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Category Archives: Mental Health

How To Prevent Suicide: 3 Risk Factors For Suicide Attempts | [REBLOG]


A “depressive mixed states” often precedes a suicide attempt.

A major study of 2,811 people suffering from depression has identified three behaviours that predict a suicide attempt.

The study compared depressed people who had attempted suicide with depressed people who had not.

The researchers found there were certain patterns of behaviour which increased the risk of a suicide attempt by 50%.

They are:

  • Risky behaviour: this could be reckless sexual behaviour, dangerous driving or some other form of risky behaviour.
  • Agitation: walking around the room, adjusting clothing, wringing one’s hands etc..
  • Impulsivity: suddenly doing things without thinking about the consequences or planning.

Dr. Dina Popovic, one of the study’s authors, said:

“We found that “depressive mixed states” often preceded suicide attempts.

A depressive mixed state is where a patient is depressed, but also has symptoms of “excitation,” or mania.

We found this significantly more in patients who had previously attempted suicide, than those who had not.

In fact 40% of all the depressed patients who attempted suicide had a “mixed episode” rather than just depression.

All the patients who suffer from mixed depression are at much higher risk of suicide.

We also found that the standard DSM criteria identified 12% of patients at showing mixed states, whereas our methods showed 40% of at-risk patients.

This means that the standard methods are missing a lot of patients at risk of suicide.”

Dr. Popovic continued:

“In our opinion, assessing these symptoms in every depressed patient we see is extremely important, and has immense therapeutical implications.

Most of these symptoms will not be spontaneously referred by the patient, the clinician needs to inquire directly, and many clinicians may not be aware of the importance of looking at these symptoms before deciding to treat depressed patients.

This is an important message for all clinicians, from the GPs who see depressed patients and may not pay enough attention to these symptoms, which are not always reported spontaneously by the patients, through to secondary and tertiary level clinicians.

In highly specialized tertiary centres, clinicians working with bipolar patients are usually more aware of this, but that practice needs to extent to all levels.

The strength of this study is that it’s not a clinical trial, with ideal patients — it’s a big study, from the real world.”

The research was presented at the 28th ECNP Congress in Amsterdam (Popovic et al., 2015).

 

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Sunday Thoughts | [QUOTE]


This was a great reminder for me this morning.

image of tea mug with tea tag reading "Compassion has no limit. Kindness has no enemy."

 

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“The Power of Vulnerability”, Brene Brown [TED Talk]



I watched this 20″ video in my singles group at church. In it, Brene Brown talks about what it takes to live wholeheartedly.

What do we need to experience joy and the other positive aspects of life?

How do we lose ourselves to shame?

And why is vulnerability significant?

This is one of my favorite talks on relationships and the ideas I’ve listed below are the words of Brene Brown, which are taken from the video.

Connection 

Why are we here? We are wired to be connected.

asedf

Shame (and Fear)

man with hands over face

What is the source of our shame?

“Shame unravels connection.”

“I’m not good enough.”

Shame is the fear of disconnection. “If someone knows this about me I won’t be worthy of connection.”

It’s universal. Everyone has shame.

People who don’t have shame are incapable of human empathy and connection.

No one wants to talk about it. The more you have it the less you want to talk about it.

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Excruciating Vulnerability (“Lean into the pain and discomfort”)

Vulnerability underpins shame.

In order for ourselves to be really seen, we have to be vulnerable.

asedf

Worthiness

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Am I worthy enough?

Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy of love and belonging. The inverse is also true.

asedf

Courage, Compassion, Connection, Vulnerability (or “the way the wholehearted live”)

♦  Courage – telling the story of who you are with your whole heart. Courageous people have the courage to be imperfect. Courage is different from bravery.

♦  Compassion – They have the compassion to be kind to themselves first and others second – we can’t be compassionate and kind to others if we can’t be the same way with ourselves first.

♦  Connection – the result of authenticity. They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be, in order to be who they are. The fear that we’re not worthy of connection prevents us from being connected.

♦  Vulnerability – they believe that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. Vulnerability is not comfortable but it is necessary. e.g., the willingness to say “I love you” first. “The willingness to do something when there are no guarantees.” “The willingness to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out.”

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On Vulnerability-

We struggle with vulnerability.

♦  Numb – We numb vulnerability because being vulnerable is hard. e.g., initiating sex, admitting you’re wrong, saying I’m sorry… We can’t selectively numb emotions. When we numb vulnerability (or one of many emotions) we numb joy, gratitude, and happiness, etc.

♦  Why and how we numb – not just through addiction.

– “We make everything that is uncertain, certain.”

– “We perfect”.

– “We pretend”

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Closing

To be kinder and gentler to others, we must be kinder and gentler to ourselves. We can do this by…

“Let ourselves be deeply and vulnerably seen.”

“To love with our whole hearts…even though there is no guarantee.”

“Practice gratitude and joy.”

“Believe that we are enough.”


 

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EMDR – Session 2 | Digging Up The Past


eye_001Last week I had my first EMDR session, and this week was my second. That’s Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing therapy.

Sorry, no juicy details to bring you all, but my therapist said I did really well.

Here’s what went down in therapy town-

Last week my homework was to remember what I could about the incident. My therapist wanted me to practice playing it like a video throughout the week and be able to talk to him about it when I came in.

Well I botched that up because I didn’t remember to do that at all. Guess I need the brand form of Adderall instead of the current generic I’m on.

Thilly Thquirlth.

So he gave me my headphones (which I had him crank the volume up on) and my magic vibrating pads – they’re shaped like flattened eggs…

Fleggs

Yeah, FLEGGS! Vibrating like little cheekons trying to get out.

So he had me make sure the noise emitters were matched up to the vibrating of the fleggs and that both the lefts went off at the same time, and the rights went off at the same time.

He also put a box of tissue by me.

All set.

We were locked and loaded;

Ready to go.

I gripped my fleggs like a Marine squad leader armed with his M-16A4 service rifle with M203 grenade launcher, and headed out into the deserts and wastelands of Therapystan.

My platoon sergeant had me replay the “video” in my head –

[standing in the basement with my dad and mom. Dad was holding my arm,telling me to drop my drawers]

beep/bzzzzzz

beep/bzzzzzz

[I felt the belt coming down across my naked hamstrings like a Roman flagellum]

beep/bzzzzzz

beep/bzzzzzz

[one…two…three…four…five…………………………….thirteen]

beep/bzzzzzz

beep/bzzzzzz

[Heard mom screaming, “He’s passing out, STOP IT!!! STOP IT”]

beep/bzzzzzz

beep/bzzzzzz

Platoon sergeant: “Ok, stop there. What do you see right now at this moment with your inner eye.”

Squad leader: (and I so wanted to say “dead people”) “I see a basement door.”

Platoon sergeant: “Ok. Pick up there and go with it.”

And so it went that way for about five more volleys…

I started to remember details about the basement that I hadn’t recalled for 20+ years.

The tool bench,

the window,

the rubber mat I was standing on,

my dad’s tools…

But I’ll admit that I started to drift.

I started to imagine the cemetery across the road. Yeah, the one we used to go snow sledding in and hit the gravestones, knocking the wind out of us.

I started to remember my elementary bus stop down the street  – an old bakery and how I lit a pack of matches on fire at the table. What a show! (My mom reads my posts so she’s probably finding things out about my childhood she never knew. Haha, sorry momma.)

I started to wonder if I was giving the right answers. Started second guessing myself.

After about 30 minutes, the platoon sergeant wrapped things up and told me he wanted me to put my dad and the anger inside a container.

I so wanted to tell him “That’s gonna be a little hard, dude!” But I digress.

Then he told me to put that container inside another, stronger container. I’m guessing this was to make me feel safe and to give me some measure of comfort when I left.

A way to prevent any unforeseen casualties of war from any anti personnel or vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.

He closed the session by telling me we would pick up from there next time and that I did really well.

Yay me.

How about you? Do you have any experiences with EMDR? I’d love to hear YOUR story. I’m looking forward to holding a dialogue with you in the Comments section. 

 

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EMDR – Session 1 | What Was My First Session Like?


Today was my first EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy) session. An introductory session, a teaser if you will. A little preview of the program.

I was pretty tired but decided to play along. I had done my homework and written down the most painful memory I had. Actually, I was feeling spunky with the Adderall so I wrote down 5.

It’s a nice number.

THQUIRELL!

Notes from my first EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Processing Therapy) Session.

Notes from my first EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Processing Therapy) Session.

What is EMDR?

EMDR therapy is recognized as an effective form of trauma treatment. The founder, Francine Shapiro, was walking in the park thinking through some of her own distressing memories. As she watched the ducks going back and forth she realized that the side-to-side lateral eye movements seemed to decrease the negative emotion associated with the negative memories. She assumed that eye movements had a desensitizing effect, and when she experimented with this she found that others also had the same response to eye movements.

SOURCE: http://www.emdr.com/general-information/what-is-emdr.html

My therapist told me that Francine wondered if there were any other times in which lateral eye movement seemed to benefit people and she had an epiphany – REM sleep!

The rest is history.

I Told Him My Homework

Since I have my homework pictured above, I won’t reiterate it. How did I guess we were going to start with items 4 and 5? I should’ve known. If you care to read about these items, I wrote about them in a little more depth in a post entitled, Forgiving My Dad’s Anger. It may turn out to be a series, I’m not sure yet.

I Made An Island

When we started, my therapist gave me a pair of headphones and two small ovular items that fit in the palm of each hand and had cords that plugged into a base unit along with the earphones. I asked what the heck this was all about and he explained that I would hear beeps in the headphones that alternated between each side, and at the same time the units in my hand would vibrate in sync with the beeps I was hearing. This was supposed to replace me following his moving hand with my eyes, sort of like the cops do when you get pulled over for a sobriety check.

So now that the instrument explanation was over, he had me shut my eyes and explained that I would be making an island. This was to be my safe place where no one could harm me and the entire island was surrounded by a forcefield. He had me tell him what I saw as well as what I smelled, heard, and felt.

I told him I saw white sand (unlike the nasty brown stuff indigenous to this area that sticks to your skin) and that it was fine like powder. I heard waves, seagulls, the wind blowing through huge palm trees, and somewhere waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the recesses of my mind, a screecher monkey howling deep in the forest, haha.

For the next 5-7 minutes, with the headphones on and the buzzers buzzing, I had to imagine myself sitting in a recliner just enjoying my island.

Being mindul.

This is a technique we did in one of our NAMI meetings and is good for PTSD and those who suffer with anxiety. My girlfriend uses this in her DBT training as well.

How the Session Ended

So all that took about 45 minutes. We ended the session with him telling me that this would be a good practice for me to try. It slows the breathing and heart rate down and would do wonders to help me relax. He told me that when things got heavy (we would be “dredging” up a lot of old trees that had fallen and were buried deep) or too much, I would use this as my safe place until I came back down.

How Do I Feel About EMDR So Far?

I won’t lie, I’m a skeptic.

Even though it’s scientifically documented to be successful many times over, I am of the thinking that it’s a farce at this point.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to be open minded. But it’s going to take A LOT to get me on the other side of the fence.

Thank you so much for taking your time to read this post. I do appreciate it.

So what are your thoughts as readers? Have any of you undergone this type of therapy? Have you found it successful? Have you not? I’m looking forward to holding a dialogue with you in the Comments section. 

 

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Blank [POETRY]


poetry_blank_001

“Blank”

Now you’ve gone and done it,

You’ve broken all his bones.

Your words were quite the perfect weapons

They crushed him like thrown stones

Now you’ve gone and done it,

You’ve slashed her mind to shreds.

Any hope of self esteem,

You’ve dashed down on the river bed.

I bet you’re pretty proud,

You heartless parasite.

To be the one to ruin minds,

To make them want to end their lives.

This will be your legacy,

How you’re remembered here.

Your stone will have no words,

Your life will disappear.

 

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“Goodbye”, My Darkest Days [VIDEO, LYRICS]


Lyrics for "Goodbye", by  the band My Darkest Days.

https://youtu.be/tl-3F3uEolk

“Goodbye”

She’s yelling on the phone, she’s yelling on the phone again.
And she’s banging on the door; she’s losing all control again.
What’s she doing in the tub?
She’s shooting up the junk again.
And all the water in the stream couldn’t ever wash her clean, in my head.
And I’m Leaving

Demon with the needles leaning over your shoulder.
It’s over.
I pictured this differently.
I cast us in perfect light.
I’d trade an eternity, for what’s been taken away.
Feels like the future for you and me, fades in the failing light,
this time you drowned us in misery, that’s why you forced me to say

Goodbye, my love, so long, you’ve thrown us away.

It’s been going on for months, said she’d only done it once with friends.
I couldn’t keep her clean at all, every dealer that she called was a friend.
Believe it.

Demon with the needles leaning over your shoulder.
It’s over.

I pictured this differently.
I cast us in perfect light.
I’d trade an eternity, for what’s been taken away.
Feels like the future for you and me, fades in the failing light,
this time you drowned us in misery, that’s why you forced me to say

Goodbye, my love, so long, you’ve thrown us away.

I remember how it was, back when we were both in love again, made-up memories.
They were few and far between, no it wasn’t meant to be from then.

Been stuck inside a dream, woke up and I could breathe the air.
Been down this road before I’ll make it on my own I swear.

Feels like, I pictured this differently, our lives, I cast us in perfect light, this time.
I’d trade an eternity, that’s why, you fucking forced me to say

Goodbye, I’m saving her, my love, I wave to her
So long, you’ve thrown us away.

 

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