Are You Feeling Suicidal?
Are you at high risk at this time to kill yourself? Do you have a plan and the means to commit suicide?
If so, call 911 RIGHT NOW. You don't really want to die, you just want to stop your pain. You feel stuck and trapped as if there is no other way out. There is! I imagine you are feeling intense emotional pain, so overwhelming that you feel you cannot cope. You feel there is no light at the end of the tunnel. There ALWAYS is.
It's ok to feel the way you are feeling now. It's NOT ok to act on it. There IS love, and peace and joy out there for you, even though you cannot imagine it now.
The emotional pain WILL end. You can get through this. You are at the bottom now and the only way to go is up.
Do not be afraid to call 911. That one phone call can save your life. A law enforcement person will come and knock on your door. Do not be afraid of that person or his/her uniform. They are guardian angels there to transport you to someone you can talk to. It's ok to ask for help. It shows that we are taking care of ourselves by asking for help, when we cannot help ourselves. We are not weak. We are overwhelmed with emotions.
I don't want you to die and neither does anyone else. I want you to get through this horrible time. Know that most of us have felt exactly what you are feeling now. You are not alone!
Have you called 911 yet? Log off the Internet and call them now. You can read the rest of this page another time. Right now, let's save your life. You are worth saving. Do it now..................................
There is a difference between feeling suicidal and feeling suicidal ideation. Being truly suicidal means you are at risk of ending your life. You are in great danger and need help NOW!
Experiencing suicidal ideation means we are feeling like we might want to kill ourselves, but we are NOT at risk at this moment. It means we don't have a plan. It means we are considering it, thinking about it.
If you feel you can make it through today and tonight, call someone. It is so helpful to talk about your feelings. You can call a friend, or a hotline. Do you have a telephone book? If you do, look for a suicide or crisis number in the telephone book and call them now.................................
If you are drunk or high right now, you are not acting rationally right now. Put off this decision until you are sober. Your thought processes and emotions are distorted right now.
Right now, I'm going to expose you to some helpful resources to help you get through this time. I will write more at the end of the resource list.
Here are some other ways to get help besides your phone book:
Haven of Hope Sanctuary Hotline (a list of volunteers who will take your call, or you can email them).
1-800-LIFENET (if you are emotionally distressed or know someone who is).
San Francisco Suicide Prevention Hotline: (415) 781-1500
European Treatment Hotline +31-76-522-7288
Here are two sites with a list of hotlines:
Prevent Suicide Now (Excellent Site, Good Suicide Survivor Stories (may trigger, most are on children)
Suicide Crisis Center (A list of suicide hotlines in the USA, listed by state).
Crisis Centres (if you are suicidal or in a crisis. A complete list of crisis centers and phone numbers in your area, as well as a place to email to talk to someone).
Suicide Helplines "(If you’re feeling depressed or suicidal and need to talk to someone, don't keep it to yourself. Helpline volunteers are trained to listen without judgment, and provide a free and confidential service.
Also, check out my webpage called "Toll free resources"
Especially for teens and their parents:
National Crisis and Suicide Hotline 1 800 + 999-9999
National Youth Crisis Hotline 800-448-4663
Suicide and Crisis Service 1 408 + 683-2482
Teen Help Inc. (La Verkin UT) 800-400-0900
Teenline (Oklahoma City OK) 800-522-8336
Youth Crisis Hotline (Ralto MA) 800-422-0009
IRC: #suicide (often quiet)
Live Java Chat (You will need a Java enabled browser. Chat is open 24 hours a day).
The Samaritans will provide you with emotional support using e-mail:
Send Standard E-mail to The Samaritans
Your E-Mail address is known.
Get help by Anonymous E-mail to The Samaritans
Suicide Support List
To subscribe, send mail to Suicide Support with a message containing any Subject, and the body: subscribe
Pendulum is a mailing list for people diagnosed with bipolar mood disorder (manic depression) and related disorders and their supporters, and some professionals. To subscribe, send mail to Pendulum and in the body write:
Walkers-in-Darkness is a list for people diagnosed with various depressive disorders (unipolar, atypical, and bipolar depression, S.A.D., related disorders). The list also includes sufferers of panic attacks and Borderline Personality Disorder
Send mail to the Depression List and in the body of the letter, say subscribe DEPRESS
To subscribe to xn-divorce say subscribe xn-divorce
If You Are Thinking About Suicide...Read this First (The site speaks directly to the suicidal person. Also includes many resources and advise to people dealing with a suicidal person).
Psych Central (suicide helpline).
Befrienders International "(This web site provides information about befriending and how it can help to prevent suicide. It lists the contact details of hundreds of befriending centers around the world, where people who are feeling suicidal can talk to trained volunteers)."
Emotional Support on the Internet (a large list of support groups on the Net arranged by category).
Depression Central: Suicide and Suicide Prevention (A wealth of information and support for the suicidal person and family).
SA\VE: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (Includes: FAQs on suicide, symptoms of depression, danger signs of suicide, what to do if a friend is depressed, and a message for the suicide survivors - those left behind).
alt.support.personality - For people with personality disorders (quiet group).
soc.support.depression.crisis - Personal crisis situations
alt.support.depression - Depression & mood disorders
alt.support.depression.manic - Manic depression & bipolar disorders
alt.support.depression.seasonal - Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
soc.support.depression.crisis - Personal crisis situations
soc.support.depression.family - Coping with depressed people
soc.support.depression.manic - Bipolar/manic depression
soc.support.depression.misc - Depression and mood disorders
soc.support.depression.seasonal - Seasonal affective disorder
soc.support.depression.treatment - All treatments of depression
alt.support.depression.teens - Depression support for teens
alt.abuse.recovery - Recovering from all types of abuse
alt.abuse.offender.recovery - Recovery for abuse offenders/perpetrators
alt.support.domestic-violence - Victims of domestic violence
alt.abuse.transcendence - Alternate models of dealing with abuse
alt.sexual.abuse.recovery - Recovering from sexual abuse
alt.sexual.abuse.recovery.d - Above's discussion group
alt.sexual.abuse.recovery.moderated - Moderated version of alt.sexual.abuse.recovery (m) (FAQ)
alt.abuse-recovery - Moderated version:alt.sexual.abuse.recovery alt.support.abuse-partners - Partners of sexual abuse survivors
alt.support.loneliness - Loneliness
soc.support.loneliness - Loneliness
alt.recovery.aa - Recovery and Alcoholics Anonymous
alt.recovery.na - Narcotics Anonymous
alt.recovery - General topics in recovery
alt.recovery.addiction.gambling - Recovering from gambling addictions
alt.recovery.addiction.sexual - Recovering from sexual addictions alt.recovery.adult-children - Adults from dysfunctional families
alt.recovery.compulsive-eat - Compulsive eating & food addiction
alt.support.eating-disord - Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, etc.)
alt.support.anxiety-panic - Anxiety and panic disorders
alt.recovery.panic-anxiety.self-help - Cognitive approaches to anxiety and panic disorders
alt.support.agoraphobia - Agoraphobia
alt.support.attn-deficit - Attention-deficit disorders
alt.support.big-folks - Fat-acceptance with no dieting talk
soc.support.fat-acceptance - Self-acceptance for fat people/no diet talk
alt.support.chronic-pain - Chronic pain
alt.support.disorders.neurological - Neurological disorders
alt.support.dissociation - Persons w/ dissociative disorders (e.g.- Multiple Personality Disorder
alt.support.grief - Issues of grief and loss
alt.support.marriage - Problems and joys of marriage
alt.support.ocd - Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
alt.support.single-parents - Single parenting solutions & support
alt.support.sleep-disorder - Sleep disorders & problems sleeping
alt.support.social-phobia - Social phobias
alt.support.step-parents - Help being a step-parent
soc.support.transgendered - Transgendered & intersexed persons alt.transgendered
alt.support.trauma-ptsd - Trauma and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
alt.dads-rights - Support and information for single fathers
soc.adoption.adoptees - Adoptees
(From Alt.support.depression FAQ)
On a day-to-day basis, separate from, or concurrently with therapy or medication, we all have our own methods for getting through the worst times as best we can. The following comments and ideas on what to do during depression were solicited from people in the alt.support.depression newsgroup. Sometimes these things work, sometimes they don't. Just keep trying them until you find some techniques that work for you.
Write. Keep a journal. Somehow writing everything down helps keep the misery from running around in circles.
Listen to your favorite "help" songs (a bunch of songs that have strong positive meaning for you)
Read (anything and everything) Go to the library and check out fiction you've wanted to read for a long time; books about depression, spirituality, morality; biographies about people who suffered from depression but still did well with their lives (Winston Churchill and Martin Luther, to name two;).
Sleep for a while
Even when busy, remember to sleep. Notice if what you do before sleeping changes how you sleep.
If you might be a danger to yourself, don't be alone. Find people. If that is not practical, call them up on the phone. If there is no one you feel you can call, suicide hotlines can be helpful, even if you're not quite that badly off yet.
Hug someone or have someone hug you.
Remember to eat. Notice if eating certain things (e.g. sugar or coffee) changes how you feel.
Make yourself a fancy dinner, maybe invite someone over.
Take a bath or a perfumed bubble bath.
Mess around on the computer.
Rent comedy videos.
Go for a long walk
Dancing. Alone in my house or out with a friend.
Eat well. Try to alternate foods you like ( Maybe junk foods) with the stuff you know you should be eating.
Spend some time playing with a child
Buy yourself a gift
Phone a friend
Read the newspaper comics page
Do something unexpectedly nice for someone
Do something unexpectedly nice for yourself.
Go outside and look at the sky.
Get some exercise while you're out, but don't take it too seriously.
Pulling weeds is nice, and so is digging in the dirt.
Sing. If you are worried about responses from critical neighbors, go for a drive and sing as loud as you want in the car. There's something about the physical act of singing old favorites that's very soothing. Maybe the rhythmic breathing that singing enforces does something for you too. Lullabies are especially good.
Pick a small easy task, like sweeping the floor, and do it.
If you can meditate, it's really helpful. But when you're really down you may not be able to meditate. Your ability to meditate will return when the depression lifts. If you are unable to meditate, find some comforting reading and read it out loud.
Feed yourself nourishing food.
Bring in some flowers and look at them.
Exercise, Sports. It is amazing how well some people can play sports even when feeling very miserable.
Pick some action that is so small and specific you know you can do it in the present. This helps you feel better because you actually accomplish something, instead of getting caught up in abstract worries and huge ideas for change. For example say "hi" to someone new if you are trying to be more sociable. Or, clean up one side of a room if you are trying to regain control over your home.
If you're anxious about something you're avoiding, try to get some support to face it.
Getting Up. Many depressions are characterized by guilt, and lots of it. Many of the things that depressed people want to do because of their depressions (staying in bed, not going out) wind up making the depression worse because they end up causing depressed people to feel like they are screwing things up more and more. So if you've had six or seven hours of sleep, try to make yourself get out of bed the moment you wake up...you may not always succeed, but when you do, it's nice to have gotten a head start on the day.
Cleaning the house. This worked for some people me in a big way. When depressions are at their worst, you may find yourself unable to do brain work, but you probably can do body things. One depressed person wrote, "So I spent two weeks cleaning my house, and I mean CLEANING: cupboards scrubbed, walls washed, stuff given away... throughout the two weeks, I kept on thinking "I'm not cleaning it right, this looks terrible, I don't even know how to clean properly", but at the end, I had this sparkling beautiful house!"
Volunteer work. Doing volunteer work on a regular basis seems to keep the demons at bay, somewhat... it can help take the focus off of yourself and put it on people who may have larger problems (even though it doesn't always feel that way).
In general, It is extremely important to try to understand if something you can't seem to accomplish is something you simply CAN'T do because you're depressed (write a computer program, be charming on a date), or whether its something you CAN do, but it's going to be hell (cleaning the house, going for a walk with a friend, getting out of bed). If it turns out to be something you can do, but don't want to, try to do it anyway. You will not always succeed, but try. And when you succeed, it will always amaze you to look back on it afterwards and say "I felt like such shit, but look how well I managed to...!" This last technique, by the way, usually works for body stuff only (cleaning, cooking, etc.). The brain stuff often winds up getting put off until after the depression lifts.
Do not set yourself difficult goals or take on a great deal of responsibility.
Break large tasks into many smaller ones, set some priorities, and do what you can, as you can.
Do not expect too much from yourself. Unrealistic expectations will only increase feelings of failure, as they are impossible to meet. Perfectionism leads to increased depression.
Try to be with other people, it is usually better than being alone.
Participate in activities that may make you feel better. You might try mild exercise, going to a movie, a ball game, or participating in religious or social activities. Don't overdo it or get upset if your mood does not greatly improve right away. Feeling better takes time.
Do not make any major life decisions, such as quitting your job or getting married or separated while depressed. The negative thinking that accompanies depression may lead to horribly wrong decisions. If pressured to make such a decision, explain that you will make the decision as soon as possible after the depression lifts. Remember you are not seeing yourself, the world, or the future in an objective way when you are depressed.
While people may tell you to "snap out" of your depression, that is not possible. The recovery from depression usually requires antidepressant therapy and/or psychotherapy. You cannot simple make yourself "snap out" of the depression. Asking you to "snap out" of a depression makes as much sense as asking someone to "snap out" of diabetes or an under-active thyroid gland.
Remember: Depression makes you have negative thoughts about yourself, about the world, the people in your life, and about the future. Remember that your negative thoughts are not a rational way to think of things. It is as if you are seeing yourself, the world, and the future through a fog of negativity. Do not accept your negative thinking as being true. It is part of the depression and will disappear as your depression responds to treatment. If your negative (hopeless) view of the future leads you to seriously consider suicide, be sure to tell your doctor about this and ask for help. Suicide would be an irreversible act based on your unrealistically hopeless thoughts.
Remember that the feeling that nothing can make depression better is part of the illness of depression. Things are probably not nearly as hopeless as you think they are.
If you are on medication:
a. Take the medication as directed. Keep taking it as directed for as long as directed.
b. Discuss with the doctor ahead of time what happens in case of unacceptable side-effects.
c. Don't stop taking medication or change dosage without discussing it with your doctor, unless you discussed it ahead of time.
d. Remember to check about mixing other things with medication. Ask the prescribing doctor, and/or the pharmacist and/or look it up in the Physician's Desk Reference. Redundancy is good.
e. Except in emergencies, it is a good idea to check what your insurance covers before receiving treatment.
Do not rely on your doctor or therapist to know everything. Do some reading yourself. Some of what is available to read yourself may be wrong, but much of it will shed light on your disorder.
Talk to your doctor if you think your medication is giving undesirable side-effects.
Do ask them if you think an alternative treatment might be more appropriate for you.
Do tell them anything you think it is important to know.
Do feel free to seek out a second opinion from a different qualified medical professional if you feel that you cannot get what you need from the one you have.
Skipping appointments, because you are "too sick to go to the doctor" is generally a bad idea..
If you procrastinate, don't try to get everything done. Start by getting one thing done. Then get the next thing done. Handle one crisis at a time.
If you are trying to remember too many things to do, it is okay to write them down. If you make lists of tasks, work on only one task at a time. Trying to do too many things can be too much. It can be helpful to have a short list of things to do "now" and a longer list of things you have decided not to worry about just yet. When you finish writing the long list, try to forget about it for a while.
If you have a list of things to do, also keep a list of what you have accomplished too, and congratulate yourself each time you get something done. Don't take completed tasks off your to-do list. If you do, you will only have a list of uncompleted tasks. It's useful to have the crossed-off items visible so you can see what you have accomplished
In general, drinking alcohol makes depression worse. Many cold remedies contain alcohol. Read the label. Being on medication may change how alcohol affects you.
Books on the topic of "What to do during Depression": "A Reason to Live," Melody Beattie, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL. 167 pages. This book focuses on reasons to choose life over suicide, but is still useful even if suicide isn't on your mind. In fact, it reads a lot like this portion of the FAQ. An excerpt:
Do two things each day. In times of severe crisis, when you don't want to do anything, do two things each day. Depending on your physical and emotional condition, the two things could be taking a shower and making a phone call, or writing a letter and painting a room.
Get a cat. Cats are clean and quiet, they are often permitted by landlords who won't allow dogs, they are warm and furry.
BACK TO Tim:
Remember, we are not weak for who we are or how we feel. Research has been done, showing that lack of serotonin in the brain increases our risk of suicide. This is where medication can come in and help us. You see, there IS hope. If you have not found the right medication that works for you yet, keep hanging in there. Sometimes it takes awhile to find that right combination.
Suicide runs in families and we are at greater risk if members of our family have felt suicidal or completed their own suicides. You see again how genetics and brain chemistry influences our lives? There is nothing wrong with our character.
Plus, if we have had a dysfunctional childhood, we have been robbed of being who we really are. Robbed of achieving our true destiny. Perhaps our parents were to blame for our predicament but we have the power to change and to get better. What we do from here on out is up to us.
Perhaps we are just so used to covering up and running from our painful past that eventually causes us to blow up and rage or become suicidal. As we are able to do this, I recommend getting in touch with your pain from the past and as you are able to, feel it. Talk about it. Write it down. When we continually try to hide from this pain, perhaps through addictions, we stay stuck in our behaviors.
If you are feeling depressed, remember that anger is on the other side of the same coin as depression. Anger is always present with depression. The only problem is that the anger we have is directed inward towards ourselves.
There are many constructive ways to release anger, and in doing so perhaps we can relieve some of our depression. We can tear up newspapers while swearing (swearing is powerful stuff). We can put a chair next to us, pretend it is our original or current abuser and say whatever we feel, yell whatever we want. Tell the "person" how angry you are and how much they have hurt you.
Also, we can take pillows and hit them forcefully on our beds. Don’t forget the yelling and the swearing. We can take a towel, put it up to our mouth and yell and scream and scream and yell. The towel will soften the sounds especially if you have neighbors.
By now, if you are feeling safe and it is a week day, call and make an appointment with a counselor. Be honest about what is going on with you.
Call your Dr. and let him know you were feeling suicidal.
Call a friend and ask if they can come over and be with you during this time, or if you are ok to drive, ask if you can come over. If you feel you don’t have friends or friends that are not supportive, call that hotline. Talk about the event or events that happened. Talk about how you feel. Cry or shout if you need to. Let those feelings come out.
As I said earlier, if you are drunk or high and feel you are unable to get sober, call a drug recovery program in your area. It may be in-patient or out-patient. Let them assess your needs. You can also call: Alcohol/Drug Help Line 800-621-1646. Or, Cocaine Anonymous at: 800-347-8998. Marijuana Anonymous: (800) 766-6779.
You need to be sober before recovery can begin. This should be your second priority, next to not hurting yourself.
Do you feel like cutting right now? If you feel like you MUST hurt yourself right now, get an ice cube and hold it on you. It will cause that pain you long for, but will not injure you in the process. As you are holding that ice cube, call someone.
Remember, you are not alone. Remember, what you are feeling and thinking now are probably distorted. People do care. There is help. You can meet others like you through some of the above resources.
Don’t forget to check out my "Resources on the Net" AND "Resources off the Net" page. You could join a BPD email support group as well.
You might feel that no one understands you or how you feel. You are experiencing the "dark night of the soul" and the sun WILL come out. Remember, what you are feeling is temporary. You will feel better soon.
Some of us have a difficult time trusting people. In our childhoods, the very people that we were supposed to trust (parents, caregivers, siblings, teacher, etc.) are the very people that hurt us. Part of getting better is learning to trust.
However, I am asking you to trust me when I say that your life WILL improve and you will feel better. I know you don’t want to die, you just want the pain to stop. Stay alive and believe me, the pain WILL stop.
Trust me when I say that you will improve. You are not doomed to feel this way forever.
If you are broke and have no health insurance, go to your county mental health clinic. In some states, there is insurance for low-income people as well. Find out. Also, if you are low income, many times the drug manufacturers will pay for your meds.
It’s ok to still feel bad right now. You probably won’t snap out of it. Your pain is real and I acknowledge it. Just don’t hurt yourself because as you will learn later in your recovery, you are worth saving.
If you are a teen, I encourage you to talk to your parents about how you are feeling. Perhaps you feel they wouldn’t understand or they don’t care. Give it a shot and see.
Take each moment and each minute at a time, during this crisis and no matter how you feel, call SOMEONE.
If you have any spiritual or religious beliefs, get in touch with them now. If you believe in prayer, this is a good time.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 10-14 year-olds, the third leading cause among 15-24 year-olds, and the second leading cause among 25-34 year-olds.
Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, ahead of both homicide and AIDS, according to the Bereaved Parents of the USA.
Suicide claims the lives of over 31,000 people in the US each year.
New Mexico statistics show that an average of 339 residents died by Suicide each year, a crude rate of 19.9 per 100,000. An average of one suicide per day. 81% are males and 19% are females. Male suicide rate is 4.5 times greater than female rate.
Parents divorce rate of child suicide survivors is 80%, only 20% of marriages last after a child takes their own life.
EMERGENCY NUMBERS FOR HELP
National Suicide Hotline. 1-800-SUICIDE
Youth Crisis Hotline. Counseling and referrels for teens in crisis. 1-800-448-4663
Covenant House Nineline. Crisis intervention and information services for troubled teens and families. 1-800-999-9999
Teen Help Adolescent Resources. Refers struggling teens to long-term residential programs. 1-800-400-0900
Child Help USA. (National Child Abuse Hotline) Information, emergency counseling, and referrels to local facilities. 1-800-422-4453
National Runaway Switchboard. 24-hour hotline for runaway and homeless youth and their families. 1-800-621-4000
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information. Alcohol & Drug info and referrels. 1-800-729-6686; or www.health.org
(From an Ann Lander’s Column):
BEFORE YOU KILL YOURSELF
You've decided to do it. Life is impossible. Suicide is your way out. Fine - but before you kill yourself, there are some things you should know. I am a psychiatric nurse, and I see the results of suicide. -when it works and, more often, when it doesn't. Consider, before you act, these facts:
Suicide is usually not successful. You think you know a way to guarantee it? Ask the 25-year-old who tried to electrocute himself. He lived. But both his arms are gone.
What about jumping? Ask John. He used to be intelligent, with an engaging sense of humor.
That was before he leaped from a building. Now he's brain damaged and will always need care. He staggers and has seizures. He lives in a fog. But worst of all, he knows he used to be normal.
What about pills? Ask the 12-year-old with extensive liver damage from an overdose. Have you ever seen anyone die of liver damage? You turn yellow. It's a hard way to go.
What about a gun? Ask the 24-year-old who shot himself in the head.
Now he drags one leg, has a useless arm and has no vision or hearing on one side. He lived through his "foolproof" suicide. Who will clean your blood off the carpet or scrape your brains from the ceiling? Commercial cleaning crews may refuse that job - but someone has to do it.
Who will have to cut you down from where you hanged yourself or identify your bloated body after you've drowned? Your mother? Your wife? Your son?
The carefully worded "loving" suicide note is no help. Those who loved you will never completely recover. They'll feel regret and an unending pain.
Suicide is contagious. Look around at your family. Look closely at the four year old playing with his cars on the rug.
Kill yourself tonight and he may do it ten years from now.
You do have other choices. There are people who can help you through this crisis. Call a hot line. Call a friend Call your minister or priest. Call a doctor or hospital. Call the police.
They will tell you that there's hope. Maybe you'll find it in the mail tomorrow. Or in a phone call this weekend. But what you're seeking could be just a minute, a day or a month away.
You say you don't want to be stopped? Still want to do it? Well, then, I may see you in the psychiatric ward later. And we'll work with whatever you have left.
People who commit suicide always leave notes.
FACT: Most people don't leave notes. Only a small percentage leave any type of explanations about why they've chosen to kill themselves.
People who commit suicide don't warn others.
FACT: Out of 10 people who kill themselves, eight have given definite clues to their intentions. They leave numerous clues and warnings to others, although some of their clues may be non-verbal or difficult to detect.
People who talk about suicide are only trying to get attention. They won't really do it.
FACT: WRONG! Few commit suicide without first letting someone know how they feel. Those who are considering suicide give clues and warnings as a cry for help. In fact, most seek out someone to rescue them. Over 70% who do threaten to commit suicide either make an attempt or complete the act.
Once someone has already decided to commit suicide, nothing is going to stop them. Suicidal people clearly want to die.
FACT: Most of the time, a suicidal person is ambivalent about the decision; they are torn between wanting to die and wanting to live. Most suicidal individuals don't want death; they just want the pain to stop. Some people, seeing evidence of two conflicting feelings in the individual may interpret the action as insincerity, saying "he really doesn't want to do it." People's ability to help is hindered if they don't understand the common suicidal characteristic of ambivalence.
Once the emotional state improves, the risk of suicide is over.
FACT: The highest rates of suicide occur within about 3 months of an apparent improvement in a severely depressed state. Therefore, an improvement in emotional state doesn't mean a lessened risk.
After a person has attempted suicide, it is unlikely they will try again.
FACT: People whom have attempted suicide are very likely to try again. 80% of people who commit suicide have made at least one previous attempt.
Don't mention suicide to someone who's showing signs of severe depression. It will plant the idea in their minds and they will act on it.
FACT: Many depressed people have already considered suicide as an option. Discussing it openly helps the suicidal person sort through the problems and generally provides a sense of relief and understanding. It is one of the most helpful things you can do.
An unsuccesful attempt means that the person wasn't serious about ending their life.
FACT: The attempt in and of itself is the most important factor; not the method.
Despite the abysmal failure of SSRI Antidepressants to demonstrate clinically significant efficacy above placebo, and despite the severity of their adverse effects--including increased risk of suicide--the drugs have their powerful financially invested advocates who appear to be undeterred by science, by medicine's "do no harm" principle, or by the mounting preventable human casualties.
The news headlines garnered by the latest scientific meta-analysis of 38 SSRI trials submitted to the FDA confirms that at best 82% of the drugs' clinical efficacy is attributable to the placebo effect. In another 9 trials, excluded from the meta-analysis by Irving Kirsch and colleagues, the antidepressant failed to achieve the efficacy of the placebo.
Though these drugs lack clinical efficacy, they come with severe risks of harm--most notably, suicide--which is now acknowledged in a Black Box label warning.
An alarming report by Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare reveals that 80% of all adult suicides (18-84) reported in 2006 to the National Board of Health and Welfare, were committed by persons "treated" with psychiatric drugs: 50% of those who committed suicide were on an SSRI, 60% had been on an antipsychotic.
The number of women who committed suicide in 2006, was 377. Of these, 197 (52%) had filled a prescription for antidepressants within 180 days before their death; and 29 women (8%) had filled a prescription for antipsychotics within 180 days before they committed suicide.
Furthermore, the number of suicide attempts among young people in Sweden is increasing.
In Sweden, health care providers are required to report all suicides committed up to four weeks after a patient's last health care visit. Last year, the Swedish Parliament mandated that the suicide registry include a detailed record of a victims recent psychopharmaceutical history.
In sharp contrast to Sweden's effort to reduce suicides by documenting the use of psychoactive prescription drugs by those who committed suicide, to evaluate whether to encourage reduced use of these drugs, the United States Congress is in the process of passing a law that would surely INCREASE women's use of antidepressants and, hence, INCREASE suicides.
The bill, HR 20, incorporating S. 1375, is promoted as "The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act" ostensibly to combat postpartum depression. The bill would authorize "screening" and "treating" women deemed "depressed" after giving birth. The bill's covert intent is to INCREASE use of SSRI antidepressants and antipsychotics.
What's scary is that HR 20, authorizing appropriations for fiscal years 2008-2010, has already passed the House with ne'er any resistance!
Instead, a grass roots crusader against HR 20, has stepped up to the plate: Amy Philo, a mother who became homicidally psychotic following ingestion of Zoloft prescribed by a psychiatrist who kept increasing the dose to frightening ill effects.
Her experience led her to found Children and Adults Against Drugging America -www.chaada.org See her story and videos on YouTube:
Sign the petition to stop the "Mothers Act" which will benefit the pharmaceutical-industrial complex, but cause great harm to American women, children and their families.
For evidence of SSRI-linked suicide and SSRI-linked violence see:
1. Arif Khan, Shirin Khan, Russell Kolts, Walter A Brown. Suicide rates in clinical trials of SSRIs, other antidepressants, and placebo:
analysis of FDA reports. Am J Psychiatry. 2003 Apr ;160 (4):790-2.
Ignore the misleading abstracts which are belied by the findings. Dr. Arif Khan conducted exhaustive analyses of FDA data documenting suicides in antidepressant and antipsychotic drug trials and the suicide and attempted suicide rates are staggering. See:
Bear in mind that patients who are actively suicidal are excluded by protocol in all such trials. Khan's work demonstrated that the phenomenon of drug induced suicide is not confined to the SSRI class of medication but can be shown in an even greater degree in antipsychotics. The suicide rates for both antipsychotics and the SSRI/SNRI substances were massive (well over 700) as opposed to the rate in the general population which is in the very low teens (10 - 12/100,000).
2. Dean Fergusson, Steve Doucette, Kathleen Cranley Glass, Stan Shapiro, David Healy, Paul Hebert, Brian Hutton . Association between suicide attempts and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: systematic review of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2005 Feb 19;330:396 15718539
3. Healy D, Herxheimer A, Menkes DB (2006). "Antidepressants and violence:
problems at the interface of medicine and law". PLoS Med. 3 (9): e372
Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
The Local: Sweden's news in English More Swedes attempt suicide 28 Jan 08
The number of suicide attempts among young people in Sweden is increasing. The rise among young women has been particularly sharp, although the figure for young men is also up.
* Baby height linked to suicide (24 Jan 08)
* Young Swedish women kill themselves more often (4 Oct 07)
* Sweat could reveal suicide risk (7 Aug 07)
The figures come in a report published on Monday by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, which shows that the greatest rise in attempted suicides in 2006 was among women in the 15-24 age group.
A total of 140,000 people were admitted to hospital in 2006 for 'deliberate self-destructive action', the official term used in medical registers for suicide attempts and other forms of self-harm. Overdoses of tablets were most common.
The number of people who succeeded in killing themselves also increased, particularly among women aged 15-24. Some 8.4 women per 100,000 in the 15-24 age group committed suicide in 2006, the highest figure since 1979, according to official records.
"This is a terrible development, and we have no scientific studies that explain why, although the social climate is tougher these days," Professor Britta Alin Åkerman at the Karolinska Institute's Institution for Suicide Prevention told Svenska Dagbladet.
Antidepressants behind 52 percent of all suicides among women By Janne Larsson
This is not data from a limited study; it instead concerns information on a national level for ALL suicides (18-84 years) for 2006. The information is unique; registries now exist in Sweden making it possible for the National Board of Health and Welfare to see how many of the suicides were preceded by psychiatric drug treatment.
Among a total number of 377 women who committed suicide, 197 (52%) had filled a prescription for antidepressants within 180 days before their death. And 29 women (8%) had filled a prescription for neuroleptics ("antipsychotics") ONLY within 180 days before the suicide.
This means that 229 women - 60% - of those who committed suicide (18-84) in Sweden (2006) had filled a prescription for antidepressant drugs OR neuroleptics within 180 days before their suicide.
Neuroleptics were involved in total in 97 (26%) of the suicides among women, (68 women, 18%, got BOTH antidepressants and neuroleptics). NOT included in these figures is the percentage of women who got other forms of psychiatric drugs, like benzodiazepines.
The data are revealed just after the news broke that pharmaceutical companies have systematically hidden negative and exaggerated positive results in their clinical trials of antidepressants (see article Antidepressant Studies Unpublished in NYT), thus misleading patients and doctors for many years.
In general, pharmaceutical companies have used a "blackmail strategy" to get doctors and sad patients to believe that they MUST use the drugs – or else. In ads with pictures of gravestones they have proclaimed: "A depression can end unexpectedly fast" (Wyeth for Effexor.) Leading psychiatrists with financial interests in increased sales have been writing endlessly in medical journals about the "protective effect" of antidepressants against suicide. Shamelessly false statements that the psychiatric drugs correct a chemical imbalance (like a lack of serotonin) in the brain are still part of the official drug labels: "In depression the normal access to these [chemical] substances is lowered. Antidepressants can restore the deficits [of chemical substances] and give a normal function of the brain" (label for Remeron; Organon/Schering-Plough). "These medications help restore the normal levels of serotonin in the brain" (Cipramil/Celexa; Lundbeck/ Forest Laboratories).
But the new data from Sweden tell the real story: Antidepressants do NOT have a positive effect in preventing suicides - they were part of 52 percent of all cases of suicide among women (18-84) for the year 2006; they did obviously not correct any form of "chemical imbalance" in the brain for those women.
An earlier investigation 2007 of documents, gotten via FOI requests, gave information about suicides (2006) committed IN health care and UP TO four weeks after last health care visit. The information was made available when a new law was enacted making it mandatory to report all such suicides to the National Board of Health and Welfare. 367 suicides were reported per this law for 2006: More than 80 percent of the persons who committed suicide were "treated" with psychiatric drugs; in well over 50 percent of the cases the persons got antidepressants, in more than 60 neuroleptics or antidepressants.
Senior officials at the Board were not interested in revealing anything more about this. They had adopted the marketing lines of pharmaceutical companies and relied on evaluations from well-known Swedish SSRI-proponents, (like psychiatrists G. Isacsson and A.L. von Knorring) who for more than a decade have touted the new antidepressants as "life saving". A senior official even said that "evidence based treatment of the underlying psychiatric disorder can reduce the risk for suicide", referring to the "protective effect" that he believed antidepressant drugs had. The data about the large percentage of persons who had committed suicide, after having been "treated" with psychiatric drugs, were brushed aside by the official, saying the data "cannot currently be seen as a representative source for a discussion about these questions" (!). When the agency published its first analysis of cases from 2006, reported per the new law, there was not a single word written about the most compelling fact: Well over 80 percent of the persons who killed themselves were treated with psychiatric drugs.
A lot of requests have been made to get the Board to publish ALL data about suicides and preceding psychiatric drug treatment. They have been turned down. Decisions have been taken at the very top of the Board not to let the public know.
But now data have leaked out about ALL suicides (18-84) for 2006. For women the results are as above.
For men the figures for 2006 are: Among a total of 878 men (18-84) who had committed suicide, 291 (33%) had filled a prescription for antidepressants within 180 days before their death. And 41 men (5%) had filled a prescription for neuroleptics ("antipsychotics") ONLY within 180 days before the suicide.
This means that 332 men - 38% - of those who committed suicide (18-84) in Sweden (2006) had filled a prescription for antidepressant drugs OR neuroleptics within 180 days before their suicide.
Neuroleptics were involved in total in 119 (14%) of the suicides among men, (78 men, 9%, got BOTH antidepressants and neuroleptics). NOT included in these figures is the percentage of men who got other forms of psychiatric drugs.
Thus it can be said that 561 (45%) of ALL 1255 persons (18-84) who committed suicide in Sweden 2006 had filled a prescription for antidepressant drugs OR neuroleptics (not at all counting other psychiatric drugs) within 180 days before their suicide.
A certain number of the persons killing themselves can be expected to be suffering from drug induced akathisia – an extreme inner restlessness, a feeling of having to creep out of ones skin, a completely unbearable condition. It is CAUSED by the psychiatric drugs, not by any "underlying disease". Akathisia is a condition that can make a person commit violent acts – against self or others. It is a condition officially recognized and taken up in the warning texts for the drugs. A number of the persons can also be expected to be affected by mania or hypomania – again CAUSED by the drugs; conditions also officially recognized; conditions that can lead to suicide.
Some of the valid questions in an objective investigation of suicides, where psychiatric drugs preceded the tragic event, would be: Was the suicide an effect of an unbearable condition created by the drugs (like akathisia)? Had the drug dose been increased – with a catastrophic result – when the worsened condition in actual fact was caused by the drug (while being blamed on the "underlying disease")? Had the patient been subject to an abrupt discontinuation (with severe withdrawal symptoms as the result)? Was the catastrophic result very likely caused by concomitant use of psychiatric drugs? Had the patient been informed about all the serious harmful effects that these drugs can cause?
None of these questions are part of the form used when investigation suicides, worked out by senior officials at the National Board of Health and Welfare. These questions would – if asked and the answers used – save lives. But they would also threaten the profits of pharmaceutical companies and the careers of their hired psychiatrists. Therefore they cannot be asked.
The Swedish government has been notified about the concealment of data at the National Board of Health and Welfare (the hiding of data and neglect of analysis of drug induced harmful effects is decided at the very top; despite lower officials at the Board wanting to do a good job and let the public know the real story). The Minister for Elderly Care and Public Health (Maria Larsson) has not at all acted to make the hidden data known to the public. The Minister for Health and Social Affairs (Göran Hägglund) has been asked in parliament, the Riksdag, to start a formal investigation into the violence inducing effect (against self and others) of different psychiatric drugs, but his answer shows – at best – that he is living far
from the real world. This is his view about the effectiveness of medical agencies, the adverse event reporting system and the speed of actions taken to protect the public: "If new data somewhere in the world indicate that a medical drug in use can have up to now unknown harmful effects, an alarm goes out that reaches responsible authorities over the world. The Medical Products Agency [the Swedish medical agency] fast conveys the information to prescribers and to pharmacies in Sweden." (Answer in Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, December 2007.)
Well, now "an alarm" goes out, that data buried in the registries at the National Board of Health and Welfare – very close to the Minister – show that psychiatric drugs are behind an incredible amount of suicides. Will doctors and patients be told about it? And what consequences will it have for the "treatment guidelines"?
(Very much is NOT KNOWN about the psychiatric treatment preceding the suicides above. For example the use of other psychiatric drugs or ECT in these cases is still completely concealed. The National Board of Health and Welfare has not published any documents about this.
Some persons might want to verify some of the figures above. They can actually do so in a newly published English article. The astonishing data above are made part of a published letter about "ethnic differences in antidepressant treatment". This subject is of course of relative disinterest – especially as no differences were found – compared to the facts revealed that 52% of all women who committed suicide had gotten antidepressant drugs and 26% had gotten neuroleptics. See article:
Rickard Ljung, M.D., Ph.D., Charlotte Björkenstam, M.Sc. and Emma Björkenstam, B.Sc; Ethnic Differences in Antidepressant Treatment Preceding
Suicide in Sweden, Psychiatric Services 59:116-a-117, January 2008