• Quote of the Day
    "The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases."
    Carl Jung, posted by Daniel
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Daniel

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When you are depressed, you may have a tendency to confuse feeling with facts. Your feelings of hopelessness and total despair are just symptoms of depressive illness, not facts. If you think you are hopeless, you will naturally feel this way. Your feelings only trace the illogical pattern of your thinking. Only an expert, who has treated hundreds of depressed individuals, would be in a position to give a meaningful prognosis for recovery. Your suicidal urge merely indicates the need for treatment. Thus, your conviction that you are "hopeless" nearly always proves you are not. Therapy, not suicide, is indicated. Although generalizations can be misleading, I let the following rule of thumb guide me: Patients who feel hopeless never actually are hopeless. The conviction of hopelessness is one of the most curious aspects of depressive illness. In fact, the degree of hopelessness experienced by seriously depressed patients who have an excellent prognosis is usually greater than in terminal malignancy patients with a poor prognosis. It is of great importance to expose the illogic that lurks behind your hopelessness as soon as possible in order to prevent an actual suicide attempt. You may feel convinced that you have an insoluble problem in your life. You may feel that you are caught in a trap from which there is no exit. This may lead to extreme frustration and even to the urge to kill yourself as the only escape.”

― David D. Burns, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
 

Daniel

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Veterans, people who live in rural areas, sexual and gender minorities, middle-aged adults, and tribal populations may disproportionately experience factors linked to suicide. These factors include substance misuse, job or financial problems, relationship problems, physical or mental health problems, and/or easy access to lethal means. Additionally, people who have experienced violence, including adverse childhood experiences (such as physical abuse), bullying, or sexual violence, have a higher suicide risk. Some of these groups may also be impacted by other health disparities. Health disparities are differences in health outcomes and their causes among groups of people.
 
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Daniel

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The development of new stories that help frame life experiences might elevate some of the insults generated by psychiatric illness and its aftermath, and help make sense, consider the possibility of imagining and/or taking concrete action toward a more full and personally meaningful life.
 

Daniel

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"If I had told you two months ago, when we first started working together, that you'd be feeling differently in three months' time, that you'd be feeling the way you're feeling today, what would you have said?"

"I would've said that's impossible. I would've said that you're crazy."
 

Daniel

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People usually call suicide selfish, but at least people who are selfish want good things for themselves, even if they’re misguided in how to go about getting these things. People who are depressed and suicidal aren’t really in a cognitive space to want good things for themselves, they’re focused instead on figuring out a way to get relief from all the bad things, a dangerous and tragic proposition when at the fundamental level what they see as bad is who and what they are.
 

David Baxter

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People usually call suicide selfish, but at least people who are selfish want good things for themselves, even if they’re misguided in how to go about getting these things. People who are depressed and suicidal aren’t really in a cognitive space to want good things for themselves, they’re focused instead on figuring out a way to get relief from all the bad things, a dangerous and tragic proposition when at the fundamental level what they see as bad is who and what they are.

Absolutely spot on. Full disclosure: I attempted suicide once and I was thinking about how hopeless my life was and how to escape it. I wasn't thinking about family, friends, children, or grandchildren — just how to escape. When I woke up in hospital with a guard on my room, reality hit. How could I do that to my children and grandchildren? How could I abandon them like that when they obviously still needed my help and advice.

When you're truly actively suicidal, you are not in touch with reality at all.

The other thing that hit me when I woke up was surprise that I was still here alive. It's harder to commit suicide than you might think (fortunately).
 

Daniel

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“The things that save you are as frequently trivial as monumental.”

“Rebuilding of the self in and after depression requires love, insight, work, and, most of all, time.”

“Everything passes away—suffering, pain, blood, hunger, pestilence. The sword will pass away too, but the stars will still remain when the shadows of our presence and our deeds have vanished from the earth. There is no man who does not know that. Why, then, will we not turn our eyes toward the stars? Why?”

“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and my life, as I write this, is vital.”

“If everyone has the capacity for some measure of depression under some circumstances, everyone also has the capacity to fight depression to some degree under some circumstances. Often, the fight takes the form of seeking out the treatments that will be most effective in the battle. It involves finding help while you are still strong enough to do so. It involves making the most of the life you have between your most severe episodes. Some horrendously symptom-ridden people are able to achieve real success in life; and some people are utterly destroyed by the mildest forms of the illness.”

“That is, perhaps, the greatest revelation I have had: not that depression is compelling but that the people who suffer from it may become compelling because of it.”

― Andrew Solomon, The Noonday Demon
 
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Daniel

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"Sometimes my purpose is to just make it through the day alive. And that’s okay. That’s a valid purpose for anyone."
 
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Daniel

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Depression and suicidal thoughts don’t care about how spiritual we are. I’m sure plenty of devout believers and faithful leaders wish it did. I do.

I was in ministry – serving, preaching, leading worship, going on mission trips, leading Bible studies – but still wanting to die. Still hurting. Still hopeless...

Sometimes Christians tell us to “choose joy” or focus on somebody other than ourselves. There is some truth to this: caring for others and learning to cultivate joy are important parts of a healthy life.

But when death seems like the only way out of an internal torture chamber, those things don’t work. What’s worse, they become a way to mask pain. That’s how I could be involved in several ministries and wear a big smile while I wished for death.

Saying things like, “I’m so sorry you’re hurting,” and spending time with people struggling is much more effective than telling them to choose joy. It allows them to be honest, which might wind up saving a life.
 

Daniel

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"The discovery that, even when people feel well, the link between negative moods and negative thoughts remains ready to be re-activated, is of enormous importance. It means that sustaining recovery from such depression depends on learning how to keep mild states of depression from spiralling out of control."
 
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Daniel

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Daniel

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“A rising tide lifts all boats.”

Deaths by suicide increase during financial crises. However, providing social safety nets like a livable minimum wage decreases suicide rates. Currently, nearly 3 in 5 college students face some sort of basic needs insecurity, including housing instability, food insecurity, or lack of access to affordable health care. When these issues are addressed, they will not only affect suicide rates, but will undoubtedly have positive impacts on all of society.
 

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