Here are the demographic statistics for suicide: a 63-year-old white man living in the western United States exists is at highest risk. Men kill themselves about four times as frequently as women. Of those who died by suicide in 2011, 78.5 percent were men and 21.5 percent were women.
These numbers do not tell us the WHY of suicide, just what is.
We know that depression is a huge risk for suicide. Alcohol or substance abuse elevates that risk even higher. Sixty percent of those who kill themselves suffered from major depression; if we add substance abuse, the figure rises to 75 percent.
It is a matter of course to implement risk-reducing protocols immediately for those at high-risk for a lethal medical event such as a heart attack or aneurysm. Fortunately, we are long past the days of whispering about someone having cancer or another medical issue. Unfortunately, we are not yet fully at ease talking about mental illness and its treatment.
I do not know if Robin Williams …[Read More]
The world is reeling in shock from the death of Robin Williams. He was an amazing man–an icon. His popularity spanned generations. He had it all…talent, fame, money, a family and friends. Yes, he had it all…even depression and addictions.
The world is in mourning together. So many of us feel the sadness; as if the loss were intensely personal. We knew this man.
Or did we.
We are confused. We are angry. We have so many questions. Why would someone with so much want to die?
I have read a number of comments that talked about how Robin Williams was always in character. That he was actually very hard to really know. He fought battles most of us never knew.
But that is the kicker with depression. It has nothing to do with wealth or fame. It is a mental illness, and it can strike anyone.
The facts on suicide
Ongoing research suggests that alcohol and drug abuse are second only to depression and other mood disorders when it …[Read More]
A weekend getaway can boost a couple’s intimacy both emotionally and sexually. Even couples who have low intimacy in their day-to-day lives can rekindle the spark when they are out of their routines. These are the very couples who bicker, connect mostly as “business partners,” seem to pass each other like ships in the night. They might be couples whose work or children are the priorities. They often allow their relationship to take a back seat.
What is it about a change of scenery that allows couples to reconnect?
Is it simply a matter of taking time for each other? Is it about getting away from day-to-day stress? Could it be that a short two or three days is just long enough to have fun but not ruffle each others’ feathers? Yes, yes, and yes.
Children, work, finances and responsibilities not only take time and energy away from intimacy, they provide opportunities for disagreement and conflict. These ongoing conflict triggers take a toll and may even insert a …[Read More]
Four years ago, in 2010, I wrote this about insurance coverage for mental health care:
“Mental health parity is real. It is happening. But depending on the kind of insurance plan you have and the kind of treatment you want, you may have to jump some hurdles to get the benefits you deserve.”
At that time, the mental health parity law had only just taken affect, and since everything was so new, and there were still so many fine points to work out, not everyone was feeling the benefits of the law.
Not enough people know about mental health parity
Since then, the Affordable Care Act kicked in, meaning more Americans were covered by insurance plans that included mental health benefits with coverage that is comparable to physical health benefits.
But yet, a recent survey released by the American Psychological Association revealed that most Americans aren’t any more aware of the term “mental health parity” than they were in 2010 (only 7 percent!). …[Read More]