Mental Health, Creativity, Writing & Publishing

If you are feeling suicidal . . .

First realize that you are not alone. Please tell a trusted friend or family member and/or see a mental health professional or get to an emergency room! If you have nowhere else to turn, call the National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255. The Hotline also offers online help at: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat


I am not a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor or any other type of mental health professional. I'm just a relatively well-informed mental health patient, family member and author. 


Much as I'd like to help I cannot take your calls and cannot answer every email I get. However, I'm happy to offer some free information and resources. You're welcome to download any or all of the information below

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If you're concerned that someone may be suicidal . . .

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Signs That Someone May Be Suicidal

• No longer interacting with family, friends or coworkers; avoiding social activities

• A significant change in sleeping patterns

• Drinking more alcohol or using illegal drugs

• Hoarding pills or buying a weapon

• Harming oneself through behaviors like cutting, head banging or hitting oneself

• Changing their will or giving away cherished items

• Making statements like, “Nobody cares about me” or “I wish I was dead” or “Life just isn’t worth living” or “You’re better off without me.”


NOTE: If a previously depressed person starts acting calmer and looking happier, it’s not always a positive sign! They may only seem better because they’ve finalized their plan, generated energy to complete it and expect their pain to be over soon. 

Asking "The Question"

Contrary to popular belief, asking someone if they’re feeling suicidal when they’re despondent or feeling hopeless will not plant the idea in that person’s mind. That idea has probably already been there for quite some time. 


Don’t be afraid to ask someone if they’re considering ending their life. It may be a very uncomfortable question to ask, but it’s crucial and may very well save the person’s life. 


When you ask, however, respect the person’s privacy by moving to a neutral, comfortable location first. Start by saying something like, “You seem to be going through a rough time” or share the signs or symptoms the person has been displaying. Then say that you care about them and ask how you can help.


Sometimes, what that person most needs is to know that somebody really cares. Other times, they need to talk with a professional, to be placed on medication or to be hospitalized for their own protection.


When you do ask someone if they’re considering suicide, do so compassionately and out of love. Do so without saying suicide is wrong, without judging the person, without criticizing the person’s character. 


Someone who’s suicidal is experiencing enough pain already. Often, they’ve concluded that there’s simply no other way to escape the very real pain they’re experiencing.

Please don’t be afraid to ask "The Question"!

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Hotline help: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat

An untreated mental illness is present is 90% of suicides.

Mental illnesses are disorders of the brain not weaknesses or character flaws. Treatment success rates are comparable to those of other medical conditions. As with any illness, early treatment tends to lead to a better outcome.


The following organizations offer excellent information on mental illnesses:

• Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) https://www.dbsalliance.org 

• National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) https://www.nami.org and 

• Mental Health America (MHA) www.mentalhealthamerica.net

Excerpt — Losing All Hope: Suicide

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Please note that the represents how I felt when suicidal.

You’ve been stuck in this blackness, it seems, your whole life. Was life ever worth living? You can barely recall. If it once was, it was all an illusion. Or something has changed and your life will never be the same. The future holds nothing but pain for you. You can bring only sorrow to those you love. Clearly, they’d be better off without   you.


The mere idea of positive thinking—of trying to be optimistic—is a crock. Those who think otherwise are simply deluded. You cannot think yourself out of this illness, this curse. You will wear this albatross forever.

 

Whether you’ve fallen from three or four or five stories high—or from solid ground to five stories under—you’re at the bottom now. You can fall no farther. Life holds no promise. Nada. You can’t walk that tightrope even one more time. For you, no solid ground exists. It never will. You’re so tired of the struggle. So weary of having so   little control. You’ve lost all hope. Admit it. It’s time to check out.

PLEASE NOTE

The preceding excerpt from my book Bipolar Disorder Demystified is NOT a suggestion for someone to take their life!

The words above merely represent my feelings when I used to feel suicidal, long ago, which I'm extremely grateful to report I no longer feel!