrous.
Which is why I don’t generally do much of that stuff outside of therapy appointments and support groups - bad enough suddenly having suicidal ideation, much worse if you’re by yourself when it happens.
I’m also going to try to set my alarm for 6am and take my Vyvanse and antidepressant right then, and then go back to sleep. Like, “put them and a glass of water by my bed and seriously just try and take the pills and sleep some more.” Don’t know if it’ll work, but J (therapist) says it’s helped some of her clients, and since I have no plan whatsoever for surviving Tuesday, I figure I’ll give it a shot.
this week, i know. i know that nearly 27% of americans will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime, and that illness strikes with no regard for race, age, or socioeconomic status. i know that since 2009, more soldiers have died by suicide than by combat. i know that 75% of our homeless and incarcerated populations suffer from mental illness. i know that, every year, we lose 36,000 lives to suicide - more than twice the number of homicides. and now you know! it’s time to use these facts to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness.
This week mark’s National Suicide Prevention Week, and today, September 10, 2012, is World Suicide Prevention Day.
While these are incredible important events to recognize now, suicide prevention is also an incredible important health and human service to provide year round. It provides hope, care, and tools to those living with mental illness and those who have lost loved ones to suicide.
As many of you know, I have chronicled my own experience with major depression on my blog, www.ilostmy30s.tumblr.com. Since I began writing about it, I have received incredible letters of support along with moving letters from (mainly) mother’s who have lost children to suicide. The emotional and physical fall out in the wake of their child’s death is nearly unbelievable.
This week, all around the country, there are events and services and ceremonies taking place for the public to attend. If you would like to know more about suicide prevention, please visit the National Alliance of Mental Illness at www.nami.org or No Stigmas at www.NoStigmas.org or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at www.afsp.org.
It takes only a little information to help a lot of people. : )
There is no shame or sin in turning off your anonymous Asks.
I strongly, strongly recommend that you do turn off anonymous Asks if:
a) anyone is harassing you anonymously
b) you are having a bad day
c) you think it might be a good idea
d) your depression symptoms are increasing
e) your anxiety symptoms are increasing
f) you feel like your symptoms might start increasing
g) you can think of a good reason to do it
h) you are any kind of risk of hurting yourself (even just a little bit)
i) any of the reasons above really ring true to you
j) you want to be an example to other people who are suffering but scared that it’s “wrong” or “cowardly” or whatever to turn off your anonymous Asks.
I also suggest you talk to a helpline near you. The Hopeline (800-784-2433) and BoysTown (800-448-3000) will work for everyone in the US, and the Samaritans (08457 90 90 90) work for everyone in the UK.
i can’t stop crying.
i feel like i might relapse.
i don’t know what to do…
Sorting It Out
When you start your search, keep an open mind. A therapist does not need decades of experience — or a sheepskin from an ivy-league school — to be helpful.
It used to be that a psychiatrist was considered most qualified because he or she had more education, but that’s not true anymore. Some psychiatrists got their licenses 25 years ago and haven’t kept up. Many psychiatrists who are trained today just handle medications. You can have a primary care doctor do that — it’s not like psychiatrists are indispensable!
Credentials aren’t everything. Even people with great credentials aren’t necessarily great therapists. They may be smart, but that doesn’t mean they have good common sense.
Where to Start?
[NOTE: depending on where you live, you may need a doctor’s referral to see a therapist/counselor]
Don’t start with three names from your managed care company.
- Avrum Geurin Weiss, PhD, author of the book, Experiential Psychotherapy: A Symphony of Selves.
Very likely, you don’t have the company’s entire list of providers. “Insist on getting the whole provider list. Then ask friends and colleagues if they know a psychologist or psychiatrist who could make recommendations from that list.”
Weiss gets plenty of calls from people who say, “I have Aetna insurance. I know you’re not an Aetna provider, but can you look at my list?”
“They fax it to me, and I make recommendations. I do it all the time,” he says.
- Call a university psychiatry or psychology department and ask recommendations of people trained in that program. “At least that way you know they’re under scrutiny,” says Turner.
- If you’re moving to a new city, ask your current therapist for referrals, or have him check with colleagues.
- Call a large clinic; ask the receptionist for recommendations. “They know who specializes in what,” Baker tells WebMD. “They can match you up pretty well.”
- Check with friends and family.
- Check on Psychology Today’s therapy directory [Canada and the United States]
- Check at a local crisis center or women’s shelter for resources.
If you’re embarrassed about asking for help, get over it. Get past the stigma. The outcome’s too important.
Also, check with professional associations to learn about a therapist’s expertise — whether they provide psychotherapy, if they treat children, etc. The American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association both provide such lists for people wanting to find a therapist.
The First Appointment
Ask questions: How long has the therapist been in practice? How many patients have had your problem? What were the results? Ask about policies, fees, payment. But don’t bargain hunt for mental health care.
You find a therapist in the same way you choose any health care professional. They must be professional, credentialed, and competent, with no lawsuits against them. And they must be an intuitive fit — you can’t underestimate the absolute value of feeling a good intuitive match with somebody. Also, if you ask them questions about themselves, and they get defensive, go somewhere else.
If you and your therapist are not a good fit and do not “connect”, do not hesitate to find a new therapist and continue looking for new therapists until you find the right one. Any therapist worth their degree/certificates will understand.
Another important point: Has your therapist been in therapy? They have to have resolved their own issues, or they will steer you away from things they are not comfortable with. They may also bring their own issues into your therapy.
- Do I feel reasonably OK with this person? “Feeling totally comfortable isn’t the best criteria, because if you’re too comfortable, you’re just chit chatting, and that doesn’t help you,” says Baker.
- Is the therapist really listening to me? Is he or she asking enough questions? Especially in the first sessions, the therapist should be asking many questions, to become acquainted with you and the issues you are dealing with.
- Has the therapist asked what outcome you want from therapy — how you want your life to be? How will you know when you get there, if neither the patient nor the therapist has established a goal?
- Do you feel satisfied with the therapist’s resources? For example, do you have to find your own therapy group? Or is your therapist checking with colleagues about a group appropriate for you?
- Does what the therapist say make sense? Does it seem like bad advice? Does it help you or not?
Baker says patients don’t always like his suggestions — yet he knows from intuition and experience that its good advice.
Example: Your husband uses profanity constantly when talking to you; you want him to quit. Baker suggests that you mirror your husband’s behavior — you use profanity the next time he does — a technique he knows will work. “People are always resistant to that, they don’t want to ‘sink that low,’ but then they’re amazed at how well it works,” Baker says. “It’s not that you should take up bad habits, but that he stop his.”
It’s tough finding a good child psychotherapist. Not many people have much experience working with adolescents. You can end up with a therapist trained to work with adults, but they work with adolescents because they have an adolescent or because they like working with adolescents.
A pediatrician can often make a referrals.
“I warn people about school counselors making referrals; they are overwhelmed and busy, don’t follow up to see if good work is happening.” - Weiss
Also, check with other parents. “I recommend that parents identify two or three therapists that they find acceptable, then let your kid pick from among them. That’s so they have a voice in this,” Weiss advises.
Eugenio Rothe, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Miami and director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic at Jackson Memorial Hospital, offered his insights.
Pediatricians and professional counselors should not be treating a child for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), he tells WebMD. “More than 75% of children with ADHD are treated by a pediatrician or primary care doctor. But studies show that 40% to 60% of those children have another psychiatric diagnosis. How can a pediatrician [or counselor] diagnose that?”
“Professional honesty is very important — referring patients to other professionals when you’re not trained to handle the problem,” says Rothe. “Many psychologists feel very threatened by psychiatrists, that they will lose the patient if they make a referral. But they’re doing a disservice by not getting patients get the help they need.”
Psychiatrists understand both the body and the brain, and that’s a critical difference, he explains. “Depression may begin with a situational problem in your life, but that event causes chemical changes in your brain. Once those chemical changes are established, you have a chemical imbalance. If you treat depression as something abstract, you won’t get to the fact that it’s a chemical imbalance that needs be treated.”
He retells one landmark court case: A man with what’s known as “agitated depression” wore out three pairs shoes from pacing for more than six months in a mental health facility. Talk therapy was not helping, so he signed himself out, went to a psychiatrist, got medications, and got completely better in six weeks.
“He sued the hospital, said he hadn’t received appropriate treatment, and he won,” says Rothe.
The lesson for therapists: You are making a patient suffer unnecessarily if you don’t treat the depression effectively — or if you don’t help them find a therapist who can.
I hate it when newspapers put all this triggering information out there and don’t include links to important resources (or mention what to do if someone is exhibiting worrisome behavior.)
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)
Boystown National Hotline (1-800-448-3000)
BoysTown has live chat help times scheduled, email help, and the traditional hotline. If you’re a teen or young adult facing a crisis (or even just a really crappy day) they are happy to help, or just listen and give comfort.
They also have some journal pages you can print out to work on problems you’ve having on your own.
If you are in physical danger, feel like hurting yourself, or are currently in the middle of something really really serious, I strongly recommend you call them rather than wait for help online. Their number is 1-800-448-3000.
You are not alone. There is help.
We do not know the extent to which the door is open for these particular people to grow and develop in righteousness until they possibly receive the blessings of exaltation. They committed a very serious sin, and some consequences of it may remain with them throughout eternity. Only our Father in Heaven knows the full answer to the questions our hearts ask regarding those who take their own lives.
But it is clear that hope exists. President Joseph F. Smith learned this important principle near the end of a long life of service to the Church. In vision he saw the work of salvation proceeding among the dead, and wrote:
“I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead.
“The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,
“And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation.” (D&C 138:57–59.)
Who should call?
- Anyone who feels sad, hopeless, or suicidal.
- Family and friends who are concerned about a loved one.
- Anyone interested in mental health treatment and service referrals.
Somewhere between 10% and 30% (maybe more) of bipolar patients end out killing themselves (that’s a lifetime figure - that is, when you look at everyone who’s already dead who had a bipolar diagnosis in life, that’s the percentage who died via suicide.)