Sunday, September 07, 2008

World Suicide Awareness Day is September 10th

Suicide is responsible for almost one million deaths every year.

Another way to look at this is how Dr. Catherine Le Galès-Camus, from the World Health Organization , describes the rate of suicide each year: "Worldwide, more people die from suicide than from all homicides and wars combined."

Those statistics always astonish me. Maybe because many who commit suicide let us know in ways, subtle and overt, of their intentions. Click here for warning signs you can learn about. Then there are others like 9/11 Survivor Kenny Johannemann - who spiral into the depths of depression, and just leave this world without giving anyone notice. (Trigger alert for the linked story)

It will be 25 years since my dear friend killed herself, and it still continues to linger in my life in a haunting way. If you know someone who is feeling hopeless and in utter despair, or if you, yourself, are battling urges to end your life, please talk to someone. Psych Central offers a great list of suicide resources as does the International Association for Suicide Prevention

The legacy of suicide touches many and it never fades with time.


Dreaming again said...

Was missing my daddy again as I'm starting this new adventure in school & struggling with algebra. He's always been the only one who could look me in the eye and say 'darling, it's going to be ok' and make me believe it.

I guess, on the 10th, I'll post about his death again ...maybe it will convince someone that they do in fact matter ...
It's been almost 30 years, wow, it will have been in Feb, and I still need him.

If he *really* knew that, I don't think he would have done it.

Deb said...

Oh, Dreaming....My heart aches for you and for dad and for all who loved him.

Wendy said...

Dr. Deb,
Thanks for this post. I have sent it world wide to friends and family in memory of our son Caleb.

John Oppenheimer said...

Hi Deb,
Thanks for your blog, I find it illuminating and fun. I am a marriage and family therapist in N. California, and wanted to respond to your blogs but cannot find an email address for you anywhere on your web or blog site, anyway, hey and hi, thanks, I have just started my own, would love to share, will be The Therapist Is In, for now,
all the best,

Jade said...

Interesting that you post this now. Recently my awareness has been rose around the area of children/teens with Asperger's syndrome and the high rates of suicide within this population. I currently work with a pre teen diagnosed with Asperger's and also work with a child diagnosed with Autism that has a sibling with Asperger's. Both sets of parents have shared their intense concern that with teasing at school and the feeling that the child will never fit in might lead to suicidal ideation or even possible attempts as they get older.
It's a very hard issue to comfort people around. It is also so wide spread and brought on by so many variables within life.

I'm truly sorry to hear about your friend Deb but happy to know that you're out there spreading the word, educating, and treating those that may get to close to the line..

therapydoc said...

Sorry for your loss. It hurts.

The Lone Beader said...

Shortly after I left my last B/F, he tried to do that, then ended up in a mental hospital.. so, I know all about it... :(

Ms.L said...'s been 25 years for me too.
Weird how I never think of it that way.

I have good news though!
Through my relentless efforts,the tons of wonderful info on your blog,and a billion books I've forced on my poor husband (lol)he's now armed with enough knowledge to fight the suicidal thoughts off better.
He's so smart now and has a much better toolbox to work with,should they come back.
My experience has been used to help
others. I love it:)

jenji said...

Wow. I'm sorry for your loss, Deb.

I lost a grandfather and a close friend to suicide, while it has been 16 years since I lost my fiance to suicide and after years upon years of therapy and stubborn determination, I'm happy to say that my memories of him are for the most part positive, which was/is quite the journey considering I was the one who found him in such a tragic state and scene. Truly, such graphic images were difficult to overcome.

However, you're right: it touches so very many people, it lingers and it haunts those left behind, usually without warning.

In your opinion Deb, would you say that suicide still has a significant stigma attached to it (regarding those who commit, those who attempt, as well as those who are left behind) or would you say that a more informed awareness has emerged within the last say, ten years or so that has allowed others to reach out without shame and/or fear?

As always, thanks for the respect and dignity that you bring to an important and delicate issue through your posting.


Tiptoe said...

Loss from suicide is such a hard thing, and I'm so sorry for yours.

Thank you for bringing awareness to it, as it isn't something people always want to talk about.

I hope anyone who is suffering reaches out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Deb. I've had several friends over the years who have killed themselves. I miss everyone one of them and wish they had not made the choice to do what they did.


traci said...

My children's step mother completed suicide 4 years ago and it still affects us all. She was a friend (in kind of a weird way) and her spectre is always with us.

My ex husband attempted suicide 10 years ago and the ripples from that event affect me and my children every day, even now.

Thank you for the reminders.

alan said...

Deb, I'm so sorry...

I made some half-hearted attempts in my youth, and only these past few years have actually been glad they weren't successful. Partly for the things I'd have missed, partly for the changes that would have been wrought...

Thank you for doing all you do each day to save those in the same place I was!


Jean-Luc Picard said...

Is it a coincidence that is is the day before Sept 11th, when a lot of families who lost relatives might be feeling low?

phd in yogurtry said...

Wow, 1 million per year? That blows me away. I had no idea it was that high. Thanks for an eye opening post.

Before we married, my husband had a close friend die by suicide. The one clue was the friend attempting to give away things under some guise. But that didn't tip off my husband because he did not know about this sign. He learned the hard way.

Tracy said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I am so sorry about your friend. That is so hurtful. (((Deb)))) Sharing the info though is so wonderful. Thank you again.

CrackerLilo said...

I am so sorry that you lost your friend this way, and sorry to everyone else who has. I attempted suicide a few times in my teens and twenties. I think Susanna Kaysen had it right in "Girl Interrupted" when she talked about how, once you open that door, it sort of remains an option in your mind. I am just now sort of understanding what I would have done to my loved ones had I "succeeded," and it's been ten years since I last seriously considered it. The problem is, when you're *there*, you can't see past your own nose.

It's tomorrow. I don't want to say anything, but maybe I should.

Kristi said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. No matter how long ago it is, it still hurts. I didn't know there was an awareness day, but it's good that there is. Most people considering it feel alone, and hopefully the world focus on it will reach out to them and let them know there are many people who care and want to help them reconsider.

jumpinginpuddles said...

as someone who only six months ago attempted suicide at least teice a week we know the terrible burden of the place that life has no meaning. We also know how great a place it is now for us to know we are so glad we didnt succeed.
Thanks for your recent comment on our blog we have written this for you to have an idea of whats going on we hope you can read it

susan said...

I just found your blog and love it! I will be adding it to my website blogroll shortly.

I* am a survivor of suicide, and I am grateful that even though I came as close to death as possible, I did not succeed.

Thank you for tackling this difficult subject.

Pink Floyd said...

Sorry for your loss. I hope things get a little easier after 25 years. I just had the 2nd anniversary of my mom's passing and it is still very hard.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you today, Deb. 9/11 is a tough day.


Deb said...

Thanks for all your comments. Such a tough subject.

jane said...

I've lost a few friends to suicide, it's heartbreaking. The 1st was in 1976 & the last was in 1986, with some in between. Sometimes I find myself thinking of how old they'd be, what their life might have been like, etc. I've been on both sides of it, the one who is suicidal as well as the parent of one who is suicidal.
I've got to say, honestly, the fact that there are a million people worldwide who do this is frightening.
Thanks for bringing this to the light.

Teresa Lynne said...

I remember you telling me this. I am so sorry about your friend. That is good you are doing an awareness about suicide as it is so needed.

PATRICK said...

Mr. Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and creator of the twelve-step program. Mr. Wilson was heavily influenced by demons.

Chapter sixteen (p. 275f) of 'Pass It On' The Story of Bill Wilson and how the A.A. message reached the world records Mr. Wilson's use of the ouija board, participation in séances, psychic events, "spook sessions", table levitation, and how he would receive "messages" from "discarnate" spirits.

Bill Wilson was clearly in contact with demons, and this is the man who created the deceptive twelve-step program.

Make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him. (Step #11. Emphasis added.) The last part of this statement ("as we understood Him") is enough to damn your soul! God says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5).

This is the exact opposite of "God as we understood Him." All men, according to Romans 1:18-32, are condemned before God, because they rely upon their own understanding (Romans 1:21; Ephesians 4:18, "having their understanding darkened"), and they create (in their own darkened minds) a god of their own making (Romans 1:23).

To encourage people to turn their "lives over to the care of God as we understood Him", is to encourage people to "turn their lives over to a god of their own making" (i.e. according to their own understanding).

This promotes nothing more than spiritual death (Revelation 22:15). In addition, these twelve steps are a deceitful attack against the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ (i.e. they are against Christ, anti-Christ, 2 John 7; Colossians 2:8-10).

The twelve steps are (as Mr. Wilson used them) given as an answer (a way) in which one can overcome sin (with Mr. Wilson's case, the sin of drunkenness).

Jesus Christ is the ONLY answer for sin. He is the only way (John 14:6). There is only ONE "step", and that is faith in the Saviour (Ephesians 2:8/Matthew1:21/John 8:36/Romans10: 13!

The above exemplifies the "twelve steps" are what are used to "become free from addictive, compulsive" behaviour (i.e. sin). In other words, the twelve steps are the saviour!

No doubt it is deceptive, because "Biblical principles" are interwoven throughout; but if they weren't, few (if any) would be deceived. One good question to ask would be, "Where does Scripture talk about any 'twelve steps'"? The answer? Nowhere!

These twelve steps come from Satan (via Bill Wilson), who is the master deceiver (Revelation 12:9). Remember, SATAN. used Scripture to tempt Christ (Matthew 4:6), and Balaam spoke much truth (Numbers 23-24); but he was a false prophet (2 Peter 2:15-16/Numbers 22).

In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus warned, Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Jesus likewise warned in Luke 13:24, Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.


Awake In Rochester said...

Hi Doc Deb,

I noticed that you don't have an email, and that's probably wise. Otherwise, you would get a ton of mail. I read a post from a very sweet person who is in an Intensive Out Patient program. How she was treated angered me, and I have some questions concerning it. I would love to have a post concerning this, so I can get talk about it and get some feedback, but don't want to hurt my blog friend's feelings. Even if I don't mention the blog she could probably figure things out. At any rate I feel even more turned off to traditional therapy after reading her post. I'm doing very well with the depression now, but winter seems to be when it sets in. Last winter was the worst that I've ever been.

If your interested in talking over her post with me, and explaining to me some things, then please e-mail me. My email address is on my blog header.

Awake In Rochester said...

Hi Doc Deb,

I ending up posting it anyway. My post is called "IF I saw a therapist..." I toned it down, and made it more generic so that my blog friend would be cool with it. But I did get most of my questions out there. I'd love to hear your two cents. I've already had some surprising comments of people who are hesitant like me, or have had bad experiences. One person monitored herself, found the problem, and solution! Wow!

I'm not trying to offend anyone, I'm just trying to figure out what to do before the winter depression hits again. I sure hope that it doesn't, but I just can't go though that again!