Suicide as a Way Out of Domestic Abuse

When you’re in a relationship that involves domestic abuse — physical or emotional — suicide may seem your only way of escape.

 

 But there is hope and help.

 

Off the Map domestic violence

Jacquie Brown, author of the book, Off the Map: Follow me out of Domestic Abuse, certainly felt that way the day she ran to her bathroom after a violent confrontation with her husband. Her “crime”? Urging her husband not to drive his truck after drinking seven glasses of whiskey and cola in a few hours.

In Jacquie’s words:

He shoved me into the wall, yelled and called me disgusting names, criticized everything about me, searched for the words that would hurt me the most.

Fear gripped my being. My stomach tensed, and I huddled into myself, trying to disappear as tears flowed and I thought, Am I really those foul degrading words I hear him calling me? He’s right about my stupidity; I never learn. I’m always the catalyst for these explosions of torment. How do I solve it? How do I stop it? The agony and desolation is relentless. How do I escape?

Time seemed to stand still as a thought seeped into my mind. I knew a way to escape. I turned and race up the stairs to the washroom, locking the door behind me. I shouldn’t have run. Now he knows something is unusual. I hurried and swallowed several pills before he reached the door.

He yelled, “Open the door or I’ll kick it in!”

Jacquie came out of the bathroom and her husband got their two young children out of bed, and told the children “This I what happens if you try and kill yourself.” He then beat her.

After he left, Jacquie made her way to each of the children’s rooms and assured them she was okay. Afterwards, she wondered how she could ever have been so selfish as to think of leaving her children alone with their father. But of course, she wasn’t thinking clearly. She was just trying to find a way out of the constant fear and abuse. (p. 42-43)

Suicide lets the abuser win

While there may be times when suicide seems like the only way out of abuse, fortunately, Jacquie eventually found a much better way. And then she wrote a book in order to help others find their way out, and also to help friends, family, and others who want to help domestic abuse victims understand what’s going on in the mind of a person who is being abused.

Off the Map is written with alternating chapters, first giving us a glimpse into Jacquie’s life, then immediately following that with an explanation of what she calls the “underlying dynamics or aspects of domestic violence.”

In her introduction, Jacquie says: “Off the Map demystifies domestic violence. It brings to light how we are ensnared and why we stay trapped. It also reveals our self-destructive coping mechanisms and ultimately the way out of the dungeon to discover the treasure of life.” (p.xiii)
Jacquie also explains that all violence isn’t physical beatings. There are many other ways an abuser can hold someone captive.

The book has a number of helpful lists, including:

  • signs that you are in an abusive relationship
  • how abusers isolate their victims
  • different types of abusers
  • types of abuse
  • wrong beliefs of both the abusers and the abused
  • reasons why victims stay in the relationship
  • common coping mechanisms that lead to more difficulty
  • people and groups who will help abuse victims
  • practical steps to take to ensure safety when leaving

The book clearly explains how pretty well anyone could wind up being abused without necessarily realizing what is happening. Jacquie shows how abusers can mix kindness in with the abuse in a way that creates dependency and keeps the victim ambivalent about the abuser and unable to break free.

She also links long-term abuse to C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome). On page 93, Jacquie says, “A woman suffering in a relationship of domestic violence is similar to a soldier’s experience as a prisoner of war. Both undergo prolonged exposure to traumatic experiences and both can develop C-PTSD.” She then goes on to explain how chemicals in the brain (such as serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline), are impacted, and how this can lead to a variety of negative things, including forgetfulness, depression, detachment, self-condemnation, loss of identity, hopelessness, etc.

Everyone needs to read this book

This book is specifically about domestic violence, and is invaluable for anyone wanting to understand that type of abuse. However, the implications of abuse go far beyond that to any long-term relationship where one person has power over another and could use it in abusive ways: either situations where one has direct power over another (e.g. a parent, teacher, coach, boss, pastor, doctor, counselor) or situations where a peer can exert power over another person (e.g. a co-worker, teammate, a sibling, close friend, roommate, classmate). Please check it out, especially if you:

  • suspect you might be in an abusive relationship
  • suspect someone you know might be in an abusive relationship, whether domestic or otherwise
  • suspect you might be an abuser
  • are in any way involved with people; pastors, teachers, psychologists, counselors, doctors, nurses, politicians, managers, parents, etc.

Click to visit Jacquie Brown’s website and for information about her book Off the Map: Follow Me Out of Domestic Violence 

Don’t Give Up and Commit Suicide: Check Your Physical Health

By PeggySue Wells:

Thinking you should give up and commit suicide? Know that suicidal feelings may be caused by physical problems that can be corrected.

Nutrition can play a big part in your mental health.

 

Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here at our site we discuss many different causes of depression. However, it’s important to know that deep feelings of hopelessness and depression may be the result of a physical condition that is simple and easy to treat.

For instance, if you are missing magnesium in your body, this imbalance can be detrimental to your emotional state. Likewise, being too low in vitamin D, B, or iron can cause depression. There are many videos and articles describing some success in treating depression with B3 (niacin), so that is worth researching.

Other indicators include hormones, thyroid, and serotonin levels dropping below what your health requires.

The good news is each of these conditions is simple to treat. Before you do something extreme, go to the doctor. Tell the doctor how you feel. A blood test will quickly reveal any lack in your system and you can begin rebuilding healthy levels immediately.

The way our bodies work, physical condition does affect emotional and mental health.

If you are feeling down, if you are asking yourself ‘should I give up and commit suicide’ go to the doctor. Make that appointment now.

Suicidal after Abuse, Kayla Harrison Found Help and the Gold

By Karen Boerger:

Although Kayla Harrison felt suicidal after abuse by a former coach, with help, support, and love she chose to live. This week Kayla won a gold medal in the 2012 Olympic games.

 

The 2012 Olympics are now over, and how the world cheered them on!

Television sets were tuned day and night into the visual extravaganza covering many athletic games. Amazing feats were performed by the athletes. One such athlete was a U. S. judo star, Kayla Harrison.

Kayla was born in Middletown, OH, July 2, 1990. At the age of 6 Kayla was introduced to the sport of Judo by her mother who held a black belt. Two years later she was introduced to her coach, Daniel Doyle. By the age of 15, Kayla had won two national championships.

However, during that time her coach was abusing her. She eventually told a friend, Aaron Handy, about the abuse because she could no longer take it emotionally. Hardy told her mother, who contacted the police. Doyle was subsequently convicted and sentenced to a ten-year prison term.

Kayla admits that during those years she was an emotional wreck, severely depressed, and suicidal. “I hated my life!”

After the abuse was revealed, she moved away to train with Jimmy Pedro and his father. The new coaches took a “tough love” approach. Jimmy told her, “You know kid, it happened to you, but it doesn’t define you and some day you’re eventually going to have to get over it.” That sounded good, but it wasn’t that easy. Two weeks later her coach found her on top of a two-story building ready to jump and stopped her.

Kayla says, “You’re only a victim if you allow yourself to be. Even though it feels like hell and it feels like it will never end, it will. But you have to have the courage to say I won’t play victim.”

Her case fits the profile of the typical case of sexual abuse. Sexual molestation, as well as physical and emotional abuse, has currently become rampant in American families. About 90% of abuse victims know the perpetrator and in 68% of cases, the perpetrator is a member of the child’s family. Kayla’s coach was a friend of the family who babysat, enjoyed barbecues at their home, etc.

Kayla’s life is good now. The friend she told about the abuse, Aaron, is now her fiancé. She’s also bringing home a gold medal, while being ranked #1 in the world in her division. Congratulations, Kayla!

You can click here for a related story and video about Kayla.

How to Help a Teen Who’s Talking about Suicide

Have you ever needed to know how to help a teen who’s talking about suicide? Should you just ignore the talk, or should you take the teen seriously? According to Metanoia.org,

Myth: The people who talk about it don’t do it. Studies have found that more than 75% of all completed suicides did things in the few weeks or months prior to their deaths to indicate to others that they were in deep despair. Anyone expressing suicidal feelings needs immediate attention.

Myth: Anyone who tries to kill himself has got to be crazy. Perhaps 10% of all suicidal people are psychotic or have delusional beliefs about reality. Most suicidal people suffer from the recognized mental illness of depression; but many depressed people adequately manage their daily affairs. The absence of craziness does not mean the absence of suicide risk.

Those problems weren’t enough to commit suicide over, is often said by people who knew a completed suicide. You cannot assume that because you feel something is not worth being suicidal about, that the person you are with feels the same way. It is not how bad the problem is, but how badly it’s hurting the person who has it.

If this got your attention, and especially if you know a teen who’s talking about suicide, watch Howcast’s great, short  but informative video below.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 273-8255

Will I go to Hell if I Commit Suicide?

Will I go to hell if I commit suicide?

A lot of people wonder, “Will I go to hell if I commit suicide?” This is an important topic, with strong opinions on either side of the issue.

Those who think people who kill themselves will go to hell, believe this because a person who kills themselves isn’t trusting God to get them through their difficulties and therefore may not really have faith in God.

Still, there are other people who are convinced that the jury is still out, as God is in the business of forgiving all who ask.

Both of these arguments seem to make sense, so which is it?  Part of the mystery is because most people who have experienced hell after a suicide attempt don’t like to talk about it. But one exception to this rule is Tamara Laroux, who when she was a teenager, tried to kill herself by shooting herself in the chest.

Did she go to hell?  Yes.

Did she stay there?  No.

God in fact rescued her from hell, but to find out the why or how, you’ll have to watch her explain what happened in the YouTube video below. Her story has a twist you won’t expect. However, Tamara’s story certainly sheds a lot of light on the question, “Will I go to hell if I commit suicide?

So what we’ve learned from Tamara is that hell is real, and sadly, people really do exist in torment there.  But it seems God has set up a way to escape hell, in the here and now,  that has more to do with God’s grace and forgiveness when it is sought through the sacrifice of Jesus.

If you are reading this article, because you’re considering killing yourself, here are a few rules about God you should know:

  1. God loves you and does not want you to kill yourself as he has a special plan for your life.
  2. The enemy (the devil) wants to tempt you with self-inflicted death so that you can’t fulfill God’s plan for your life.
  3. You can receive God’s grace and the forgiveness of sins (through the work of Jesus who died for your sins) if you only ask him.  Click  here  to learn more about this:
  4. God will also help you walk through, then eventually walk out of your pain, if you but trust him.
  5. Don’t allow yourself to become a sacrifice to Satan, especially if you are not sure where you stand with God.
  6. Choose life – Despite how it seems, God can really take your broken life, no matter how broken it is, and turn it into a miracle.
  7. Live and dare God to show you what he can do with your life.

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19, NIV

If you are hurting and  need to talk to someone, call a suicide hotline.

 

Help for College Students Feeling Depressed and Suicidal

It appears that suicidal thoughts among young people in college is more common that we might think.  It’s been reported that suicide is the third leading cause of death for those aged 15-24, and the second leading killer in the college population, with 1 in 12 having created a suicide plan.

A young person’s college career is suppose to be exciting, full of promise, new activities and friends. It’s also full of stress. According to at Suite 101, “Leaving friends and family, entering a different world with new people to meet and new challenges to overcome can leave many students feeling anxious, especially those entering their first year of college.”

The article, College Students and Depression on the Preisz-McMillin Clinic, Inc. website states, “At colleges nationwide, large percentages of college students are feeling overwhelmed, sad, hopeless and so depressed that they are unable to function. According to a recent national college health survey, 10% of college students have been diagnosed with depression and including 13% of college women.”

Tips On Dealing With Depression in College

When it becomes difficult to deal with changes and stress, to find your way back to happiness try these suggestions from the Preisz-McMillian Clinic, adapted from the National Mental Health Association.

Carefully plan your day
Make time every day to prioritize your work. Prioritizing can give you a sense of control over what you must do and a sense that you can do it.

Participate in an extracurricular activity
Sports, theater, fraternities and sororities, the student newspaper – whatever interests you – can bring opportunities to meet people interested in the same things you are, and these activities provide welcome change from class work.

Seek support from other people
This may be a roommate or a friend from class. Friendships can help make a strange place feel more friendly and comfortable. Sharing your emotions reduces isolation and helps you realize that you are not alone.

Try relaxation methods
These include meditation, deep breathing, warm baths, long walks, exercise – whatever you enjoy that lessens your feelings of stress and discomfort.

Take time for yourself every day
Make special time for yourself – even if it’s only for 15 minutes a day. Focusing on yourself can be energizing and gives you a feeling of purpose and control over your life.

Work toward recovery
The most important step in combating depression and reclaiming your college experience is to seek treatment. Your physician should communicate to you that remission of symptoms should be your goal and work with you to determine whether psychological counseling, medication or a combination of both treatments is needed.

One college student, Zach, was able to overcome his depression that was triggered when, after buying a ring for a girlfriend, she broke up with him. This loss, heavy drinking and isolation put him into a depression downward spiral. His thoughts of suicide and depression decreased when he stopped drinking, got physically active and realized that good friends are essential. You can watch his story below:

If you need to talk someone, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK or 273-8255

 

Healthy Strategies for Coping with Depression

 

Strategies for Coping with Depression

According to Berkeley’s University Health Services website, there are six or so strategies for coping with depression, along with seeking professional treatment:

1. Develop a more healthful, balanced diet  – to help you keep your moods balanced and your health strong. According to Melslife.com  it may help to avoid fast, refined or fatty foods; food with additives, preservatives, and food colorings; foods that lack folic acid; and food that lacks selenium.

What should you eat? Melslife recommends you:

2.  Get regular exercise. You can stop feeling lethargic and tired by exercising. Studies show that exercise can help alleviate depression even more than prescription drugs because exercise affects the same neurotransmitters in your brain. Exercise, even if you don’t feel like it. Try simple exercises like swimming, biking, or walking.

3.  Get sufficient sleep. To avoid mood spirals, try to make sure you are getting good sleep. For example, go to bed at a consistent time, be sure you turn off the lights and also try to wake up at a consistent time. If you have trouble waking up, try to start your morning with activities or responsibilities that will get you out of bed like caring for a pet.

4. Develop stress skills and time management skills.

5.  Pay attention to your feelings. Try to stay aware of your feelings. If you feel overwhelmed, take a break, read a book, go for a walk, or practice prayer or deep breathing.

6.  Develop and use a support system. The Berkeley website says, “Talking to people you trust can give new perspectives and support. Let your family and friends know if you just need them to listen, if you just want to vent, or if you just need a hug. Let them know that you don’t need them to ‘fix’ the problem or ‘make it all better.’”

In addition to these suggestions from the University of California, Berkeley, I would like to add a seventh suggestion:

7.  Rest in the Lord. Spend time thinking about resting in God. For starters consider that despite your problems, God’s arm is not to short to help or to comfort you. (Isaiah 59: 1). In fact, God wants you to cast your burdens off of yourself and onto him. (1 Peter 5:7).  He wants to take you by the hand, and help guide you. ( Psalm 139:10).  He wants to lead you beside still waters and restore your soul. (Psalm 23).

Try help you feel God’s rest, praying prayers like:

Lord,

I feel overwhelmed, so I cast all my burdens on you, and ask that you to take me by the hand and to lead me to green pastures to restore my soul.  I know that your arm is not too short to love, comfort, and help me, and I’m asking you for your help right now.  I cancel the spirit of depression and suicide off of me in the power and authority of the name and blood of Jesus, and ask you Lord, to fill my soul and spirit with your presence, your love, and your peace.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

To see how Christian comedian Chonda found strategies for coping with depression, watch the video below:

To learn how to start a relationship with God, go to GodTest.com.

Help When a Loved One Has Died: Depression in Funeral Planning

By Liz Cowen Furman:

 Feeling grief and depression while funeral planning when a loved one has died?

 

As a writer, I am keenly aware that most of the people reading this will have recently experienced a profound loss. Let me first say I am so sorry for your loss. Times of loss have been some of the greatest tests of my faith. If  depression after the loss of a loved one has you thinking about suicide, please read on.

Remember that whatever you are feeling is exactly what you are supposed to be feeling. Nothing surprises GOD. No expression of pain, anger or despair you could muster is bigger than He can handle. So be honest with the One who has the power to heal your broken heart. Tell Him how you feel. Give Him permission to come in and heal what is broken and restore your heart to a healthy place once again.

Expressions of the grieving process are as varied as the people who are hurting. I encourage you to not let any person tell you how you should feel, even if you are thinking about suicide. Just know that although losing someone we love is painful, I discovered it won’t kill us.

Get help if you are having suicidal thoughts. (1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline).

Be patient with yourself. Take time to process the pain your heart is experiencing. That pain sometimes even manifests itself in the physical. Don’t rush the process. After experiencing significant loss it can take a couple years before you start to feel “normal.” Depending on the loss you may never go back to “normal” but you will heal and live in your “new normal.”

Even though you may be thinking about suicide now, if you can hold on and not let yourself go there, eventually you can find beauty from the ashes that currently haunt you.

If you can get outside in the sunshine, go for a walk, get some fresh air, even if you have to force yourself out the door the first time. Getting out into the light and moving can really help; has been proven to help, according to an article at health.harvard.edu. on exercise and depression.

For more suggestions of things that may help, read the grief chapters in my book How to Plan a Funeral and Other Things You Need to Know When a Loved One Dies While writing it I experienced more than one significant loss and did two years of research on the grieving process. I found many great books and ideas of things to do that helped me in my grief, many are included in the book.

Jesus said, Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28, NASB Bible.

In a time of grieving it is His strength that can see us through. Check out this song that so aptly puts it…

Fight Thoughts Of Suicide With One Random Act of Kindness

By: Lisa Copen:

Experiencing that rock-bottom depression and pain–both physical and emotional–can quickly convince you that there is nothing worth getting out of bed for one more morning. You may even be wondering if you should keep fighting those thoughts of suicide, or if it is finally time to just give in. Perhaps you are tired of fighting and don’t see any purpose in your life today.

In my ministry with the chronically ill, I hear from so many people share about the loneliness and isolation they experience. And they often point out how no one calls them anymore, their church has forgotten them, co-workers from previous jobs have moved on.

Even the smallest of ways that a person reaches out to someone, however, can increase the effectiveness of her own immune system and how she wraps her brain around things.

According to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation many studies have found scientific health benefits to doing an act of kindness, even for someone you have never met before.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that impacts our mood, and an ingredient in most anti-depressants. And when you do something nice for someone, your serotonin gets a boost.

It may come as no surprise to you that when someone does something nice for you, it increases your serotonin. But did you know it also gets a boost when you are the one who does something nice for someone else? And get this! A random act of kindness also boosts the serotonin level of the people who are watching this kindness take place!

Everyone wants to matter, to be seen, to have someone offer a tiny bit of kindness. And when their so-called friends and loved ones are not there to offer any hope for the future, you–yes, you may actually be the person to offer it. Don’t doubt that God can do something amazing through you. Every person He has ever called upon had a long list of ways to improve.

So take a deep breath and give yourself this small little motivator today. Do something nice for someone. You will feel a little rush of joy, the recipient will get a boost too, and so will anyone else who happens to be observing. You may not only save your life; your actions may encourage someone else to not take her life.

Need some ideas? Here are some easy, inexpensive random acts of kindness you can do today.

  • Hold the door open for a few people, not just the person beside you
  • Stick a few quarters in a parking meter
  • Carry a box for someone at the post office, or help someone put grocery bags into her car
  • Print out a funny cartoon and mail it to a friend with a short note
  • Write a corny love note or short poem for your spouse
  • Leave sticky notes in public places with an inspirational quote
  • Offer to return a shopping cart for someone parked in a disabled spot
  • Keep granola bars and bottles of water in your car to give to the homeless
  • Tell a tele-marker you know how tough their job is and if they can do this they can do anything
  • Get helium-filled balloons at the dollar store and take them to people who need cheered up

You can find more ideas for random acts of kindness here at the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation web site where they have hundreds listed.

If you need a motivator, this video shares music by Jill Scott with some things to remember when it comes to those acts of kindness.

Lisa Copen has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for nineteen years, and has found purpose in her pain by reaching out to others with chronic illness. Her organization, Rest Ministries, serves those with chronic illness or pain through daily devotionals and other programs.

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Help for Chronic Pain with Suicidal Thoughts

By Karen Boerger

While vacationing recently in Florida, we were walking through the hotel lobby to begin our day when I heard my husband ask, “Are you OK?”  Again he asked, “Are you OK?” He had stopped beside a man bent over a chair. The man said he had two herniated disks in his back and was in extreme pain 24 hours a day, with no relief. He said at one point he had unloaded his guns at home. Chronic pain with suicidal thoughts threatened his life, but he showed wisdom in protecting himself when he knew the pain was causing him to not think rationally.

That comment quickly took me back to a time in our lives when my husband was having severe depression. Before he was hospitalized he had sent our 16-year-old daughter to our friend’s house with our guns.  My friend still talks about that morning; she still can’t believe it. I can’t out of my mind the look of bewilderment and concern she had as she delivered the firearms back to us later.

It’s good that my husband began a dialogue with the gentleman at the hotel, because with depression one of the helpful treatments is talking about your feelings. Social support is very important. Talking regularly with supportive family and friends is extremely helpful.  Healing from depression takes time, and patience is necessary; but making the choice to share your feelings with someone else is so important. You can also talk with others dealing with chronic pain (some hospitals have support groups), plus find hope and help online at www.restministries.org.

With treatment and support, even when experiencing chronic pain with suicidal thoughts when someone says, “Are You OK?” you will be able to boldly say, “Yes, I am!”

 A friend loves at all times . . .  (Proverbs 17:17)

Other pages here at this site:

Feeling Suicidal?

Letter 4 U?