Tag Archives: mental illness

Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against It Book Review

It’s a proven fact that many who suffer from mental health issues have considered or have acted on suicidal thoughts. In the United States, suicide is quickly become one of the leading causes of death. But there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Writer Jennifer Michael Hecht knows all too well the pain that losing a loved one to suicide brings. Her 2013 book, Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against It, was inspired by the loss of two friends to suicide. In the book, Ms. Hecht examines how suicide was viewed in the past by different cultures and how these cultures argued against suicide. She also examines how attitudes in regards to suicide have changed, but the reasons to live remain the same.

This book was not only well written, but eye opening. Suicide has been part of the human experience for an untold number of generations. For me, living with mental illness, the most important reason for reading this book was the argument that life is worth it. Suicide is permanent, pain can and does heal.

I recommend it.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Review, Books, History, Mental Health

RIP Kate Spade

Depression is like a dark cloud that refuses to dissipate. Professional success, a solid marriage, happy children and supportive family/friends can often mean nothing when one lives with depression. The dark thoughts are insidious, invading the thoughts and psyche of the person suffering until for some the only way to get ride of them is take your own life.

Today it took another life, that of fashion designer Kate Spade.

Ms. Spade was found this morning by her housekeeper. While there has not been an official ruling on her passing, speculation is pointing to suicide caused by depression.

She leaves behind her husband, her teenage daughter, a fashion empire and many who will miss her terribly.

What breaks my heart is that she had every reason to live, but that was not enough in the fight against mental illness.

If you are suffering, please seek help. Whether it is through your clergy person, a therapist, a trusted loved one or another resource, please get help. You are beautiful, you are worth it and you are powerful. You deserve all of the good things that have come and will come your way.

The telephone for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. The life you may save with the phone call is yours.

She was 55. May her memory be a blessing.

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under National News

Thoughts On The Beginning Of Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

As many of my readers know, depression is my constant companion and has been so for quite a few years.

Depression or any mental illness is not just an excuse for acting up or staying in bed all day and mindlessly staring at the television. It is very real and affects millions of people around the world.

It also takes lives in the form of suicide.

If nothing else, this month encourages those who suffer to get help. It is possible to live a full life with mental illness, but we must seek out help.

Please, if you suffer like I do and you are not working with a mental health professional, I highly recommend that you do so. The life you may end up saving is yours.

Leave a comment

Filed under Mental Health, Thoughts On....

Mariah Carey’s Battle With Bipolar Disorder

The only way to remove the stigma from a thorny issue is to talk about it. The more we talk, the less of an issue the stigma becomes.

Mariah Carey announced today that she has been suffering from bipolar disorder since 2001.

Mental illness is real. It is not a made up to gain sympathy or a reason to throw a pity party. Millions (myself included) suffer around the world from the various diseases that are labelled as mental illness. Unfortunately, it takes someone like Mariah Carey to add another light to the darkness and another voice to the reality of living with mental illness.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music

Depression and The Rock

Like any disease, depression knows no boundaries. Not even those whose have successful careers in Hollywood are immune.

Wrestler and actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has recently has recently come out as living with depression.

Like many that live with mental illness, The Rock is genetically disposed toward living with depression. His mother suffered from the disease and nearly killed herself in front of her son when The Rock was a teenager.

I find comfort, as weird as it sounds, that The Rock has made a public announcement. Mental illness, even after all of these years, still carries a stigma. In coming out of the closet, so to speak, he has put another public face on the disease. If someone like The Rock can live with depression and still live a full and happy life, then perhaps the rest of us can.

Leave a comment

Filed under Mental Health, Movies

An Open Letter to Wayne LaPierre From A Concerned Citizen

Dear Sir

I watched the clip of you speaking at CPAC 2018 and I would like respond to your comments.

First of all, I wanted to confirm the full text of the 2nd amendment. It is as follows:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

While the amendment does not state that everyday citizens are barred from owning firearms, it does state that the right to keep and bear arms is necessary for an army to protect the lives and freedoms of the civilian population.

Please also keep in mind that the firearms that are available today are far more powerful that the firearms that were available in the late 18th century.

There are millions of Americans, myself included who do not want to take away your right to own a gun or any other rights listed in the Constitution. We are only asking for common sense gun laws that respect the rights of law-abiding gun owning citizens who are of sound mind, while preventing mass shooting like the one that happened in Parkland, Florida last week.

Why sir, must we again grieve the loss of 17 innocent people, most who were children because of a shooter who was able to legally purchase a weapon of war, and who has a history of mental illness?

While it has been proven that the shooter was not of sound mind, and that local authorities did not do their jobs as they should have, the fact still remains that a gun is responsible for taking the lives of 17 people.

Mass shootings have happened far too often in this country. We need you and your organization to step up and work with our government to prevent future events of a similar nature.

If this does not happen, I fear for the future of our country and our children.

Sincerely Yours,

A Concerned Citizen

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under National News, Politics

It’s More Than Mental Health

The shooting yesterday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead reminded us that once more we must publicly grieve the loss of innocent lives due to unnecessary gun violence.

In addressing the nation this morning, you know who put much of the blame on the shooter’s mental illness. He did not mention that the shooter was able to legally purchase a weapon is meant to be used on the battlefield and not in every day civilian life.

I have two problems with this statement:

  1. Millions of people around the world (myself included) suffer from mental illness. Only a tiny fraction of us spiral down into murdering innocents, but the news reports would make it seem like mental illness is the only reason for the shooting. Unlike other medical conditions, mental illness carries a stigma. Using mental illness as a framing device for any mass shooting, regardless of the state of mind of the shooter is counterproductive in erasing the stigma and helping those who are suffering.
  2. I know it’s been said every which way for a generation, but we need reasonable gun laws now. We needed them yesterday and the day before, but some of those in power are continuing to turn a deaf ear to the cries of the survivors and the loved ones of the victims. But while they are turning a deaf ear to the voting and grieving public, they seem to have no problem accepting money from the NRA.

My heart breaks for the survivors and the victim’s families. There are no words we can use to bring back their loved ones and dry their tears. But there are laws that can be put on the books and enforced to prevent another mass shooting and we can stop using mental illness as a crutch for mass shootings.

The question is, are we willing to do so or will we continue to see lives lost for no reason?

Leave a comment

Filed under Mental Health, National News, Politics

Flashback Friday-A Dangerous Method (2011)

Compared to other forms of medical treatment, psychoanalysis is a relatively modern form of treatment.

The 2011 film, A Dangerous Method, is the story of how psychoanalysis was born. Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) is suffering from hysteria and under the care of Dr. Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender). Dr. Jung is following in the footsteps of Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), who pioneered the methodology of talk therapy to deal with mental illness and anxiety. Sabina aspires to sit on the other side of the couch and becomes a psychiatrist. Then things get interesting when the personal and professional relationships between the characters begin to shift and crack.

What I like about this movie is that it not only humanizes the very large figures of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, but it also introduces the audience to Sabina Spielrein, who, for the most part, has been forgotten, despite her contributions to the fields of psychoanalysis and psychiatry.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Feminism, History, Movie Review, Movies, Throwback Thursday

Rick Springfield Opens Up About His Battles With Depression

Depression knows nothing of boundaries. It doesn’t matter where you grew up, where your family is from, who you go home to every night, etc. Not even fame and success in Hollywood can ward off the demons of depression.

Rick Springfield is one of the millions around the world who suffer from depression. The musician and actor recently opened about his own bouts with depression and his attempts to take his own life.

I found his story not only to be meaningful, but also relevant. One of the things I have learned about depression is that those of us who suffer from the disease tell the same story. We may use different phrasing and talk about our battles with depression from our own individual perspectives, but the stories are the same.

I find that very comforting because we need to talk openly about depression and other mental illnesses. Talking open and honestly opens doors, helps to diminish the stigma, brings comfort to those suffering and will hopefully prevent the loss of life due to suicide.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Music

This Is What Depression Feels Like

It can be said that one cannot understand another until they walk a mile in another’s shoes.

Especially when it comes to depression.

I could describe how it feels to live with depression, but I think the video below basically says it all.

It’s a cold, lonely feeling that never ceases to go away, akin to sitting in a empty bathtub, shivering cold with no clothes on, without light or heat.

It is the saddest, scariest feeling anyone can experience. Millions of us suffer from it and too many die from it.  I think the most important thing to remember is that we are not alone. If we remember that, then we can somehow find a way not just to live, but to thrive.

1 Comment

Filed under Misc