This strange thought occurred to me when I was making a list of all the stuff I was going to need to send my son off to college: where’s the college shower?
When a child comes into this world there is the baby shower, where experienced parents and a caring circle of friends pile on the onesies, the diapers, and the advice in preparation for his or her arrival. But when that very child (now young man or woman) leaves the nest for college there is no communal ritual preparation. The, now, older parents really don’t have a clue about this transition either, even with the “equipment list” on the college website.
Why focus on the STUFF of college anyway? Because everything else is out of your control. Let me repeat: Parents, you are not in control, and the glare of our sons’ and daughters’ independence is oh, so blinding. So, we compensate by focusing on the supplies as though their lives depended on having the perfect …[Read More]
None of us want to talk about suicide, but lots of us are thinking about it. A 2009 study by SAMHSA found that 8.3 million adults in the United States had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year. That’s a lot of people–and it’s just for one year. The study also found that 2.3 million American adults made a plan for suicide in the past year. And 1.1 million actually attempted to kill themselves. Anyway you cut it, lots of people have suicide on their minds.
So, just like sex and drugs, suicide is something we need to be talking about with our kids. And just like sex and drugs, it’s probably something we should talk about early and often.
I don’t mean to say we need to bombard 5-year-old with the gory details of death by suicide, but emotions, mood and how they affect behavior are totally appropriate topics–even for our youngest kids.
Some tips for talking …[Read More]
Shock. Disbelief. Numbness. Anguish. Despair. Loneliness. Abandonment. Grief. Anger. Guilt. Emptiness. Helplessness. Devastation.
These are only a few of the intense emotions often experienced after a loved one, friend, colleague, or anyone you admire is lost through suicide.
You are not alone in experiencing a range of potentially conflicting emotions. They may come and go in waves and change over time.
It is important to know that there is no “right way” to feel and these emotions are normal reactions to an unexpected, untimely death. There is also no specified timeline to follow: People grieve in their own way and at their own pace. You are not alone in the whirlwind of emotions that might be washing over you; most of us experience these intense feelings when we lose someone we care about.
Often, it is [Read More]
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]