Suicide | Suicide Prevention |Talking about Suicide
The real truth about suicide is not that suicide rates are on the rise, but that it has been rising for some time now. If people did not notice before, they are paying attention now.
With the recent deaths by suicide of American designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef and culture journalist Anthony Bourdain, Social Media is gawking about why such apparently successful people would take their lives. Did they struggle with depression? Were there clues and signs given? And perhaps more important to those who live in fear that their loved ones will choose to take their own lives, could these suicides have been prevented?
Because I believe in honest and non-judgmental talk about suicide, the following post is a balance between understanding the statistics around the 10th highest cause of death in the United States, the care that providers are bound to give by license, and the personal experiences of this therapist, with any incidences or persons anonymized and depersonalized to protect the privacy of others.
Please check your own triggers before reading the rest of this post.
Once again, you might find yourself among those who wish to use the start of a new year to institute a change. Maybe you want to start a new habit, learn to eat better, drink less or abstain from alcohol, drop some weight, gain some muscle, strengthen a relationship, or end a toxic one.
You look back at the previous year, and wonder, “Why couldn’t I have accomplished this last year?”
I hear you. I understand the hunger for change. I also understand that it is easier to talk about change than it is to actually change.
If you came by this counseling website in hopes of starting counseling because you would like to work on change, I’d like to be of help. This is a simple post.
I believe that with minimal motivation or inspiration (the why behind the change you want to see in your personal life), the element you need is to take an action regarding the what and the how. And if you are to have half a chance at successfully reaching a reasonable goal of change, you need to get going on a plan.
Let me repeat this simple thought. Once you understand the why, you really need to take ACTION. If you don’t, you will be asking the same question about why you did not see change in 2018 when 2019 rolls around. And that is an icky feeling, like finding an old piece of gum stuck to the bottom of your favorite pair of boots, when you could have removed it a long time ago.
One of the things I love about counseling is that a certain amount of coaching is baked into the process. While it always begins with understanding your past and how it plays out in the present, it doesn’t have to stop there. You can design a plan of action around your counseling insights, and work towards change in measurable steps.
If you have a hunger for personal change, I’d love to discuss with you how counseling can help. My counseling practice has transitioned to all online telemental health and private coaching, accessible through a HIPPA compatible platform.
The morning sunlight hit the red-tinged leaves that signal Fall’s inevitable approach. Trail running along one of the paths nearby my home, I listened to the sound of my footfalls and my breath cycle, deeply immersed in the joy of running.
After the first fifteen minutes or so, the effort of running changes from the initial discomfort of ramping up the pace from a standstill to the zen-like quality of meditation in motion. Running has often been a place of solace and rejuvenation for me, a place to deposit myself before I return to the real world: responding to crisis and employing my skills and attention to the privilege of helping others.
As I began to run up a short embankment with a neighborhood access point to a street, I passed a dog owner walking three dogs. As it is my custom, if a dog is not on a tight leash, I give dogs a very wide berth to avoid startling them or giving them reason to attack. As I moved far to the right of the owner and the dogs, the dog furthest on the dog owner’s right lunged towards the back of my leg and bit me.
After the owner saw blood running down my leg, the dog owner asked if I needed her help: a ride home, bandages, etc. My first response was to tell her I would just walk home, that I was “OK” but it hurt, that I only had five more miles to go.
But that was ridiculous. The wounds gaped, the torn fascia hung outside of the broken skin, blood was filling my shoe, and the pain was so bad that tears were involuntarily shedding and rolling down my face. I sat down on a rock nearby, and then told the dog owner that I needed a ride home to pick up my car and my ID for the Urgent Care facility nearest to me.
I needed help. And I needed to be flexible to handle the very real emergency that had just occurred.
Does this sound familiar to you? Do you find if difficult to ask for and receive help, even when it is clearly needed? Do you find yourself frozen or rigid, trying to keep to a schedule or a plan instead of adapting to the circumstances you find yourself in during an unexpected moment.