Access to Weapons for the Mentally Ill Who May be Suicidal

→ January 29, 2013 - 13 Comments

Access to Weapons for the Mentally Ill Who May be Suicidal

Recently I wrote about why people with a mental illness shouldn’t be denied access to guns. My argument is, essentially, that it is a violation of their rights to judge the mentally ill based on a medical diagnosis and, in this society, we judge people based on what they do and not their medical conditions.

Some of the commenters on this post brought up the fact that with access to weapons, a person with a mental illness may be more likely to commit suicide. For example, about half of all people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide and certainly, an attempted suicide with a gun is very likely to be a completed suicide.

However, this doesn’t change my opinion one bit. While I have written and written about suicide and suicide attempts and I have said that, as a society, we should aim for zero suicides, that does not mean that we should violate people’s rights to do it.

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I Want to Attempt Suicide but Not Die

→ January 7, 2013 - 65 Comments

I Want to Attempt Suicide but Not Die

OK, I understand that a suicide attempt is not a suicide attempt if the end desire is not death, but stick with me here, I have a point.

Believe it or not, I get a lot of searches on this site by people searching for ways to attempt suicide and not die (their words). And while many people may find this unbelievable, I don’t actually think it’s all that uncommon. I think many people make suicide attempts that are less about death and more about screaming for help.

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Why Haven’t You Killed Yourself Already?

→ December 13, 2012 - 90 Comments

Why Haven’t You Killed Yourself Already?

Why Depressed People Don’t Kill Themselves

Many people with bipolar depression are suicidal. Not all, of course, but many. Most people with bipolar depression, in fact, most people who are suicidal, do not kill themselves though. In fact, you can live with suicidality for years without ever killing yourself or even attempting to kill yourself.

And while people stay alive for many reasons, I have my own reasons for not killing myself.

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I Want to Die. What Should I Do?

→ November 22, 2012 - 221 Comments

I Want to Die. What Should I Do?

I’m often asked by people, “I want to die. What should I do?”

It’s very, very sad.

But it is a reality for so many. So many people want to die at one point or another in their lives. It might be related to a mental illness like depression or it might not. But regardless as to why a person wants to die, it’s critical to know what to do if it’s happening to you or someone you care about. (Suicide and suicide attempt resources here.)

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Suicide and Suicide Attempt Resources

→ September 10, 2012 - 8 Comments

How to Support World Suicide Prevention DayOver the last couple of years I have written a lot about suicide. It’s a big topic and one of great importance to the mental illness community and, I believe, society at large. As today is World Suicide Prevention Day I wanted to present a round-up of all the suicide and suicide attempt resources I have written over the years.

Please use these to help others or help yourself. Not one more person ever needs to die of suicide.

Suicide Prevention

Thinking About Suicide

Suicide Threats

Suicide Attempts

How to Support World Suicide Prevention Day

→ September 9, 2012 - 4 Comments

How to Support World Suicide Prevention Day

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day and I, for one, am thankful. I’m thankful there’s a group called the International Association for Suicide Prevention that is out there promoting World Suicide Prevention Day. I’m thankful that an international group is taking the time to address this incredibly important subject.

Worldwide Suicide Statistics

I won’t bore you with pages of suicide statistics, but when you think about suicide prevention, consider this:

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What to Do If You’ve Just Attempted Suicide

→ August 8, 2012 - 36 Comments

What to Do If You’ve Just Attempted Suicide

This, honestly, isn’t a topic I thought of myself, but in my search log, it turns out that many people are searching for “what to do if you’ve just attempted suicide” and ending up here. On the one hand it saddens me to think of these people who have attempted suicide reading these words, but on the other hand, it is very positive that someone who has attempted suicide is reaching out in whatever way possible.

So, if you have recently attempted suicide, I welcome you. Thank-you for seeking this out.

If You’ve Just Attempted Suicide and are Injured

If you’re injured or may be injured from a suicide attempt you need to get medical help immediately. Stop reading this, pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1 (or your country’s equivalent emergency number). Do not take a chance with your health. You want to deal with this problem now, before it gets any worse, believe me. Always err on the side of medical attention.

If You’ve Attempted Suicide and are Not Injured

If you’ve attempted suicide and are not in any way injured (maybe you were interrupted, for example) then you have a bit of wiggle room – but you still must contact a medical professional. What you have done, or have attempted to do, is extremely serious. Your health is still in danger even if the danger is not immediate. Your safety is the most important thing.

If you feel you are safe at the moment, you can call and make an appointment with your doctor or therapist. If you feel you might not be safe, call a suicide hotline immediately. The people on a suicide hotline are there to preserve your safety.

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Suicide Resources on Facebook

→ July 31, 2012 - 7 Comments

As I wrote yesterday, many people post suicide threats on Facebook and I have recommendations for how to handle suicide threats on Facebook or other social media. However, there was something I was not aware of – features right in Facebook to report suicidal content. There are actually several features right in Facebook to help with suicide or self-harm posts on Facebook.

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What to do if a Person Threatens Suicide on Facebook

→ July 30, 2012 - 39 Comments

What to do if a Person Threatens Suicide on Facebook

Facing Suicide Threats on Social Media

I’m pretty connected on Facebook, Twitter and on social media in general. I have to be. It’s important for my career.

And as such I have almost 20,000 followers on various platforms. This is a whole lot of people to be exposed to on a daily basis. And due to my profession, I run into many people with mental illness on my Facebook, Twitter and other feeds. And sometimes the people on these feeds are in distress. Distressed to the point where they threaten suicide.

But what do you do if someone threatens suicide on Facebook, Twitter or otherwise?

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The Desperation of Mental Illness and Depression

→ May 16, 2012 - 44 Comments

The Desperation of Mental Illness and Depression

I woke up one morning in 1994 crushed with depression. The first thing I thought of that morning was how much I wanted to kill myself, and if I couldn’t do that, then how much I wanted to hurt myself. I kept cutting implements and bandages near my bed just in case the feelings were too much to bear.

Of course, this was like every morning of my 16-year-old life. I was depressed, but I didn’t know it. I only knew that I wanted to die. I needed to die. I needed it like most people needed breath. And I knew that no one understood.

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What to Do if You Start to Feel Suicidal

→ May 10, 2012 - 48 Comments

What to Do if You Start to Feel Suicidal

If you feel that you may hurt yourself or someone else please get help now. People want to help you. You are not alone.

Often people with bipolar disorder, depression and other mental illnesses feel suicidal. And people often feel suicidal knowing that they aren’t, actually, going to commit suicide. And while the knowledge that you likely aren’t going to commit suicide might be comforting to some, it sure doesn’t make feeling suicidal any more fun.

Starting to Feel Suicidal

And starting to feel suicidal can begin with little things like feeling crushing depression, unstoppable loneliness or indeed feeling nothing at all. People have different cycles that lead to feeling suicidal. Regardless though, when you start to feel like you want off the planet, there are some things you can do.

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Mental Health and Suicide – Information Round-Up

→ August 3, 2011 - 6 Comments

As loyal readers know over the last couple of weeks I have written quite a few pieces both on the Burble and on Breaking Bipolar on suicide after a person I consider a friend attempted suicide. Luckily he is still with us, and I think the writings on the topic will help others who have been through a suicide attempt and the loved ones of those who have attempted suicide.

Something Good From a Suicide Attempt?

I don’t want to say something “good” came out of my friend’s suicide attempt because I think that diminishes his personal experience. But maybe others have been helped. And that is thanks to him. Thanks to his honesty and bravery in speaking about his suicide attempt. I’m honored to know him.

So here are articles for:

  • Those who have attempted suicide
  • Those who love someone who has attempted suicide
  • How to prevent a suicide attempt

What to do After a Suicide Attempt

To Those Who Have Attempted Suicide

I know many people have attempted suicide and they feel ashamed and alone. Often those who have attempted suicide are treated like lepers by those who love them.

Well, not by me.

Please read my words to you:

To the Loved Ones of Those Who Have Attempted Suicide

You’re not in an easy position, and I know it. Please read:

Preventing a Suicide Attempt

And, of course, the best of all results would be to avoid a suicide attempt in the first place. If I could give that gift to everyone, I would. Please read these articles:

Get Help for Suicidal Thoughts Now

If you feel you may hurt yourself (or anyone else) please get help now. You are not alone. We are with you. We have survived. You will find a way through.

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