Suicide Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

Depression Kills

September 29th, 2014
Last month, I was sitting on my sofa with my laptop when I saw the headline “Robin Williams Found Dead.” I was shocked and deeply saddened by the news and the loss. It seemed like such a conundrum as to why someone with his persona ...

Protecting Teens from the Spread of Suicide

Protecting Teens from the Spread of SuicideWhen teen suicide strikes close to home, communities are heartbroken and frightened as they realize many teens' pain and suffering. Sudden tragedy shocks us into vigilant awareness of danger and loss. Although we don’t usually think of suicide as contagious, one ...

Suicide Risk for Children of Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’

Suicide Risk for Children of Northern Ireland's 'Troubles'Recent findings are shedding light on the link between growing up in a conflict zone and risk of suicide. Over the past few decades, Northern Ireland has overtaken England, Scotland and Wales in suicide rates. To investigate the causes, Professor ...

Depression & Your Child: A Guide for Parents & Caregivers

BOOK REVIEW.
Until recently, it was believed that children didn’t -- and couldn’t -- get depressed. But kids do struggle with depression. In fact, some research has even suggested that babies can become depressed, according to Deborah Serani, PsyD, in her book Depression And Your Child: A Guide for Parents And Caregivers. Serani is a clinical psychologist ...

Betrayal & Hearing Voices

Betrayal & Hearing VoicesNote: This story is based on what actually happened in one instance of psychotherapy. Names and details have been changed to protect identities. It was 25 years ago. I was a relatively new intern at a busy ...

The Song in You: Finding Your Voice, Redefining Your Life

BOOK REVIEW.
“I’ve discovered there’s genuine healing power in sharing your struggles. Accurately identifying what they are and where they came seems to take away their power.” With her book, LaDonna Gatlin does just that. The author is the sister of the famous Gatlin Brothers country music group. The Song in You, which she wrote with the help ...

Grief and Mourning in Schizophrenia: A Safety Plan

Grief and Mourning in Schizophrenia: A Safety PlanThe diagnosis of schizophrenia has countless implications for an individual’s life. Being diagnosed with schizophrenia can mean many things to a person, including the loss of identity and sense of self, the ...

Crochet Saved My Life

BOOK REVIEW.
I began crocheting when I was 19. It was the most stressful point in my life. I had just started my first semester of college, had moved to a different state where I knew no one, and to top off that ice cream sundae of life’s situations, I had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain ...

Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries

BOOK REVIEW.
“I’m a midwife to the dying – for those who want to hasten their death,” says George Exoo, a Unitarian preacher who claims to have assisted 102 people in killing themselves. He often carries a large inflatable alligator to fool the cops if he’s stopped. This way they’ll mistake him for a children’s entertainer. It’ll ...

My Journey to Loving Myself Following Sexual Abuse

My Journey to Loving Myself Following Sexual AbuseHistorically any article with “self-love” in it has given rise to a feeling of anger in me. Every cell in my body has been rotting in self-hate and loathing for a long, ...

Companion to an Untold Story

BOOK REVIEW.
Marcia Aldrich’s Companion to an Untold Story is the author’s attempt to make sense of her close friend’s suicide. In the time leading up to the unfortunate event, Aldrich’s friend Joel hatched a plan to relieve himself of all his possessions so that when he took his own life, he would own virtually nothing, able ...

Through the Unknowable: Family Life with Depression, Alcohol, and Love

BOOK REVIEW.
Self-help books about how to cope with loss or trauma typically tend to fall into one of two simple categories: those which are written by professionals, and those which aren’t. The former tend to be manuals put together by therapists or psychiatrists, offering tools, advice and psychological guidance, while the latter tend to be personal ...

A Life Lived Ridiculously

BOOK REVIEW.
Dr. Annabelle R. Charbit, PhD in neuroscience, accomplished writer, and lifelong sufferer of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), has used all three of these descriptors to write A Life Lived Ridiculously, her intriguing first novel.  The book whipsaws between exposition of two well-known psychological disorders, romance, and detective fiction: When Maxine, a young biologist, meets Sam, an ...

Adolescent Tragedies and My Teenager

Adolescent Tragedies and My TeenagerOnce again I am writing about a terrible tragedy. Fifteen dead children. Fifteen lives ended prematurely and violently. An entire community that will not recover for generations. An entire nation searching for answers that ...

Depression: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed

BOOK REVIEW.
Depression is one of the most common forms of mental illness, yet at the same time also one of the most poorly understood. Most people have felt emotionally depressed at some point in their life. We all might experience a great deal of sadness with the loss of a loved one, a job, or some ...

How Family and Friends Can Aid Mental Health Recovery

How Family and Friends Can Aid Mental Health RecoveryRecovering from mental illness is terrifying and exhausting, both for the person diagnosed and those who stand beside them throughout the recovery process. Sometimes, particularly when the diagnosis is new, the person suffering feels as if ...

Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

BOOK REVIEW.
Fletcher Wortmann obviously knows his subject.  "Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder" is for anyone who is or knows someone who is suffering from mental illness of any type.  While Wortmann wrestles with OCD, he is more than sympathetic regarding all types of mental illness. In addition to making us understand the problems and loss ...

Social Support Is Critical for Depression Recovery

Social Support Is Critical for Depression RecoveryEvery human being wants to belong. This need is so strong that people will do nearly anything to feel like they are part of something. Personal relationships form a safety net around individuals to protect them from too ...

Living with Depression: Why Biology and Biography Matter along the Path to Hope and Healing

BOOK REVIEW.
With 114 pages of some of the most beautifully written insight, information, and advice that I have ever read in regard to navigating the labyrinth that is depression and its various treatments, Dr. Deborah Serani’s Living with Depression: Why Biology and Biography Matter along the Path to Hope and Healing aims to guide those living ...

Sleeping With Gods

BOOK REVIEW.
The subject of mental illness has often been explored in works of literature and other media. Michael Fontana’s novel Sleeping With Gods aims to combine a coming-of-age love story with themes of mental health. In Sleeping With Gods, we are told the story of Mark, a young man navigating the mental health system following a ...

History of a Suicide: My Sister’s Unfinished Life

BOOK REVIEW.
After reading History of a Suicide, written by Jill Bialosky, I was moved by the way the author not only shared her story of her sister's suicide, but also how committed she was to researching suicide while dealing with her own pain. Jill Bialosky tells the story of her sister Kim Bialosky's suicide. She shares ...

Grief After Suicide: An Interview With Dr. Jack Jordan

Grief After Suicide: An Interview With Dr. Jack JordanWith approximately 30,000 suicides happening each year in the US, countless people are grieving the loss of loved ones who have taken their lives. The grieving process is different to those who have lost a spouse, father, sister, or friend to cancer, heart disease, or a stroke. Many “suicide survivors” are left to process their emotions in private because the topic of suicide is still so taboo in this country. One great resource is the Grief Support Services of the Samaritans of Boston. They recently conducted an interview with Dr. Jack Jordan on the topic of grieving a loved one who has committed suicide. Dr. Jordan is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and Wellesley, Massachusetts, where he specializes in working with loss and bereavement. He is coeditor of the 2011 book Grief After Suicide (Routledge) and the Clinical Consultant for Grief Support Services of the Samaritans of Boston (www.samaritanshope.org), where he is helping to develop innovative outreach and support programs for suicide survivors. I have obtained permission to reprint the interview here, specifically for Psych Central readers. Q. Your book notes that “suicide survivors” can include people who are not on close terms with the deceased. Can you explain? A. Immediate kin are the most likely to be affected, but it’s not just them. It could be a next-door neighbor who saw the person every day. Or a subway train driver could be traumatized after someone jumps in front of a train. Or a high-school student may have had no personal relationship with another student who died by suicide, but may have somehow identified with that person. In general, a survivor is anyone who felt responsible for the death or for not preventing it, or who was deeply and negatively impacted by the death. Q. How is grief after suicide different from other kinds of grief? A. It depends on what aspects of grief you’re talking about. After any type of death, there is a yearning for the deceased. After sudden death, there is shock or disbelief; people have trouble accepting the reality of the death. After a sudden, unexpected, violent death (such as a homicide or suicide), people focus on the horror or trauma of the death. There is a preoccupation with, “What did my loved one go through during their final moments?” But with suicide, there is a whole struggle with, “Did they know what they were doing? Why did they choose this? Didn’t they know how much this would hurt me?”

Myths About Suicide

BOOK REVIEW.
In May 2007 a young woman in Oklahoma died of a gunshot wound to the head. Whether it was self-inflicted or not was not apparent. Her family hoped to prove that it wasn’t self-inflicted and wanted the insurance company to pay death benefits. The judge ruled in favor of the family, stating that the insurance ...