View Full Version : My friend is suicidal and I don't know what to do


Nucking_Futs
12-17-04, 09:58 AM
One of my dearest friends has just gotten out of de-tox for alcoholism. She's been slowly going down hill for a couple of months, I kept hoping she would get it together but things just seem to be getting worse.

Nineteen is so young to be an alcoholic, I thought at first that she was misdiagnosed; but, the signs and symptoms are all there. At nineteen she has seen more hell then a lot of adults molested as a child by an uncle and a clergyman unable to tell anyone she suffered abuse for years holding in deep inside herself until it nearly ate her alive. In her heart she believes it's her fault and that she is worthless. She has no faith in anything not even herself and without a glimmer of faith there is never hope for a future.

This last month has been incredibly hard on her. Her best friend and ex-boyfriend who had been clean for two years shot and killed himself on his second anniversary of sobriety, another friend overdosed and was dumped on a corner in front of a hospital by his "friends" like day old garbage, she's had to go thru de-tox again and her grandmother just passed away. I mean this kid has been thru hell and back so I can understand the mood swings, crying jags, put downs, quietness and outrage at the world.

What scares me now is that last night she seemed at peace with the world. I know you do not find peace overnight; but, it seems she has. I have a feeling her peace comes from knowing her suffering is going to end, she knows when, were and how. I've been there and known that false sense of peace and was lucky enough to get a second chance at life.

You guys I'm so lost I just lost a friend to an "accidental overdose" which probably wasn't an accident. I can't lose another. I pushed Donna too hard and she pulled away and stopped talking to me, I'm terrified of pushing too hard with Jess since I seem to be the only one she can talk to. I have to do something but what? I just wish that for one second she could see herself thru my eyes; she's beautiful inside and out, thoughtful, kind, scared but who isn't...Life is scarry, it wasn't meant to be easy.

I can't do this anymore how many friends do I have to lose to suicide? And what I don't get is that they all knew what kind of pain, devastation, self doubt, self blame it leaves behind.

BettyBoop
12-17-04, 10:25 AM
Goodness Cherity, I have never been through that as far as suicide. I have been through deaths of close people but that was due to cancer. I can't even imagine what to tell you. I am pretty sure that when people get like that it's hard to grab them and hang on until they get through it because they don't want that. They want to not be anymore. That has to be one of the hardest things to go through. I wish I could help but you are in my thoughts and prayers and if you need anything please let me know.
Kara

Nucking_Futs
12-17-04, 10:36 AM
Kara,

I appreciate the thoughts and prayers. Somehow, I have the feeling that there is no right answer, if I contact her parents and warn them that she is dangerously close to the edge they will have to tell her how they know and she'll push me away, far far away but if I do nothing...I will not be able to forgive myself if the outcome is what I fear. I've been at a loss before but never like this. And I really don't understand how these people find me...is there a directory somewere? or is it that I'm not a good friend at all?

BettyBoop
12-17-04, 10:39 AM
Apparently you are a great friend and that is why they find you and trust YOU enough to talk to. Think about this. If you had to choose between doing nothing and her hurting herself, or telling her parents and he never talking to you again but not hurting herself what would you choose? I know it's not that simple but if you don't do something then you will blame yourself for the rest of your life. Or you could tell her parents not to tell her that it was you, maybe THEY could see the signs and picked up on it themselves? I don't know. It's way different when you are actually in the situation and I have no idea what I would do in that situation.

Deeperblue
12-17-04, 11:10 AM
I hear that you are really very worried; I can only imagine the grief that you are experienceing with all of the losses in your life. You seem to feel so responsible and helpless at the same time.

About your friend----You are really there for her; you love and care for her and she absolutely knows this. Stay with her and let her reach out to you; just listen to her. Ask her what she would like you to do;how she would like you to help.
does she want you to be her sounding board; does she want you to silently sit by her. [I know it is so hard to just sit back and "do nothing" but you are doing more than you realize.] If you would like to PM me, please do we can chatt or more.

Has you friend been assessed for clinical depression?
Has she attempted suicied before.
Does she talk about it now? Does she have a plan? Has she drugs etc available?
You could also consider a suicide hot line. I've seen them in action. They will assess and may even come out to your friend to determine if she is at imminent risk. Good luck and ......

exeter
12-17-04, 01:06 PM
The suicide hotline thing sounds like a good idea. You might consider calling your psychiatrist or therapist for advice. Deeperblue listed a lot of risk factors for suicide... another is giving away of treasured material possessions and writing/updating a will. The main one is having a plan, though.

Personally, I would call somebody for advice, then RUN, not walk over to her house. Sometimes all a suicidal person really needs is a friend. People like to say that means it's all a "cry for help," but, "No duh, Sherlock." Any kind of serious psychological problem cries out for help.

Once I was with her, I wouldn't hesitate to ask if she was feeling suicidal. You won't be putting ideas in her head if she's that depressed... she's already at least thought about it, most likely. It's highly unlikely she'd kill herself with one of her good friends right there.

I wouldn't hesitate to get her parents or whatever the proper authorities are involved if you can't get an assurance from her that she is not going to hurt herself. I'd rather have my friend alive and angry at me than dead in the ground.

Deeperblue
12-17-04, 03:12 PM
"cry for help," but, "No duh, Sherlock." Any kind of serious psychological problem cries out for help.

And sometimes the person does not have a "voice"-so we need to be there to listen, help verbalize and advocate and direct by letting him/her know that there are really options; even if it does not feel like there are any at that moment in time.

Please let us know how you are doing??

Ian
12-17-04, 03:30 PM
Sharing your concern with local medical professionals or what ever local crisis team is available will spread the burden of responsibility Cherity. You can't carry the world on your shoulders nor should you have to.
Take good care of yourself so you can remain a beacon to those of us that you lead the way for.
Fight
ian

charlie
12-18-04, 01:53 PM
Cherity,
I totally 2nd what Ian says take care of yourself

I'm wondering what advice you would give to your children if they were in your place?

My first response is that someone needs to attach themself to your friend's side.

Many times what has brought me out of a depression is to be needed. When I've had to totally focus all my attention on a crisis then I did and after a while my probs did not seem as overwhelming.
Don't know how that would work in this situation, is it possible her parents could put themselves in a position to 'need' her help?

Wishing you the best woman I really feel your heartache I'm there with my daughter who @ 18 also needs rehab for drinking, but in denial and has reached out for suicidal thoughts recently:(

I do know that if I MIGHT have followed thru with my gut feeling I might still have a wonderful Aunt and cousins (2) still alive.


Do what you can do and give the rest up to your higher power.

FIGHT is right Ian!





[itschaotic]

Cherity. You can't carry the world on your shoulders nor should you have to.

Take good care of yourself so you can remain a beacon to those of us that you lead the way for.

Fight

ian[/QUOTE]

Coral Rhedd
12-18-04, 05:22 PM
There is some great advice here but I have to differ (very slightly) on just one part of it. It seems natural, I know, to share with parents the possiblity that an 18 year old is suicidal. However, families of origin are not always good sources of support. You mention your friend's past sexual abuse. What would most clue you in on whether or not her family would be supportive is this:

1. Has she revealed this abuse to her parents. If she has not, it is a clear indicator that she does not feel that they would be accepting and validate her experience.

2. If she has revealed the abuse to her parents, did she have any trouble getting them to accept her victimization or did they (however subtly) blame her for it?

3. For the sexual abuse victim there often is (from the victim's perspective) only two kinds of people. Those who believe the abuse happened and hold the victim blameless and those who do not. Your friend does not need support from those who do not believe her.

Substance abuse and substance abuse treatment aside, I believe your friend needs to be seeing a counselor or psychologist who specialized in treating victims of sexual abuse.

Is your friend having flashbacks? If she is, they could be playing a big role in her suicidal feelings.

paulbf
12-18-04, 06:46 PM
If she checked herself in for detox maybe you can talk her to checking herself in for treatment with this very severe depression. I don't know what it takes to get treatment without money but surely suicidal thoughts are on the list. It is so hard to help oneself when it gets this bad, maybe you can help her to understand that and that getting help could really help. This is a life threatening illness.

Andrew
12-18-04, 06:54 PM
1. Take it seriously.

Myth: “The people who talk about it don't do it.” Studies have found that more than 75% of all completed suicides did things in the few weeks or months prior to their deaths to indicate to others that they were in deep despair. Anyone expressing suicidal feelings needs immediate attention.

Myth: “Anyone who tries to kill himself has got to be crazy.” Perhaps 10% of all suicidal people are psychotic or have delusional beliefs about reality. Most suicidal people suffer from the recognized mental illness of depression; but many depressed people adequately manage their daily affairs. The absence of “craziness” does not mean the absence of suicide risk.

“Those problems weren't enough to commit suicide over,” is often said by people who knew a completed suicide. You cannot assume that because you feel something is not worth being suicidal about, that the person you are with feels the same way. It is not how bad the problem is, but how badly it's hurting the person who has it.

2. Remember: suicidal behavior is a cry for help.

Myth: “If a someone is going to kill himself, nothing can stop him.” The fact that a person is still alive is sufficient proof that part of him wants to remain alive. The suicidal person is ambivalent - part of him wants to live and part of him wants not so much death as he wants the pain to end. It is the part that wants to live that tells another “I feel suicidal.” If a suicidal person turns to you it is likely that he believes that you are more caring, more informed about coping with misfortune, and more willing to protect his confidentiality. No matter how negative the manner and content of his talk, he is doing a positive thing and has a positive view of you.

3. Be willing to give and get help sooner rather than later.

Suicide prevention is not a last minute activity. All textbooks on depression say it should be reached as soon as possible. Unfortunately, suicidal people are afraid that trying to get help may bring them more pain: being told they are stupid, foolish, sinful, or manipulative; rejection; punishment; suspension from school or job; written records of their condition; or involuntary commitment. You need to do everything you can to reduce pain, rather than increase or prolong it. Constructively involving yourself on the side of life as early as possible will reduce the risk of suicide.

4. Listen.

Give the person every opportunity to unburden his troubles and ventilate his feelings. You don't need to say much and there are no magic words. If you are concerned, your voice and manner will show it. Give him relief from being alone with his pain; let him know you are glad he turned to you. Patience, sympathy, acceptance. Avoid arguments and advice giving.

5. ASK: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?”

Myth: “Talking about it may give someone the idea.” People already have the idea; suicide is constantly in the news media. If you ask a despairing person this question you are doing a good thing for them: you are showing him that you care about him, that you take him seriously, and that you are willing to let him share his pain with you. You are giving him further opportunity to discharge pent up and painful feelings. If the person is having thoughts of suicide, find out how far along his ideation has progressed.

6. If the person is acutely suicidal, do not leave him alone.

If the means are present, try to get rid of them. Detoxify the home.

7. Urge professional help.

Persistence and patience may be needed to seek, engage and continue with as many options as possible. In any referral situation, let the person know you care and want to maintain contact.

8. No secrets.

It is the part of the person that is afraid of more pain that says “Don't tell anyone.” It is the part that wants to stay alive that tells you about it. Respond to that part of the person and persistently seek out a mature and compassionate person with whom you can review the situation. (You can get outside help and still protect the person from pain causing breaches of privacy.) Do not try to go it alone. Get help for the person and for yourself. Distributing the anxieties and responsibilities of suicide prevention makes it easier and much more effective.

9. From crisis to recovery.

Most people have suicidal thoughts or feelings at some point in their lives; yet less than 2% of all deaths are suicides. Nearly all suicidal people suffer from conditions that will pass with time or with the assistance of a recovery program. There are hundreds of modest steps we can take to improve our response to the suicidal and to make it easier for them to seek help. Taking these modest steps can save many lives and reduce a great deal of human suffering.


WARNING SIGNS
Conditions associated with increased risk of suicide

* Death or terminal illness of relative or friend.
* Divorce, separation, broken relationship, stress on family.
* Loss of health (real or imaginary).
* Loss of job, home, money, status, self-esteem, personal security.
* Alcohol or drug abuse.
* Depression. In the young depression may be masked by hyperactivity or acting out behavior. In the elderly it may be incorrectly attributed to the natural effects of aging. Depression that seems to quickly disappear for no apparent reason is cause for concern. The early stages of recovery from depression can be a high risk period. Recent studies have associated anxiety disorders with increased risk for attempted suicide.

Emotional and behavioral changes associated with suicide

* Overwhelming Pain: pain that threatens to exceed the person's pain coping capacities. Suicidal feelings are often the result of longstanding problems that have been exacerbated by recent precipitating events. The precipitating factors may be new pain or the loss of pain coping resources.
* Hopelessness: the feeling that the pain will continue or get worse; things will never get better.
* Powerlessness: the feeling that one's resources for reducing pain are exhausted.
* Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, self-hatred, “no one cares”. Fears of losing control, harming self or others.
* Personality becomes sad, withdrawn, tired, apathetic, anxious, irritable, or prone to angry outbursts.
* Declining performance in school, work, or other activities. (Occasionally the reverse: someone who volunteers for extra duties because they need to fill up their time.)
* Social isolation; or association with a group that has different moral standards than those of the family.
* Declining interest in sex, friends, or activities previously enjoyed.
* Neglect of personal welfare, deteriorating physical appearance.
* Alterations in either direction in sleeping or eating habits.
* (Particularly in the elderly) Self-starvation, dietary mismanagement, disobeying medical instructions.
* Difficult times: holidays, anniversaries, and the first week after discharge from a hospital; just before and after diagnosis of a major illness; just before and during disciplinary proceedings. Undocumented status adds to the stress of a crisis.

Suicidal Behavior

* Previous suicide attempts, “mini-attempts”.
* Explicit statements of suicidal ideation or feelings.
* Development of suicidal plan, acquiring the means, “rehearsal” behavior, setting a time for the attempt.
* Self-inflicted injuries, such as cuts, burns, or head banging.
* Reckless behavior. (Besides suicide, other leading causes of death among young people in New York City are homicide, accidents, drug overdose, and AIDS.) Unexplained accidents among children and the elderly.
* Making out a will or giving away favorite possessions.
* Inappropriately saying goodbye.
* Verbal behavior that is ambiguous or indirect: “I'm going away on a real long trip.”, “You won't have to worry about me anymore.”, “I want to go to sleep and never wake up.”, “I'm so depressed, I just can't go on.”, “Does God punish suicides?”, “Voices are telling me to do bad things.”, requests for euthanasia information, inappropriate joking, stories or essays on morbid themes.

A WARNING ABOUT WARNING SIGNS

The majority of the population at any one time does not have many of the warning signs and has a lower suicide risk rate. But a lower rate in a larger population is still a lot of people - and many completed suicides had only a few of the conditions listed above. In a one person to another person situation, all indications of suicidality need to be taken seriously.

Crisis intervention hotlines that accept calls from the suicidal, or anyone who wishes to discuss a problem, are (in New York City) The Samaritans at 212-673-3000 and Helpline at 212-532-2400.

Source: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/whattodo.htm

Andrew
12-18-04, 07:08 PM
A suicidal crisis is very difficult to deal with. It is usually unanticipated and requires the helper to mobilize a variety of skills and resources. Following is a list of suggestions should you face the challenge of preventing a suicide attempt.

1. Encourage the person to discuss what prompted "death" thoughts. The more the person is able to talk about the specific details of the experience, the better he or she is able to understand the source of the crisis. Once a source is delineated, a course of action and intervention can be developed.

2. Elicit the person’s feelings. Expressing emotions is a way for the person to vent frustrations while securing validation and support. Common probes and statements include; "how did you feel when that happened" or "I would have felt hurt if that happened to me".

3. Use the term "suicide", "kill yourself", and "suicidal plan" when talking about the threat. Oftentimes, people contemplating suicide envision the process from a distorted perspective. It may be even seen as a ‘romanticized’ escape….a solution without notable consequences. Using these terms can bring the person into a sharper reality focus while enabling the helper to determine if a plan is in place. If the person has a reasonable plan to carry out the threat to end his or her life, the cry for help is more serious and warrants careful attention.

4. Assist the person in defining alternatives and options. Those who are contemplating death do not see life as having positive alternative solutions. Highlighting the fact that death is a permanent solution to a temporary problem can impart hope. Alternative solutions are available. With assistance, the person in crisis can have the option to select the best solution for the situation.

5. Involve professional resources as needed. Trained professionals can assist the person in crisis to deal more effectively with the problem and work to instill hope again. The challenge may be cultivating a sense of trust to include an outside person. In many cases, the suicidal person wants the helper to maintain confidentiality. It is important to emphasize that he or she came to you because of trust and confidence that you care to do the right thing. Encourage the person in crisis to value your decision to involve a professional counselor if needed.

6. Talk with someone after the crisis is over. Taking the time to share what it was like to be in the stressful situation is important. Venting your feelings and decision processes is crucial to re-stabilizing after your adrenaline surge. In addition, you may find yourself feeling ‘guilty’ or ‘inadequate’ for securing outside help. Remember that by bringing other helpers into the situation your intention was not to betray a confidence, but to save a life.

7. Realize the limitations of your responsibility. There are a number of ways to offer assistance in a crisis. Some include connecting the suicidal person with a crisis line counselor, accompanying the person to a counseling center, making an appointment with a psychologist, notifying his or her parents, or calling the police. If you have taken substantial measures to prevent someone from committing suicide and the suicidal person refuses help options, there may be nothing more that can be done. Anyone who is determined to end his or her life will find a way. Your responsibility as a friend or associate is to assist, support, and possibly refer. Once you have care enough to incorporate all resources humanly possible, your responsibility as a fellow human being ends.

If you currently know of someone dealing with suicidal thoughts, you are encouraged to consult with a professional counselor in your geographical area.

Source: http://www.counsel.ufl.edu/selfHelp/suicidalCrisis.asp

Nucking_Futs
12-18-04, 11:34 PM
I feel that Nebraska has a very high suicide rate and now I know why. After coming back and reading some of the posts I decided my best choice would be to contact a suicide hotline for advice and how to approach Jess without setting her off. I looked in the yellow pages...nothing. I called my clinic and two others...they had no number but adviced me to call Richard Young which is a mental hospital that specializes in depressed and problem children...they know of Neb. suicide hotlines but had no number to give me and adviced me to call 911 and ask for the number...the operator couldn't find the right information but kept me on the line long enough that about 45 minutes after I had hung up an officer did a welfare check on ME. Now, this people (pardon the French) ****es me off to no end. Especially during the holiday season that number should be everywere. I spent an entire day making phone calls and I still don't have a number; but, let me tell you when I do get the number you will hear from me and I don't really care what their excuse is for not making the number more accesible they will still get a piece of my mind (what's left), if it's money then I can not think of a better way to spend my time and energy then fund raising.

I finally gave up and sought Jess out in a more aggressive fashion I went to her house and banged on her door till the little turd opened it. What I found to my relief was a sobbing, broken down, sober child. Keep in mind that Jess is the little sister I have but never got the chance to know, I love her and only want whats best for her; but, I'm human and make mistakes too. Part of this is my cross to bear; because, in trying to protect Jess I denied her a voice, I denied her respect, I denied her the single most important asset in a friendship...HONESTY.

We work in a nursing home were 99% of our co-workers are female. Being a woman I know I have the tools to destroy another human being with nothing more than a look and a couple of harmful words said in the right ear. Women can and often are cruel creature's towards each other, it's something that I don't totally understand nor do I care to take part in probably because I've been on the pointy part of another woman's tongue too many times in my life to do it to another.

Jess' first real day back to work after de-tox the rumors started, I wasn't there so I couldn't say yeah or nay so I just got quiet. "I hugged Jess and smelled alcohol", "Jess is drinking and at work she was so quiet", "do you think Jess is drinking?" I heard many others; but, it's like a buzz in my ears and makes no sense. Why on earth would Jess start up drinking after she had checked herself into rehab and the fact that I know these women inside and out, I've worked with many of them for over 5 years what sounded like honest concern was actually concealing cruel intent. I had no replies for a lot of the comments because I was not there the first day Jess came back; but, I do know that she was not drinking I belive that with all that I am. Before, Jess checked herself into rehab I asked her point blank "So, how much did you drink?" and she was honest and told me. Jess did admit to wanting a drink after her grandmother died but said she hadn't had one and I believe her!!!!! Were I failed Jess is that I kept everything hush, hush and quiet so that she didn't get wind that people were discussing her like last nights news. I failed in that aspect of my friendship and in all honesty it's as bad as telling a lie to her face, you may see it as something else but if the situation were reversed I would have seen it in the same light.

Jess stopped taking my calls because a very "loving and concerned" friend thought to tell her about all the BS going on at work. Saying that I was among those who were talking (keep in mind this is also the person who supplied the beer when Jess started drinking again, while I know Jess' problem with alcohol is her's and her's alone I believe that Jess may have been holding the gun but this person loaded it for her). When Jess opened her door she started crying and asked me if it were true. I told her everything that I had done that day and gone thru trying to find her help or to find a way to help her myself, I told her that I did ask this "trusted" friend for advice saying that Jess' problem right now was not alcoholism that it was her past, present and uncertain future have all collided at once. But, that she was drinking again..NO NEVER!!!

My one and only saving grace is that the person who not only stabbed Jess in the back but me as well was at work. I'm in no way confrontational especially with friends or family; but, I couldn't even stand to look at her and when she walked up to me and tried to play buddy and I wasn't having any part of it and confronted her in front of two very full shifts of employees...if she wants to talk **** then let her swim in it too. I told her to never touch me, talk to me or even look at me again. I never even told her why I was so angry but she knew and said I want to know how much you know...as if...I just told her why so you know how much *** to cover? She then replied that she didn't tell Jess that I was a part of the back stabbing, now how did she know why I was so angry then and how did she know about that? She then told me that Jess would come around and apologize for upsetting me sadly that's were I lost it enough that they had to call in the DON and ADMIN I got right in her face and told her that Jess had and never has had anything to apologize to us for. She is perfectly legit in not believing in me anymore and while I hated it I understood it but I will never understand why you could do what you did. I asked if she had ever been to rock bottom before and told her it's like being caught in an undertow everytime you almost reach the top and can almost feel the air fill your lungs another wave crashes down on you and sucks you to the bottom. I told her the truly sad part is I don't think she'll ever understand what she did and what she destroyed.

Well, like I said I went off in front of a lot of people who then called Jess and told her all about it. She called me later and thanked me and you guessed it tried to take some blame and apologize but I cut her off. I know that she will alway's have a little doubt in me now and I hate it but do not blame her one bit. If I had been honest and told her what was going on then I never would have been put in this situation and that's my burden to carry and mine alone.

Right now we're all confused and hurting and angry and learning how to deal with it. Both Jess and I did tell our supervisors that they had till the end of the year to replace us I can no longer work in an enviroment that sucks the life and sanity out of me and Jess can no longer work somewere that keeps her sick.

Depression is still a big issue, today after work which Jess missed again I had to go to her apartment and drag her out of bed and scream at her...This is your life dammit and don't you dare let them take you down with them. I then drug her for a quarter of a block before she picked up the pace and walked with me. We didn't talk I'm giving her space in that matter but I will not and can not allow her to sleep her life away.

I don't know were we are and I don't know were we are going. I can only hope that she uses everything as ammunition to make her want to be well again all the harder. I know I'm not really making a lot of sense but none of this makes sense to me, it's like shaking a baby...how does that make a baby stop crying...This is Jess never once have I ever heard her say anything derrogotory against another human being and she won't even kill a bug and they do this to her, I don't get it I don't.

paulbf
12-18-04, 11:45 PM
You done good.

Coral Rhedd
12-19-04, 12:35 AM
Wow Futs, you have really been through it. But you are a really loyal friend and you need to pat yourself on the back for that.

The thing with the suicide hotline is crazy. You know I once called one where I live and they put me on hold. While I was waiting, I was disconnected. So I called again. Same thing. I was momentarily completely devastated. It seemed like some sort of sign or omen. Getting in that mind set makes your think that the whole world is against you.

Andrew
12-19-04, 01:36 AM
Good job :)

charlie
12-19-04, 05:51 AM
Cherity,

You give me HOPE and FAITH in womanhood!!!

All of it made sense, I was fired up with you all the way and could picture you as a crusader half dragging Jess down the block.

You're both in my thoughts and prayers


My pDoc recently told me that the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">MidWest</st1:place> is 2nd to only the Southern states in successful suicides :(

There is absolutely no excuse-- each operator you spoke to should have at their fingertips a script and phone numbers to provide anyone seeking help with suicide prevention.

If you can think of a way for us to help (letters, emails, whatever) just say the word.

Nucking_Futs
12-20-04, 11:57 AM
Things are so nuts right now I'm not even sure were to begin. So, like before the beginning is usually the best place.

The last two days Jess has been up and ready for our walks...no one likes knowing your neighbors have just witnessed you being dragged down the street although in my defence had she said "no" I would have not forced her and she knows that. Yesterday, we didn't talk at all. Last night Jess called and when she asked Doug for me she told him she just wanted to hear a friendly voice. If I've learned anything from this whole experiance it's that I can only live my life, I can't protect those I love from every aspect of life. I did get made fun of a little by Doug after I had hung up the phone; because, Jess and I barely said 20 words but were on the phone for over an hour. I think she just needed to know she could talk to me if she needed/wanted to.

There is still a lot of doubt in Jess' mind about how good our friendship is and if it can stand the test of time. While this brings pain, I also understand that I did put myself in this place so I have to live with it I just wish Jess didn't have to. Life isn't a soap opera all this drama isn't going to be resolved and over within 30 minutes; but, we will get thru it and we both learned a very valuable lesson. Jess learned that just because someone says they care it isn't always the story...actions speak far louder then words and that putting someone on a pedastal only ends in heartache. I learned that sometimes painful news comes best from someone you love. I'm not really sure how I blew this one I've been preaching honesty to my kids since they could understand but I did. Well, goes to show I'm just as human as the next guy or gal. :rolleyes:

This morning Jess called and gave what she called the "true friend" test. Although, I didn't know I was taking a test she gave me some very wonderful news. Jess will be moving into the Oxford house next week...it's a half way house for alcoholics, she has to hold a job, go to meetings everyday, see a therapist and stay sober. The test is she asked how I felt...I feel sad because part of the program is that she can have no outside contact except family members for the first two weeks and she will be moving over two hours away from me; but, I know I'm only being selfish. In my heart I know this is what Jess needs to work thru some of her childhood traumas, heal her broken heart and become the woman she should have been given the chance to be in the first place. So, I told her to go with my blessing and that those who love her and want to see her succeed will know that there are times you have to walk away from those you love to move forward in life. lol She said you pass, you and my parents were the only ones who didn't beg me to stay even though I can't do this by myself and they know it. Thought to myself...WOW!!! lucky answer ;) .

I'm going to miss her but it's purely out of selfishness. Jess is going to be fine, nobody wants it more then she does. And I'm going to suck it up and be just fine too.

Nucking_Futs
12-20-04, 12:26 PM
The thing with the suicide hotline is crazy. You know I once called one where I live and they put me on hold. While I was waiting, I was disconnected. So I called again. Same thing. I was momentarily completely devastated. It seemed like some sort of sign or omen. Getting in that mind set makes your think that the whole world is against you.

If, you ever find yourself in this position again I pray you call on someone who loves you or at least come here until the crisis is over; because, I know that I would miss your presence. Another thought clergy are trained to help you. I spoke to our pastor and she said that she has listened and spoken with many non-christians who were on the brink of suicide. "The job is to listen and show them that someone does care and wants them to be here tommorrow and the day after and the day after that. She said it's all about being there and helping people find the right resources not preaching the word".(I hope that no one finds offense with my last sentence I thought about it a lot and all I could come up with is that this is not about religion or believing it's about support, information, hope and the different resources you can get this from.)

Nucking_Futs
12-20-04, 12:33 PM
Cherity,

You give me HOPE and FAITH in womanhood!!!

All of it made sense, I was fired up with you all the way and could picture you as a crusader half dragging Jess down the block.

You're both in my thoughts and prayers


My pDoc recently told me that the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">MidWest</st1:place> is 2nd to only the Southern states in successful suicides :(

There is absolutely no excuse-- each operator you spoke to should have at their fingertips a script and phone numbers to provide anyone seeking help with suicide prevention.

If you can think of a way for us to help (letters, emails, whatever) just say the word.

I'm honestly not entirely sure how to approach or go about making this number more available; but, it's like a mystery and has my attention. When I do get the number the only thing that will keep me from giving them a piece of my mind will be a money issue in that case I'll give them a piece of my myself, time and energy. Get in contact with the right people and a fund raiser pretty much runs itself.

I had to laugh a little you make me sound like some kind of crusader out to save the world...no I was just a ****ed off woman who's been pushed too far. Had it been me they were all talking about I would have laughed at it and fanned the flames a little...next thing you know I would be having an affair with one of the residents too. :p But, it was about someone I care about and that changes all the rules.

typogenerator
12-20-04, 02:19 PM
I hope to God that the suicide crisis is truly averted.

I'm dealing with a similar situation myself right now. A friend of mine (46 yo F) has been going downhill for the last 6 months, and her pace seems to be accelerating.

2 weeks ago, she made a couple of attempts at suicide (increasing amounts of drugs [prescribed painkillers and benzos for arthritis and tremors] at an attempt at overdose); while the doses were not quite lethal, they could have been. She knew that.

I called my Psychiatrist (hers as well), and INFORMED ON HER, to put it bluntly, as I knew she had an appointment with him the following day.

Before I get to what happened, I'll share with you his advice to me the first time (months ago) she showed less blatant signs of suicidal intentions:

"Number one, it is not your personal responsibility to save her life."
--that being the case, I still feel, as we all do, an immense amount of responsibility towards any friend's life if I can do anything to help. I don't know if this is an ADD thing, or just my personality type, but I make VERY few close friends, and like to keep the few I have. Anyway, back to the advice from my psychiatrist:
"If she is in imminent danger, either take her immediately to the hospital so she can commit herself, or call the sherrif department and have them come and get her."

Now, this, I found to be a little extreme, when I first heard it. Some of you may think it sounds extreme reading it right now. However, I said OK, and kept an eye on her. Then time passed, she struggled, but was coping. Until recently, when the overdose attempts happened, and I informed on her the night before her appointment.

She went to her appointment, and shared her journal (which described the doses taken, mood, thoughts, etc) with the doctor. He JUMPED from his chair, picked up the phone, hesitated, put the phone down and told her she had 2 options. One, she could voluntarily commit herself to a mental hospital where she could get some help, or two, he would call the sherrif, and they would commit her involuntarily.

She went on her own, and stayed for about 4 days, until she was stabile, medications adjusted, and what not. She was miserable in the hospital, but felt no betrayal by the doc, nor by me for informing. She recognized how serious and non-"romantic" this suicide risk really was.

None of this is to say that she is all better now, of course. She's still suffering from extreme clinical depression (and pre-menopause (sp?)), as well as the grief from her mother's death earlier this year (which followed her father's death last year); PLUS, she has an IGNORANT husband, who cannot recognize or BELIEVE, even after all this, that Depression is an illness that needs psychological as well as medical treatment.

* SIGH *

So the struggle contiinues for myself and my wife in helping our friend stay alive. But I guess the main point I wanted to make was that none of us are responsible for another's life (unless of course it is within the rules and regulations of our vocations--such as her psychiatrist, whose job was PRECISELY to save her life by doing exactly what he did). We can be good friends, we can listen, we can support, but in the end, if you want to save a friend's life and the situation is dire, IMMEDIATELY SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP, call a hospital, call the police, get this person under observation. IMMEDIATELY.


It sounds so drastic, doesn't it? It's not.
DEATH is drastic. Life saving is not.


Had her doctor not committed her (or told her to commit herself), my friend very likely would have gone home, upped the dose a THIRD time, any may have hit the mark she was shooting for. She would be dead.

Hotlines are fine if you need someone to talk to; sometimes a conversation can talk someone down. But never forget the more obvious, more effective options you have: We forget the police not only work to protect us from others; they (like doctors, hospital staff, etc), are also there to protect us from ourselves.

Coral Rhedd
12-21-04, 11:28 PM
Locally (where I live) the hotline is run by a counseling center that uses it to drum up business. They don't take many chances and they really won't talk to you. Here's their formula. They ask you immediately if you are feeling helpless, hopeless, or thinking of hurting yourself. If you answer "yes" the line goes dead while they call the police to your house. If you say "no" they absolutely will not talk to you. Your only choice is to come in and see one of their counselors.

I cannot begin to list the ways this center has manipulated people. One example is that they try to get people who are having problems and can't afford medicine to hand over their income to one of the center's "payees." Recently, one of their payees stole thousands of dollars from one of their clients. This poor client had recently received this lump sum from Social Security. The counseling center has yet to reimburse this client's money. As a result the client, a bipolar woman, is living on welfare and has become increasingly depressed after this betrayal.

We really need systems that are more accountable to the people they serve.

I would also like to point out that hospitalization is not always the solution. Some of the most traumatized people I know were hospitalized. The cause of their trauma is often being transported by police rather than ambulance to the mental hospital. In rural areas the nearest facility that takes the non-insured is often many miles away. A woman I know was handcuffed and restrained for a five hour ride in a police car to a mental hospital and she was not allowed water or a bathroom break for the entire trip. She had committed no crime or violence or public disturbance. She just needed a serious medication adjustment for her depression.

Another woman I knew, she was a dear friend, was taken to jail for a week because she was suicidal. She began to hallucinate that the police meant to kill her, that they would "chop her up and leave her in the desert. She never got over this experience. She had flashbacks for a year later up until her death of a heart attack. (Another story. She had chest pains and the hospital send her home because they said she was merely having a heart attack. They had access to her records and they decided that as a former mental patient that her pain was "all in her head." My friend died because of this.)

In my business and as an advocate, I see many systemic abuses. Things won't change until the people who are improperly treated begin speaking out. Of course that entails a certain risk. The system can always say they are crazy.

Believe me, there are few things more important than good supportive friends.

typogenerator
12-22-04, 09:00 AM
While I know that that being "arrested" and committed will most likely be traumatic, I want to point out that there is the option of voluntary commitment; when I was told that my options at protecting my friend were to haul her kicking and screaming to the hospital, or call the cops, I was horrified myself. I could not see putting my friend through that type of ordeal, especially when she was already in a very bad place.

Her commitment was voluntary, and as I said in my prior post, implemented by her psychiatrist. Yes. It was traumatic, and NO, it didn't fix her problems. But she was able to be under professional observation in her most dire moments, have her medications adjusted, etc. and came from the eperience somewhat improved, and certainly less inclined to romanticize her own death. It's still a struggle, and she's still having suicidal ideations, but there's a very likely possibility that without that harsh intervention, she would have killed herself. So again, I want to stress, given a cost/benefit analysis of temporary commitment, a traumatic experience with police is STILL BETTER THAN DEATH.

As much as we want to think our friendships can be strong enough to get our friends through, in a severly clinically depressed person, such rational actions can be simply ineffective. Furthermore, the most well-intentioned friends can serve to exxacerbate a suicidal person's problems in their attempt to help.

I don't know much about the hotlines in the metro Atlanta area, where I live, but the horror stories told here tell me that they (at best) take a way too business-oriented approach to life saving. SO if a person can be helped by a real mental health professional, or a competent friend, to get the much-needed medical care, then that's obviously going to be more preferable than a ride in a police car.

But we can't forget that Depression is an ILLNESS, caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, not just by unhappy events. There are sucidal people who don't have clinical depression, and for them, a bit of talking, a lot of love, and some caring companionship may get them through. But since this IS the Depression forum, my information relates to those who are clinically ill.

Think of this: ADD is a medical condition, and many of us here have spent our lives feeling (as well as being called) stupid, lazy, or worse. Yet, upon proper diagnosis, and medical/psychological treatment, and most importantly, EDUCATION, we have learned that what we have is indeed a medical problem, with medical causes that were never corrected by helpful friends, or demeaning relative, bosses, etc.

To say supportive friends can fix Clinically DEPRESSED SUCIDAL people is bordering on the same sort of ignorance of Depression that makes life so hellish for undiagnosed ADD'ers!

As to your friend's traumatic police experience that eventually led to her heart attack, that is indeed a tragedy. However, your friend did need help, and may have committed suicide without that event. And it should not be inferred by others reading that your friend's experience is the rule, as it is the exception. These laws and practices are in place for good reasons, and while no system is perfect, they do save lives in imminent danger.

Nucking_Futs
12-22-04, 02:54 PM
Coral hugs for you I can imagine the hell it was stanging by your friend and supporting her during this time. I've met a lot of nurses who treat residents in much the same manner as the hospital treated your friend. My only consolation is that I am there to get the ball moving, when called on their behaviours and neglect of resident rights they usually jump and do what they are supposed to; because, they know I will not hesitate to turn them in friend or not.

typo...I know in my mind that it was not my responsibility to save Donna nor is my responsibility to save Jess; but, like you my heart tells me a whole other story. While, I believe Jess is on very unstable ground right now and could go either way. She is showing remarkable progress and strength in working thru her pain. She has been accepted into the Oxford House which is a half way house for alcoholics. One of the best things offered here is support from others who have been or are in her shoes. To stay she will be attending counseling sessions, AA meetings and she will be held accountable for what is her's; but, she will learn to let go of what is not her's. Jess' past is not her load to carry while the memories are going to be there forever she will hopefully learn and accept that she did not ask to be put thru hell and betrayed by those who should have protected her. She is a generous soul and will take blame so that another does not have to feel guilt over any situation it's not a healthy lifestyle.

Draga
12-22-04, 02:58 PM
Kara,

I appreciate the thoughts and prayers. Somehow, I have the feeling that there is no right answer, if I contact her parents and warn them that she is dangerously close to the edge they will have to tell her how they know and she'll push me away, far far away but if I do nothing...I will not be able to forgive myself if the outcome is what I fear. I've been at a loss before but never like this. And I really don't understand how these people find me...is there a directory somewere? or is it that I'm not a good friend at all?

Cherity BITE YO Tounge! U are a wonderful friend and YOU happened to be the one who helped save me from the inside just by being the way you are....your strength is an inspiration and do I always Have to Kiss yer butt to remind u of that :p

Nucking_Futs
12-22-04, 03:15 PM
Cherity BITE YO Tounge! U are a wonderful friend and YOU happened to be the one who helped save me from the inside just by being the way you are....your strength is an inspiration and do I always Have to Kiss yer butt to remind u of that :p

I'd be careful Mel that thing has been known to go off with little to no warning. Another warning: watch who you put on a pedastal it may not be strong enough to bear their weight and they will come down on you and hard.

Draga
12-22-04, 05:34 PM
I'd be careful Mel that thing has been known to go off with little to no warning. .

I Assume U mean yer butt LOL

Another warning: watch who you put on a pedastal it may not be strong enough to bear their weight and they will come down on you and hard.

I know fully well who I am putting on a pedestal Thank You Very Much and they who have touched my life and helped make it better EARNED their place....So don't blame Me...it yer fault for being the shnizzle dizzle:p

Coral Rhedd
12-23-04, 04:07 AM
To say supportive friends can fix Clinically DEPRESSED SUCIDAL people is bordering on the same sort of ignorance of Depression that makes life so hellish for undiagnosed ADD'ers!

I don't think anyone is saying that.


As to your friend's traumatic police experience that eventually led to her heart attack, that is indeed a tragedy. However, your friend did need help, and may have committed suicide without that event. And it should not be inferred by others reading that your friend's experience is the rule, as it is the exception. These laws and practices are in place for good reasons, and while no system is perfect, they do save lives in imminent danger

Sorry, I may not have made myself clear. My friend died a full year later from her ordeal with the police. These were very separate incidents.

The point I wanted to make was that no one should have to spend a significant amount of time in jail just because they are mentally ill. You live in an urban area. I live in a rural area. I think we can assume they are quite different. The problem of people having to stay in jail a week while they are waiting for transport to a hospital is one of inadequate funding.

Nevertheless, the outcome of calling the police for help may vary considerably from area to area and from circumstance to circumstance.

typogenerator
12-23-04, 11:27 AM
yah, I guess I'm fortunate, or should I say, my friend was fortunate, that we had adequate mental health resources to turn to. Any amount of time in jail would be detrimental to anyone; especially someone with a mental illness. I think I misread or simply missed the jail part. That action was, in no uncertain terms, criminal in itself. It's that kind of treatment that only encourages public ignorance of various mental illnesses, and I believe can do more damage than any "homocidal mental patient" movie, or any of the crap the media likes to throw out.

I'm am so sorry for your friend's experience. I am speaking from personal experience when I say that my own (at the time untreated) Depression, Anxiety, and OCD that I was so far gone that I was diagnosed borderline schizophrenic due to the severity that my symptoms had reached once I sought out counseling. Had I been actually arrested and jailed, that event would have likely pushed me over the line I was balancing; I would have killed myself.

I'm still learning about these things, and want to explore possible psychology-related career paths--I currently design web sites; the more I read in this thread, the stronger I feel we greatly need better psych-docs in less urban areas; as well as stronger, more visible advocacy for all types of mental illness to bring education to areas that in this day and age, still are ignorant of the causes and reprecussions of illnesses and forms of intervention.

I guess that's where all of us can start to make a difference. I'm not ashamed of my mental "problems" (although my ADD is an asset, as far as I'm concerned, now that I know how to use it and control it). And if I, as well as the other well spoken individuals on this forum can learn how to communicate this information to the "normals" :P (I know, who wants to be "normal"??), then it's a step in the right direction.

:mad: WARNING: Soapbox time...

And in closing, we need leaders in our government who understand, and can implement programs of awareness about, different mental illnesses. We all know that our doctors and the FDA are never a given in being trusted to provide accurate and helpful information. The current "administration" seems to be of the mindset that prayer-based programs are the best bet in helping the needy... *cough*... I've nothing against religion, and am a spiritual person myself, but so much religion is superstition or myth vs. science. While to the rational mind, religious structures can indeed provide stability, the science cannot be ignored, and while grassroot efforts are great, WE MUST get state and federal leaders who understand both aspects.

Sorry if this is vague; I'm shooting it off before I leave for a 6-8 hour road trip. Thank God for Adderall!

Happy Holidays to all!

J

Coral Rhedd
12-23-04, 06:22 PM
I'm am so sorry for your friend's experience. I am speaking from personal experience when I say that my own (at the time untreated) Depression, Anxiety, and OCD that I was so far gone that I was diagnosed borderline schizophrenic due to the severity that my symptoms had reached once I sought out counseling. Had I been actually arrested and jailed, that event would have likely pushed me over the line I was balancing; I would have killed myself.


I understand. I am probably going to elicit some outrage by saying this but it seems to me that people who are diagnosed with mental problems later in life -- especially if they have been "high functioning" have acute problems just adjusting to the label. And it isn't as if they have nothing to lose. Where I live a city manager was recently hospitalized because "improper" medication for depression had caused him to have an acute psychotic episode. He was forced from his position (essentially fired) on the grounds that his problems might impact his ability to perform this "very important job." He went meekly into the night, another victim of blatant discrimination.

On the other hand people who have been disabled when young -- I think especially here of young severely schizophrenic males -- often are so medicated to control their behavior that it is as if they have had their will to function stolen from them. They have never functioned in a work environment, they have never achieve, and they have likely abused drugs or alcohol as self-medication. They can feel disppointed in the outcome of their lives but they often do not suffer the deep sense of shame that those who have had windows of opportunity suffer. When our society behaves in a brutal or blaming way toward people with mental illness then we strip people of hope and purpose. Too many people see money spent on things like homeless shelters, jail diversion programs, Social Security Disability, food stamps, etc, as money out of their own pocket rather than an investment in recovery. Too many people see the mentally ill as expendable.

It think it is important when we speak of suicide as a problem that we understand that these feelings have many sources. "Normal" people can feel suicidal when facing with devastating diagnoses or utter financial ruin. Compound these events with major clinical depression or bipolar disorder and people can feel quite hopeless. There are the realities -- like loss of work or loss of one's home or loss of the support of one's family -- and then there is the illness itself.

I'm still learning about these things, and want to explore possible psychology-related career paths--I currently design web sites; the more I read in this thread, the stronger I feel we greatly need better psych-docs in less urban areas; as well as stronger, more visible advocacy for all types of mental illness to bring education to areas that in this day and age, still are ignorant of the causes and reprecussions of illnesses and forms of intervention.

Are you aware of the new "consumer movement," the one where consumers of mental health services are empowering themselves to take charge of their health care and to empower others to do the same? Remember the civil rights movement, the women's movement, etc. Now there is a new wind blowing. The mentally ill are beginning to demand a recognition of their rights. The mentally ill are beginning to demand that their disabilities are a given the same protection as that given to people who have physical disabilities.

There is goverment action afoot -- driven by this consumer movement -- that would require that mental health providers make available to their clients access to paid peer mentors who would advocate for them in the mental health system. Someday I would like to be able to say: Paternalism is dead.

And in closing, we need leaders in our government who understand, and can implement programs of awareness about, different mental illnesses. We all know that our doctors and the FDA are never a given in being trusted to provide accurate and helpful information. The current "administration" seems to be of the mindset that prayer-based programs are the best bet in helping the needy... *cough*... I've nothing against religion, and am a spiritual person myself, but so much religion is superstition or myth vs. science. While to the rational mind, religious structures can indeed provide stability, the science cannot be ignored, and while grassroot efforts are great, WE MUST get state and federal leaders who understand both aspects
Good speech! I couldn't agree more. These so-called faith-based initiatives would have had more oversight except that I think the next Supreme Court appointees :mad: will be a little less sensitive to protecting the rights of minority groups. Religious preference should have no place in hiring decisions and the provision of funding where the administration of federal dollars is concerned.

typogenerator
12-24-04, 02:10 PM
Amen. High functioning people with mental illnesses are at a slight advantange in their ability to self-educate, self-advocate, and to seek help. Of course, even any high-functioner, given the right circumstances, can take the quick slide down to non-functioner, and that, as well as all other points mentioned here is why we need federal funded (not just mandated, Mr. Bush) programs to provide the necessary structure aviailable to those in need.

I'm going to reveal my political stripes completely here, so please no flaming, but I am what many down here in good old Georgia call a liberal. In keeping with that label, yes, I'm all for equal rights for all people (including homosexual couples); social programs to help the disadvantaged; and not only GOOD QUALITY universal health care, but GOOD QUALITY universal mental health care.

What a lot of my right-wing friends cannot understand, in relation to these essentially tax-based social programs, is that aside from the obvious result of people getting needed healthcare, these programs help keep the wheels of society turning smoothly.

No matter how many "deadbeats" and "crack smoking baby factories" (these phrases are from one my friends who you can flame at URL removed by ADMIN, fyi :D), anyway, no matter how many people abuse the system, that fact is no reason for abolishing the system.

[oops, just checked the link mentioned above and it seems to be down at the moment... not sure what's up with that...]

No matter whether your sympathies are with the downtrodden or not, any rational person should be able to see that their meager taxes go to programs that make our society work as well as it does. WHY DON'T THEY GET THAT??? :mad:

My right-winger friends seem to believe that a system akin to the old class systems with the wealthy on one end, and the the poverty-striken peasants on the other (with no middle class), would be preferable, as they assume they would be on the upper class end, and would not have to contribute their "hard-earned" money to the "worthless socialist programs the democrats keep coming up with." History shows us, that doesn't work.
Sorry; this is not the correct forum exactly to go on such a tangent, except for the subject of good quality mental health care and awareness...

Take care all!

typogenerator
12-26-04, 03:09 AM
Well, it was xmas eve yesterday, and the friend I've referred to in earlier posts in this thread decided to gather up her supply of over 1/2 month's worth or Klonipin, Risperdal (newer anti-pscyhotic), as well as that much Valium and Hydrocodone, and maybe some other stuff, and eat it. She then told her husband (who was unaware of the pills she'd just taken), that she agreed with him regarding a statement he'd made earlier, "I think those medications are just making you worse." She told him she flushed them and would try to go cold turkey.

Happy with this, he congratulated her and thought all was well. He took ther young son out shopping (presumably for last minute gifts, I'm not sure), and returned to find his wife passed out on the floor.

I have few other details, except to say she was taken to the ER, revived, and committed to a mental health hospital for what I hope will be extended observation and therapy.

But I guess I'm posting this because I need a little support. I spoke with my friend today, as did my wife. My friend told me she was ****ed that the OD didn't work, and that she was rehospitalized. (This is, for the record, a fully functioning individual who hold a full time job and has successfully raised 2 children and has raised her 3rd child so far to the age of 7).

I want to point out that the last time I saw this friend was Wednesday evening. We had a regular conversation; I looked for any obvious signs of deterioration and tried to assess her risk level this week. She seemed circumstancially to be in a good place--time off from work; her adult daughter was in from out of state visiting (they have a very good relationship); she had a lot of plans of things to do with her daughter in the coming week; she didn't seem too severely depressed.

On the negative side, she was still as depressed as she's been since her last suicide attempt, although the only hurtful thing she did was cut her hand with a knife intentionally while working in the kitchen. In our last conversation in person, she mentioned that she'd looked up what a large dose of Risperdal would do, but did not tell me what she'd learned. (I knew from my own research on it that it was dangerous in higher doses, but I also remembered, or thought I did, that it was not lethal).

In any event, that was the only comment that could fall under the "cry for help" category. She told my wife however, that I, in addition to her husband, her daughter, and her shrink, were all partly to blame for not stopping her suicide attempt because we did not heed her "calls for help" which were all as vague as the one I mentioned above, and none of which were unusual conversation topics for her. (Her husband should have picked up on the fact that she said "good-bye" to him as he was leaving... I'm pretty sure she says good-bye to him when she's not contemplating suicide... the shrink should have known because she cancelled her appointment for next week. She often cancels appointments, it is the holidays, her daughter is in town...)... ETC.

My point here is, quite frankly, that I am very aggravated right now with this friend. (My wife wasn't blamed because our friend had not made any of her presumably obvious comments to her)... But nonetheless, my wife, who doesn't suffer from any mental illness, is a bit fed up as well.

I'm really glad my friend is getting help. Again. And this time, at a better facility. But to be honest with you people, who I really don't know... A big part of me wants to completely distance myself from this person until they're better. Our friendship began because she was experiencing the onset of depression and knew I was well informed on different treatment options. Her Lexapro was giving her bad side effects and she sought me out for advice. And although we've had other aspects to our friendship, I have played the part of therapist (which I am not, as stated before. I create ******* web pages); but I've played therapist as much as friend, and the line between the 2 roles is so damned blurred I'm not even sure it exists any more.

If you ever feel your therapist is unfriendly or cold, by the way, there's good reason; they've got to be. Read above for clues as to why... grrrrr... anywho, anyone here relate to this situation? For the record, I do not feel to blame for my friend's situation; nor do I feel guilt for not catching subtle hints 2 days before the attempt. Nor do I feel that in playing therapist I have given any bad advice (and I've always followed any advice or suggestions with the mandate for her to ask the doc, and do more research). I've really not given much in the way of advice at all. I've just tried to help her see the positive side of things, and to be a friend. Ditto goes for my wife.

Anyway, anyone relate? Just need to vent... thanks.

Happy Xmas!!!

Coral Rhedd
12-26-04, 04:24 AM
Wow, it's late here and I was about to turn in when I saw your post. I am so sorry about your friend and about the stress this relationship is causing you. I will post again tomorrow when I am more clear-headed.

Regards,
Coral

Nucking_Futs
12-26-04, 11:15 AM
typo,

I can totally relate. My friend Donna often blamed us (those who loved and supported her) for her anerexia and depression if we had been better parents/friends she wouldn't have felt the need for perfection. I'm still very stuck in the anger phase of my healing process so this may offend some people; but, I am so ****ed at the pain and guilt that she has left in her wake that I cannot look at picture's of our past. I physically can't they make me sick with anger and I want to go to her graveside and scream "Selfish *****!!!!" at the top of my lungs; but, in my heart I know she was sick and to admit sickness in today's society is a death sentence for many.

I totally agree with your previous rant, it's one of the reasons I"m so open about my illness' ADHD/OCD/PTSD/Depression someone has to make the road a little easier for my kids and it may as well be myself. People do treat me differently until they realize I"m the same person I was before I told them. Well, ok that's not entirely the truth I think many of them are still waiting for me to go off the deep end and they can wait until the cow jumps over the moon as far as I'm concerned. I've tried suicide and it wasn't at all what I thought it would be so I live everyday one breath to the next and laugh at as many times as my gut will allow. Hint: Nothings worse then a Positive Depressed person they'll drive ya nuts!!! *laughs at self*

Having moved past the suicidal stage I can tell you that your friends mental health is her responsibility and only she can make life better for herself. Just be there when you can.

With great big hugs,
Cherity

p.s. Update on Jess...She has moved to the Oxford house early due to really, really wanting a drink and being afraid she wouldn't stop herself.

paulbf
12-26-04, 12:40 PM
Yet another suicide was averted last week. I'd rather not get into details but the person just needed someone to listen while going through rough times. I don't know them well, I think they hooked back up with a close friend & that's what made the difference.

Coral Rhedd
12-26-04, 03:19 PM
The so-called Holiday Season is a brutal time for depressives. There can be memories of Christmases turned bad (I have a few of those), there is the financial pressure of the holidays, there is the low level of available light exacerbating the depression, and there is the coming New Year which causes so many negative self-evaluations to take place.

It is odd. Here we are in an ADD forum. None of us know each other, and yet here we lend each other support and care across many miles. The systems in place to help seriously mentally ill people are inadequate on every level. The people who care for them are also flawed and frustrated. The friends in their lives are often dealing with their own personal and emotional issues and simply cannot act as therapists. Who cares for the caregivers?

I believe we all have to establish our boundaries and our limits. If I help someone to the extent that I exhaust myself and end up back in major depression then I have not served myself and I have not served that person. We can best help others and heal ourselves by also protecting ourselves.

Your friend, typogenerator, is acting like someone who has exhausted the people in her life. Her husband is not helpful, but why is he not? It is not possible to know what really goes on between two married people, is it? No one is a bottomless well. Everyone can be drained.

Furthermore, not everything that contributes to the behavior of depressed people is the depression alone. People learn many destructive ways of coping with harrowing realities. Not everyone who is terribly depressed is helpless and not everyone who is depressed is nice.

This will probably shock some: When I was seriously depressed and thinking of suicide, I discussed the nature of depression with my barely adult daughter and told her that no matter what happened my choices were not her fault. She was not very reassured. It was clear to her that I was irrational and really falling apart. She did not respond warmly. It was as if she was paralysed by my revelations. She is not a touchy-feely-share-everything sort of girl. But she did one thing I was having trouble doing. I needed to find a new place to live because my landlord was selling the house but I was having a lot of trouble finding a place I could afford that would take my dog. She picked up the phone and made some calls and found me my present home. She took the action that she knew how to take.

A friend of mine, who is a very warm and encouraging person, has never helped me with the practical elements of my life. To her, this is something I should be doing for myself, however inadequately. But she is always positive, rarely critical, and a good cheerleader for my accomplishments. She helps me in the ways that she knows how to help.

I have since had opportunities to help others. What I cannot do is wholly restructure their lives or their values for them. My bipolar friend will continue to overspend, putting herself in all kinds of emotional peril and causing upheaval for her minor children. My alcoholic client will continue to drink until he finds a way to stop, despite the fact that he is doing himself life-threatening damage. As for myself, I continue, although less so, to think of suicide as a solution to stress -- especially in the winter. But I know if I can just survive the winter, in the summer I will be fabulous.:D

Typogenerator, Nucking Futs, Paul F. you have probably all done more good than you can possibly know. It's okay to have limits.

robmhill
01-13-05, 08:26 AM
as someone who has been suicidal for the last 36 years, and knows it is still part of me even with the meds, suicide is not about dieing, it is about getting the pain to stop.

if there is know way things can get better, or one feels that, then death becomes the only option, and that in and of itself hurts. what has helped me more than anything is
people who understood the difference, and not the life is precious, or you have so much to live for.

people who knew that my pain though psychological, was real, and that treating it was an option better than death.

my father understands that heroin saved my life, before antidepressants i used that to lessen the pain, and it kept me alive.

it is gratifying that both my wife and father, understand that and are actually thankful for heroin for saving my life.
that sounds odd for nice middle class people to be thankful for heroin, but it means a lot
beacuse of why they are thankful.

also knowing that people will go on with their lives if i go
and that it will seem more stupid than tragic to most helped some.

but it is pain that kills

did you know that they have rated pain levels for different things
and terminal cancer is one of the highest rating of pain, even over kidney stones
and i have had those.
and cronic seveir depression is rated the same as cancer
it is the same level of pain.

they give you synthetic heroin for terminal cancer.

they have finallly acknowleged that the pain of depression is real.
though not all doctors understand.

that is one of the hard things finding doctors who take pain serriously.
if you took away my antidepressents and i could not replace them with opiates
and strong ones, i would be dead in 6 months.

yeh coral you find ways to survive the short term.
and true you can not help someone who either does not know that there is anything wrong with them, or thinks it is the world that should change.

more people commit suicide than murder others.
it shows how considerate a species we are, when things are that bad we would rather kill ourselves than others.
and that does not count all the suicides by livestyle
ie people who do things that could result in accidental, incedental or desease death, knowingly or unknowingly because they can not take being here.

i still get jealous of friends who get terminal diseases.

i use what i can to survive, the meds, not wanting to screw up my wifes life, my dads, though he is 84 and will not be an excuse to live for ever.

one positive note, my wife has about this
is that she knows that when we get old and inferm and life is not comfortable or fun anymore, and we are just surviving, i will take care of us., or if she gets a terminal disease she will not have to go through the last horrible months.

of course i make light of it, "damn she broke a nail, oh well..."

don't be afraid to make light of it in that sort of way, it is a lifelong thing, and can not be treated as too sacred/forbiden a cow.

and ultimately it is their choice.

remember if life were precious nature would not have death.
i have lived in many different places and have know the same people with different names, and different bodies, that takes the pressure off me some knowing that we are not so indevidually unique sacred and thus needed.
and that eases the presure and the pain that causes.

good luck and take care of your self, don't cause guilt by putting your life on hold.

Nucking_Futs
01-13-05, 11:42 AM
Wow rob what a powerful and frightening post. I have been to the point of making it all the hurt end and have even gone as far as un-successfully trying. What saved me was a faith in something bigger then myself and my family. I couldn't bear to look my mother in the eyes for a very long time afterwards not after hearing her screams and begging with God to take her instead, nah, you don't get over that easily. I've been to the bottom and see that it holds nothing for me and have no wish to return. I'm glad you have your wife and father with love their is alway's hope. While I don't agree with the direction of your post I know what life without hope is like I've been there and all I can say is I hope your with us for a long time. Hugs for you rob and your tortured soul, hugs for you supporting and loving wife and father. Cherity

Coral Rhedd
01-13-05, 01:22 PM
and ultimately it is their choice.


This is REAL.

That is the thing that people don't get. Sad, but the one thing that people are not supposed to discuss is suicide. Mention it, and you get all kinds platitudes -- some of which I think stems from nonsense about it being a sin.

People used to could not talk about cancer. It was a very hush, hush thing. Their voices would lower and they would say "You know, she has the big C." All this attitude does is leave people without support.

It is time we recognized that thoughts of suicide are a symptom of depression combined with a person's present reality. The depressed person simply interprets his or her reality as hopeless. For some people this can be triggered by things like grief from loss, poverty, other illnesses, loneliness, a lack of access to something they have depended upon (such as medication, legal or otherwise). Nothing disgusts me more that to hear someone say something like: "Pull yourself together" as if getting over depression were simply a matter of will. Depression is biochemical.

How many ADDers here have been frustrated by someone saying something like "Just use willpower?" If only it were so simple.

We have a lot of victim blaming going on in most cultures. We like to think that if someone is ill or poor or a crime victim that they have somehow been complicit in their tragedy. This allows us to minimize our responsibility as human beings to reach out and help one another. In fact, it is a form of guilt tripping. We can set ourselves apart and make judgements and feel that we will never have to suffer those problems ourselves because, oh yes, we make such better choices.

Let me ask those of you reading this: If someone has cancer today, would you feel justified in not allowing him/her to talk about this problem?

Nucking_Futs
01-13-05, 01:40 PM
Coral I never meant to rob Rob of his voice, feelings or his opinion. My intention was to give him 5 minutes of hope without pain. I know that sometimes life is only lived in 5 minute incriments...if I make it thru the next 5 minutes I can make it thru another 5 minutes.

Coral Rhedd
01-13-05, 09:18 PM
Cherity, I suspect you are not having a good day at all because my post was definitely not directed at you. You are a great person and one of the most supportive people on this forum and there is scarcely a person who posts regularly who has not been touched by your warmth.

I only meant to bring understanding to how isolating it can be to have thoughts and feelings people won't let your talk about.

I bet I could talk to your about almost anything.

robmhill
01-16-05, 10:53 AM
shoot i did not want to cause problems ;=)

i thought it was a positive post
things that are priceless can also be seen as worthless as they have no price

i do keep going when things are dark with small incriments of time
and use any trick i can, even opiates

and i do have many moments without pain.
but i never forget that it is part of me, or it could take me by suprise and then i would loose.

as someone said before death is drastic compared to just about anything.

we have to loose our fear of it if we want to help people
like we did with cancer.

and like diabeties which depression is often compared to
it is cronic, it is always there even with meds.
and once depression sets up operent conditioning to see death as a releif of the pain
it is always in your wiring, nothning makes that go away, so it always has to be delt with.


if you know what you are dealing with and are honest about it
you have a better chance of surviving.

that is why i speak of it like that.
like the poet stevie said death is the friend who will come anytime i call.

the point is to be aware that you may try to call that "friend" and what sets you off so you can keep a perspective that allowes you to survive as long as possible.

depression is a terminal dissease.


funny the one thing that has most kept me alive is a lack of beleif in the supernatural.
if i thought there was more than this i might go there.
but as i think this is the one and only time i will exist i have to make the most of it.


it reminds me of the saying if you meet the bhudda in the road shoot him
if he is bhudda he goes to nirvana
if not he is a fraud
i have always wondered why so many religious people are so unhappy when people die
if they belive then they are in heaven right?
heaven is infinite
life here is finite
and finite divided by infinite is effectivly zero so if there is an afterlife then this life in relation to it does not exist.

seems like the best thing you can do is like in the inquisisiton
they would convert you and when you were still pure in our conversion they would kill you and send you to heaven.
seems like the chrisitan thing to do.

sorrya bout that last bit on religion, if it bothers you ignore it.

Coral Rhedd
01-16-05, 03:48 PM
In a Dark Time


In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood--
A lord of nature weeping to a tree,
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.


What's madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day's on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall,
That place among the rocks--is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.


A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is--
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.
Dark,dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.


Theodore Roethke

It is true robmhill. Once you've been there you don't ever get to go back. Once you looked it in the face, you know it is both enemy and friend.

http://gawow.com/roethke/gr/up.gif (http://gawow.com/roethke/poems/231.html#top)

shinobi
01-16-05, 10:37 PM
This is a dud post and i cant find the delete button for it (is there one, can i delete my own posts..) so im just putting in padding text. sorry, delete it if you can someone.

shinobi
01-16-05, 10:46 PM
detox isnt easy, ill never go into an in-patients center again, ive fail safed myself against it. The bulk of the population do not realise how easy it is to go back into using, wasting for me has always been and always will be my way of life, even if im not geting wasted, its how ive lived and its consumed me. Its all i dream of when i dream, the life i used to have. Coming clean is not easy and staying clean is just as hard. If worst does come to worst, you could concider sectioning your friend under your nations mental health act. Most countrys have a clause where by a person can be forced into restrained care if their a clear and present danger to themselfs and or others. I know its drastic but hell, when the **** hits the fan what choices are left. Once sectiond at least breathing room is then made avalable to work out a suitable method to save a life.

mabey my advice is way off the mark, never been the smartest of people, but i thaught it might help.

Nucking_Futs
01-16-05, 10:57 PM
Cherity, I suspect you are not having a good day at all because my post was definitely not directed at you. You are a great person and one of the most supportive people on this forum and there is scarcely a person who posts regularly who has not been touched by your warmth.

I only meant to bring understanding to how isolating it can be to have thoughts and feelings people won't let your talk about.

I bet I could talk to your about almost anything.

You know me too well. Yes, I've been going thru some serious down time lately. I've re-read your post and found nothing to warrant my reply to it. For that I'm sorry and thankful for your understanding.

I'm alway's here if you need me Coral.
Cherity

Nucking_Futs
01-16-05, 11:01 PM
shoot i did not want to cause problems ;=)

i thought it was a positive post
things that are priceless can also be seen as worthless as they have no price

i do keep going when things are dark with small incriments of time
and use any trick i can, even opiates

and i do have many moments without pain.
but i never forget that it is part of me, or it could take me by suprise and then i would loose.

as someone said before death is drastic compared to just about anything.

we have to loose our fear of it if we want to help people
like we did with cancer.

and like diabeties which depression is often compared to
it is cronic, it is always there even with meds.
and once depression sets up operent conditioning to see death as a releif of the pain
it is always in your wiring, nothning makes that go away, so it always has to be delt with.


if you know what you are dealing with and are honest about it
you have a better chance of surviving.

that is why i speak of it like that.
like the poet stevie said death is the friend who will come anytime i call.

the point is to be aware that you may try to call that "friend" and what sets you off so you can keep a perspective that allowes you to survive as long as possible.

depression is a terminal dissease.


funny the one thing that has most kept me alive is a lack of beleif in the supernatural.
if i thought there was more than this i might go there.
but as i think this is the one and only time i will exist i have to make the most of it.


it reminds me of the saying if you meet the bhudda in the road shoot him
if he is bhudda he goes to nirvana
if not he is a fraud
i have always wondered why so many religious people are so unhappy when people die
if they belive then they are in heaven right?
heaven is infinite
life here is finite
and finite divided by infinite is effectivly zero so if there is an afterlife then this life in relation to it does not exist.

seems like the best thing you can do is like in the inquisisiton
they would convert you and when you were still pure in our conversion they would kill you and send you to heaven.
seems like the chrisitan thing to do.

sorrya bout that last bit on religion, if it bothers you ignore it.

You did not do anything wrong with either of your posts. The second was more detailed and a little easier for me to understand were your coming from thank you for taking the time to clarify things for me.

The answer to your question is not the lack of belief there is something more but purely selfish. When our son died we knew we would see him again but we wanted him now and didn't want to wait until infinity. We're very selfish beings deep down.

Nucking_Futs
01-16-05, 11:06 PM
detox isnt easy, ill never go into an in-patients center again, ive fail safed myself against it. The bulk of the population do not realise how easy it is to go back into using, wasting for me has always been and always will be my way of life, even if im not geting wasted, its how ive lived and its consumed me. Its all i dream of when i dream, the life i used to have. Coming clean is not easy and staying clean is just as hard. If worst does come to worst, you could concider sectioning your friend under your nations mental health act. Most countrys have a clause where by a person can be forced into restrained care if their a clear and present danger to themselfs and or others. I know its drastic but hell, when the **** hits the fan what choices are left. Once sectiond at least breathing room is then made avalable to work out a suitable method to save a life.

mabey my advice is way off the mark, never been the smartest of people, but i thaught it might help.

I think your advice was wise and of sound mind and the insight into your world helps me see somethings more clearly.

Right now Jess has checked herself into a half way house were she attends counseling sessions alone once a day and with group three times a day. She's doing beautifully in this setting and is starting to come to terms with her past and to lay it to rest. I got the chance to visit her last Friday and she looked so...? young? since I've known her she has been like an old woman in a childs body if that makes any sense, her eyes had a hard edge to them, her pose and stature was that of someone screaming "get away from me I don't need you" which made me want to help her all the more. She has a new innocence about her I can't describe. I've learned to be there when she needs me and to let her find her way sometimes I get to walk with her and sometimes I get to sit back and hold my breath as she goes alone. Tis the way with all friendships.

Coral Rhedd
01-16-05, 11:15 PM
You know me too well. Yes, I've been going thru some serious down time lately. I've re-read your post and found nothing to warrant my reply to it. For that I'm sorry and thankful for your understanding.

I'm alway's here if you need me Coral.
Cherity
Same to ya! :)

About me knowing you: You let yourself be known. You are an open and giving person. This comes across loud and clear in all your posts. It shows your courage.

There is nothing I admire and respect in other women more than courage.

Your friend,
Coral

Nucking_Futs
01-16-05, 11:34 PM
Thanks Coral.

Today has been filled with panic attacks, memories one right after the other, flashbacks. I sometimes misplace my courage but with the support of my husband, family and wonderfully loving, giving and supportive friends like you I never lose hope that I'm going to find it again.

Thank you Coral for not only being there but having the right words.

Cherity

robmhill
01-17-05, 05:45 AM
thanks nucking

for both things
on the second
usually when i say that or simular things i get hems and haws from people with faith
you were very honest and about probably the most painful thing there is.

that was very nice of you.

i am very sorry for your loss, it is more than i can imagine.

RhapsodyInBlue
01-17-05, 08:59 AM
Rob,

Your posts in this thread made absolute sense to me.

Many years of therapy for the PTSD and I confronted one psychiatrist and said to him " Tell me it isn't possible for a person to elect suicide as a logical end with total sanity."

His response? "I can't as it is possible."

"Am I sane"?

His response. "Yes"

Then I have a "right" to elect suicide if I so wish?"

His response. "Yes."

Suicide was always there as a safety net; still is. Death is not to be feared, and suicide should not be a taboo subjects.

There are far more painful things than death.

Nucking_Futs
01-18-05, 05:17 PM
DAGNABIT!!! I wrote this great post and what happens? We have to shut down temporarily man I hate my computer on days like that. Now, I have to write it at work and post it tommorrow sorry for the inconveniance.