depression, mental health, mental illness, suicidal thoughts, suicude

Suicide Resources , Facts and Information

I feel that I should start this post with the following information.

Lifeline, the national suicide prevention hotline for USA

Phone: If you are in crisis you can call anytime  1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

The American Foundation for Suicide Preventionhttp://www.afsp.org/

Below is a link for the National Institute for Mental health , section on suicide prevention

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml

If you are not in the USA then there are international suicide hotlines to call. The responders to the calls are trained in suicide prevention and know about mental illness.

Suicide is in the top ten list for causes of death in the United States. Unfortunately, it claims more lives each year than the year before. This is an epidemic which deserves attention and research to find solutions.

There are about 1 million suicide attempts each year in the US and the numbers continue to rise. If you feel alone in considering suicide, you are not. There are people right now, like you, that feel alone and do not know how to reach out to for help.

Many suicides are people who had a mental illness that was not being treated. It is possible that treatment could have saved their lives.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, someone commits suicide about every 14 minutes, in the United States. This is about  40,000 lives lost every year.

Adolescent suicide is a reality that many people want to ignore and pretend that it does not exist.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health,

” Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens aged 12-17, accounting for about 1,000 deaths in 2011 . A 2013 survey indicated that as many as 2.7 percent of high school students nationwide made a suicide attempt”

It is difficult to gather exact statistics about self harm because many people, including teens and preteens , do not tell anyone about their self harm behaviors. It is their way of feeling some power over their circumstances, when they otherwise feel powerless. It is often a secret kept from family and friends.

There is research that estimates that 14-24 percent of adolescents have self harmed at least once. Many of them have done it many times and continue to do so.

Make no mistake, self harm is a big red flag! If someone you know is injuring themselves then they are at risk for suicide.

A recent study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration found that one in five Americans is living with some type of mental health condition. Mental illness like depression, severe anxiety, PTSD , bipolar disorder and many others can be a risk factor for self harm or suicide.

The stress response known as fight-or-flight is driven by the stress hormone cortisol, which is regulated by a part of the neuroendocrine system called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

There is research that shows that there can be a genetic predisposition to suicide and suicide attempts. There is a great article which gives all the specifics in the link below.

http://www.afsp.org/research/research-connection/stress-and-genes-linked-to-suicide-attempts

If you are wondering about the symptoms of yourself or someone else, there are some suicide warning signs that are critical to know.

Someone who talks about the following things, is a possible suicide risk:

  • Killing themselves.
  • Having no reason to live.
  • Being a burden to others.
  • Feeling trapped.
  • Unbearable pain.

Other behaviors that should alert your attention include:

loss of interest in activities they love, self-isolation from family and friends, giving away important possessions and making phone calls to people that sound like they are saying goodbye to them.

Each of those people leaves an average of 6 family members and close friends who are traumatized by the suicide. So if you are a survivor of the suicide of a loves one, you are not alone. There is help for you.

Suicide  of a loved one is extremely traumatizing and can cause PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), depression, and severe anxiety. In another words, you may be suffering from mental illness now, if you survived the suicide of a family member or a friend.

The links below will give you a beginning to finding ways to get help for your trauma. Find a way to seek help if you feel like you need it.

http://www.afsp.org/coping-with-suicide-loss

http://www.afsp.org/coping-with-suicide-loss/find-support

http://www.afsp.org/coping-with-suicide-loss/find-support/join-the-survivor-e-network

There are medications for depression and other mental illnesses. There are many kinds of  therapists. For some people , therapy is very helpful.

There are many people on wordpress.com that really care about you. We are the “wounded healers”  The wounded healers have experienced severe trauma, mental illness and abuse. We are compassionate about the suffering of others that we can relate to.

You can search by tags for suicide, mental illness, depression, ptsd, bipolar disorder, and other mental illness related tags.

Read people’s stories. Comment on their posts. Keep reading and searching until you find someone that will understand and will reach out to you. There are many in this community.

I have seen people become suicidal and post their feelings and even their plans for suicide on wordpress. It was their only outlet because at this point they had cut off family and friends.

So many bloggers responded to these suicidal posts that the people felt enveloped in care and concern from strangers who really reached out to them. Many people had a change of heart after reading all the comments that other bloggers wrote.

The same goes for survivors of suicide. There are wounded healers that are survivors of suicide here as well. If you search the tags and keep trying, you will find someone that will listen and understand. Sometimes the best first step to healing is to find someone that will understand and validate your suffering.

I hope this post has provided some helpful information for you. If anyone wants to put a link to their mental illness blog in the comments , as a way of adding that information to this post, feel free to do do.

If you are reaching out for help, please also feel free to put a link to your blog in the comments below.  If you are viewing wordpress from a google search and do not have a wordpress blog, it is very easy to set up a wordpress account. You do not have to post a picture in your profile. You can always use an avatar.

That is about all I can think of to say at this time. We were brought into the world needing the community of others. There are people in the world that will understand you. Don’t give up until you find them.

addictive personality, anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, battered women, bipolar, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, domestic abuse, domestic violence, mental abuse, mental disorders, mental health, mental illness, self-esteem, suicidal ideations, suicidal thoughts, suicude

Comparing Ourselves to Others…Shame, abuse, mental illness

This was my response to one of the comments I got on a post. I will not say which person commented but they can feel free to comment here if they want to do so. The reason I am posting this, is because I feel that the concern they had was one I have heard many times from people with mental illness, abuse and psychological injury. 

People who have mental pain, have trouble in day to day situations, where other people seem to float right through. Everyone around us seems to have a better handle on just getting through life, than we do. It is so easy to become discouraged by watching other people do things that we either cannot do, or cannot do without mental anguish.

I wanted this reader and all of you, to understand that we are not being fair to ourselves when we compare ourselves to other people. If we are comparing ourselves to someone who has no mental suffering , then how is that comparison fair to us? 

This was my response to a comment that talked about feeling shame, and comparing ourselves to  other people.

People are good at things that they have had the background, the support, and the early wiring to be good at. Even the things we learn when we are older, are easier to learn if we were wired properly when we were growing up.

A lot of the people you are comparing yourself to had parents that helped them to follow the normal development stages and they also had the mental stability to process all of the stages properly, in order for the neurons in their brains to be set up to do these things.

There are chemicals involved in every process we do. The chemicals in our brains are dominating our feelings and our feelings affect how well we can do things. We have behavioral patterns and they are also linked to the organic connections (neurons and chemicals) in our brains.

If there is any trauma, abuse, neglect during childhood / teenage hood, we can end up with things that are not wired properly. We also end up with the chemicals sending the wrong signals and we feel depression, anxiety and worthlessness about ourselves.

Your feelings of not being as good as other people are conditioned behavioral patterns of your brain. Past trauma, abuse or neglect may have caused these patterns. Your inability to things that other people do, may be related to feeling inadequate to do them, feeling depressed, anxiety etc. This is not your fault that you have these chemical, neurological responses to doing things.

If you feel anxiety about something and someone else does not feel that, then of course they will be able to do that thing, better and more easily than you can. It is not fair to yourself to compare your brain on depression or anxiety with their brain that is functioning perfectly well. It does not mean that you can never learn to do it, but it means that it is much harder for you to do things, than it is for them.

When we have mental illness issues, it is more fair to us, if we so not compare ourselves directly with people who do not have any mental illness or trauma in their background. I have recently come to believe this is true

I spent many years wondering why I felt so inadequate to everyone and why I felt so out of place. I had so much trauma in my back ground that I could not keep up with the people that had brains that functioned normally. It was not that I was not as smart, but it was because my brain was and is so traumatized.

I am learning that we have to be kind to ourselves. In order to be kind to ourselves, we have to understand and feel compassion for the fact that trauma, abuse, neglect, depression, anxiety and any other mental issues, does cause us some disability. We cannot always compete with the other people.

We can learn to heal and to slowly rewire our brains. But mostly we have to talk to ourselves like we would talk to someone else that we knew was having trouble feeling as good as everyone else. You are as good as everyone else, whether you can do everything they can do or not.

We all have gifts and are good at things. You might be good at something that those other people suck at. I bet you are better are being compassionate for another human that feels depressed and worthless. The ability to be compassionate is not a gift that a lot of people have. Compassion is a lost art these days. People who have mental suffering can often also be compassionate to others who have depression and anxiety. That makes you better than them at something.

You are also probably better are being introspective and analyzing things.  Many people  just go with the flow of what everyone else is doing and they do not think for themselves. If you can think for yourself then you are better at that too.

I think that we are just better at different things than most people are. There is room for us in the world too. The world cannot be ok, of all of the people just follow the crowd and are all good at the same things.

I hope this helps a little. You are a unique, independent person that can think, care and love. That makes you special and no one is better than you.
Blessings,
Annie

Once we begin to forgive ourselves for how we are, then it gets easier to live with ourselves. People with psychological trauma usually end up with some kind of post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, OCD or other mental disorder. These disorders can be permanent , because the trauma never goes away. But we can learn to shoq kindness to ourselves.

We can learn to be functional, compassionate people. There are plenty of things we can be good at. If we cannot answer the phones for a job, because we have social anxiety then so be it.  If we cannot work at certain types of jobs because we are constantly triggered onto post traumatic stress there, then so be it.

A person with an eating disorder may not be able to work in a bakery. Well if they cannot do that, it does not make them less than anyone else. It just means that they cannot do that activity safely  because of their disorder. Someone who has a phobia of open spaces cannot work in the mall. So, what of it?

We are ok the way we are. We are trying to heal. We are trying to connect with others. If there are things we cannot do, then so be it. It is not because we are less than anyone else. They did not grow up, or have the adult past that we have had. Someone else may not have survived your situations as well as you did. How do they know what it is like in your world?

We all need a break from feeling shame, inadequacy, and worthlessness. We need to show ourselves some kindness and compassion in our thoughts about ourselves. We are doing the best we can with what we have to work with. We have to work with our brains being the way they are, right at this very minute.

Blessings to all,

Annie

adult children of alcoholics, battered women, depression, domestic abuse, domestic violence, mental disorders, mental health, mental illness, post traumatic stress disorder, post traumatic stress disorder from domestic abuse, ptsd, single mom, single mother, suicude, women's issues, wounded healer, wounded healers

SHAME …Why do Victims of Abuse Carry the Shame?

Carrying shame with us is possible the single most devastating, caustic thing that can happen. We must find our way out of shame, because it will destroy is by crushing our self esteem and keeping us incapacitated, by self doubt and a feeling if unworthiness.

Shame is an emotion and it is a state of mental trauma. Any type of severe trauma can cause us to carry shame. In turn “shame” itself can cause mental trauma. Most often, a mental state of “shame” was brought on by others who intentionally manipulated and traumatized us into feeling unworthy and shameful.

Shame, according to Wikipedia

Shame is a negative, painful, social emotion that can be seen as resulting “…from comparison of the self’s action with the self’s standards…”.[1] but which may equally stem from comparison of the self’s state of being with the ideal social context’s standard.  Wikipedia

So, shame is made up of…

1. a person’s personal feeling about who they “should be”

and

2. the person’s feeling about “who they are”

3. When the perception of “who you are” does not meet your standards of “who you should be” then the result is feeling shameful, for not having the ability to be the person that you “should be.”

Who should you be? Where do our concepts of our “perfect selves” come from? Are the reasonable? Do these ideals of who we “should be” come from our own minds? Or were they projected onto us by others?

Also, where does our perception of “who we are” come from? Are we really seeing our true selves?  Are we seeing ourselves through our own eyes ? Or are we seeing ourselves in an untrue way, through the eyes of society? Are we seeing ourselves the way other people say they see us?

Are we perceiving ourselves through the eyes of society and the stigma and misconceptions of society?

Are we still seeing ourselves from the eyes of our abuser? Are we really worthless and stupid?  Are we doomed to never do any better in life than we are doing? Or are we confusing our true potential with the twisted ideas that some abuser fed to us?

The problem with people who have experienced abuse, is that they were manipulated at the deepest levels of their brains.  People who were abused as children were made to feel worthless from a very young age. The natural developmental stages of self conception and identity were damaged.

People that in domestic abuse, were emotionally and mentally damaged. The abuser uses mind manipulation to make the person feel useless and stupid. The narcissists forces a fictitious reality on their victim and this reality changes.

The abuser changes the reality, constantly on order to manipulate the victim. If the victim buys something that the abuser wants at the store, the abuser may hide it. Then they will call the victim stupid for forgetting to buy the item at the store.

This reality manipulation over time, has the effect of confusing the victim about their own sense of reality. After the victim leaves the domestic abuse situation, they still have a feeling of shame and worthlessness. It takes time before the person will be able to see the proper perspective about who they are.

If we have been abused, we do not have the same sense of ease in feeling “normal.” We feel different that other people and often do not feel like we “fit in.” That sense of shame that we experienced during abuse, still looms over us.

Nineteenth century scientist Charles Darwin, in his book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, described shame affect as consisting of blushing, confusion of mind, downward cast eyes, slack posture, and lowered head… Wikipedia

This quote by Darwin is interesting to me, in that he describes the physical and mental appearance of shame. He describes the physical manifestation of shame to be “downcast eyes, lowered head”..

When I was living in an abusive relationship, I got comments a few times from people, that I looked down when a man entered the room. I was not aware that I did this at the time.

Actually it was one of my hospice patients that first pointed it out to me. She noticed that when a male aide came into the room to assist me, I lowered my head and looked down. I would not make eye contact with him.

As soon as the man left the room, my female patient said to me “Never! Never, look down when you meet a man! You are just as good as them. You are taking in a submissive posture with men and you should not.”

I was very surprised that I had done this and not even been aware of it. After that incident, I tried to be mindful of my body language with men and women, at least just to be aware of what message I was sending. Also to be aware of how I felt about men.

It is amazing that a woman on her death bed was so mindful and caring about me, that she noticed this and “scolded” me about it. It hurt her to see me be submissive to men like that. She was seeing into the future and how that submissiveness was going to harm me.

This lady knew nothing about the fact that I was living in an abusive relationship. It was purely an outside perspective.

Clearly, at that time, I felt afraid of men and my way of protecting myself was to take on the “submissive” posture. I also had a feeling if needing to protect my face from being hit. The downward position of my head, made me feel safer.

Psychiatrist Judith Lewis Herman had theories about shame as it related to childhood abuse. Her studies were about how a person from childhood abuse sees themselves through the eyes of their abusers.

toxic shame is induced, inside children, by all forms of child abuse. Incest and other forms of child sexual abuse can cause particularly severe toxic shame. Toxic shame often induces what is known as complex trauma in children who cannot cope with toxic shaming as it occurs and who dissociate the shame until it is possible to cope with.[18] Judith Lewis Herman

Abusers tell their victims to feel shame. They shame them by verbally abusing them, mentally torturing them, sexually violating them and / or otherwise physically harming them. There is no physical abuse without mental abuse.

There is no sexual abuse without mental abuse. The damage to a person, goes into their identity, their self esteem and their ability to view themselves in a “normal” way.

What I mean by “normal” is to be able to view yourself on a scale of reality based levels. What you are worth to yourself, and other people should be based on the person that you are. When a victim views themselves through the eyes of the abusers, they will always have a feeling of secret shame.

It is hard to break the brain patterns that were inflicted upon you by your abusers. You are worthy! You are important! You matter! Those are the true things that you need to know and believe!

Your abuser did not want you to know that you were a worthy and special person. They may not even have wanted to know that themselves, because it was easier for them to abuse you if they thought of you as “inhuman” rather than a real person.

You are a real person ! you are just as valuable and worthy of love as anyone ! Over time we can heal from these wounds. The PTSD (post traumatic stress) will never go away entirely. The past history of abuse will never go away. It is something we have to live with for the rest of our lives.

Instead of trying to crush it down, push the memories into the deepest recesses of our minds, we need to be ourselves and connect with others who will understand. We need to support and validate each other.

Together we can heal to a point where we can function better. Together we can create a community of support and love, that will uplift each and every one of us. Together we can turn our trauma around and use what we have learned to help others”

Together, we can be the “Wounded Healers!”