20 votes

The Empty Promise of Suicide Prevention: Many of the problems that lead people to kill themselves cannot be fixed with a little extra serotonin.

5 comments

  1. [3]
    Dibs Link
    This is one reason I don't keep sleeping pills at home (and one reason I want them at home). I've had moments of suicidal ideation (as they call it), but I don't have the guts to kill myself. Most...

    One of the few tried-and-true strategies is reducing people’s access to lethal tools, so that if they do sink into hopelessness, any attempt they make most likely won’t be fatal.

    This is one reason I don't keep sleeping pills at home (and one reason I want them at home). I've had moments of suicidal ideation (as they call it), but I don't have the guts to kill myself. Most methods of killing myself are too gruesome & scary, except for sleeping pills. I could handle going to sleep and never waking up. So I don't keep a supply at home, in case I enter a "bad time".

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      Sahasrahla Link Parent
      A paramedic teaching a first aid course I took described the experience of people dying from a sleeping pill overdose and it sounded anything but peaceful. That was years ago and I don't remember...

      too gruesome & scary, except for sleeping pills

      A paramedic teaching a first aid course I took described the experience of people dying from a sleeping pill overdose and it sounded anything but peaceful. That was years ago and I don't remember the gruesome details but I was left with a distinct "well that's terrifying" impression of it. I think one thing that happens is that before you lose consciousness you feel like you're dying but you're too affected by the pills to be able to get help. Feeling yourself slowly die while struggling and failing to so much as reach your phone sounds like a horrifying way to go.

      3 votes
      1. Dibs Link Parent
        I didn't need to hear that! You've taken away one small comfort I have in this life - that there is a peaceful easy way out if I ever need it.

        I didn't need to hear that! You've taken away one small comfort I have in this life - that there is a peaceful easy way out if I ever need it.

        1 vote
  2. firstname Link
    ok, that became a wall, wops. Everything the author says is without a doubt true. But she does not mention the most effective treatment, which is self care. When it comes to the middle aged woman...

    ok, that became a wall, wops.

    Everything the author says is without a doubt true. But she does not mention the most effective treatment, which is self care.

    When it comes to the middle aged woman which has found herself in a bad situation. I agree with her that more practical matters like homelessness prevention is of most importance. That person is in a bad situation, which is "easy" to prevent, the answer are right there in front you. Her reaction to her situation is natural and part of how humans "work", i think. Solving the issues that put her in that situation will most likely lower the suicide rate. By preventing her to get into that situation in the first place.

    When it comes to the first patient i have some insight though, as a man who lives with her illness, bipolar disorder. This is where self care is more important then any treatment that are available. There are treatments that teaches self care though.

    If there is anything i have learned from living with bipolar disorder, is that you are the only one who can do the actual work, no medication, therapy or treatment will cure her illness, there is simply not a cure out there as of yet.

    The medications might lower the symptoms, sure, but it can take years to find a "cocktail" that works for you, and there is no guarantee. And she does not even mention the most commonly used type of medication today which is anti epileptic medications, other then lithium and anti psychotics. These basically lowers the amount that the two brain halves talks to each other, to make it short. I hate them, they have made me more "dumb". Not less intelligent, but lessens the cognitive functions like memory and attention.

    The doctors are focused on keeping us safe from ourselves, the suicidal thoughts. But we have to trade those away for some really nasty side effects most often.
    What the medications do though, is episode prevention. Which is important, with every episode the brain takes a tole, and lowers your cognitive functions. My memory is shit today for example. But at the same time i get so sedated i have a hard time typing from the anti psychotic.

    The therapy proven to be the most effective is cognitive behavior therapy. You basically do things even if you don´t feel like not doing them, and build new pathways in the brain. commonly used to treat anxiety so that you wont fear the things you fear in the future by doing them anyways over and over until the brain wont react with fear. It helps people step out of a general depression as well. Which everyone can experience in their lifetime, i mean who wont get depressed if they lost a child for example.

    Cognitive Behavior Therapy work differently for us with bipolar disorder. I have never met or talked to anyone being able to build these new pathways. And never met a professional who disagrees with me on this on this. It´s more of a tool you can study and then use(same goes for above). So you get things done when depressed even if you don´t feel like doing them. I will be depressed for my whole life most likely, if you put it on a scale 1-10 i might be a 3 today, and a 8 in a few months, but i will be depressed. I just do the opposite of what i feel like i want to do, same goes with the manic/hypomanic episodes where you might want to buy a new car and put yourself in debt, but you try your best not to. A self care tool.

    There are many ways to practice self care. And battle the symptoms on your own. Which you have to do to even function and most importantly, not take your own life. This is something you have to learn on your own, learning how to handle suicidal thoughts is more important then try and preventing them with medications.

    We all have our own reality, and when the brain tells us a false reality it´s hard to identify that it does. You have to learn on your own. And then tell yourself that´s just bullshit and not real.

    I for example have learned how to identify what thoughts are my own, healthy ones. And the ones that the illness produces. So i know they are bullshit, i wont get tricked. That way i wont act upon them. This comes with studying the illness and yourself, i always get praised by my health professionals with the way i can identify them. This is all done with self care by studying. No one did the work for me.

    4 votes
  3. Akir Link
    I certainly agree with the author. Medication helps, but it isnt the whole solution. Unfortunately I think that we would need legislation to make meaningful changes for public mental health, and...

    I certainly agree with the author. Medication helps, but it isnt the whole solution.

    Unfortunately I think that we would need legislation to make meaningful changes for public mental health, and the first thing we have to do is to overcome our societal ennui over the issue. In other words, people need to care. There is no simple way to achieve this.

    1 vote