Child Suicide: ADHD Children at Risk

Posted by Laurie Winslow Sargent:


Stock Photo by David Castillo Dominici (FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

We found a thoughtful article by Kara Thompson at her blog, A Mom and Dad’s View of ADHD, and wanted to share it with you. It touches on child suicide, and how ADHD children are particularly at risk.

Following is an excerpt, so be sure to click the link at the end to read the rest at her blog. There you will find critical tips to help you if you are worried about a child you love.

Kara Thompson is a  Marriage and Family Therapist in Lenexa, Kansas and a homeschooling mom of a teenage son with ADHD. You can find Kara on her website at www.karathompson.com.

 Excerpt from The Dark Side: ADHD and Suicide

Welcome to your worst nightmare: Your child says he or she wants to die, or even worse, attempts suicide. I get asked a lot about suicide, and given that it’s a timely topic on the “A Mom’s View of ADHD” Facebook page, I thought I would share some information that you may find helpful if you find yourself in a situation where suicidality is involved (or where you suspect it is involved).

It should come as no surprise to most of you that children with ADHD are at risk for depression. A recent study headed up by Benjamin Lahey, Ph.D., of the University of Chicago, found that children with ADHD are up to four times as likely to become depressed than their peers without ADHD. The study also showed that children with early ADHD were five times as likely to have considered suicide, and twice as likely to have made an attempt. Ugh.

Unfortunately, I don’t find the figures surprising. When you think of all the stress and pressure kids are under these days, it’s extremely tough for them to make their way in this crazy world. Add ADHD into the mix, and it’s downright overwhelming.

So, what do you do if your child says they want to die?

First, look at med changes – just a small increase can wreak havoc on a kiddo’s brain. Call your doctor and let her know what you are hearing and seeing. Don’t be afraid to call – that’s what they are there for! And don’t let the doctor blow you off. If your doctor tells you not to worry, it’s time to look for a new doctor.

If meds don’t seem to be a factor, start formulating a safety plan for how you can help your child, while keeping your own emotions in check. I always encourage people to err on the side of overreacting, while staying calm. I like the way Michael Bradley handles the question of suicide in his book, “Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy.” He came up with some “Critical Do’s” and “Critical Don’ts” that may be helpful to you.

(CLICK HERE to read the rest of Kara’s article with great advice from Michael Bradley, at Kara’s blog. And thank you, Kara, for sharing this with us. )

 

Hope for Military Veterans with PTSD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

By Karen Boerger:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is Real! There is help and hope for military veterans with PTSD.

 


Image by Stuart Miles (FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

I recently heard a presentation by a Major in the Army Reserves (retired), who told her story about her military career.  After her tours of duty in the Middle East, she realized that she didn’t feel that she fit in with family and friends any more, thought about committing suicide, but went back for one more tour of duty.  She was injured and had to go stateside for recovery.

While recuperating in the hospitals, she began to see that there was a purpose in her life.  After much counseling from a pastor, she went for training and is now helping military veterans and their families.  Sometimes when we are at our lowest, we find God right beside us.

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a very real problem in the military.   The following are some recent statistics:

  1. There are 18 suicides a day.
  2. To seek help for depression or PTSD  (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) while serving in the military, there is a 400-day wait to get in.
  3. When a military person receives a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), it’s found that they are 20% more likely to die from suicide.
  4. One soldier dies every 24 hrs. – not from combat.

There is help for PTSD. Medication and counseling are very effective. If you have had a traumatic event, don’t despair. Seek guidance from a counselor, psychiatrist, or doctor and stay in touch with your pastor.  Healing takes time but can be achieved.

The National Veterans’ Suicide Prevention Hotline is a valuable tool for veterans.  Watch this video to see how important this hotline is to the veterans. For help call 1-800-273-TALK, then press “1” to be routed to the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline.  This free service handles about 330 calls per day and has a staff of about 20. Call and talk to someone who understands veterans with PTSD.

 

Overcoming Suicidal Thoughts by Helping Others

By Karen O’Connor:


Image from Wikipedia: US Navy members serving the homeless at Dorothy’s Soup Kitchen, Salinas CA

Years ago following my divorce from my then husband, I felt lonely and despondent, wondering what happened to me. How could my husband have fallen into the arms of someone else and so carelessly discarded our three children and me? For months, life did not seem worth living—until I responded to an invitation to serve a holiday meal in a soup kitchen at the local rescue mission. I was to find out that helping others can help overcome suicidal thoughts.

I remember worrying about even driving into the neighborhood where the facility was located. But I knew I had to do something to take my mind off myself and my problems. So I signed up. When I arrived I was jarred into reality. Homeless people were lined up outside the building and others sat with head in hands along the curb. I had so much to live for compared to these poor souls.

I walked in with our team, pulled an apron off the hook and tied it around my waist, then took my place behind the buffet line. A woman with blond hair stood beside me. She told me a little of her story as we dished up the food and drinks and smiled at the grateful men and women who slid their trays down the rack.

“I used to be one of them,” she said. “I stood in this very line, until I realized I’d never get out of my pit unless I did something for someone else.” She said God worked in her heart when she least expected it.

. . . if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday (Isaiah 58:10, NIV Bible).

My new friend learned, as I learned that day, that one way to overcome suicidal thoughts is by helping others.

Check out this excellent YouTube video on the Santa Clarita Food Pantry program.

Help – I Cut Myself and Self-Injure

 

We have some great ideas that may help you in your struggle to not cut or self-injure yourself.

 

Self-injury, such as cutting or burning, has unfortunately become a popular as well as an addictive way for many people to handle their difficult emotions.  Are you one who can say, “I cut myself’?

And though self-cutting is not a suicidal gesture, many who self-cut or harm may one day be drawn into a suicide attempt.  We want to help prevent this tragedy from happening to you, plus we want to help you overcome your compulsion to harm or injure yourself.

First, know that we are not shocked by your secret and we see you as a precious person.  Secondly, we believe you can overcome this obsession. Here are a few suggestions to help you do so, from the WordPress blog Discussing Dissociation; Thoughts from a Trauma Therapist:

  1. Call a friend or two and talk to them about anything – the weather, politics, the news, old times, new recipes, etc.  Distract yourself, and enjoy the company.
  2. Watch a movie or two, or three, or however many it takes till you get past the urge to SI. Promise yourself that you will watch movies until you feel safe again.
  3. Write about your feelings in your journal. Write a poem out about your feelings.
  4. Scrub the house from top to bottom.  Distracting yourself with tedious tasks, paying close attention to details can give you a different focus for the energy you are feeling.
  5. Get out the hottest jar of salsa and add jalapeno pepper or red chili peppers, and dig in. It might burn your mouth or make your eyes water and your nose run to eat this, but it won’t scar or cause actual harm.
  6. Draw or paint on paper what you want to do to yourself.  Draw or paint a second picture showing why you want to do this.  Draw or paint a third picture showing how you wish you were feeling.
  7. Play with, pet, hold, or hug your pet.  Find comfort and soothe yourself with the company of your dog and cat instead turning to pain or injury.
  8. Take a walk or exercise.  The physical release of energy is helpful.
  9. Plant a small garden.  Creating something nice, making something pretty to look at, and tending to something alive can put you into a different frame of mind.
  10. Take a bath or shower.  Let the water soothe you and help release your stress. Talking out loud or crying in the shower helps get the pain out that is locked inside you.  Let the stress rinse off and send it “down the drain” away from you.

To read the entire list of 25 Ways to Avoid Self-Injury and Prevent Self-Harm, click HERE.

While getting help as you tell others “I cut myself“, I also suggest talking about your impulse to self-harm or injure yourself  to the Lord of the universe with a simple prayer like this:

Dear Lord,

I know you see my scars.  Help me to understand that you aren’t ashamed of me or shocked by my actions, but that you love me and accept me just as I am. In fact, your own son Jesus was scarred in my place. He shed his blood for me, so that I wouldn’t haven’t to shed my blood to release my pain or purify myself.  Jesus has already done that for me.  In fact Lord, I ask that You do me a great favor; I ask that You carry my pain. I ask that You give me the strength to let go of my pain, my sins, my failures because Jesus has already paid the price so I don’t have to.

Give me direction as well as the strength to walk in the light of your great love for me. And deliver me, as Jesus taught us to pray, from evil.  In fact, I break the assignment of evil off of me by canceling the assignment of self-cutting and self-harm off of me right now, in the power and authority of the name and blood of Jesus. Set me free Jesus, and give me a new life, and a new direction in you, a life with hope, purpose, love and joy.  Lord, save me from evil and save me from my own pain. Give me hope and a plan filled with ideas to  help me overcome, people to talk to and a new life of purpose to walk into.  THANK YOU!!

In Jesus Name,

Amen

To see the story of how Jesus changed Taryn Davis’s life and helped her through her self-destructive as well as cutting issues, watch the video below:

To learn more about God’s love for you, go to:  www.GodTest.com

Life After a Failed Suicide Attempt

 

Angry because of a failed suicide attempt? There’s hope..

 

If you’ve survived a failed suicide attempt, you may be dealing with many emotions including anger; anger that you were left to continue to face your troubles.  But could it be that God is giving you a second chance; a chance to find hope?

That’s what Kristen Jane Anderson discovered after her failed suicide attempt.  You can listen to her tell about how she discovered hope and purpose, even after losing her legs the night she survived laying down on the railroad tracks in front of an oncoming train, and 33 freight train cars at 55 miles per hour ran over her.

A train took her legs–yet God gave her a new life. See Kristen Anderson’s interview on CBN about her failed suicide attempt:

 

You can visit Kristen’s website at Reaching You Ministries (www.reachingyouministries.com) See also Kristen’s book (with Tricia Goyer): Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice. The Random House Digital version can be read on Kindle or on a computer, via Kindle for PC.

Kristen became desperate due to grief over losing four friends–one to suicide–then her grandma, then trauma from rape by a friend. See our articles (try our site SEARCH) on dealing with grief, including the loss of teen friends, and on sexual assault/rape, for more help. However:

 If you are contemplating suicide at this moment, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

If you would like to know more about God, and how to start a relationship with him, go to www.Godtest.com.

If you’ve ever wondered if you would go to hell if you committed suicide, check out our article on the topic by clicking HERE. But also we hope you wonder, “What can God do with my life, if I choose to live?” Kristen is now not only glad to be alive–she is hoping to save others, with God at her side.

How to Stop Cyberbullying

 How can parents help stop cyberbullying before it starts? If you’re a teen, how can you prevent this dangerous virus from spreading?

 

 

Cyberbullying is like a virus that spreads from one person to another though comments, photos or videos texted on a cell phone, or by hurtful messages entered into a social media outlet. This virus needs a cure because as it spreads from host to victim – it causes not only depression, but can lead to suicide. You can help stop cyberbullying!

I’ve listed a few cures for this deadly virus below.

Parents Can Stop Cyberbullying:

 

If you’re a parent, talk to your kids about the dangers of cyberbullying others because there’s a 50 percent chance that your child has participated. I know this may be hard to believe, but even sweet, wonderful kids have been known to cyberbully, especially when they are caught up in peer pressure. So even if you think your kids don’t participate in cyberbullying, talk to them. Let them know that cyberbullying is wrong and that it can cause permanent harm or death to the one being bullied.  Discuss Psalms 19:14:

 May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and and redeemer.

One concerned youth group in Oklahoma took this message to heart and created thumb bands to wear that read WWJTXT?  (What would Jesus text?)  Consider getting one of these thumb bands for your child, his class, or youth group. For more information on these bands, go to:  wwjtxt.com

Another thing to discuss is that bullies can reap more than a few penalties. For example, criminal charges can incur, phone companies can void phone contracts, online privileges can be terminated by providers, and worse yet, if sexting is involved, your child can be permanently labeled as a sex offender.

Consider getting your child or youth group a graphic help, to make them think before they post something that might hurt others.

Pray: 

Dear Lord, show me the truth in this matter when it comes to my kids, break any lies off of them, whether they are bullying or whether they are being bullied, in the power and authority of the name and the blood of Jesus.  Protect my child and grant them peace, grace and favor, in Jesus’s name.

Also, when you talk to your child, find out if your child is being bullied because there’s also a 50 percent chance this has or could happen. Read  the recommendations below so you’ll know what to do if you find out this is happening to your child.

Pray:

Dear Lord, please don’t let evil words or images stick to my child and become their identity.  In fact, I cancel any of these lies, the cyberbullying, as well as depression, or spirit of suicide, off my child in the power and authority of the name and blood of Jesus.  Lord, I ask that you replace these things, with your love, joy, peace and favor, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

How Those Who Participate in  Cyberbullying can Stop:

A lot of children are involved in cyberbullying because of (1.) peer pressure or (2.) because they don’t realize the harm they are doing.  But then again, maybe they need a few ideas on how to stop:

  1. If you write a mean message, don’t hit send.
  2. Better yet, don’t write the mean message to start with.
  3. Don’t spread the cyberbullying virus by participating in a bully attack, even if all  of your best friends are involved.
  4. Ask God to give you guidance on how to avoid these situations and to give you a way out.
  5. Memorize Psalm Psalms 19:14, see above.
  6. Get the wwjtxt? thumb band to remind you to be careful what you text or post.
  7. Pray this:

Dear Lord, Forgive me for being mean. I now block and cancel the hate, harm, and lies that I have spread in the power and authority of the name and the blood of Jesus.  I block and cancel the fear as well as any retaliation I may get for taking this stand to stop.  Please give me your strength to stand strong, Lord.  In Jesus name, Amen.

 

If you are being bullied, please refer to our article about what to do: Click HERE.

Watch this great video as a serious example of the virus Cyber Bullying and it’s disease-like effect below:

Cyberbullied: Handling Mean Texts and Online Posts

It feels awful to be cyberbullied! What can you do when you receive or see cruel texts or wall posts?

 

Cyberbullying feels awful. Deal with it with the tips below. Remember, God loves you and can cancel the lies.

You shiver before you look at the text that beeped in, afraid it could be another assault of words.  You can’t believe the horrible things people posted about you on your social media page.  You’re shattered because something you texted in private, spread like wildfire at school, and though everyone is laughing, it is not a laughing matter.

This is a snapshot of cyberbullying.

The website, Momlogic said in a recent article on cyberbullying:

According to recent surveys, 90 percent of middle-school students have had their feelings hurt by something posted online. One hundred and sixty thousand kids miss school each day because of it. But despite these statistics, only 15 percent of parents polled have even heard of cyberbullying.

According to the nonprofit group Make a Difference for Kids, 43 percent of teenagers have experienced online torment. Girls are twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators, using e-mail or social-networking sites to engage in social sabotage. Bullying used to happen only in school or on the bus; in this high-tech era, cyberspace is the brazen bully’s new frontier. Read more of this article, click HERE.

If you are being bullied:

 

  1. Never ever respond, no matter how tempting. It only invites more insults.
  2. Don’t delete the bullying evidence, as  you may need to prove it really happened. Do hide it on your social medial —  so others can’t see it or add to it.
  3. Block the bully, and report the comments as spam or ‘abuse’ to your social media provider.  For instructions on how to block, click HERE.
  4. Tell an adult, your parents, a counselor, or a teacher. Don’t carry this alone.  If you are being threatened, tell the police.  For other ideas on ways to tell, click HERE.
  5. Ask God for help and protection.  Pray prayers like, “I am loved by God and I ask Him to protect me.  I also cancel the enemy’s assignment of bullying off of me  as well as the enemy’s assignment of lies being told about me, in the power and authority of the name of and the blood of Jesus. Though the power of Jesus, evil lies do not stick to me.  I cannot and will not believe them.”
  6. Do not retaliate by bullying someone else; that only spreads the virus.
  7. If you see a name or number of someone who is harassing you, do not open it. Either delete it, or save the message for an adult to read. Do ‘hide’ it from being viewed by others. Insults can inspire more insults.

Staying safe

 

Kids Help Phone also shares some following ways to protect yourself from being cyberbullied.  But be sure to watch the video below to understand why these rules are so important.

  • Keep your passwords private, even from your friends.
  • Don’t make it easy for strangers to track you down. Keep your personal information to yourself. Personal information includes your name, the names of friends or family, your address, phone number, and the name of your school.
  • Don’t accept friend invites from strangers.
  • Be careful about who you share your photos with online.
  • Remove tags on photos that make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Create a fake email account, and use it when asked to submit it to websites you don’t trust.
  • Secure your profile information by making sure that only friends can see it.
  • Trust your gut. If you don’t recognize the name of a sender, don’t open or answer the message.
  • Kids Help phone suggest that if you are too upset to do anything, just turn off your phone or computer and take a deep breath. Then you can:
    1. Call Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
    2. Do some breathing exercises
    3. Call a friend to talk about what happened
    4. Do something that will calm you down, like taking a walk, watching music videos, or reading a book
    5. I would like to add that you can also continue to pray the prayer you learned above.

To email questions or comments to Kids Help Phone, click HERE, but know that it might take a couple of days to get an answer.

Watch this video below to help understand why its important to follow the rules above:

 

The Aurora Theater Shooting: Healing from Trauma

Surviving and Healing from the Aurora Theater Shooting; Prayer for the Grieving and Traumatized

 

Used by Permission; Wikipedia, Creator: Algr

Our love and prayers are with the people of Aurora, Colorado and those who lost friends and family members in the theater shooting this week.  We also extend our prayers to the first responders and emergency personnel, as well as all who are grieving in the aftermath of this senseless tragedy.

You are not alone.

First, consider that 10 percent of all Americans have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder created by exposure to a traumatic mental or physical event.  What this really means is that countless people, who have also suffered loss and trauma, have not only healed, but have gone on to live a life of a new normal. So can you.

Consider this: whether you were  in the theater, lost a loved one, helped the injured, or just witnessed the tragedy unfold on the media, you are surrounded by a great company of those who share your pain. So if you are hurting, you do not need to suffer in silence.  Talk about it.  People will understand and listen.  If they don’t, find other people who will.

Thirdly, although it may not seem like it, God is with you, just as he was with those who lost their lives.  In times like these, many people feel angry at God, and even turn their backs on him, saying,
“If God is good, why would he allow this to happen in the first place.”
 Let me answer that question and then I’d like to lead you in a prayer that will help you start to recover.

Know that God did not author this shooting.  But consider that if you walk away from him, you are giving the shooter the power to separate you from God.  Do not let this same evil that inspired this man, inspire you to turn your back on God –for God is the great healer and He wants to help you with your emotional pain.

If you are ready to seek God’s help, pray this prayer:

Dear Lord,
I give you my wounded, broken heart, please restore it with life, and eventually even joy.

(Now, put your hand on your heart and pray the following:)

I canceled the assignment of the spirit of trauma that would hold me captive, and I speak God’s peace, life, and hope into my very soul in it’s place.  I also cancel the assignment of the spirit of suicide that would attempt to make me another casualty of this terrible evil.  I choose to be a victor in God’s love, and ask that God ignite my spirit with life, purpose, and love.   I pray this in the power and authority of the name and the blood of Jesus.
Amen.
If you want to know more about moving into a closer relationship with God, go to:
www.GodTest.com.

Watch my interview with Joan Hunter as she leads viewers into breaking the bonds of trauma.

Depression and Suicide Risk in Domestic Abuse Victims

By Laurie Winslow Sargent:

If you are being physically and/or emotionally abused, suicide may seem a way to end your pain and suffering. Instead, reach out for help and LIVE. You are worth it.

 


If you are being abused, instead of giving up on life, accept help. (Image from FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

I was glad to find online an excellent page on depression and suicide risk in domestic abuse victims by Kevin Caruso, titled: Domestic Violence and Suicide. There he states that one out of four women experiencing domestic abuse attempt suicide, a sobering statistic.

He also describes how this can happen:

“The horrible crime of domestic violence often results in a woman isolating herself and becoming clinically depressed. ” He also states on his website:  “Many women feel trapped and powerless, and do not receive treatment for their depression, and thus believe that suicide is the only way out.”

Caruso said this well. In my former volunteer work for eight years with a crisis support network, I counseled women who had been abused and sought safety in our shelters.  I could see how psychological abuse and controlling behavior had stripped many of these women of self-confidence.

They’d been told many times they were worthless, stupid, and couldn’t get along in life without the abuser. Even after leaving violent situations to protect their lives, some had much trouble at first believing they could survive on their own and found it difficult to overcome feelings of helplessness. But with encouragement they felt their self-confidence grow.

if you have been abused and beaten down physically and/or emotionally, there are people willing to help you get back on your feet and help you see that you can LIVE free from abuse. Don’t let an abuser persuade you that there is no hope for you!

For a listening ear and to find local services, including the nearest shelter, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)  TTY:  1-800-787-3224. You can also visit www.thehotline.org ,which includes the  page, Am I Being Abused?

Kevin Caruso, at thinkingaboutsuicide.org (Our site is dot com: thinkingaboutsuicide.com), ends his page about suicide risk for domestic abuse victims with these wise words:

Remember that there is never an excuse for domestic violence. Never.

You deserve a better life.

You are a great person.

Take care of yourself.

Also do remember that children who witness or experience abuse also can feel powerless and depressed and at risk for suicide. Also, children of parents who take their own lives often consider taking their own. If you have children, protect your own life, and protect theirs by getting help.

Instead of choosing death, choose new life, a life free from abuse. There are good people out there, people who won’t beat you down with fists or words. There is hope.

See this excellent and critically important video by Karen McAndless-Davis, author of When Love Hurts, to help understand the domestic violence cycle of abuse, and how abuse escalates. It points out how crazy-making it can be to live with someone who, unpredictably, “one day is kind and affectionate, and the next day cruel and malicious”. This also addresses (around the 12-minute mark) the common question, “Why do women stay?”

Does Abuse Have a Pattern? The Cycle of Abuse:

A Parent’s Prayers for a Depressed Teen

Excerpt from: Is Your Teen Stressed or Depressed?: A Practical and Inspirational Guide for Parents of Hurting Teenagers, by Dr. Arch Hart and Catherine Hart Weber. Published by Thomas Nelson; used by permission from Dr. Catherine Hart Weber (howtoflourish.com).

When a teen is stressed or depressed, there can be many causes, and various ways parents can help. For starters, parents can always pray.

 

As a parent of a hurting teenager, you may frequently be driven to pray out of desperation. The good news is that prayers for a depressed teen take concerns directly to God–absolutely the best place you can go.

And thank God, that is where He wants us-to turn to Him, to trust in Him, and to discover that He does answer prayer.  You can pray for the following:

  • Pray for practical direction and the healing of your child.
  • Ask for God’s wisdom, guidance, strength, and endurance for the long haul.
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to open your heart with renewed love and perspective and practical application.
  • Pray for your teenager’s particular hurts, struggles, and needs. Pray for breakthrough, healing, wholeness, and peace for your child.
  • Invite God to partner with you in all you do to fulfill your assignment of parenting and loving your teenager.

You can pray something similar to the following prayer for a depressed teen:

 

Lord, forgive me where I have not been sensitive to my teen’s hurt and need for nurture, protection, care, and guidance. I come to You in utter desperation, fear, and longing for my child.

Help me deal with my emotional reactions and confusion so I will do no harm. Open my heart toward the heart of my child, to be objectively sensitive to his needs and pain. Give me insight into the reality of the world my teen lives in, and what he has to encounter daily.

I submit myself to You, embracing faith, hope, and love for the assignment of being a parent to this child.

Amen.

 

Still finding praying for your teen to be a struggle? You’re not alone. In future posts we will share even more concrete ways you can pray for your child: for wisdom and direction about what to do, and for your teen’s health and development. For the moment, rest assured that God loves you and loves your teen and be open to His response to the simple prayer above.