It's not what you are eating, it's what's eating you…

Archive for the ‘SUICIDE’ Category

#StigmaKills – The Sexual Predator/Victim Edition….

http://www.rainn.org
http://www.thehotline.org
http://www.suicidepreventionhotline.org 1800-273-8255
http://www.befrienders.org

What I’m about to have to say, is bad enough…It’s actually tragic…

The current social climate I have to say it in, is ALMOST as bad.

In multiple ways, for multiple reasons. Let me explain…

Very, very, very carefully.

Because the nature of the activism that I do, is usually suicide prevention, oriented, while I blog about all things mental health, including rape and sexual harassment (especially this year!!!), I had worried and wondered when, not if, someone either an accuser or the accused would die as a result of this, either in the form of murder or suicide.

Well, let me clarify that. I’m already know that people have gotten murdered for raping someone else’s loved one, people have died in domestic rape and assault situations both victims and perpetrators and people who have been accused and or convicted or people who’ve been violently raped have died by suicide.

And maybe somebody has already died this year (either a victim or a perpetrator) but it’s been buried in the news, we are constantly bombarded with, even for someone like me, who’s rarely on social media and on limited platforms.

I hate to say this, as it’s of personal nature and it’s honestly NOT meant to be self serving and it can be potentially hazardous to someone’s emotional health, if I don’t choose my words carefully AND if someone doesn’t read them just as carefully.

I’ve already discussed about my own rape in 1996, talking about it in greater detail than I would’ve already liked (as I really would’ve not liked to have to talk about it at all) and I made my peace with it, in my own ways, a LONG time ago.

Only going public about it, in hopes to help others.

I would NEVER want to hinder the progress that the #MeToo movement has made, which was WAY long overdue, nor they or anyone is to blame for the nature of this particular blog, and that I need to make CRYSTAL clear.

But I’ve had to relive my rape way more in 2017, than I ever did in 1996, when it actually happened.

Over and Over again. Due to the nature of social media.

Okay, I can live with that.  And not die from it, either. And I’m not being glib.

But I’m only saying this, while the #MeToo movement was SO necessary, I can’t be the only one, where I’m glad that it’s occurred, but it’s also been a trigger, that I can be okay with, but be sensitive to the fact or just aware, that while those of us, who’ve had to survive trauma like that, want all stories to be told, but it’s causing some of us to have to relive traumatic events, over and over again, as a result.

I’ve done all the soul searching in my case, where other than it being a VERY traumatic life event, it hasn’t played into any kind of self destructive behavior, like it can for other victims of rape and physical assault, as I had the same vices going out of my rape, that I did going into it, that’s the only reason why I’m mentioning it, in this particular blog.

And again, I’m trying to choose my words carefully.

As I strongly believe everyone’s (victims) stories need to be told. And while my blogs, won’t ever lead to a national dialogue (which to me, is kind of scary to me, as I really have no desire to go “viral”) it does help people talk about things that are strongly stigmatized, which is my goal, even if it’s private or helps them get the help they need.

HOWEVER, as I said in a MAJOR blog that I wrote about Harvey Weinstein and victims of rape and sexual harassment, there needs to be a dialogue on how we can best all help ALL people.

Including the predators themselves. Whether it’s in prevention or rehabilitation initiatives, for those who ARE willing to get help.

IF you do the math, most women know another women, if not a man, who’s been a victim of sexual harassment and/or rape.

In my case, where I am an activist who deals with body diversity issues and while I’m not a a clinically trained professional, I’m already fully aware of that both people of weight and anorexics, it stems from trauma caused by rape, assault and harassment, regardless of gender, socio-economics, in every age group, relationship (i.e. familial,professional or stranger) and in every religion.

So, if most, if not all of us know, someone who’s been a victim of these crimes, we obviously know someone who’s possibly done this.

Even if we DO NOT know, that they’ve actually done this.

Or sometimes people do know someone who’s done this, that they love now, who has this in their past (or present), and they can’t tell due to stigma, nor can offenders talk about what they might have done in the past, that could currently come back to haunt both them and their victims.

And that could be a deterrent on why they don’t seek professional help, either for preventative or rehabilitation purposes, due to the potential consequences.

And I’m not even going to elaborate in detail, the conversations we aren’t having about those who are victims and predators, not in the public eye, where more discussion is needed to help eliminate if not reduce rape, assault and harassment, for those who don’t have anything to lose, like the people of power, who are celebrities, as well as that there needs to be more discussion on the fact that assault victims aren’t always women abused by men. Females can be predators of either gender, and at any age.

But the above paragraph, is another in blog in itself.

I was already thinking about the potential for both victims and perpetrators might already be prone to the potential of suicide, in the last couple of months and ironically had wondered this, as this morning, when I got a phone call from a friend.

My friend had a friend, someone I had met briefly, a few years ago, for like 2 minutes.

While my friend and I had talked about unusual behavior of this friend (i.e. no-show on a job of over 2 decades) a few days ago, I was extremely  concerned.

My friend had found out today, that their friend had died last week, due to suicide, due to concerns of a past sexual assault allegation, allegedly.

Now, I’m going way out of my way to protect everyone’s identity, as they didn’t ask for me to write this blog.

I’m only writing it, because now I know someone who’s died this year, from a perp perspective and I’m sure he’s not the only one who has contemplated or will do this.

But, because  I have a serious responsibility as an activist, to not only have a voice for those who don’t have one, but to make sure I don’t cause further harm, in this case, with this topic, to those who’ve been victims of a sexual harassment or rape, too.

We need to talk about this.

We need to have support services in place. That serve and help EVERYONE.

That it hurts people, whether you care about this, based upon whether or not you like or care about the outcome of the victim and/or of the accused and/or perpetrator of these crimes.

We can’t continue to try people in the court of social media, especially in cases for people who either are victims that come forward or perpetrators who are terrified of something like this going public, so they commit suicide because they can’t or they actually DO NOT see another way out.

I’m not saying that those who’ve committed sexual harassment or rape, shouldn’t have consequences, like people in power, who are in the public eye, or any perpetrator,like we’ve seen, such as losing their careers.

Or that they shouldn’t face further consequences, in a court of law.

But it shouldn’t be okay, that people are okay with someone dying for a grope, they did a long time ago, and felt so much shame, that they would rather die, than face their family, when being scared that it was going to come out, either.

And again, it bears repeating,  I’m NOT trying to do, in any way, any kind of sexual harassment and/or rape victim shaming, which I find repugnant.

But there’s a very good reason that sexual harassment and even more heinously, the crime of  rape, usually doesn’t come with the death penalty.

We need to talk about this more so that more people, even if they aren’t so innocent, don’t die as a result, while remaining respectful to their victims.

(I do need to say, when talking about the above, I’m not talking about predators/perpetrators  who have no remorse for crimes they commit and/or who are violent and/or habitual offenders, but it’s not for me, as an activist, to say what they are due as a punishment, either)

Otherwise, there are going to be more families, blindsided, like this particular family, who now has to deal with the aftermath of a loved one who tried and convicted himself and then killed himself.

And there will be also sadly, victims of rape and sexual assault, who due to the nature of social media bullying having to be buried, too.

Note: Please ask for clarification, if one is a victim of sexual harassment or rape, before making any negative assumptions about this blog.

Also, comments that are not constructive in nature, will NOT be posted.

IMPORTANT Addendum: There are things I need to say, a little over 36 hours after publishing this blog, that I can’t go back in, without “muddying” it, even more.

One thing that I’ve tried to make clear not just in my activism in talking about rape and sexual harassment, but other mental health issues, is about the possibility, if it’s possible, with initiatives and open dialogue for PREVENTION.

Prevention of suicide. Prevention of rape and sexual harassment, as it applies to this blog.

As we have taught kids, from the time they are young,  how to describe and identify a “a good touch” versus a “a bad touch”.

But we haven’t done nearly enough in both kids and adults is talk about more means on how to prevent in the first place, so it doesn’t start at home, doesn’t  end up in schools or on the grounds, in a park, places of worship and in the workplace, to name a few.

I knew when I wrote this, it’s too soon to discuss this, though even though a couple of hours ago, a Kentucky congressman died due to suicide among allegations of molestation of a minor child.

And while I feel sad for the family and friends of both the victim and the congressman, as well as more victims that will come out and truthfully, more accused and/or perpetrators might die, so I stand by what I say, there is something else I have to say, that I would’ve rather not.

Most of my blogs, sometimes talk about the issues I’ve been up against, because I’m limited in what I can say about those I love the most.

But because it has relevance, I’m hoping that I will be forgiven, but I want it understood from the victim perspective, I get the enormous amount of damage and pain this topic causes victims.

My 14 1/2 year old daughter has been a victim of sexual harassment, groping by a peer and bullying.

And while I was a suburban kid, while I was bullied anywhere I went at her age, by words, I could take the bus, to lets say, where I live now, in Downtown Minneapolis, because then it was fun and less physically unsafe thing to do for an unaccompanied teenage minor, like it is now.

While my daughter lives in a upscale neighborhood though and she can be trusted, we live in a society, that many cannot be trusted and for that reason,she is very RARELY left or allowed to be alone, in a public setting, because of what she’s been through, as it applies to the bullying and harassment.

So if there was any doubt from a victim’s perspective of my not being extremely sensitive and empathetic, I hope there isn’t now, because I don’t think of just my daughter and son, I think everyone who’s been a victim.

 

 

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How MANY more people have to DIE, before we have MAJOR Mental Health initiatives in place?

It’s been a quiet weekend, on purpose.

For the type of activism that I do, for the sake of my well being, I don’t read the news very much, on weekends.

I just happened to check out People.com, about 10 minutes ago, when I saw the headline, that a young beautiful, brilliant and kind woman died, when another even younger person, a 12 year old child, tried to commit suicide, yesterday.

The 22 year old Maryland woman, her name was Marisa Harris, died in Virginia, yesterday, when a 12 year old boy jumped off an overpass and landed on her vehicle and the young boy is listed in critical condition with life threatening injuries.

Marisa, according the People.com and The Washington Post article, was getting her masters in clinical counseling, who loved working with children, at the time of her death.

Her heartbroken family could sadly see the irony in that.

I decided to write yet another blog, about this issue, because we can’t as a society become numb to this.

A young woman, who had already enriched so many people’s lives and could’ve saved countless  other people’s lives, was robbed at such a young age, of living life to the fullest because a young 12 year old boy, couldn’t see the value in his own life.

I wish there was more I could do, to not only bring attention to the seriousness and the acute need to have more comprehensive mental health initiatives funded by government, in schools (from the time children are young), to the workplace and in facilities and in the media, to help people from the time they are young, until they are very old.

To give all human beings, the opportunity to get help when in crisis, as well to try and  prevent traumas that can play into crisis and for evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation for any human being who’s at risk of taking their own life, as well as other lives.

My thoughts and prayers are with both the families and friends of Marisa Harris and with the young 12 year old boy, where I hope that he should survive, but I can’t even imagine what both families are now facing.

No one should have to know of that and none of us should wait any longer before advocating for more comprehensive awareness and treatment options for those who are at risk of their mental health issues being fatal to them or another person/people.

Rest In Peace, Marisa………………

Note: I didn’t think it was fitting, to put in the body of the blog, about the young father who was tragically killed, a few weeks ago, when teens through a rock on an overpass. I think it’s noteworthy, even though they are two separate tragedies.

One innocent person died as a result of a youth, not realizing the consequences of their actions, could hurt another person. The other was by teens that should’ve been old enough to know that their actions could result in a fatality, and just didn’t care what the potential consequences could be, in their victim.

Also note, due to the nature of THIS particular blog, I didn’t put my normal disclaimer of people seeking acute clinically trained help, when in an acute mental health crisis, as in this case, it wouldn’t have helped.

Editorial note/update: Blog was written and published on 10-29-2017.

in the end it really did matter…….

Trigger Warnings: In this blog, I write both seriously as an activist for suicide prevention and awareness, as well as trying to support loved ones who lost loved ones to suicide. Which in addition elaborating on what it takes sometimes, to manage  my own mental health issues. As well as what I go through with my own particular mental health issues.

The point I’m trying to make, is I will ALWAYS recommend that people in crisis get help from a clinically trained professional, in acute care facility, if necessary.

Which a lot of times, it is NECESSARY.

But knowing I’m probably the last person to be willing to do that, I put these blogs out there, hopefully to help those who it may benefit, who may be in serious emotional distress and are at risk of their depression being fatal and for those who lost loved ones and are in despair and/or heartbroken, at the loss of their loved ones. And it has helped people.

However, the last thing I want to do is trigger anyone, if topics such as suicide (from a patient and activist perspective)  are a trigger, please don’t read.

**********************************************************************************

“it starts with why

it doesn’t even matter how hard you try

its so unreal

even though I tried it all fell apart

all i know

it doesn’t even matter how hard you tried

I had to fall to lose it all

in the end it doesn’t even matter

what it meant to me  will eventually be a memory

I tried so hard and got so far

but in the end it doesn’t even matter

I had to fall to lose it all

but in the end it doesn’t even matter

“In The End” -Linkin Park
(disorganization of lyrics partially mentioned intentional/no copyright infringement intended) ”

Taking a deep breath, because I really don’t want to write this blog, but hoping that it helps someone.

It happens to be, as more time goes by post suicide attempt in August of 2008, my old life both before, during that time and after it, to present time, doesn’t get to be anymore closer of being a  distant memory.

It happened to be, and it’s not something I’ve blogged about, that while I have multiple blogs talking about my “one and only” suicide attempt and the consequences of it, I have not talked about, that I would’ve probably made my attempt, 3 months earlier, is that because I had someone I love dearly, someone I can’t identify, who was potentially suicidal.

So I had to bizarrely, get them the help they needed to be strong enough to not die of their depression, even though my own life for me was so physically and emotionally unbearable, that I knew and could only hold on for as long as I did, knowing that my pain would eventually end, once they were stabilized and in my misguided thinking at the time, that everyone I loved the most, including that loved one (who did extremely well after intensive professional help) , would be better off without me.

I realize how messed up that is. Now. And for the last 8 1/2 years. And I’ll make my point and I’m going to admit somethings in hopes of helping other people, that I’d rather not be admitting, but if it helps someone in crisis and/or in despair, it will be worth sharing it.

It happened to be on Thursday morning, which I was debating on purchasing Linkin Park concert tickets, for that above mentioned loved one and I, for the concert that was scheduled in St. Paul, on August 15th, which would’ve been 3 days after the 9th anniversary of my suicide attempt, when a few hours later, it went viral that Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, had died the same way his friend Chris Cornell did 2 months prior, by suicide, which my loved one took really hard.

Part of the reason why that loved one took both deaths so hard was the fact that I did try to commit suicide, 9 years ago. And Linkin Park and Soundgarden was music they used to cope with, as they saw me medically and mentally disintegrate.

I related more to Linkin Park, during that period of time in my life, during my deepest depression that led to my suicide attempt. While it wouldn’t be something I’d be comfortable sharing, normally, I am now, plus a few other things, in hopes of those who are suicidal and to help those who lost a loved one, because the song “In The End”, was a song that help me identify why I felt suicidal, I did try so hard and in the end I thought it didn’t matter, nor did I think my life or myself did, feeling such a feeling of failure and being in such unbearable medical and mental health pain for as long as I was.

The main thing I’ve learned as an activist of sorts, is that not everyone can be saved, that their depression is going to be fatal to them, when it comes to suicide prevention and/or awareness. It’s not anymore of a choice to them, then having an incurable fatal “medical” disease versus mental health.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not dedicated to trying to be an activist for suicide prevention and awareness.

IF I’m to be truthful, I’ve been suicidal since my suicide attempt in 2008. The only difference between why I am alive now, versus thinking my life and everyone’s life that I know and love the most will be okay, if I died,  is that I know at least in the last 7 1/2 years, that I’ve managed to stay alive even with medical near life ending crises, is that the people I love the most, will NOT be okay, if I die from my depression issues.

And it’s a very mixed blessing that I realize that the only thing I can do for my children and my family is not die from mental health issues, I can’t really do more than that.

And sadly, that’s really they only expectation they have of me, at this point.

For me to have any quality of life, though and this is what I realize, because I know better than to think that people who commit suicide, don’t know or care about their loved ones or they are selfish, which they aren’t.

There’s been a lot of discussion since Chris Cornell’s  and Chester Bennington’s deaths which would suggest otherwise. They had kids, didn’t they care enough about their loved ones, to get help or get better????

PLEASE don’t make that assumption or give that impression, as that ONLY  stigmatizes suicide and mental health and it doesn’t help those of us who have depression and/or other mental health issues that can be fatal and it doesn’t help the loved ones, they/we leave behind, for those who die this way. Or who tried to, in the past.

It’s making a hurtful and horrible impression that if we loved our loved ones, enough we’d find a way to stay alive. And not ever contemplate, let alone attempt suicide, which only hurts people, it doesn’t help anyone.

A lot of people will  NEVER understand the multiple and multifaceted reasons that play into deaths due to suicide, but if you wouldn’t tell someone who’s dying of any other disease, that they should get better because of those who they will leave behind, please DON’T for a second, make that impression on someone who’s mourning the loss of a loved one due to their depression being fatal to them and/or those who’s depression is at risk for being fatal to them.

As much as I’d love to say, it’s a wonderful miracle that I’m still alive, it doesn’t feel that way, most of the time. I’m not saying that my life is worse than it was from 2006 to 2011, but it’s not amazing, either.

While I can give myself some credit for having to survive some crappy things, and by sharing them, with this blog, as it has helped some people, I realize that people have been through much worse and handled it better and sometimes that makes me feel really bad about myself, especially as it applies to myself as a mother, who loves my kids more than anything.

For me to have any quality of life, though, and it what helps my depression and mental health issues not be fatal for me, I’ve had to realize that I have to care about myself for myself.

My love for others, as much as I wish it was different, cannot be the only reason why I’m still alive and that I make the attempt to have any quality of life, which does help, especially in cases, where peace of mind for those of us who have limited amounts of that, is so sporadic.

What saved my life post suicide attempt, when in mental health crisis, but not in medical crisis, status post “one and only suicide attempt” in 2008, is that I have the luxury of not doing ANYTHING when in crisis.

Meaning I don’t have to deal with people like most people do. I live by myself and can sometimes take life one hour at a time, which is my deal with myself when in crisis. It also helps me in a non judgemental way of trying to be kinder to myself, of having mental health issues and realizing that I’m doing the best I can and I can usually realize  1/2 the time am grateful for the things I’ve been able to experience because I’ve managed to live this long and try to concentrate on that, when on days, it seems like more of a curse.

I’m not medicated for my mental health issues, either. For the last 7 1/2 years. Both my long term PCP and my former psychiatrist saw that the severity of side effects are not worth the risks, especially since the therapeutic benefit is minimal at best with most psychotropics for me. And I don’t just get severe side effects from mental health meds, but meds in all therapy classes, so it’s not a manifestation of my mental health, that those meds don’t work, it’s an unfortunate medical fact about me, that my own clinical professionals also acknowledge.

It’s not an ideal though way to live for those of us who have a host of depression, mood and personality disorders. Nor is my being total hypocrite when it comes to not seeking clinically trained professional help, any longer even though I still struggle.

I realize some of the irrationalities of my thought processes. I know not every clinically trained professional is going to treat me like an unstable drug seeking hypochondriac who’s also seeking attention, but enough have. And I’m grateful that I have one long term amazing PCP who does a unique patient tailored approach to my care, which I wish other providers would do the same.

And while it’s working for me, it doesn’t work for most people, though. And if I’m to be truthful, I can only try my hardest, I can’t guarantee that no therapy and no meds and a love of my family is going to guarantee that I won’t ever need intensive help that I’m not so quick to get and the irrationality of that. However my first blog on WordPress, where I found myself in a system, that I couldn’t get out of, I think plays a large part of my trying to find some balance and meaning to my life on my own, as well as all the time I have. But it’s not ideal.

So I cannot overstate the importance of not only seeking out clinically trained medical and mental health professionals and realizing that if you don’t find one who is helping you, that you hold on, until you find the help that is right for you that gives you the chance of lessoning, if not eliminating the risks of your mental health issues being fatal to you.

And what that may require evaluation and treatment in potential combinations of inpatient and outpatient care and trying to find different medications, if current medication regimens aren’t working, to find the right combination of clinically trained professionals and/or therapy medications that will work.

And professional help can help those who lost loved ones where it doesn’t become a risk for their depression being fatal to them, as well.

I can only hope that we lose the stigma of mental health issues once and for all, so that people can be in their best health. And what that looks like, is just as unique as we all are.

But we can’t do that without removing stigma and judgement from mental health issues. As well as having more options for evaluation and treatment both in pharmaceutical and non pharmaceuticals treatment therapy options.

I wrote this blog, in hopes that people will try to get past stigmatizing suicide, to provide support for those who’ve lost (or nearly lost) loved ones due to suicide and/or accidentally died due to overdoses. And tried to help by sharing what is working for me, when in crisis, even though I realize it’s unconventional and that it may not work for most people, depending on what they feel their options are, which are obviously not many depending on the severity of a depressive episode and/or other mental and/or medical health issues.

But again, I’m not a clinically trained provider. I only know what I do about so many of these issues by either personal experience or those who I’ve helped personally since 2010 via social media, and in almost the 4 years that I’ve been blogging.

But I do believe that clinically trained professional help is best. But I also understand better than anyone (as I’ve discussed on multiple occasions the bias I face when seeking medical attention) why some cases, such as the bias I’ve experienced, that in my case it causes more duress than it alleviates.

Links for Suicide Awareness, Prevention and support for survivors:

http://www.nami.org
http://www.befrienders.org
http://www.save.org
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Note: I would’ve wrote this blog sooner, but I’ve had technical issues that make blogging almost impossible at times with having internet and device issues.

I was able to edit blog on 7-28-2017 with links that can hopefully help.

Also same rules apply, judgemental or non constructive responses will not be published. I’m okay with a difference in opinion, if shared respectfully and mindfully. Thanks!!!!!

How many MORE people are going to have to DIE , before we can talk about Opioid addiction and other addictions without STIGMA???

(Extremely important disclaimer: I’m NOT  a clinically trained professional. If you or someone you know is in acute medical or mental health crisis, PLEASE seek immediate/acute professional help, in an acute care facility.

Because this blog is about the fact that clinicians are only human and can be in crisis, too, this is WHY I’m pressing for honest dialogue in our society about the Opiate Epidemic and removing the stigma that exists that presents a barrier for so many people being able to get the help they need that hopefully, save their lives)

http://www.cnn.com/2017/5/24/us/drug-counselors-overdose/index.html

Most of my blogs, as of late, have had to do with the opioid epidemic. Some of the blogs, have been out of concern of the war on drugs, having a potential to harm those who use prescription opiates, responsibly, but as a last resort to treating severe chronic pain.

Some of them have included though, the very real crisis that we are in because of opioids both prescription and illegal opiates.

My very last blog (which was extremely wordy, even for me) , had to do with my getting labeled at a an appointment with a pain management specialist, who had labeled me, due to my mental health issues and that I had very temporarily abused opiates, both almost 9 years ago (for 5 days leading up to an intentional overdose with pain meds that had been prescribed for me) and almost 7 years ago for 2 days both situations involved both being in medical AND mental health crisis.

And I’ve discussed those issues ad nauseum, in previous blogs, quite a bit, since I’ve launched this blog, almost 4 years ago.

I also had mentioned in my last blog, that I had done an internet search on that physician, prior to that appointment almost 2 weeks ago and had found that pain management specialist I had seen, in addition to being “pro Butrans”, which I didn’t think was appropriate for me, neither did she, also had nearly had her own medical license suspended due to opioid addiction, less than 2 years ago. And had multiple conditions to be able to continue having her suspsension stayed, by not being able to prescribe controlled substances, let alone be in possession of them.

It was never my intent in my last blog to shame that provider. What I did find offensive, is my history being a barrier in my getting medical care, with bias, because I had been labeled PRIOR to ever being on opiates and as someone who has a very short history that I’m not usually believed by most providers, with temporary drug abuse, just because I have mental health issues and even BEFORE my mental health issues were diagnosed in my late 30’s, just because I was a bariatric surgical patient.

The above link on my blog, that I just came across tonight, was about 2 drug counselors in a addiction facility who overdosed on heroin/fentanyl combination in Pennsylvania on Monday.

I have never not known or acknowledged that the Opioid Epidemic, not only is a VERY real crisis, not just nationally but globally, but that clinically trained medical and mental health professionals, whether they are physicians, drug counselors or any kind of practicing clinician, also can be patients with the propensity to have serious addiction problems that can be fatal, just like to any other human being.

Also, I’ve said as a mental health activist who’s also written multiple blogs about murder/suicide, what I talk about is, NOT the means of how people choose to kill themselves and MURDER others , but the desire to kill to begin with.

It’s not to minimize when I bring up gun control initiatives when talking about that. I say, with being crystal clear, that I’m not a medically or mental health clinically trained professional and/or in public safety or law enforcement professional, that taking away the weapon of choice, isn’t getting to the heart of the matter, when it comes to these tragic deaths.

That if people want to kill, if they can’t get a gun, there are many other ways that they can and WILL find to kill people.

The same applies to drugs, when it comes to addiction. If people even start out honestly because of severe chronic pain or any kind of severe pain, such as surgical or due to an accident  and whether or not,  it becomes their gateway to drug addiction and/or they just go straight to illegal drugs for emotional and or mental health health pain and find a dealer, unfortunately, it’s not always predictable who will find themselves in crisis of life ruining, if not life ending consequences due to that addiction.

Or ANY type of addiction and that’s one of the  the points of this blog. If we can’t talk about the multiple ways and multi-faceted reasons that play into addiction, honestly without stigma, whether it be drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, social media/internet/phone that present potential for abuse, addiction, the risk to public safety/personal health threats on humans and the fatalities that are occuring , we don’t have a prayer of reducing them.

It’s becoming obvious and it doesn’t take a clinically trained professional to state, that you can’t legistlate away addiction, it can make it only slightly harder to get drug of choice, it doesn’t take away the propensity for addiction, away.

Unfortunately, while it’s a lot easier to identify what barriers we are experiencing as a society when it comes to these threats, it’s a lot harder to find out what it’s going to take to make inroads in reducing addiction and both accidental and intentional overdoses.

But we  can’t just continue to believe it’s the epidemic itself, that’s killing so many people and/or ruining their lives.

Because the truth is, the STIGMA  and reluctance to have an open and honest dialogue is equally to blame.

This can’t continue to be a “don’t do drugs” or “ban all drugs” conversation, as prevention initiatives just aren’t working for so many. I’m in no way discounting them. They have value, it’s just not enough.

It has to become, why we are a globally, humans who can be prone to addictions of different natures that can be life ruining and life ending for almost anyone and everyone, which almost all of us, know someone who’s life has been ended too soon or ruined due to addiction, as well as loved ones who are effected by these crisies.

How many people are going to have to die, until the dialogues start and more initiatives are in place for study of, evaluation and better treatment options of disease of addiction themselves that don’t have the potential to lead to other addictions or other potential serious medical/mental health issues????

Note: I’m hoping this starts an honest dialogue to help. I always appreciate differing opinions if shared respectfully and responsibly.

Any comments that could be potentially triggering or are not constructive, will NOT published.

(Edit Note: Unfortunately, slight edits that were made before publishing didn’t take when blog was posted. It didn’t effect greatly my intention with this blog, just clarifying that I apologize that, it wasn’t as clear as intended it to be, from the start but also with the fact for new readers, I am a disabled blogger who writes about disabilities, in addition to topics like this one, that I feel passionately about)

When Love isn’t Enough….

    The one thing I haven’t talked about or just said verbatim, when it comes to mental health issues, is the topic of love and that it’s sadly not enough. I’m saying it now though, because it needs to be said. I’m only discussing this from a mental health activist point of view, I’m not discussing it from a platonic,familial or romantic relationship point of view,unless mental illness is a factor in major dysfunction of a relationships . Or if any kind of relationship while in it or out of it causes serious emotional distress, abuse or loss of life/lives. I’ll both explain and differentiate where love is necessary but it can’t be used as a measurement. Especially when it comes to mental health and mental illness. Even in cases of physical health issues and illnesses, as I go along. 

    The topic of love and what it means and what it doesn’t mean, is rarely discussed other than the love, absence of love and/ or self loathing that a patient who is suffering from mental health issues might feel at times. But people who lose their lives due to mental health issues ARE capable of loving others, even if they aren’t capable of loving themselves. The reason why this needs to be said is with all the talk regarding severe depression and suicidality, in the last week and half since Robin Williams died, not only is there stigma and shame that people who are now trying better to understand it, but there still is a ton of people who think it’s a selfish act to commit  (or try to commit) suicide (or whatever politically correct term people are using now a days)and/or they  have addiction issues whether they live or die from that.

  Carrying the opinion that it’s selfish, doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t help those who battle severe chronic depression or battle some form of severe mental health issue/s  and it doesn’t help those who’ve had to survive the loss of a loved one, if they lost their battle and their lives to that. Or if they love and have to live with someone who’s suffering from mental health issues. 

    The problem is a lot of people  believe that, ” true love can conquer all things” because we are conditioned to believe in society, that true love is a cure all. I don’t want to burst anyone bubble, but it’s NOT. This is how we keep stigmatizing and shaming mental health issues by believing or thinking that the right kind of love will fix all things. It doesn’t help ANYBODY for this is a myth, that we need to stop perpetuating. Even though I understand why it’s perpetuated in the first place. But that fantasy has to go, if we are going to have any prayer in making inroads with those who suffer from mental illness and their loved ones for healing. 

    I’m choosing my words obviously very carefully because while I can say in any venue that I do my activism from, making  a blanket statement like love not being enough, also comes with the potential of people construing that if that’s the case, then having faith and hope will NOT make a difference, either. And that’s not true nor is it something I want people to think. We ABSOLUTELY need hope, faith and love to have the best chance to be in our best physical and mental health. We just can’t use that as a prescription or a means of a cure or a fix to people who have mental illnesses.Just like love can’t be a cure or means treatment or prevention for physical illnesses.   

   Understanding all of  this will help a lot of  people heal. Because mental health issues not only effect patients, it effects the people they love and who love them. Who feel rejection and shame when they lose people that they love due to mental health issues. And it can help loved ones cope when they are not able to understand when someone they love with mental health issues can’t get better  because they are incapable of getting better. But there still is that human personal perspective that people will  think if they were loved enough or if their love was good enough, people would be magically cured of of their illnesses. Or people wouldn’t experience the heartache of dealing with someone who is constantly fighting severe chronic depression, addiction, intentional or unintentional abuse  and other mental health issues if THEY were lovable enough. Let alone those who are survivors of loved ones who die because of mental health issues. 

  That’s a lot of heartache all of us are carrying around because we want to believe that in love lies a cure. Sadly it doesn’t. I’m most definitely NOT saying “don’t love”. Or that love, like faith and hope doesn’t help in time of physical or mental crisis. I’m just saying it’s not a failure of love in any way because it can’t fix people with physical and/or mental health issues. It makes the journey in illnesses and in life, easier if you have faith,hope and love. 

  How do we help anyone who’s suffering, then, if love isn’t a cure all? Compassionately understanding that different people have different means of treatment needs for the same diseases. Treating all human conditions whether they be medical or psychological, with the same respect, concern and kindness, and not associating choice when it comes to psychological issues. That just like there is no guarantee of a cure for a lot of  medical illnesses or diseases, there isn’t sometimes a cure or an effective treatment  for some  mental health illnesses.  I don’t choose to have Bipolar 2 disorder, anymore than I choose to have Migraines. But it’s the latter that’s going to get me the most empathy and just like everyone who’s struggling with something, whether it’s emotional or physical and/or combination of, and  it shouldn’t be that way.

   I didn’t hoard to punish my children, nor did I try to commit suicide 6 years ago because I didn’t love my children or family,enough. As I love them dearly.I always have and I always will.  I’ve explained though in other blogs in more detail, of what happened to us, in my circumstances.This particular blog isn’t for me, about me or my kids. It’s for a better understanding from an activist point of view of what needs to change, to help those who are hurting. But in my case, while I know I’m capable of love and kindness to others, that I’m not necessarily capable of showing to myself, because of my mental health issues. And I’m not unique in the fact that I can love others without loving myself, if at times when I’ve been  filled with self loathing and sadly being self destructive, did have consequences on those who I love the most. And it’s aspect about me and/or my illnesses that I’ve had from the time I was really young from physiological makeup, environment and circumstances. And I’m far from the only one who’s had/have traits like this.   

   This is where now though, where lack of  self-love and self loathing needs more de-stigmatization. In matters of those who are abused in some way or are abusers and have capacity to do violent  and/or intentional harm. I don’t have the credentialing nor do I have at this point, because of my cognitive damage to do anything, but best hypothesize, that we have problems in our society and it can play into  some patients’s mental health issues, when there is an absence of self love, and/or  love for others, self loathing but now add in HATE and/or RAGE. The difference between a suicide and a murder/suicide, is that some people have  hate and/or RAGE if not necessarily about themselves but for others. Sometimes, it’s due to a chemical makeup or predisposition. Sometimes, it’s environmental. Or circumstantial.  Or combination there of. 

  I,truthfully, struggle with the thought of having compassion for people who are capable of violent harm against another. I also don’t have the means to understand it or explain it, best, like a professional Mental Health expert, would of why it actually exists (which I’m sure there is many reasons) and what is needed for effective treatment and/or rehabilitation .

 . But this  matters in where and what  I say a lot in the activism that I do. Whether it’s saying that NOT all people with severe and persistent mental health issues are capable of any, let alone, great harm. It also plays a factor in people becoming abusers themselves, when abused. There’s also a physiological component to some people’s mental health issues, that they are not intentionally trying to be harmful but they still are, anyways, and we need to find more options for treating those who suffer from this and being more compassionate in our support for their loved ones. And we can’t compassionately support if we don’t dispel stigma. And start encouraging dialogue and discussion for those who have loved ones who are abusive and/or erratic, and/or  violent so that they can be supported. Even with domestic abuse initiatives, domestic abuse whether romantic or familial is still sadly, greatly under reported. Whether it’s fear or due to stigma.   

   Again, there are no easy answers. Human beings don’t each come with their own instructional manual. We all are unique and complex. But it’s easier to try to come up with solutions to help others in their suffering, when we understand and can identify what barriers that exist to help de-stigmatize and remove shame from those who suffer greatly from mental health issues and for those who love them, who can’t understand that  when mental health issues that result in tragedy in loss of life or a results in such a poor quality of life, has NOTHING to do about LOVE as we currently define it. If it did, there would be millions and millions of people still alive both from a medical and mental health stance. 

   In NO way shape or form am I discounting FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE. We are humans and our souls and psyches need that, as well as our bodies do. Like we need oxygen,water and food.Not only to survive but to have the best chance to thrive.  It just needs to be put in a proper perspective, for people to have a better chance of healing from circumstances that they have no control over the outcome. Both with themselves and with those who they love and who love them. And sadly, mental health issues effect each and everyone of us to some extent. 

    I guess the best way I can say this is “use” love in an authentic way to help fortify your strength and your life, in your relationships with yourself and others. Do not use though love as an effective means of evaluating and/or as a measure of  your value as a person, when it comes to medical or mental health issues in yourself or those you love………… 

        

 

   

   

     

The Mental Health World According to um, EVERYBODY……

Sigh….

I wrote my last blog in tribute to Robin Williams and published it, within an hour or so of learning about his death, when it started to trend on Facebook.

6 days 1/2 later and everybody now wants to talk about his Medical and Mental Health issues. And yours. And mine. The media shitstorm that this has created, lasted about 4 days longer then I gave all that is and makes up media and social media credit for. And everyone in the whole entire world’s need to express something. And I can’t honestly tell you that it’s all good. Even if it’s well intentioned. And I’ll explain why.

I don’t like being an “angry” activist. And normally, when I’m upset and angry it’s not a good idea for me to tackle subjects that need the sensitivity that mental health, severe depression, severe chronic medical illness and suicidality requires.

I know that, because Mental Health and Medical activism, is something I do everyday. Not just because it’s the cool thing to do, now. Just like living with mental, medical and cognitive disabilities is something I do everyday. And sometimes it’s a major battle. While I can have a sense of humor on occasion about my own disabilities including mental health, severe chronic depression is one of the things that is most unfunniest matters that exist. Sometimes my medical, mental health and cognitive disabilities feel like a sentence, even though I realize in a lot of ways that it’s nothing short of a miracle I’m still alive and that’s more because of medical and bizarre circumstances. Not because of my mental illness issues. But bear with me for a second, because I’m about to make a point.

This is also not the blog for me to go into what I do when I experience severe depression. This is the blog to explain why mental health issues needed and should’ve garnered attention before Robin Williams’s death. And in my opinion why it probably still wouldn’t have saved his life. Keep in mind, again, I’m not a professional mental health clinician.

We live in a society that is supposed (for good reason) to value human life over everything else. When people die, if it’s people we love, it’s a tragedy. Regardless of how they die. We live in a society that couldn’t be anymore health conscious as it applies to physiological health. We realize now, we have a ways to go when it comes psychological health. And suddenly the whole entire fucking world is now realizing the compassion we’ve been lacking as a society in regards to that due to Robin Williams’s death. That should be a good thing. Here’s a few reasons why it’s NOT.

It’s not fair to put on Robin’s memory or his surviving family and friends, or anyone for the matter that he becomes the poster child for why mental health issues need more attention and we need more resources. Even though his family has said they appreciate the support. But they’ve also asked for privacy, too. What we don’t need is everyone picking and choosing when to talk about this because his life meant more then compared to another. Or to prioritize because Robin Williams was a celebrity that a lot of people could relate to and because he brought us a lot of pleasure. The problem is that when we prioritize value of human life, because he was a celebrity that was globally adored, it will have negative effect on people who are fighting severe depression because it shouldn’t have taken his death, to help eradicate stigma. Or for people fighting for their lives because of mental illness issues right now, will give up thinking that if he couldn’t survive his mental health issues, how the HELL is someone who lacks resources and has no support supposed to??? I’m not saying if there are suicides as a result of this, that it’s his or societies fault. I am saying that it’s justifiably a concern of mine and other MH activists as well as mental health professionals for the reasons I’m saying that his death getting so much media attention is starting to be counterproductive although there are some activists and mental health clinicians who I’m sure will disagree with me.

And in people trying to honor Robin, for those who are in crisis they may not be able to differentiate the attempt to remove stigmatization is starting to resemble glorifying sucidality for those who are vulnerable. Because people are still confused on whether or not this is actually a choice. And in his case though, it’s being considered compassionate to accept that he died this way, but not the same compassion is shown for everyone who battles severe and persistent chronic depression. For those of us who are working on suicide prevention awareness, it’s getting scary just how much attention this is getting and this is a MAJOR reason why it’s not all good.

I am a mental health activist and advocate for a lot of reasons. Which I’ve gone into more detail on other blogs. I, again, definitely advocate for suicide prevention awareness. I also am an activist because to help dispel if not eradicate stigma that comes with all mental health issues. I’m an activist and try to give a voice to those who’ve died due to mental health issues, for those who tried to die because of mental health issues but still are with us but don’t have voice and to be supportive for those who’ve devastatingly lost loved ones in death or who’ve tried dying due to mental illness. Or their quality of lives for those who suffer and their loved ones, is poor to non-existant but people can’t talk about it due to being scared of being stigmatized.

If I actually thought I’d be getting the last word in, I’d call myself out on my being a hypocrite. I don’t think I will be getting the last word in, though. I think out of respect for Robin Williams’s family that the media and social media doesn’t make another 9 trillion comments, stories and memes. That’s the reason why I’m chiming in.

Think about it this way. What if this was your family mourning a loss of a loved one and had to spend the initial days after a tragic death of a loved one, hearing about it EVERYWHERE??? And in this case, sadly his death will be considered newsworthy for the wrong reasons for a longer period of time compared to other celebrity deaths. Again, realize I was a big fan of his, too. I get the sadness, that we are feeling, but it needs to be said how it’s potentially going to fail people. Think about all the people who’ve kept silent for so long because they’ve lost loved ones to severe depression and/or other mental illness issues because it’s been stigmatized for so long.

If you want to honor Robin, the best way you could do that, is by honoring by his survivors wishes, at this point. And to honor people in your life, asking of those who suffer from mental health issues or have lost loved ones due to mental illness issues of what they need in support.

Note: Respectful disagreements of my writings are welcomed in comments. Any comment that can potentially be triggering to another or is disrespectful to another person will not be approved.

R.I.P. Robin Williams

I was on Facebook for about an hour, when it started to “trend” that sadly the brilliant actor and comedian, Robin Williams has died due to suicide.

I haven’t blogged for awhile. I’ve had things to say but I didn’t have a way or the right words to say it. My own suicide attempt which tonight is the eve of the 6th anniversary of my suicide attempt (I tried to commit suicide early morning of 8-12-2008, and actually my 1st blog was on my 5th anniversary, a year ago, here on WordPress), went into great detail about it. On my first blog.

While Robin had been forthcoming about his personal demons and battles with depression, alcohol and drugs, news of late, seemed like he was on top of things.

I can’t speak for him. I can only hypothesize, and again, I’m not a clinical trained and/or credentialed Mental Health expert. But I do understand why people lose their battle with depression, and with that comes losing their will to live. And sadly some people will lose their life to suicide, no matter how much resources they have for help, they can’t see that. It’s the nature of the disease and I know that better than anyone.

I’m not being pro-suicide when I make comments like that. It is just debatable on whether or not “suicide” can completely be prevented. My answer is absolutely NOT.

Whether or not, Robin’s family will divulge any details, obviously remains to be seen. I do hope that the media (highly unlikely, tho) will respect his family’s right to privacy in such a tragic time.

In my past blogs, I’ve discussed mental health and chemical dependency issues as it applies to the end result in people dying of suicide or accidental overdoses as it applies to famous people as well just people who are not in the public eye. I’ve likened severe depression as an “emotional cancer”, and for some people it’s helped them make a little bit of sense of things that are not rational, but I know no matter how hard I try, I’m never going to be able to make people understand if they haven’t experienced severe and persistent Mental Illness and a severe chronic depression of what an uphill battle it is. Most of us who are fighting it, usually at best will always take a few steps forward, and a couple back. For the rest of our lives. Then there is one end of the spectrum of people who find methods and treatment that do work for them, wonderfully and are in remission. The other side of the spectrum is the people who end up dying due to suicidality. For some, sadly it IS incurable.

In NO way am I saying that people should give up. I am saying though I understand why they do.

If I have to repeat this a million times, I will. We need to remove the stigma from Mental Health issues. We need not to shame those who’ve tried to commit suicide and those who’ve unfortunately lost their lives to it. I’m not saying that it should be glamorized but it doesn’t help anyone to demonize those who commit suicide, especially in this day and age where there are so many homicide/suicides. And the loved ones they leave behind.

I’ve wanted to write for awhile what it’s truly like, even 6 years later, to live with severe and chronic depression. Because sometimes for some of us, while there are many things that I’m grateful that I survived to see, even I can’t say with absolute certainty that I will not die from this. I’m not remotely suicidal, but I know how brutal this disease can be.

We need more treatment options for Mental Health issues. We need to be able to speak about what’s hurting us without judgment and stigmatization. And we need to understand that we can NEVER walk in another’s shoes. Don’t judge what you don’t know. If you can’t be a part of the pro-active solution, don’t be a judgmental stigmatizing shamer.

Rest In Peace, Robin Williams. Thank you for wonderful work you did that made people laugh so hard and your amazing acting ability for drama, that made us cry. The world was a better place because you were in it. And luckily we have so much of your work, that is immortalized you, that’s in film for many generations to enjoy and laugh from. Thank you for your honesty about your trials and tribulations. You were much more forthcoming then you had to be.

Robin, you will be dearly missed…………

*Resources for those who are suffering from mh issues and their loved ones*

*Crisis Resources*
http://www.nami.org
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ http://www.nasponline.org/resources/crisis_safety/
http://www.211.org
http://www.211us.org
http://www.samhsa.gov/
http://www.save.org
http://bornthiswayfoundation.org/help http://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres
http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/

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