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         

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. )

 

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: