Bipolar Disorder Can Influence a Suicide Attempt

By Karen O’Connor:

[Image: Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

According to an article on WebMD.com, Bipolar Disorder and Suicide reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on June 21, 2012:

“People with bipolar disorder are at great risk for suicide if they are not getting treatment. The National Mental Health Association reports that 30%-70% of suicide victims have suffered from a form of depression. Men commit almost 75% of suicides, even though twice as many women attempt it.”

My friend Marion was one of those for whom Bipolar Disorder can influence a suicide attempt. Her mother died of cancer when Marion was seventeen and her father committed suicide following a troubled third marriage.

Marion’s emotional problems started after that. She blamed herself for years for her parents’ deaths and began cutting herself and overdosing on pills to cope with her hopeless feelings about being a well-regarded nurse one day and a patient in a mental hospital the next. The cycle went on for years as Marion struggled with Bipolar Disorder.

She and I met much later in life, so when she shared with me the details of her early years I found them difficult to believe. The Marion I knew was a committed follower of Jesus Christ and a good friend to everyone who knew her. What was the catalyst for change? She said she accepted an invitation to attend a Billy Graham Crusade.

Even though she was Jewish she was eager to hear what Dr. Graham would say. “When I heard, ‘Jesus Christ offers unconditional love and forgiveness for your sins, no matter how bad you are,’ I wanted to believe it but I couldn’t at first.” Marion said she was afraid of another disappointment following two broken engagements and a series of illnesses.

However, when she became bedridden at one point, she remembered what she’d heard, turned her life and her will over to the care of God, and as she said, “Just like that my life changed.” Her heart and her mind were healed and she knew that from that point on she was secure in the love of Jesus Christ, never to be hopeless again. Marion died last year, spending her final months sharing God’s love with others and living it out in her own life.

For some people, Bipolar Disorder can influence a suicide attempt, but discovering God’s love, forgiveness and healing can lead to a new life now and in eternity. “My purpose is to give you life in all its fullness” (John 10:10 the Bible).

View and share this excellent YouTube video with Joyce Meyer, “Fighting Depression and Anxiety,” which includes mention of the biological form of depression caused by Bipolar Disorder.

Women with depression are urged to talk to their doctor about medical issues and treatment as well.

To watch the rest of this video series on depression, click HERE.

©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com, on FB http://www.facebook.com/karen.p.oconnor or follow on Twitter @karenoconnor         

Abandoned; Shattered Dreams: Thinking About Suicide?

By Liz Cowen Furman:

Recently divorced, I thought it was over. I felt abandoned by the man who had only one year previously  pledged to protect, provide for, and love me into eternity.

 

Bleeding Hearts…that was mine.

Excitement grew for me as our honeymoon plane took off for Hawaii, (the first plane I had ever boarded in my young life). But he shook his head and sighed, “Oh God, what have I done?”

Being a young blushing bride, I replied, “Did you forget something, I’m sure we can find whatever it is at a store in Maui.”

“No. No. It’s nothing.”

The next miserable year was filled with heartache, shattered dreams and a growing fear inside me that my life was over. I wanted children. I had dreamed of growing old with this man who become like Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde. Before the vows, he was kind to all my friends and family. He lavished me with little affirmations that he would love me forever. Promised me over and over to never leave or forsake me.

Post ceremony he was cruel, saying and doing things that made me feel worthless, refusing on most occasions to even have my family or friends around. He refused to attend church. I was confused, betrayed and heartbroken. Then came the day he announced it was time for me to find an apartment. By that time, I would not even do the grocery shopping without him there for fear I would do it wrong and experience his verbal wrath.

After several sessions of marriage counseling, the marriage counselor met with me alone. He told me my husband believed he had made a terrible mistake, and just wanted out. No counseling could help someone who did not want to try. SHATTERED would be an understatement.

Could I be such a miserable person that the one I had pledged to love for the rest of my life couldn’t stand me in his presence after only 12 short months? FEAR had me in its destructive, paralyzing grip.

In the months that followed, I spent a lot of time alone. Spent a lot of time in the Bible, a lot of time grieving my dashed hopes for a happy marriage and family. I was in my early 20s and believed I was facing life alone. It was the first time I had ever lived alone in my life.

The next years, I focused on building a new dream. I got involved in a church, made new friends and kept my old ones. Went back to school and prayed. I asked God to help me find my way. I repented of anything I had done to cause it. I asked for guidance, wisdom and a new mission in life. God is good, and as the next several years unfolded, I grew in my love of Him. He gave me new hopes, new dreams, even a husband and children. I married Dave with the condition that we will not divorce.  I was not leaving. This marriage vow is a covenant, not a contract.

Looking back, I can see several benchmarks that saved me. Reading my Bible became a daily passion. The wisdom I found on the pages there ministered to me like nothing else. I made mistakes along the way but that single activity pulled me back every time. One of the verses that became my mainstay is Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

If your hopes and dreams have been shattered, take courage. Give your next months to studying the love letters God has written to you. You will find them in the Bible. My advice is to start in the Book of John.

Here is a song that encouraged me along the way.

Overcome Shame

With God’s help, you can overcome feelings of shame about circumstances in your past or present.

By Janet Perez Eckles:

Image by pixatwan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Instead of your road ahead being paved reminders of past shameful circumstances, it can be paved with hope.

So what happened in your past? A friend was asked. A bit put out, she kept silent. The past was painful, the scars still raw and the reminders alive.

What is it about shame that has the power to drape a veil covering our chance for joy? At 31, blindness put me in the category of a “disabled” person. It placed me in the “not-normal” category.

And was I sad? Down? No. It was shame that marked my attitude. Shame of living my life as a person whom I didn’t want to be.

Have you been there? Suddenly you’re thrown into an identity that was never in your plans, and the road ahead was paved with taunting reminders of what was. What you had. And how much better it all used to be.

Those reminders are just part of the shame that wears various attires: Shame of what we’ve become. Shame for what we’ve done. Shame because of what we carry in the secret boxes of our heart.

We carry all and drag it into today’s circumstances. When setbacks pop up, the hidden shame darkens the view even more. Insecurities are more dramatic and tough moments turn to tragedies.

Who’s to blame? We are– for letting shame grip our heart. But when the hold is given to God, Almighty and capable He erases destructive attitudes. He exchanges shame for significance.  And ushers courage to blot out regret.

Secure in His love, we walk with firm steps, high held high and heart shining with passion. God’ works out His power. Shame is erased, false desires are removed. And longing for what we don’t have vanishes. And perhaps for the first time, sweet freedom smiles.

Being physically blind with no shame displayed radiant hope for me to see the beauty of His hand at work. I saw the details of the brush strokes as He painted a new life, rich with purpose, defined plans, and all detailed on the canvas of His grace.

The Effect Suicide Has on Loved Ones

By Susan Titus Osborn:


Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 If you are depressed and considering taking your own life, please stop for a moment.

Think of the effect suicide has on loved ones, your loved ones, who are left behind.

The following poem sums up the feelings of a brother and the effect his sister’s suicide had on him.

This poem was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

Pamela

by Gary Sumner

 

The sudden loss of one I loved

Brought shock at first—she can’t be gone.

There must be some mistake!

The minutes, hours, days that passed

Were blurred by numbing grief and loss,

The details lost to time.

My mind shut down; I could not hear

The words of comfort friends would speak

To pull me out of pain.

I spoke of Pam and who she was.

I questioned why she took her life

And what I could have done.

She could have called and talked to me.

She did before ‘bout many things,

But never gave a hint….

So anger came, it overwhelmed.

I wanted so to scream at her

For such a selfish act.

Through time and prayer, forgiveness came.

Yet oft my heart will ache and cry,

I want my sister back.

If you are depressed and contemplating suicide, please stop for a moment and think of the effect suicide has on loved ones, your loved ones, who are left behind.  There are a number of resources available as near as your telephone. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.

You can also dial the following National Suicide Prevention Hotline numbers operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services:

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

1-888-SUICIDE (1-888-784-2433)

1-877-SUICIDA (1-877-784-2432) (Spanish).

 

Thinking ‘I Don’t Want to Live Anymore’? Here’s Hope

Please don’t give up, even if your spouse left you.  Thinking, ‘I don’t want to live anymore’? There is hope, even in a broken marriage.

Linda Rooks, author of Broken Heart on Hold: Surviving Separation shares thoughts on remaining hopeful:

By Linda Rooks:

“He said he doesn’t love me anymore.”

“She left me.”

I have heard that over and over from those attending our classes and in e-mails I receive.

A spouse walks out the door saying these words, and the one left behind feels like life has no more meaning, sometimes even thinking ‘I don’t want to live anymore‘.

Due to shock, rejection and all the accompanying emotions, the abandoned spouse’s mind spins in all different directions, collecting memories and fears that spiral him or her down into an abyss of depression. Sometimes when that person hits bottom, they haven’t the will to crawl out. Everything seems hopeless.

As devastating as this feels, however, it may not be the end of the relationship, but a detour.

If this is where you are right now, this may be a time to get away so you can reassess your life and make adjustments.

Along with giving your spouse space and allowing things to unfold at an unhurried pace; along with realizing feelings can change and finding encouraging friends (see my other post, He Doesn’t Love Me Anymore, I Want to Die)  the following approaches might lead you toward healing and restoration. A reconciled marriage can’t be guaranteed, of course, but the following can build bridges to hope:

  • Keep your sanity by putting your spouse “on the back burner” and focusing on God. Otherwise, the default mode is to become obsessed with your situation and your spouse. Spend time reading the Bible, attend church and local Bible studies, listen to radio and television teachers, listen to Christian praise CDs, and read Christian books.
  • Humbly seek God’s direction. Let Him show you any changes He wants you to make that will fulfill you as a person and perhaps bring peace and healing to your marriage as well. Each partner in a marriage brings weaknesses as well as strengths to the relationship.  Pray and ask God to reveal what you can do to become more the person God wants you to be.  Try to identify in yourself habits, reactions, or behaviors that may be a hindrance to a good marital relationship.
  • Take time to nurture yourself.  The stress in your relationship in recent times may have caused you to neglect yourself.  Rekindle some of those interests you may have put aside.  Just make sure they are legal, moral and not too expensive.
  • After giving your spouse space for a while, each time you have contact try to focus on something to appreciate about him/her—and say it.  This may seem difficult, but if you can humbly and sincerely begin to look for the positive, you may set a tone that leads to healing.
  • Pray for your spouse, your marriage, and yourself.  Seek God’s wisdom.  God sees the whole picture, not just the small part that you can see right now.  He can guide you into a future that will unfold blessings you can only dream of now.
Don’t let your husband or wife define who you are.  God created you and loves you.  He has a plan for you and He will guide you through this time.

If your spouse said, “I don’t love you anymore” and you are still thinking ‘I don’t want to live anymore’, watch the following video. There is hope. Feelings can change, and if you give God time, He can bring healing to your life.

Parent Suicide: 4 Ways to Cope (Mom or Dad Suicide)

 These 4 things may help you cope with the shock from parent suicide, if you’ve lost a mom or dad to this terrible tragedy:

 

Losing a parent is always a terrible loss. But death from a parent suicide means sons or daughters must also deal with anger, horror, and shame regarding the way their parent died.

When enduring such a loss, it’s important for the child, or even the adult-child left behind, to work through their own pain and grief.  So besides talking about your feelings regarding your loss, here are 4 things you can do to help work through the shock of losing a parent to suicide.

 1. Forgive yourself.

First of all, know that no matter how you feel, your parent’s suicide is not your fault.  Perhaps you missed a clue, or you were absent, or you weren’t tuned in, or didn’t try hard enough to cheer your parent, or perhaps you even quarreled.  None of these, or other things, make your parent’s suicide your fault.  Your parent is responsible for his or her own actions, not you.

If you are dealing with false-guilt, or even if you are dealing with earned guilt, you need to forgive yourself.  This may be something you can only do through God’s power.  Try praying this simple prayer:

God, I give the guilt I feel, false or real, concerning my parent’s suicide to you. I ask that you supernaturally remove it from my shoulders and place this guilt on the shoulders of Jesus.  I do this because Jesus wants to carry my guilt for me so that I can be free.  Give me the strength, your strength, to let go of these feelings of guilt.

In your power Lord, I choose to forgive myself.  I choose to let go.  I choose to be free.  Lord, I trade my guilt for the peace that passes understanding.

In Jesus’s name,

Amen

2. Forgive the person who died.

Of course you have feelings of anger because of what happened.  Your loved one murdered themselves.  And though you will always wish this had never happened, and even though you will always miss your loved one, and even though you will never approve of what they did, you can still forgive them as part of your own healing journey.

Pray this:

God, what my parent did was not in their (or anyone’s) best interest.  I feel angry and hurt that they would leave me in such a way.  And though I may never understand or ever condone their final act, I am asking you for your strength to help me forgive them because I do choose to forgive them.  And as I forgive them, I ask that you forgive them too.

In Jesus’s name,

Amen

3. Forgive God.

Sometimes it’s hard to forgive God when your loved one, especially your parent, takes their own life.  After all, wasn’t God powerful enough to stop them from such an act?

The answer to this question is yes.  But even so, God is a gentleman.  He never overpowers us, but waits for us to call upon his name when we need his help. Perhaps your parent didn’t understand or wait on God in their depression or trauma, but  — you can. You have the power to keep from repeating the mistake your parent made by turning to God, by calling on his name for help, comfort and for peace.  One of the best ways to make peace with God is to forgive him for not preventing their death.

Pray this:

God, I know you are not the one who inspired my parent to take their life, but my feelings are hurt, my anger is stirred, because you did not stop it. So, in an effort to reconcile with you, I give you my anger at you and I choose to forgive you.  I am letting go of any offense I have against you because of this tragedy.  Give me the power to forgive you, to let go, and to choose your peace and comfort.  I call upon you Lord, to help me through this difficult time.

In Jesus’s name,

Amen

4. Pray against Trauma and Grief

The trauma you are feeling is real.  But you can even give your trauma and grief to God and calm the torment.  Pray this:

God, I give you all the trauma I am feeling and I ask that you remove it from me. In addition, I tell the enemy who would use this trauma and grief to keep me bound in depression, to go. Also, I cancel the spirit of trauma and grief off of my life because through God’s power, I choose not give in to it. I choose to not allow trauma and grief to write the script of my life. So, in it’s place, I call upon the peace, love, grace, and the mercy of God.  Through the power of God, my life will be a positive journey of hope.

Thank you Lord for setting me free.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

You may find it helpful to print out these prayers and to pray them daily or as often as you need to so to continue your healing.

Know we are praying with you!

Perhaps you would find strength by this story behind the loved song, “It is Well with my Song,” as told by Bill Gaither. The story is followed by the song itself by Guy Penrod and David Phelps.

Suicide bereavement support groups can also be helpful. To find a group in your area, you can click HERE to a directory  posted by the AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).

Also for help in finding a Christian counseling therapist, you can visit the Meier Clinics website.

Stop Bullies with Self-Confidence and God’s Help!

How can having self-confidence stop bullying?

 

Nothing attracts a bully like lack-of-confidence.  In fact, showing good self-confidence is a great defense against being bullied.  But how do you get self-confidence?  Do you find it in the mirror or  in the words of your peers?

That would be nice, but that won’t always work, especially if you dislike some of your features, or if your friends (or non-friends) sometimes tease or harass you. But no worries, you can still show self-confidence to stop bullies with these 5 simple steps.

 1. Know that You are Loved

Confidence cannot be combed into place or wiped away with blemish cream.  In fact, you can be confident no matter what you look like, especially  if you know this one little secret — God loves you.  (Yes, there really is a God and he really does care about you.)  You can learn more about how to have a relationship with God at:  www.GodTest.com.  But before you  check out the ‘test’ or helps on that website, try saying the following out loud.

God loves me and if God loves me, I love me too.

Was that hard to say?  If it was, try saying it again.  Next, try writing it down on a post-it note or note card and put it where you can see it several times a day.  For the more you see it and say it, the easier it will be to believe it.  This believing will have  a big pay-off because the more you believe it, the more confidence you will have.

2. Look Confident

You can learn to project confidence even when you don’t feel confident, but it may take practice.  A recent article reported, “People are less likely to be picked on if they walk and sit with awareness, calm, respect, and confidence. Projecting a positive, assertive attitude means keeping one’s head up, back straight, walking briskly, looking around, having a peaceful face and body, and moving away from people who might cause trouble.”

This may mean you need to practice in front of a mirror so that you will learn to walk with confidence, head up, as you stride purposefully.  You may need to practice how you sit in a chair so you don’t look small or afraid, but instead look sure of yourself.  You may even need to practice how you smile and say hello to others.  Notice how others who seem confident greet others and take some pointers.  Practice speaking in a clear, calm voice when you are in private so you can do so when you are with others.

3. Learn to Walk Around a Bully as Well as His Reach

What are the best words to say to a bully who confronts you?  Imagine this; with confidence you say in reply to a snide remark, “Have a nice day,” or “See you later.” Next, calmly change seats, step out of line, or just walk away.

4. Don’t be afraid to say, “Stop, I don’t Like That.”

If someone is physically tapping, kicking, or hitting you say, “Stop. I don’t like that,” and say it loudly.  Try practicing this with your hands on your hips, with a clear firm voice.  This practice will help you be ready if you really need say it to a bully.  If that time should come and more help is needed, go get an adult.

5. Take a Stand For Yourself

Practice telling yourself the opposite of a remark meant to hurt or insult you.  I found good advice on how to do this in a great article in Kid Power which advices,  “If someone says, ‘I don’t like you,’ you can throw those words away and say, ‘I like myself.’ If someone says, ‘You are stupid’ you can throw those words away and say, ‘I’m smart.’ If someone says, ‘I don’t want to play with you’ then you can throw those words away and say, ‘I will find another friend.’”

For more help, watch what teen Macbarbie has to say about how to get self-confidence, stop bullies, and develop inner-beauty.