Category Archives: Suicide hotline

Kill the Elves!

Word Press Post a Day – A misused word, a misremembered song lyric, a cream pie that just happened to be there: tell us about a time you (or someone else) said or did something unintentionally funny.

I just said something unintentionally the other day that was extremely funny!  Or I should say I typed something — or my phone autocorrected it and I was not paying attention…something you should never do.  Never ever reply to a post on here and not pay attention to what your phone autocorrects!

I was replying to a post on Hope’s blog – she usually writes about mental health issues, which is something I am very passionate about.  Her post is here if you wish to read it.  Anyway, so I was commenting back – and there has been a lot of discussion since Robin Williams suicide about if suicide is selfish or not.  There are lots of different opinions about this – I understand that.  Mine personally, coming from someone who has mental illness and knows how it affects you, that it is a disease that takes over me and I don’t really know what I am doing, that I don’t understand what I am doing, and that it completely distorts my thinking, and for a wide variety of other reasons — is that it is not selfish.  I am really not wanting to get into a debate about this on here though.

However, my comment meant to say –

“…… And I don’t think anyone who kills themselves is selfish. I got into an argument with a friends friend on facebook about this the other day. It created some lively discussion to say the least!”

However, what ended up being said, thanks to the wonderful technology of autocorrect on my phone, which I failed to pay attention to was,

“……And I don’t think anyone who kills the elves is selfish. I got into an argument with a friends friend on facebook about this the other day. It created some lively discussion to say the least!”

Needless to say, apparently, deep down inside, I don’t think killing the elves is very selfish either!  I guess I have a subconscious dislike for elves.  They must not have built enough toys for me as a kid or my toys must have always broke because they weren’t built correctly – I’m not really sure.

So, feel free to kill the elves, I will not think you are selfish!

 

However, to be serious here —while I do not think it is selfish to commit suicide, that does not mean that I think you should do it.  So if you are depressed and struggling with suicidal thoughts or any other mental health issues – please reach out for help.  Talk to your doctor, a family member, or friend.  If you are in the US you can also call the suicide crisis line at:

1-800-273-8255

or go to:

www.crisischat.org

www.IMAlive.org

 

If you live internationally, you can find help and resources for numbers to call here or here.

Stay safe!

Spike in Crisis Line Phone Calls after Robin Williams Death

Since the death of Robin Williams, there has been a spike in calls to crisis lines around the US and Australia.  I am not sure about other parts of the world, as I simply saw articles pertaining to these two countries, however I am sure they probably went up as well.

Calls, chats, messages, and clicks on their websites to Lifeline in America, Lifeline in Australia, Beyond Blue in Australia,  the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) information line and Facebook page, and local crisis centers all around the US.

Many people were reaching out, seeking help for their depression, suicidal thoughts, and some were simply wondering how people can be depressed – how can someone look happy and yet feel so much pain and kill themselves.  Perhaps with that last question, people will begin to understand depression more and even see or help someone else around them who might present happy but really be very depressed.

While they do not really know how many people were reaching out for help due to their depression and suicidal thoughts prior to Robin Williams death versus those who were affected by his death and began to feel suicidal after in response to his death (example, when you have someone close to you die, you begin to feel like you want to die) — they are glad that more people know about the crisis lines and support systems and are using them.

While I do think Robin Williams death brought a great deal of attention to suicide and mental health, I also think it is going to die down soon as it usually does even though people seem to care very much about it after such a loss.  However, hopefully after all those posts of the suicide hotline numbers – this will not die down and people will remember these resources – and use them – and reach out for help when they need to.

Here are a few articles discussing the increases in spikes in crisis center calls — and there are quite a few more if you search on the internet.

Australian News Article Discussing the increase in spikes in crisis calls

American Aljazeera Article Discussing the increase in spikes in crisis line calls

Houston, TX News Article Discussing local crisis center call increase

Augusta, Maine Article – Discussing local crisis center call increase

Reflections on Celebrity Suicide and Everyday Suicide

When I first found out Robin Williams died, I literally thought – “Nooooo, if I can’t kill myself, why can he??”

Robin Williams was one of the funniest guys around.  I grew up watching so many of the movies he was in – Aladdin, Fern Gully, Robots, Happy Feet, The Dead Poets Society, Patch Adams, What Dreams May Come, Goodwill Hunting…the list goes on and on.

The problem is – some of the funniest people, that look so happy on the outside and make other people laugh and feel happy — they can be the people hiding and feeling so much pain and sadness themselves.  It is that mask that we wear.  Allowing everyone to see our funny, social, happy side – but never allowing our emotions of hurt, pain, sadness to be exposed.

When a celebrity dies of a suicide or drug overdose, we are all incredibly shocked and taken aback.  They either never seemed like someone who would do something like that — or they might have had a long history of stints in a rehab for their drug addiction.  Mental health has stolen so many brilliant actors/actresses/artists away from us.  —-

—-It has also taken away so many people away from us though.  People that aren’t famous.  The day Robin Williams died, there were others that also took their lives.  Their families were torn up by the news that their loved ones were found dead, dead because they too had taken their own lives.  I guess I began thinking about this aspect because a few days prior to Robin Williams’ death — another friend of mine lost her nephew to a suicide.   You hear about the famous people that take their lives, perhaps hear a bit about how we need to help those with depression reach out for help, and then its over.  What about those that take their lives everyday?  It happens so much more than just a celebrity losing their life every so often – it is happening everyday, multiple times a day.  We need more help for mental illness now!  More education, more programs, more psychiatrist and therapists – we need all of that so that everyone who is affected can get the proper treatment — whether it is the public or celebrities.  My friend’s family is trying to raise money for their nephews funeral, as it was extremely unexpected, if you would like to donate any money or simply leave a kind word the website is on gofundme.

I know I have tried suicide, a lot.  And I have gone back and forth in my mind as to whether I am happy or sad that I lived through it.  I am happy though I didn’t die though.  I am not always happy, by any means.  But, I am glad I was given a second change, and third, and fourth, and …. quite a few.

I really feel for Robin’s family.  I can’t even imagine how hard it is to lose someone that not only they loved but to also have to deal with the publicity of everyone in the world who loved him too.  I have lost someone to a drug overdose when she was basically self medicating for her depression and it hurts.  Losing someone to mental illness hurts.  I hope they are able to heal over time.

If you are thinking about suicide or even just having a hard time call:

1-800-273-8255

www.crisischat.org

www.IMALIVE.org

A list of International Suicide Hotlines can be Found Here

 

Contemplating Suicide? Don’t. Scream for help instead.

Excellent post about suicide, why it is horrible trying to commit suicide, and resources if you need to reach out for help (specifically in the UK)

The Worst Day of My Life

Trigger warning — discusses suicide.

It was the lowest day in my life.  My depression hit a wall.  I didn’t know what to do anymore.  I had been out of college, graduated 5 months prior, in December 2011.  It was May 2012 now.  I had no money.  I had quit my job in March, but it was a student job from my college, and I wasn’t a student anymore so I was bound to lose it at some point anyway.

My parents had been paying most of my bills.  Even with my job, I didn’t have enough money for rent and food.  They wouldn’t do it anymore.  I couldn’t blame them.  Rent, food, even my students loans – they were paying for them.  They cut me off.  My lease ended at the end of May.

I had to move home to Texas to live with my mom and her husband or I was homeless, in Indiana.  Neither option was a good choice.  I didn’t want to move to Texas.  I hated it there.  I wasn’t fond of my mom’s husband nor was I fond of my relationship with my mom – living together for more than 2 weeks usually ended up in a disaster with arguments galore.

So back to the worst day of my life —

I decided I could live anymore.  I was done.  I had attempted to end my life multiple times before.  I had failed many times before.  Usually, I called for help.  I realized it was the wrong choice.  I realized I didn’t really want to die, just wanted the pain to end.  This time, it was different though.  I went all out – I was determined to die.  I was ready to die.  I didn’t want to be saved.  It wasn’t a cry for help.

It was still an overdose, as usual.  I didn’t take the pills all at once though.  I strategically took them over time.  Ten pills here, ten pills there, ten pills here… over a course of 24 hours.  They slowly built up in my system.  My liver was toxic.  My case manager met with me the next morning.  I didn’t tell her anything.  The tone of my voice and the negativity in my voice I suppose let her know that I was having the suicidal thoughts though.  She left, but 30 minutes later called me back.  I answered and she asked me how I was.  Of course, I said fine.  She said she would call me again.  I couldn’t understand how she knew something was going on.  Before she ever called me back – there was banging on my door.  The police, paramedics… they were all at my door.  I refused, I refused to go anywhere.  Because of my past history of suicide attempts though, they could get a court order and have me taken in – with handcuffs and all if I did not go.  So I went.

The paramedics took me, I refused to tell them anything.  Blood tests were taken and showed that my liver was at toxic levels and I was very close to actually dying.  They couldn’t believe I was not sick, that I wasn’t in horrible pain from how my levels were.  I told them I refused treatment, I wanted to go home.  Absolutely not – it was not going to happen.  Mucomyst – it is the antidote to Tylenol overdose.  I was given it, immediately.  It also made me incredibly ill.  Police were outside of my door since I was set on leaving and not being treated.  I was throwing up and became very ill.  They gave me Reglan to combat the vomiting.  That was a mistake because I was allergic to Reglan.  My face swelled.  I got hives all over.  I couldn’t breathe well.  I was going to die!  Nope — then I got Benadryl.  I was miserable.  What a miserable way to be.  A few friends from my NAMI support group came to be with me.  They sat with me, disappointed that I had gone to these lengths.  I was upset.  I was upset that I didn’t die.  Yet I was happy.  I was happy that someone cared enough to save me.  I didn’t know how I felt.  I was horribly ill – mentally and physically.  I was supposed to be sent to the ICU, but the ER was trying to stabilize me from all the reactions I was having to the medications to combat the overdose.  Finally, I was sent to the ICU.

I spent 5 days in the ICU.  Maybe 4.  I’m not sure.  I was then released into a psychiatric hospital.  I spent two weeks there.  I had been to that hospital before, many times.  They weren’t surprised to see me.  Upon my release I only had a few days to be out of my apartment because my lease was up.

I won’t forget that day though.  The day I attempted suicide.  Sure, I had done it before – but that day, it was the worst attempt I had ever had.  It was the attempt I really wanted.  The attempt I had hoped would actually work.  It was right near my mother’s birthday, right near Mother’s Day.  It was the attempt that actually really hurt my family.  The one that made everyone realize that I was struggling really bad.  It was the day that I realized I was hurting everyone around me whenever I hurt myself.  It was the day that I realized I would probably never attempt suicide by overdose again either – hopefully never attempt suicide again period too.

I have had really crappy days since then.  I have had horrible days.  I have still had my suicidal thoughts and been back in the hospital since then.  But, when I think of the worst day, that is the worst day that comes to mind.  It was caused by all the horrible things that happened before me.  The culmination of all my past events that made my mind go crazy, it was caused by my chemical imbalances … and all those things just created the worst day ever.  The lowest day in my life.  The lowest point in my life.

I took a big step, I called a Crisis Line

Yesterday I broke down.  My anxiety consumed me.  I tried to use my copings skills – I went out, went to Michaels – bought some more canvas and paint to come home and paint. I couldn’t handle it though.  “Hurt yourself.” “Cut yourself” “Hit yourself” “Break a bone” My brain kept wanting to find a way out of this feeling of extreme dread and torture that was going on. 

The minute I got home I knew I couldn’t do what my brain was saying. I had done that before. I did that for two years and all it did was get me put in the hospital, in the ICU, the ER, and the psych hospital.  I couldn’t go back to that.  I cant go back to that.  I am trying to stay in recovery.  I am trying to get my life back and stay on track.

I called 211.  It connected me to the local crisis line.  It is easier than dialing the suicide hotline, all I have to remember is 211 rather than a bunch of numbers, plus the suicide crisis line would connect me to 211 anyway, since it just connects you to your local crisis line.  For those of you who don’t know what 211 is – it is a free and confidential informational and referral line available in most cities/counties in the United States.  They can connect you with resources to find help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more – and in my area also provide the crisis/suicide line. 

Anyway, I spent 33 minutes talking to a wonderful volunteer.  Probably 15 minutes crying my eyes out.  Eventually we came up with a plan, had some laughs, and I am feeling better.  Thank goodness I got my mind set straight because I do not want to end up back in the hospital!

I was assured I could call back as many times as I needed, 24 hours a day, and they could help me. 

Today was a rough day, and I suspect it is going to be a rough week.  Honestly, I think it is going to be a rough few months.  I don’t think my meds are working right, or not well enough anyway – perhaps a dosage adjustment.  I don’t think my doctor is getting my anxiety under control at all – at least not quick enough.  I know that I can’t give up though.  I know not to go back to my old habit – which was just not thinking and just doing.  I know I cant be impulsive anymore.  Not that it is that easy, impulse is impulse, but I can still keep working on it.

 

If you are in a crisis reach out for help:

National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Lifeline Crisis Chat

IMAlive Crisis Chat

Veteran Crisis Online Chat

Call: 211

In the UK? Call the Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90

In Australia? Call Lifeline: 13 11 14  or chat with them

In New Zealand? Call Lifeline’s Warmline: 0508 927 654 or Suicide Crisis Line: 0508 828 865

Life with Suicidal Thoughts

It is so easy to think about suicide.  And then so easy to begin ruminating on it.  And for me, it eventually became easy to act on those thoughts.  For two years, I was so deeply depressed that my life revolved around my suicidal ideations and even suicide attempts.  I would simply lie on my couch, crying and thinking about how to die and how much I wanted to die.  I knew why and yet I didn’t know why at the same time.  Sometimes it had to do with my bipolar, a chemical imbalance.  Some of it had to do with my borderline personality, just if something happened that triggered me to suddenly lose control of my feelings.  And other times it just had to do with my PTSD if I was having awful memories and wanted to just get away from them and end my life. It went on for two years though because I didn’t want the help, I didn’t know how to truly accept the help, and in some weird way, I didn’t even think I needed help.  I felt like the only help I needed was for someone to help me die.

I had quite a few suicide attempts, but never really did any major damage.  I was in the ICU a few times, but only one of those times was it somewhat serious.  At the time, I didn’t know if I was happy or sad to be alive.  Actually even today I am not sure how I feel about that attempt.  Things have gotten much better in my life, but I still suffer with depression because of my mental illness, and so I question if living or dying would be best.  I do not think suicide is the answer at all, but as many (not all) people with depression do, suicide still comes up in my mind from time to time.

I really like the saying: “Suicide does not end the chances of life getting worse, Suicide eliminates the chances of it ever getting better.”

People always tell you, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”  Yes yes yes… I know I know.  But in my head, my problem is not temporary, so if you say that to me… it doesn’t even sound like a good statement.  So I hated when people told me that.  And everyone told me that, over and over again.

However, the first statement, that just seemed really eye opening to me.  I really never pictured my life getting better, but it still lit up my mind to thinking perhaps it could.  So when I think of suicide now, I always tell myself this quote.  If I just wait another day and see how that goes.  Maybe tomorrow will be better.  And I just keep putting it off.  Eventually the thought does pass.  Eventually I do have a day that is better than the previous day, and the thought somewhat disappears into my brain – until the next chemical imbalance or trigger or flashback.  Again, I try to use the same technique of putting off and suicidal actions day after day after day though.

I lost a friend to a drug overdose back in November.  It was not a suicide attempt, but she did suffer with depression.  It hurt me incredibly bad.  Seeing how it affected me and her family and other friends was very eye opening.  I never thought about how much it would hurt my family and friends.  I really believed in my mind I would make things better for my family and friends.  I thought they would believe I was better off dead – that my pain would be gone and so they would forgive me for what I did.  That I would no longer be a burden to them and that they would be happy with me gone.  But now that I am thinking clearly, on proper medication, in good therapy – I see that this thought process was not true at all.  I slip into every once in a while still, but that is how our brains work and we have to fight back.

We will all go back and forth, have good days and bad days, but we can have a good life.  I went through 17 hospitalizations between 2011-2013.  Fifteen of those being within 1.5 years.  Today, while I still struggle, I am stable for the most part and trying to get my life back on track.  Much happier, not lying on my couch all day, not crying all the time, and my mind is not obsessed with dying.  Life does get better.  I never thought I would say that either.

 

If you, or anyone you know, might be feeling suicidal, call the suicide hotline at: 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or go to http://www.crisischat.org (between 2pm-2am)

Also, talk with your doctor and/or therapist if you have one about how you are feeling, and do not abruptly stop any of your medications without consulting them.