Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tomorrow Is a New Day

Tomorrow Is a New Day
By: Sara Breidenstein

Day after day the story remains the same. With each passing day, three things are guaranteed to me. The sunrises, the sunsets, and I feel pain. They always say, “tomorrow is a new day.” I wonder to myself what that means! Why do they always say this to me? What about tomorrow makes it different than today?

Nothing ever changes! The sunrises, the sunsets, and I feel pain.

The smile I put on is still fake, the happiness I’ve desired since my teenage years remains missing, the misery that has grown so devoted to me never strays far, the hope that the sun won’t rise for me tomorrow never ends.

Nothing ever changes! The sunrises, the sunsets, and I feel pain.

“Tomorrow is a new day,” they say! I don’t need a new day! I need a new life!

Some tell me they love me, some tell me they care. While others watch from afar and don’t say a word. I don’t think they even care. I don’t think they ever really cared. Some tell me to keep holding on because happiness will come. I wonder where they get this information from. I’ve known unhappiness for much of my life.  Happiness has skipped over me; it doesn’t plan to come. They make this up so I’ll keep holding on. They think they’re being encouraging but they're just being liars!

I’ll never understand why the few that care, say they want me to remain here on this earth. The misery is too much to handle but they want me to stay. They want me here for their own happiness. I only stay here for those that I love! I don’t want to hurt them. I don’t want to disappoint them. I stay alive so they can have happiness. Who am I to mess with their happiness?

I conceal my pain as much as I can. I smile on the outside while my heart sheds tears on the inside. I don’t know what happiness is, I’ve never had the chance to know.  I’ve tried so hard to find this thing called happiness but it doesn’t seem to exist. Instead, I’ve become accustomed to pretending to have happiness.

Sometimes I just lose it. Sometimes I can’t handle it anymore. I scream and I cry but no one understands. The next day is back to the normal routine. The next day I return to the happiness game. I keep playing and playing but I never do win.


Nothing ever changes. Every day is the same. The sunrises, the sunsets, and I feel pain.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Suicide Hotline

A reminder of the phone number to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline seems fitting after the posts related to suicide I have posted over the last few days.


Monday, November 25, 2013

United States Suicide Statistics

The follow statistics are 2010 United States Suicide Statistics:

Number of Suicides       Number Per Day
Nation              38,364                             105.1
Males                30,277                              83.0
Females              8,087                              22.2

Whites              34,690                              95.0
Nonwhites          3,674                              10.1 
      Blacks           2,144                               5.9 

Elderly (65+)       5,994                            16.4
Ages 15-24          4,600                             12.6

• An average of 1 person every 13.7 minutes died by suicide in 2010
• An average of 1 elderly person every 1 hour and 28 minutes died by suicide in 2010
• An average of 1 person aged 15-24 every 1 hour and 54 minutes died by suicide in 2010. Suicide is   the 3rd leading cause of death for this age group in the U.S.

• Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in U.S. Homicide ranks 16th.
• There are 3.7 male deaths by suicide for each female death by suicide. There are 3 female attempts for each male attempt.

What this means is males are more likely to be successful than females. The reason for this is the means used. For example, males are more likely to use a firearm than females and therefore are more successful on average.

• There are an estimated 959,100 non-fatal annual attempts in U.S. There are approximately 25 attempts for every death by suicide.

All of this data was obtained directly from American Association of Suicidology, with the exception of the blurb in italics which came from my own personal knowledge of the subject.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

NAMI Suicide Fact Sheet

Suicide

Suicide is one of the greatest tragedies imaginable for a victim and their loved ones. Each year suicide claims approximately 30,000 lives in America which makes it responsible for slightly more than 1 percent of deaths in the United States. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are a psychiatric emergency requiring immediate intervention to prevent this disastrous event. It is the most common psychiatric emergency with close to 1 million Americans receiving treatment for suicidal thoughts, behaviors or attempts on a yearly basis.

Who is at risk for suicide?

  • The single biggest risk factor for suicide is a prior history of suicidal behaviors or attempts.
  • Over 90 percent of people who commit suicide have been diagnosed with mental illness.
  • Some of the mental illnesses most commonly associated with suicide include depression, bipolar disorderschizophrenia,personality disorders (including borderline personality disorder), anxiety disorders (including posttraumatic stress disorder and panic attacks) and eating disorders (including bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa).
  • Substance abuse and addiction are associated with an increased risk of suicide.
  • More than one in three people who die from suicide are intoxicated, most commonly with alcohol or opiates (e.g., heroin, Percocet [oxycodone]).
  • The majority of completed suicides in America involve firearms and access to firearms is associated with a significantly increased risk of suicide.
  • Among youth aged 15 to 24 suicide is the third leading cause of death.
  • Older age is associated with increased risk of suicide; people above the age of 65 are at the greatest risk for death by suicide.
  • Chronic medical illness (including chronic pain) is associated with increased risk of suicide.
  • While women are more likely to attempt suicide, men are approximately 4 times more likely to die by suicide
  • People of all races and ethnicities are at risk for suicide.
  • People who feel socially-isolated (e.g., divorced, widowed) are at increased risk of suicide compared with people who have responsibility for family members (e.g., people who are married or people with children)
  • While scientists have not discovered one specific gene that causes suicide, it is known that people with a family history of suicide are at increased risk.
  • People with a history of trauma (e.g., childhood abuse or combat experience) are at increased risk of suicide.
  • Involvement in community or religious organizations may decrease the risk of suicide.

How can suicide be prevented?

As suicidal thoughts or behaviors are a psychiatric emergency, the involvement of properly-trained mental health professionals is necessary. For some people, this means making an appointment to see a therapist or a psychiatrist; for other people, it may mean calling 911 or going to the nearest emergency room. After they are evaluated by a mental health professional, some people may be able to continue outpatient treatment; others may require inpatient psychiatric hospitalization to manage their symptoms.

Ongoing psychiatric treatment is helpful for most people with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Some forms of psychotherapy—including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)—are useful in treatment of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Psychotherapy can also be a helpful part in the ongoing treatment of people mental illness, something which further decreases the risk of suicide.

Alcohol and drugs are very dangerous for people at risk of suicide. Addiction—also called alcohol or drug dependency—puts people at increased risk of suicide and can also worsen other mental illnesses which further increases this risk.  Additionally, people who are intoxicated or withdrawing from drugs and alcohol are more impulsive. This impulsiveness can make people more likely to attempt suicide and perhaps less likely to ask for help with their troubling symptoms.

Some medications may be helpful in reducing the risk of suicide in certain patients with mental illness. While antidepressants carry a “Black Box Warning” from the US-FDA regarding the risk of increased suicide, most people with depression or anxiety will be less likely to hurt themselves if they are taking an antidepressant medication. Most scientific studies of people with depression suggest that antidepressants save lives by preventing suicide because untreated depression is such a significant risk factor for suicide. Other medications may also be useful: for some people with symptoms of depression, lithium can be helpful in decreasing the risk of suicide. For some individuals with schizophrenia, Clozaril (clozapine) can reduce the risk of suicide. As with any other medical illness, a thorough evaluation by one’s physician—either a primary care doctor or a psychiatrist—is appropriate prior to starting most medications.

What can friends and family members do?

If they have concerns that someone close to them is suicidal, family and friends can be most helpful in encouraging their loved one to seek treatment. Some people may be afraid that they could worsen the situation if they bring up the topic of suicide with their loved one. While this is a common concern, scientific studies show that asking about suicide—and encouraging their loved one to get help—does not increase the risk of suicide. Rather, addressing concerns about suicide is helpful in preventing suicide.

Friends and family that are interested in learning more about suicide prevention are encouraged to follow the links included at the end of this review.



Reviewed by Ken Duckworth, M.D., and Jacob L. Freedman, M.D., January 2013
The authors would like to thank Jane Pearson, Ph.D., who was responsible for an earlier version of this review.

Related Links

American Association of Suicidology
Website
www.suicidology.org (also provides listings of state-by-state suicide crisis lines).
Phone: 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255) (crisis line)


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Website: 
www.afsp.org
Phone: 1 (888) 333-AFSP (2377) (not a crisis line)


[Download the NAMI suicide fact sheet.]



NAMI • The National Alliance on Mental Illness • 1 (800) 950-NAMI • www.nami.org 3803 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, Va. 22203 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Suicide Is Not A Joke!

Sometimes, I truly cannot believe the things I read on the internet. With each passing day, I lose more and more hope for the human race. This evening, I read something that totally stopped me in my tracks. I read the words, “just kill yourself” on a Facebook post. These words were written to a page administrator in response to a post on the page. This individual had disagreements with the page admin over some of her posts. However, It is NEVER acceptable to tell someone to kill him or herself. I cannot think of one single reason that would ever make this an acceptable thing to say. Just because you may disagree with someone, not get along with someone, even strongly dislike someone for whatever reason, it still does not ever give you the right to tell that person to “just kill yourself.”

This is something that is also never acceptable to say as a joke. Suicide is not a joke. Suicide tears families apart. It leaves parents, children, spouses, siblings, and other family members with the various pieces to pick up; it leaves them to wonder for the rest of their lives why this happened and what more they could have done.  In the United States, suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds and the 10th leading cause of death overall. Suicide took the lives of 38,364 people in the United States in 2010. That is not a joke!

We never know what anyone else is going through. It is easy to cast judgment from the outside but we never know what is going on inside. What if that person is going through a serious depression already? What if that person has recently lost someone to suicide? What if that person is already feeling suicidal? Will this be enough to push them over the edge? Could you live with yourself if that person did kill himself or herself after hearing your words? What about that person’s family and friends? What about all the people that care about that person? What makes your life more valuable than that person's life or any other individual’s life? Would you tell someone to go die from cancer? Would you tell someone to go die from a heart attack? I can only answer these questions for myself and not for you but I hope that they are enough to get people really thinking about this topic,
people who may not have seen a problem with saying these words prior to reading my post. I hope these questions are enough to get those same people thinking that these words are never acceptable and could be extremely detrimental to someone; they could even cost a life.

As some of you already know, I almost lost my life to suicide over six years ago.  You can read about it here if you choose; Lucky to be Alive. There has been more than one period of time since then that I have felt as if life is just not worth living; I’ve even felt that way quite recently. It has never been something I’ve made well known; people in my life didn’t know I was feeling that way at the time. If, during those periods of great depression, someone had told me to go kill myself, I just may have! It may have been all that was needed to push me over the edge. When someone is already having suicidal thoughts and is feeling life isn’t worth living, those words could be the only push an individual needs to go through with those suicidal thoughts. That could be the straw that breaks the camels back. You just don’t know!!! I will never understand why it seems so hard for so many to practice compassion towards others. There’s this little saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Remember that one? It really holds true to what I’m saying! I wish I could say this was the first time I’ve seen something like this but that’s sadly not the case!


I will follow this up tomorrow with some more statistics about suicide. Please, please, please do not ever tell someone to “just kill yourself” or any variation of those words meaning the same thing! Don’t be the reason someone takes his or her life; be the reason that person chooses not to!

Thank you for reading! Until next time…
Sara Breidenstein
Kissing Stigma Goodbye


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Second Feel Good Video

The second feel good video I watched was of two boys reuniting with their father after his military deployment. The kids had no idea he was coming home. I had tears streaming down my face when I was watching this! It is so touching! Unfortunately, I could not figure out how to embed this video as I did the last because it is not on YouTube and I don't see the option to embed it. I will leave you with the link so that you can watch it if you please. I hope you enjoy these videos as much as I did.

Soldier Reunites With Family In Ravens Huddle

Feel Good Video

I watched two really great videos, one yesterday and one today. They were both feel good videos. This is the first one I watched. It is of a 19 year old Dairy Queen manager standing up for a blind customer. This feel good video is a reminder that there still are good people left in this world. It is only 2 1/2 minutes long and definitely worth the watch in my opinion.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sinead O'Connor's Recent Interview With Time

As some of you may know, singer Sinead O'Connor lives with a diagnosis of mental illness. She is quite outspoken about  her mental illness and mental Illness in general. Recently she had an interview with Time. Below is her answer to a question about how her efforts are received by people.
Question: "You’re so outspoken about the way that we talk about mental illness. How do you feel that your message of being respectful toward the issue is being received by people?"
"It’s not the question of my message. I think it’s a general world message now. My particular grief, if you like, is with the media in particular. I think how the media discuss and portray and diagnose, indeed, with qualification, mental health and mental illness is a human-rights issue. I’ll give you just one example. There’s a dreadful practice in this country going on at the moment, which is a complete breach of human and civil rights, of paparazzi lynching — that’s what I call it — young celebrities, young female celebrities, whether it’s Britney or Amanda Bynes or Lindsay Lohan or anyone who has either been diagnosed with an illness or is perceived by people to have a mental illness, and lynching them in the streets, trying to get photos of them looking like they’re having breakdowns, taking these pictures, selling them for tons of money to the newspapers with derogatory words written under them about mental illness and about these women, and making a buffoonery and a mockery of them. That’s obviously extremely wounding and dangerous for those young women, because it doesn’t stay on the page or stay on the screen. It translates down to how people treat you in your life. Unfortunately there’s such a stigma about mental illness or perceived mental illness that people are bullied and treated like sh*t and the illnesses are used as something with which to beat people, and in a manner than a physical illness wouldn’t be. You couldn’t go lynching with paparazzi girls who have broken legs and start writing about, ‘Aren’t these dreadful, awful people? Let’s have a great laugh at them because they have a broken leg.'"


Read more: Sinead O'Connor: Mental Illness and Media | TIME.com http://entertainment.time.com/2013/11/14/sinead-oconnor-mental-health/#ixzz2l9QQOeYR

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Time to Change

This is a really neat website I came across. It is called Time to Change. It's a UK website but the content mostly remains relevant. There is all kinds of information about stigma and about mental health. One of my favorite parts of the website is the section titled Talk About Mental Health, which gives tips on how to talk to someone living with a mental illness. This website is a great resource! Go check it out if you've got a moment and while you're there take a few seconds to make a pledge to end mental health stigma!

http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

People Magazine Article

Richard Dreyfuss Opens Up About His Battle with Bipolar Disorder

Check out the above linked article about Richard Dreyfuss' battle with Bipolar Disorder on People Magazine's website!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Depression

This is so true! I can't stand when I'm depressed and people tell me, other people have it worse than me so I shouldn't be depressed. First, if I had the option to not be depressed then I would exercise that option! I don't choose when I'm going to be depressed! Who would choose depression? No one! Second, it is extremely insensitive to say this to someone who is dealing with depression! Depression is already painful enough without people saying insensitive things. Saying this or something along these lines to someone infers that their depression is a choice!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Kevin Breel: Confessions of a Depressed Comic

This teenager, Kevin Breel, is so incredibly strong and courageous! This is such an inspirational video! It is worthy of watching every second of! Below is one quote that I really liked, there are plenty more where that came from to be found in this video!

"Unfortunately we live in a world where if you break your arm everyone runs over to sign your cast but if you tell people you're depressed, everyone runs the other way. That's the stigma. We are so, so, so accepting of any body part breaking down, other than our brains and that's ignorance. That's pure ignorance and that ignorance has created a world that doesn't understand depression, that doesn't understand mental health. That's ironic to me because depression is one of the best documented problems we have in the world yet it's one of the least discussed. We just push it aside and put it in a corner and pretend it's not there and hope it will fix itself. Well it won't, it hasn't, and it's not going to because that's wishful thinking." -Kevin Breel


Monday, November 4, 2013

Suicide Hotline

I like to repost this from time to time for anyone who may need it. If you are feeling suicidal please, please, please call this hotline, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Suicide is not the answer, I know that it can feel that way at times. Trust me, I know, I've been there and I'm lucky to be alive after a near death suicide attempt. I'll be the first one to admit that I don't always feel like life is worth living but in the end, I'm glad I'm still here.





Sunday, November 3, 2013

What's Depression like?

There are many ways to describe what depression feels like and how it takes over someone's life. Everyone has their own way of putting the pain of depression into words. Each person's way of describing depression is unique to that individual. While there are many common features of depression; everyone experiences it in their own way. I came across the following description on the internet and I found myself able to relate. The following description stuck a chord with me and my experiences with depression.

~Sara~