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What I Have Been Up To Lately

I had therapy last week. I started seeing this therapist after the pandemic, so all my sessions have been virtual. I forget what she asked but I mentioned I remember mistakes from the past, 20, 30 years ago or more and they torment me. She wanted me to share but I am not comfortable with that. I feel such shame and they were mistakes that I feel are unforgivable. If I did not feel shame there would be something wrong. But, I don’t want to delve into them.

My father did not believe in mental health treatment even though schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar run in our family. When I started therapy he discouraged it saying talking about the past just makes everyone sad. I did not understand what he meant until now.

My therapist wants me to work on forgiving myself.  I have to explain to her that some of these things are best kept hidden.

 

 

I have been able to stay alcohol free after my planned intoxication in April.  My plan is sobriety until our wedding anniversary in October.  It was pretty easy to get back to it.

 

 

I posted a link to an In Our Own Voice presentation I did for NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness, in a different post. I have not been speaking much lately. I saw a different program by NAMI called VOICES. It is geared towards first responders. I signed up to be a speaker, but am having trouble figuring out where to start. My initial interaction with mental healthcare and police was not until I was 39, but since mental illness runs in my family that was not foreign.

My brother had a psychotic break in college at 20 (I was 15). He refused treatment and would get picked up by the police for 72 hour observational holds in the late 70s. His is a sad story. He was severely symptomatic for 6 years when he finally was placed on a different medication that he responded well to. But, he started becoming symptomatic again, paranoid, edgy, and probably needed his medication adjusted. He went to Yosemite while symptomatic and fell at a waterfall. I don’t know if it was accidental or not, but he died from the fall.

This is supposed to be a story of hope, but it is part of my story.  If I had not seen him so ill for so long I may not have accepted treatment, but I did not want to be stuck in psychosis like he was.  I think it is okay for first responders, but not sure if it will scare the general public who may be worrying about their own children.

My story is much different.  I did go in and out of psychosis for 3 years, but I have been stable since 2006.  I have not been hospitalized for 16 years.  I am married, have healthy grown children, work part time.  I still have some doubts about what was real from the past, but I can function.

 

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depression mental illness suicide Uncategorized

Depression sucks

I don’t know if anyone else is like this, but I have trouble knowing how I feel.  I knew I was miserable and anxious, but until

depression

my therapist said I was depressed I did not notice.  Someone was trying to help me and asked what I get up for and my immediate response was “obligations”. I am there if I have to be, but otherwise I sleep my life away.

I had a terrible night Tuesday. Ruminating about the past and having suicidal thoughts- repetitively. I hardly slept googling different methods.  I could not figure out what to do, and then beat myself up because I am too stupid. I tried contacting people on the internet but no one is around at 3am.  Then, I thought it was a plot to ignore me to teach me a lesson.

Eventually daytime came. When it was a decent hour I texted my therapist and she called back.  I told her i was thinking about mistakes from the past and that because the past will never change i will always have these thoughts. I was hopeless, Sobbing like a child.  She tried calming me down and showed empathy. I did calm down some, enough to go to work. I was afraid I would start crying at work. I told my co-worker I was having a bad day, but I was there. And, I made it though the day.

I was drained that evening and slept through the night. I saw my psychiatrist today. Luckily, he did not overreact to the suicidal thoughts, they are gone right now, and just changed my medication a little. I am having trouble being hopeful. I feel pressure to stay well. I feel like I can’t get sick. That it would ruin everything.

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13 reasons why depression Hotline Responsibility suicide Uncategorized

Suicidal Thoughts, Depression and 13 Reasons Why

Originally posted on PsychCentral

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/triple-winner/2017/06/suicidal-thoughts-depression-and-13-reasons-why/

I watched “13 Reasons Why” recently and it got me thinking about my own suicidal thoughts.

suicideprevention

(I am trying not to spoil it too much, but if you are waiting to watch it you may want to hold off reading)

I was an unhappy teen and had some suicidal thoughts but they were passing and I never acted on them.

I have only had one time where I had a plan. It wasn’t very long ago. I had a method and a date picked out. It wasn’t that I wanted to die. I felt like I was a burden and a failure. I didn’t want to exist. But, part of me wanted to live. I told people my plans, and eventually turned over my means to my husband for safe keeping.

But, the thing about having made a plan is that it is still there in my mind. Sometimes, I think of it. Like it is unfinished business.

The show did not delve into the girl, Hannah’s, mental state. The story is from her view and focuses on how others affected her. It touches on many topics and should spur discussions on suicide and prevention.

I liked it. One thing I did not like was that they depicted her committing suicide. They had warnings that there were graphic and disturbing images. What bothers me is that it shows you how. I know you can google anything, and it isn’t new information, but I don’t think it needs to be shown. Just my opinion.

Older adults have higher rates of suicide than teens and young adults and it is the 10th leading cause of death overall.1 Suicide is the second leading cause of death of teens and adolescents. The rates have been climbing yearly.2

There is hope and help. The show seems to send the message that kindness and friendships can keep one from going down that path. But, there are other kinds of help. There are help lines, therapists, psychiatrists. Antidepressant and other types of medications can help pull you out of a dark place.

The series also makes a point about personal responsibility. If one person had cared enough Hannah felt she would not had made that decision. I don’t know how I feel about that. Survivor’s usually have guilt already, wondering what they could have done differently.

I am glad I did not go through with my plan. I would hate to put my family through that and I am happy to be here today.

Crisis Line:

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide,
call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

  1. https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/
  2. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/suicide
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13 reasons why depression life lessons relationships suicide Uncategorized

13 Reasons Why (thoughts)

I recently watched the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”. If you haven’t heard of it, it is about a teenage girl who commits suicide.

I don’t have a well-thought out analysis. It brings up many topics and I have no one to discuss them with. I have not read other writings on the series yet.

I am far past my high school years, my daughter graduates this year.  She has seen the show but doesn’t talk to me about much of anything.

SPOILER ALERT: There are spoilers throughout this post, and the series unravels slowly. so if you plan on watching it, read this afterwards.

 

I don’t know where to start, so I am going to ramble.

One thing that troubled me personally, was the suicide scene. Not so much that it was graphic or disturbing (they did have warnings). Just that it depicted how she did it. I know you can google anything, but some people don’t complete suicides because they don’t know how .

The movie tackles issues like gossip, social media, stalking, drunk driving. Objectification, sexual assault and rape.

It makes you think about some of the common statements people say about suicide, that people act out for attention. About suicide awareness or anti-bullying campaigns and how effective they are. And, that how it is said it was the person’s choice and no one’s fault. It makes you think about personal responsibility and if someone could have done something to stop them.

I thought it was well-done. You start out as confused as the main character and things slowly reveal themselves.

It is one viewpoint but it could spur discussions.

I guess I will go read what others have wrote. If you have seen it and have any thoughts I would like to hear them.

I think high school has changed from when I was a teen and it was not easy then. There was not social media. People did not drug drinks. Maybe I am wrong, but it seemed safer in that respect.

Bullying was not addressed and suicide was not talked about.  They didn’t have the number of anti depressants as today and  there was even more stigma on getting psychological help.

I was left wondering what the main male character, Clay, had done. He did what Hannah asked and had his own emotions. There was a whole series of horrible events that she would not have witnessed had he stayed when she told him to leave, but you can’t blame him for that.

It went into the realm of non-consensual sex and how not saying “yes” means “no”. How the young man felt since she came to his party and went in the hot tub she was willing.

There is so much more.

I am going to post now. I may edit and add as I think of things.