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Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

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Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.

A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Why Suicide?

Many people are wondering why Marie's Osmond's son, Michael Bosil; Walter Keonig's, son Andrew Koenig and Alexander McQueen, British fashion icon all commited suicide.  Unfortunately, there are some textbook signs that all of them had.  Number one is they were all diagnosed with depression. Depression is the leading cause of suicides and is a mental illness that you cannot just snap out of it. Even with therapy and medications it is difficult to overcome or manage. Treatment is necessary!!  Not all suicides are due to depression.


"Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad, but these feelings are usually fleeting and pass within a couple of days. When a person has a depressive disorder, it interferes with daily life, normal functioning, and causes pain for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him or her. Depression is a common but serious illness, and most who experience it need treatment to get better.

Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the vast majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Intensive research into the illness has resulted in the development of medications, psychotherapies, and other methods to treat people with this disabling disorder."

Often when a person commits suicide the question is, "why?" People commit suicide, due to responding to extreme emotional pain, and suicidal thoughts and feelings due to various brain chemistry deficiencies and/or disorders. Prolonged life circumstances of extreme stress, emotional upset, abuse, poverty, terrible living conditions, neglect, poor health, injury, disability - especially with no apparent hope of change or improvement can and do precipitate depression and suicidal thoughts for some.  Hopelessness sets in.


A major loss or such has having a close loved one die, lost custody over their children, losing a job, money or house are also some other reasons.  Remember, it is their perception of the loss, not yours. When the individual finds that they have a serious or terminal illness, they become so frightened of the path that is ahead of them that they go ahead and kill themselves. Domestic violence, assault and rape are some other reasons. A child being murdered, kidnapping and child molestation are some more reasons.


Andrew Koenig's behavior before his suicide was a textbook case for suicide. The major signs and symptoms were present.
  • He had planned this at least a month in advance. He gave his landlord 30 days notice.
  • He sold or gave away his belonging.
  • He turned down a job which was unchararistic of him.
  • He left objects on his friend's doorsteps.
  • He made sure that his friend's received borrowed items.
  • He basically cleaned out his apartment and gave all of his belongings away.
  • He was described by family friends as severely depressed.
  • He stopped taking his medications.  This is a warning sign and a precusor of mood changes.
  • This all took place before his move from Los Angeles to Vancouver where his body was found.

Unfortunately, no one had the complete picture until after his suicide.  This is often the case, but put all the behavior together you have a picture of a man set to commit suicide. He had left a suicide note.


Michael Bosil, reportedly had been diagnosed with depression was hospitalized for treatment.  He had been depressed and left a suicide note with a friend who recieved it too late.


Alexander McQueen, had been distraught over the death of his mother.  A few days after her death he committed suicide on the eve of her funeral. On his blog, he seemed to be handling it well until a couple of days before the funeral.  His writing became darker, hopeless, desperate and covert.  He also left a suicide note.

There are many famous people who have had or have depression including Adam Ant, Adam Duritz, Amy Tan, Anne Rice, Ashley Judd, Billy Corgan, Billy Joel, Boris Yeltsin, Brian Wilson, Brooke Shields, David Bohm, Delta Burke, Diana, Princess of Wales, Dick Cavett, Drew Carey, Emma Thompson, Nanny McPhee, Harrison Ford, Heath Ledger, Hugh Laurie, J. K. Rowling, Jeffrey Sebelia, Jim Carrey, John Denver, Kurt Cobain, Marie Osmond, Mark Roget, Mike Wallace, Olivia Newton-John, Owen Wilson, Pete Wentz, Richard Jeni, Rodney Dangerfield, Rosie O'Donnell, Sheryl Crow, Tennessee Williams, Terry Bradshaw, Trent Reznor and Vincent Van Gogh just to name a few as there are many more celebrities who have never talked about their battles with depression.

Untreated Depression is the major cause of suicide.

What to do if you think a person is having suicidal thoughts? I obtained this information off the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA) site. You cannot predict death by suicide, but you can identify people who are at increased risk for suicidal behavior, take precautions, and refer them for effective treatment.

Ask the person directly if he or she (1) is having suicidal thoughts/ideas, (2) has a plan to do so, and (3) has access to lethal means

Ask “Are you thinking about killing yourself?” “Have you ever tried to hurt yourself before?” “Do you think you might try to hurt yourself today?” “Have you thought of ways that you might hurt yourself?” “Do you have pills/weapons in the house?”

This won’t increase the person’s suicidal thoughts. It will give you information that indicates how strongly the person has thought about killing him or herself.

IS PATH WARM?

Ideation—Threatened or communicated
Substance abuse—Excessive or increased

Purposeless—No reasons for living
Anxiety—Agitation/Insomnia
Trapped—Feeling there is no way out
Hopelessness

Withdrawing—From friends, family, society
Anger (uncontrolled)—Rage, seeking revenge
Recklessness—Risky acts, unthinking
Mood changes (dramatic)

If it is then, call for help. The following are some resources most of which are international:

http://suicidehotlines.com/national.html
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
http://suicidehotlines.com/international.html
http://suicideandmentalhealthassociationinternational.org/Crisis.html
http://www.befrienders.org/
http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html


Myth: People who talk about killing themselves rarely commit suicide.
Fact: Most people who commit suicide have given some verbal clues or warning of their intention.

Myth: The tendency toward suicide is inherited and passed from generation to generation.
Fact: Although suicidal behavior does tend to run in families, it does not appear to be transmitted genetically.

Myth: The suicidal person wants to die and feels that there is no turning back.
Fact: Suicidal people are usually ambivalent about dying and frequently will seek help immediately after attempting the harm themselves.

Myth: All suicidal people are deeply depressed.
Fact: Although depression is often closely associated with suicidal feelings, not all people who kill themselves are obviously depressed. In fact some suicidal people appear to be happier than they've been in years because they have decided to "resolve" all of their problems by killing themselves. Also, people who are extremely depressed usually do not have the energy to kill themselves.

Myth: There is no correlation between alcoholism and suicide.
Fact: Alcoholism and suicide often go hand in hand. Alcoholics are prodded to suicidal behavior and even people who don't normally drink will often ingest alcohol shortly before killing themselves.

Myth: Suicidal people are mentally ill.
Fact: Although many suicidal people are depressed and distraught, most could not be diagnosed as mentally ill; perhaps only about 25 percent of them are actually psychotic.

Myth: Once someone attempts suicide, that person will always entertain thoughts of suicide.
Fact: Most people who are suicidal are so for only a very brief period once in their lives. If the person receives the proper support and assistance, he/she will probably never be suicidal again. Only about 10 percent of the people who attempt later kill themselves.

Myth: If you ask someone about their suicidal intentions, you will only encourage them to kill themselves.
Fact: Actually the opposite is true. Asking someone directly about their suicidal intentions will often lower their anxiety level and act as a deterrent to suicidal behavior by encouraging the ventilation of pent-up emotions through a frank discussion of his problems.

Myth: Suicide is quite common among the lower class.
Fact: Suicide crosses all socioeconomic distinctions and no one class is more susceptible to it than another.

Myth: Suicidal people rarely seek medical attention.
Fact: Research has consistently shown that about 75 percent of suicidal people will visit a physician within the month before they kill themselves.



Is Suicide a Choice? "No. Choice implies that a suicidal person can reasonably look at alternatives and select among them. If they could rationally choose, it would not be suicide. Suicide happens when all other alternatives are exhausted -- when no other choices are seen."~ Adina Wrobleski Suicide: Why? (1995)



“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” ~ Norman Cousins


“Have the courage to live. Anyone can die.” ~Robert Cody


"If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide." ~Mahatma Gandhi

“As anyone who has been close to someone that has committed suicide knows, there is no other pain like that felt after the incident” ~ Peter Greene

9 comments:

Mumsy said...

This is a very informative post. I hope it would reach and help someone..

Clueless said...

Mumsy,

Thank you. I too also hope that it helps someone.

Spin Original said...

I have considered comitting suicide on several occasions. The only thing that keeps me from following through is the devestation and loss that my family would go through - and I would never want to bring that kind of pain on anyone.

CordieB. said...

Very imformative. Thank you for posting. I especially appreciated your saying, "Remember, it is their perception of the loss, not yours." So very true.

Blessings...Keep up the informative posts!

c.

Psych Client said...

It's interesting to read the questions one should ask of suicidal people. In four year, my therapist has never asked me one of them.

I often talk of feeling this way. Not one question from him about anything really.

Anyway, your blog always has good information.

Clueless said...

Spin,

I'm glad that you are able to remember how it would effect those around you. I am sad that you have had those thoughts...they are tough to fight.

Cordie,

On my blog, I do informational, inspirational, fun, silly and journal entries with current commentary. All with the hope that it may help someone and also have some fun, so the blog isn't so serious. Thank you for your encouragement. It really means a lot as I was becoming disheartened about it, but now I have new energy.

Psych Client,

I suggest, as difficult it is, to bring it up in therapy and even use this blog as to why you were thinking about it. You might be surprised by his answer...I know I was with mine. Thank you for the compliment.

Forbidden Regrets said...

Enternal Love:Grab hold of the utmost love, gaze upos its eternaty. Passionate images enclose you in a dream. Chosing illusion over reality. Dreams over life. Pleasure over freedom. Your desires take hold where you're sheltered. Only to get a glimps of a healing wish. Leavinf unheard echoes behind. Waiting for the miracle that will embrace your soul. You're touched by the unblemished angel. Your ambitious heart is betrayed, lost and wretched. Invisible to the eye, controling over your mind, Precious memories will stay at ease. Intertwined into a collapsed promise. Only to remember your unconditional detemination. So the fragile body has warmth.

Just thought I's share. This is my opinion on what its like with a mental disorder. Thanks for sharing your blog entry with me.

http://forbiddenregrets.blogspot.com/

-Real Diary of my life with Major Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders. There's two worlds, ours...then thiers. I'm tired of hiding the dark side.

Dr. Deb said...

This is a great post filled with excellent information!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for helping me better understand suicide. Someone close to me commited suicide when i was ten, n i just didnt quite understand fully d reasons that could cause this. Suicide really has a ripple effect, affecting not just ppl u r close to, but also ppl u never knew, friends, future friends, n maybe even friends of friends, of the people u know... Its really scary as many times, my thoughts are consumed by suicide, not of commiting it, but just about it. N by far, one of the worse things r d reactions of my friends, teachers, when they find out i know someone who commited suicide... Almost everytime, they will react in a way that makes me just want to never mention n forget it, but i know i never can or will, not event deny it. Suicide of anyone will have horrible effects on children, especially at a young enough to not fully understand everything, the full implications of that action, yet old enough to b deeply affect by the loss... Sorry if i commented too much...

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