The Robin Williams Question

463px-Robin_Williams_2011aLinda Evans Shepherd

I want to answer the Robin Williams Question that so many are struggling with;

If Robin William’s died, why shouldn’t I?

Here’s my answer, an answer I would have loved to have shared with Robin…

Depression is like a living monster which is built on lies that parade through your mind; lies built for one purpose, to steal, kill and destroy the wonderful person you are.  Dr. Keith Abow, a psychiatrist who has dealt with many who entertained this monster said in a recent article which addressed Robin, “I would have told you to fight against the invader with everything and every resource, without pride.  Deploy every weapon. And because the truth is the mortal enemy of every lie, I would have told you to get to an emergency room or call a suicide hotline or 911 and tell someone the absolute truth about all the dark thoughts you were having—yes, even the one about leaving the planet. Especially that one. Because that one is the big lie implanted in your mind by the Godforsaken charlatan, scum, named major depression. Your enemy. And mine.”

I applaud Dr. Abow’s wise words, but I’d like to further shine the truth on the lies that come with depression.  They are from the pit of hell.  We know Satan (who is real) has come to steal, kill, and destroy the ones that God has gifted with the most purpose and potential.  First he blinds them to their future and hope, then he whispers lies into their hearts.

Do not believe those lies.

If I could have said one thing to Robin prior to his death, I would have told him, “You are loved and have brought joy to so many and if you choose to live, you will continue to bring joy to others and even find happier moments yourself.  Plus, if you live, you will not inspire others to give up on life. Your death will become a tragedy for many families.”

The sad truth is that others have been influenced by Robin’s death and chosen death as well.  Robin could have chosen life and walked out of his deep depression to experience more of his God given purpose as well as love, joy and even peace.  Sure, he may have had to struggle from time to time, but he could have worked to manage his depression and continued to live.  The problems he may have struggled with such as self-loathing, financial woes, fear of the future, or even mental illness, could have been lived-through.  These struggles could have been met through the strength of the very God Robin believed in.

If Robin had only trusted in the God who loved him, if he had pushed back against his depression and called 911 or gone to the emergency room, he would have lived through the darkness to find life once again.

Robin is gone but you are here, and I’d like to say that if you are depressed, you can fight back. You can recognize the lies of depression which may be trying to coax you into a tragic decision that will not only hurt you but those who love you. Don’t do anything rash while you are in the depth of your hurt or despair. Live, so you can have a hope and a future.

As the word says in Jeremiah 29:11New Living Translation,

 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NLT)

Like Robin, you do not have to give into the temptation of death.  You can choose to live.  Just as the Lord told his people,

“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.” Deut. 30:19 (NIV)

Live!  God loves you and will get you through the darkness.

If you would like to know more about God’s love for you, go to:  GodTest.com

Changing Negative Self-Talk: Can I Hear Me Now?

Changing perspective from stressed or depressed  to blessed can be affected by changing negative self-talk.

 Excerpt from: Too Blessed to be Stressed (2011, Barbour Publishing).

donkey

Don’t be an Eeyore, with gloomy words and thoughts that continually bring you down!

 By Debora M. Coty:

“I just cannot learn this new system.”

“I’m dumber than a rock.”

“No way I’ll ever get along with her.”

Sound like anything you’ve muttered to yourself lately?

In the children’s story Winnie-the-Pooh,  Eeyore the donkey has mopey, self-depreciating words and thoughts.  Thoughts like that wear us down and wear us out before we even realize the source of erosion.

The trouble is that we often don’t recognize we’re engaging in negative self-talk. Negativity is habit-forming. We unconsciously develop a compromised view of ourselves when we consistently think things like, “I’m such a loser,” “It’s too hard,” or “Why even try?”

The worst part of negative self-talk is that we’re not only limiting ourselves, we’re limiting our God. The Creator of the Universe. The One who is ready to fill us with expectancy, hope, and potential and wants us to instead tell ourselves, I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need (Philippians 4:13).

So how do we reboot ourselves with a fresh perspective and in the process, significantly reduce the strain and drain that negative self-talk produces? Here are 6 thought-tweaking downloads that can help:

Cut and paste. Train yourself to recognize negative inner chatter the minute it starts and delete immediately. Shake the mental Etch-A-Sketch. Get out the attitude chainsaw. But don’t stop there. Replace those negative thoughts with a positive spin. Let’s revisit the beginning of this article.

“What can I do to learn this new system?”

“How can I break this gargantuan task down into small, do-able steps?”

“I’ve learned to get along with my crazy sister; I can learn to get along with  anybody.”

Tweak your tone. You know how your doctor says, “This may pinch a little” as he jams the needle into your arm? Borrow his technique. “Impossible” is a brick wall compared to “this may take some work.” Wouldn’t you rather tackle a project that’s “challenging,” rather than “unmanageable”?

Be your own BFF. Intentionally over-dub that Eeyore voice droning inside with your BFF voice. Speak to yourself like you would your very best friend. Be:

Encouraging

Uplifting

Affirming

Light and humorous (you’ll listen better!)

Avoid comparisons. Everyone has a different skill set. You are unique. The way you do things may differ from the techniques of others, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Unless you’re the reigning world champion, there will always be someone better at a specific skill than you. So what? You don’t need another trophy.

Memorize Philippians 4:13. Repeat frequently. Trust God and act on it!

Tack on hope. Add “yet,” that magical three-letter word that transforms “I can’t” thoughts into “I can with a little more time”:

“I can’t make this work…yet.

“I’m not smart enough to figure this out…yet.”

“I can’t handle this…yet.”

We believe and internalize what we tell ourselves. Words are powerful. They have the ability to change our perception of our own abilities from limited to limitless.

Depression in Parenting an Autistic Child

By Rhonda Leverett:

In my depression in parenting an autistic child, I began thinking about suicide.

 

Then I found hope.

 

Stock photo by David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Stock photo by David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In 1988, my youngest child, Caleb, was diagnosed with autism. I had no idea what autism was, but it looked like this: blank stares; fear of unfamiliar people and surroundings; books, crayons, shoes, and other items stacked in odd-shaped mountains from corner to corner of our house. It sounded like high-pitched squeals, crying, or silence.

I was exhausted, and consumed by fear of the unknown.

My marriage soon soured as well. Too overwhelmed to engage, I could think of nothing so extraneous as my adult relationship. This was survival mode, dysfunction at its finest.

Still, I prayed. The weakest prayers known to womankind maybe, but I knew God loved us, and I prayed.

Fast forward seven years, no marriage counseling, and many autism therapies later—Caleb was not better, but dramatically worse. Everything was worse.

My daughter and her stepfather fought constantly. She, fourteen, and my oldest son, Cliff, eleven, had become my assistants in curtailing Caleb’s now dangerous behaviors—and in cleaning up messes like broken eggs, broken glass, and smashed food. The understanding that they had not experienced childhood themselves bore heavy on me day and night, but I had no alternative to offer.

My daughter announced she intended to live with my parents, and ran away to prove it. Her grandparents supported her desire, due to my unwillingness to leave my husband. There had been separations, but I always came home because it seemed impossible to find anyone willing to take us in due to the challenges of autism.

Determined to escape what had become an intolerable situation, I called a shelter for help. Although hauntingly destructive, emotional trauma was not shelter criteria.

I moved into my daughter’s room and shut out the world, even my boys. I watched the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” every night, all night, for three weeks, and slept during daylight hours.

Thinking About Suicide

I had drawn the conclusion that life was not worth living.

One bleak afternoon, I sunk down on the bathroom floor and contemplated taking my life, even considering a suicide plan.

I heard Caleb then…but in reality, the house was silent. My husband had taken the boys somewhere. Nevertheless, I heard my son in my heart. He cooed as when he was a baby. I saw him reaching for me. My suffocated mind received the oxygen needed to remember this Truth—my life had purpose.

My children needed me. I remembered this just in time.

I stood up, put everything away, and washed my face.

I would live, because I am a mother—and because I am a daughter, God’s own daughter. I live because I was rescued by Jesus Christ long ago, on a cross.

He died to save you, too. If you cry out to Him, He will meet you wherever you are.

He will remind you of your purpose, and that you are loved.

If you turn to Him, He will save your life.

Read an update by Rhonda Leverett about her son (now-grown) and her own joyful life at rhondaleverett.com. 

One Christian resource for parents of autistic children is Autism’s Hidden Blessings, by Kelly Langston. You can read an excerpt at kellylangston.com.

Moms of special needs children may be encouraged by this video from Kelly Langston:

Suicide as an Option is Never Good

By Karen Kosman:

Suicide as an option for ending pain and depression is never good.

There are always alternatives that can open the door to change and hope.

 

Life preserver image by cbenjasuwan FDP net

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

At the age of 13, Louise fell out of her dad’s boat. She knew how to swim, but the icy cold water took her breath away, and the thick reeds, growing up from the bottom of the lake, wrapped around her legs. She panicked as she gasped for air and gulped water. Hopelessness and doubt kept her focused on fear, and she could not free herself. She fought to stay above water. Silently she prayed, God help me!

Suddenly she felt someone beside her—a man pulling the reeds away from her. He said, “Louise, you are safe now.” He gave her a shove toward shore.

To her surprise, just a short distance away from where she had struggled, her feet touched the ground. There she found loving, compassionate people ready to help her.

Louise thought, What would have happened if I hadn’t cried out for help? What would have happened if a stranger hadn’t cared enough to swim out to help me? In the murky water I couldn’t see the bottom of the lake. Safety had been only a few feet away.

So it is with the throes of depression. The suicidal person can’t see through the murkiness of her or his pain to know that safety lies only a short distance away.

Suicide is never a good option. It does not solve anything. It brings an abrupt end to the resources that could have brought relief, completion of fulfilled dreams, and the return of happiness.

There are a number of mental disorders that cause chemical imbalance in the brain and may contribute to suicidal behavior. However, they can often be controlled with medication when prescribed and overseen by a psychiatrist. Although these illnesses are often treatable, some emotionally desperate patients will choose not to live.

Often external circumstances such as job loss, financial disaster, loss of a child, failure in school, or marital problems are blamed for suicide. However, these events may act only as triggers.

For many the turnaround came when they called out in distress, “God help me.” These words are often the beginning of a path to recovery for those contemplating suicide. God becomes to them a safe harbor. In seeking  help from professionals (support groups, pastors, family physicians, and Christian therapists), they explore the reasons behind their pain. With the love and mercy of a sovereign God, they grab hold of a life preserver—the choice to live.

Lord, my God walk with me on this journey. Help me to set a goal for my future. Teach me to believe that I still have a purpose in life.

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

Long-term Thoughts of Suicide

By PeggySue Wells

 

Have you struggled with long-term thoughts of suicide?

Have you struggled with long-term thoughts of suicide?

Having thoughts of suicide can be a temporary condition triggered by crisis in our lives. But for others, this dark night of the soul is a continuous condition, year after year.

Here is how one person described what it’s like to have long-term thoughts of suicide and depression:

Many more people are silently suffering and depressed than ever before. We hear stories about great things coming around for everyone else but nothing is happening for us. We hear about weddings and new arrivals and again nothing for us.

What happens when our anxiety and depression is recognized and being treated but the medications and therapy is no longer working? Or is at a plateau? For our doctors, friends, and family it’s hard to talk about because they don’t know what to do about it either. It’s a scary place to be because there are some things in life that feel completely unfixable and when you’ve spent ten to fifteen years talking it out or taking anti-depressants or doing group therapy sessions – what now?

As a generation of people who were diagnosed with depression and anxiety through suicidal thoughts, we have to start talking about how we are going to go through life once the meds stop working and the talk therapy is no longer helping. And of course, how we will pay for this is a whole other issue.

I know the pain of being consumed with thoughts of suicide in the middle of the night.

Are you having long-term thoughts of suicide? Have you experienced such a dark time and come through to brighter days?

Despite the struggle and the pain, you matter. You are important. Significant.

When thoughts of despair plague, remember that the Lord is with you even in this.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there (Psalm 7-8).

When you are in the depths of depression, the last thing you feel like doing is connecting. But I encourage you to attend a Bible-believing church. Just as you are. Even on your dark days. You don’t have to have your life together before you can come. When my friend Barbara lost her two teenagers in a car wreck, she plunged into deep and extended depression.

“How did you survive that?” I asked.

“I kept going to church,” she said. “No matter what, go to church.”

Why? Because the music and sermons remind you that Jesus Christ knows how you feel. In the Bible are stories of others who knew depression including Jonah, Job, Paul and Barnabas knew depression. People in the church have experienced dark nights of the soul.

While there may not be a quick solution for you, church is where you receive prayer, and connect and belong. And it is where you are needed. God comforts us so we can comfort others. There will be a time when you can be the person who says to another, “I understand how you feel.”

Click here to see a letter from someone who understands your despair: Dear Friend, at GodTest.com, and learn about (or be reminded of) how to find a relationship with Jesus Christ to comfort you in your trials.

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Psalm 139:1-18 (NIV Bible, from BibleGateway.com)

 Enjoy this beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace:

Long-term Depression and Thoughts of Suicide

By PeggySue Wells:

Do you struggle with long-term depression and at times feel insignificant?

God says you are significant AND valuable.

Stock Image by David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Stock Image by David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Having thoughts of suicide can be a temporary condition triggered by crisis in our lives. But for others, this dark night of the soul is a continuous condition, year after year. Here is how one person described this experience.

Many more people are silently suffering and depressed than ever before. We hear stories about great things coming around for everyone else but nothing is happening for us. We hear about weddings and new arrivals and again nothing for us.

What happens when our anxiety and depression is recognized and being treated but the medications and therapy is no longer working? Or is at a plateau? For our doctors, friends, and family it’s hard to talk about because they don’t know what to do about it either. It’s a scary place to be because there are some things in life that feel completely unfixable and when you’ve spent ten to fifteen years talking it out or taking anti-depressants or doing group therapy sessions – what now?  

As a generation of people who were diagnosed with depression and anxiety through suicidal thoughts, we have to start talking about how we are going to go through life once the meds stop working and the talk therapy is no longer helping. And of course, how we will pay for this is a whole other issue.

I know the pain of being consumed with thoughts of suicide in the middle of the night.

Are you having long-term thoughts of suicide? Have you experienced such a dark time and come through to brighter days?

Despite the struggle and the pain, you matter. You are important. Significant. When thoughts of despair plague, remember that the Lord is with you even in this.

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

 

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Psalm 139:1-18

 ©PeggySue Wells. Peggy writes about coping with difficult issues in books including What To Do When You’re Scared To Death, and Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After. www.PeggySueWells.com

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.

FAITH––the Suicide Vaccine (Suicide Prevention)

A pharmacist suggests a different kind of ‘vaccine’ for suicide prevention.

By Karen O’Connor:

Image: Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lisa Hamil, Pharm. D., a registered pharmacist in the State of California, claims that ‘faith is the suicide vaccine’ and she highly recommends it for those who are contemplating taking their own lives.

“Why would anyone want to commit suicide?” she asks, when faith in God can lead one out of depression and the “torments of life’s weariness, guilt, anger, pride, lack of forgiveness, hopelessness, disappointment, betrayal, and the feeling of being unloved?”

Hamil, when working behind the pharmacy counter, speaks with hundreds of people each month who bring in prescriptions for pain-killers, anti-depressant medications and other drugs. She claims most people are looking for relief that medicine cannot address long-term.

“These medications come with a written educational guide that specifically warns patients: ‘Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions . . .’  These guides as well as health care providers recommend that patients learn effective coping skills to complement the chemical intervention of antidepressant drugs.” There is no such ‘fix’ for the true source of the problem—separation from the Spirit of God.

“One’s thoughts,” says Hamil, “determine one’s life, mood, and actions. There is no medication available that can reliably change our thoughts or our actions. We must take charge and choose to discipline our thought life. Drugs may help during that thought transition process, but patients must move forward with a clear goal in mind.”

The Bible offers guidance too.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

“Building their faith is the choice depressed patients must make in order to effectively prevent the ultimate dismay that leads to suicide,” says Hamil. “Faith is the suicide vaccine and support is available through other believers, pastors, and inspirational readings.”

Hamil suggests these important steps to take:

1) Choosing to be thankful versus complaining

2) Forgiving yourself and others who have hurt or betrayed you

3) Serving and helping others

4) Focusing on the perfection of God’s love and his provision.

Enjoy this inspiring video with Joyce Meyer speaking on the power of unleashing faith.

Not sure how to find faith? One place to start is http://www.GodTest.com. There you will find a questionnaire that will walk you through common questions about the Christian faith, as well as heartfelt letters about dealing with serious struggles in life.

Depressed and Blind: Why Go On Living?

By Janet Perez Eckles:

Why go on living? Does life have meaning anymore? Yes.

 


Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I resented it, I really did. Words from friends and family directed to me, words that held no meaning. They didn’t because in my world, I saw no answers, solutions and no hope. I was given the sentence that I’d never be able to see the rest of my life, and wondered: How do I find meaning? Why go on living?

In vain, folks try to say the right thing, they want to help and lift my spirits.

Have you been there? You’re at your lowest and inside, negative emotions are about to explode. Words from others seem empty and meaningless.

That’s why, as I wrote this, I wondered if I would be able to make a difference in your life. My words might lack encouragement and my insights hold no meaning for you.

But I decided that I’d try anyway. And let you know that if you hang on one more day, look to one more good thing in your life, think of that person who would be destroyed if something happened to you—then my words may hold some meaning for you.

I’ve been where you are. And when my heart echoed that I’d never be productive again due to my blindness, I found meaning for life in God’s Word. He repeated His promise that there will be triumph after the tragedy.

I believed that promise; I embraced it as my own. Then I gave one last sob and meaning became clear. The significance that my life—with its darkness and valleys—had a purpose.

And now…well, God fulfilled His promise because I’m writing, traveling, speaking, working. And  holding on to the white cane of faith, I take one step at a time.

He said there will be peace after pain. I found His Word to be true, for me and it will be for you.

Tomorrow will look differently, if you choose to see your circumstance through God’s eyes. I did. And after hope came back, the scenery never looked more beautiful.

See Janet Perez Eckles, originally from Bolivia, in this TV interview describing her hardships and how she overcame them.

From about 5:00 to 17:00 in the video is Janet’s description of how she devastated she was when became blind and nearly lost her husband as well. Yet her life was changed, with God’s help.

Why go on living? Because God is with you, and He has a purpose for your life.

Do you know that Janet also suffered the grief of having her teen son killed? Is it possible to bear this much grief? See her article at Finding God Daily: Finding God in Grief When My Son Died and also her story  Forgiveness Brings Peace, at the Christian Record. You can also videos of Janet’s testimonies in SPANISH (Español)  HERE.

Janet Perez’ testimony, in Spanish: Te invito a escuchar una porción de mi testimonio:

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: