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very much OS: Suicidal Friend

emily rain 29 Dec 99 - 08:09 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 29 Dec 99 - 08:40 PM
Little Neophyte 29 Dec 99 - 08:57 PM
Benjamin 29 Dec 99 - 08:59 PM
kendall 29 Dec 99 - 09:09 PM
Rick Fielding 29 Dec 99 - 09:50 PM
Áine 29 Dec 99 - 09:52 PM
Little Neophyte 29 Dec 99 - 10:09 PM
Diesel 29 Dec 99 - 10:26 PM
Rick Fielding 29 Dec 99 - 10:30 PM
_gargoyle 29 Dec 99 - 10:37 PM
_gargoyle 29 Dec 99 - 10:38 PM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 29 Dec 99 - 10:47 PM
catspaw49 29 Dec 99 - 11:16 PM
harpgirl 29 Dec 99 - 11:21 PM
Jeri 29 Dec 99 - 11:29 PM
reeebop 29 Dec 99 - 11:31 PM
katlaughing 29 Dec 99 - 11:40 PM
MAG (still posting from off-list) 29 Dec 99 - 11:47 PM
DonMeixner 30 Dec 99 - 12:12 AM
Paul S 30 Dec 99 - 12:59 AM
Barry Finn 30 Dec 99 - 01:10 AM
sophocleese 30 Dec 99 - 01:13 AM
El Jefe 30 Dec 99 - 01:15 AM
Margo 30 Dec 99 - 01:16 AM
Liz the Squeak 30 Dec 99 - 02:24 AM
30 Dec 99 - 02:30 AM
Llanfair 30 Dec 99 - 05:24 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 30 Dec 99 - 06:56 AM
Skipjack 30 Dec 99 - 07:46 AM
alison 30 Dec 99 - 08:42 AM
katlaughing 30 Dec 99 - 08:55 AM
MTed 30 Dec 99 - 01:22 PM
longhair 30 Dec 99 - 01:55 PM
Bert 30 Dec 99 - 02:06 PM
emily rain 31 Dec 99 - 03:36 PM
Richard Bridge 31 Dec 99 - 06:00 PM
emily rain 31 Dec 99 - 08:23 PM
Áine 31 Dec 99 - 08:40 PM
emily rain 31 Dec 99 - 09:51 PM
Jon Freeman 31 Dec 99 - 10:20 PM
Micca 31 Dec 99 - 10:23 PM
Mary G 31 Dec 99 - 10:35 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 01 Jan 00 - 05:05 AM
katlaughing 01 Jan 00 - 08:31 AM
Richard Bridge 01 Jan 00 - 09:10 AM
longhair 01 Jan 00 - 10:32 AM
momnopp 01 Jan 00 - 10:44 AM
Jeri 01 Jan 00 - 10:55 AM
Peter T. 01 Jan 00 - 11:22 AM
charcloth 01 Jan 00 - 01:11 PM
emily rain 01 Jan 00 - 01:11 PM
emily rain 01 Jan 00 - 01:13 PM
Jon Freeman 01 Jan 00 - 03:32 PM
Peter T. 01 Jan 00 - 04:29 PM
Okiemockbird 01 Jan 00 - 04:31 PM
JenEllen 01 Jan 00 - 04:35 PM
katlaughing 01 Jan 00 - 04:49 PM
Jeri 01 Jan 00 - 05:00 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Jan 00 - 05:10 PM
emily rain 01 Jan 00 - 05:23 PM
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Jon Freeman 01 Jan 00 - 07:00 PM
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Subject: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: emily rain
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 08:09 PM

sorry to add fuel to the music/non-music debate, but you guys are smart and most of you are kind, and i would really like to have your input on this.

i have a friend who talks suicide. she speaks very matter of factly about being unafraid of death and uninterested in life. she describes herself as "hopeless", as in lacking in hope for the future. having been suicidal myself once, i've given her the hard sell on antidepressants and therapy (virtually everything she tells me i can honestly respond "i felt that way too, and the drugs cured it"), but she's at the point now where feeling happy is such foreign concept to her that it seems like too much effort...

she's got a plan, and it's one that will be effective and easy to carry off. if she has the impulse tomorrow, she could be gone. though she says she's felt this way for years, i think her case is an emergency, and i'm very afraid for her.

so what can i do? what can i say? she's an adult, and i can't make her do anything she doesn't want to do. i don't have any authority to have her committed, and frankly i don't have a lot of faith in mental hospitals anyway. her lover knows how she feels, and is also at a loss.

have any of you had this experience? what would you say?


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 08:40 PM

Emily, is she a musician? Steve Martin, on one of his first albums, said that every child when born should be issued a banjo. I'd echo that, but it takes years of practice (or Rick Fielding as a teacher and a few months of lots of practice--right, Bonnie?) to get to the point where it really helps--but a good C harmonica and a David Harp or John Gindick intro to harmonica and she can be playing the blues in three minutes (that's what David Harp says--and demonstrates). The harmonica is so great at making wailing sounds that it sucks the wail right out of your soul. Also, it requires a good deal of physical exertion--deep breathing exercises. Once is a period of dark depression I spent three days disassembling a tree with only a pruning saw. Intense exercise of any kind is a great antidote for depression, as is having a positive focus of some kind.* Back to David Harp--he teaches workshops in (in addition to playing the harmonica) using the harmonica as a meditational device.

--seed(CharlesKratz) *Have you a big job, a really big, physical one that would take you and her a few days or weeks to accomplish? Ask her to help you and while you work take frequent healthy noshes: stay away from sugar based foods--my only down times these days are when I've eaten a big breakfast consisting mainly of waffles with lots of syrup on them...I'm fine for a while, but when the sugar is digested (which is a very short time), hypoglycemia kicks in and can trigger nasty depression.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 08:57 PM

Right Charles

Emily, I'm not sure what to suggest for your friend but I can see you are being a concerned loving friend and that is the greatest gift you can offer someone.
I'm quite sure more helpful suggestions will be posted this evening.

BB


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Benjamin
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 08:59 PM

A good friend of mine's friend was on suicide watch for a while. He couldn't be alone - ever.

If she has no reason to live, no hope for a future, she will remain suicidal. She is going to need to something to live for, a reason for living. Drugs aren't a reason. From my experience, if she is get over suicidal feelings, she is probably going to need a dramastic change! There is no easy way to help.

This is really all I can say. I'm sorry you have to go through this!

BMW


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: kendall
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 09:09 PM

I am both clinically depressed, and hypoglycemic. its a deadly combo. I must stay away from sugar, and remember to take my meds. One thing that has been of great help to me is THE MUDCAT. I now have a family of people who understand my need for, and love of folk music. Check out my thread, I'M OUTTA HERE. I cant tell you how much those responses mean to me. My advice..hold her, cry with her..tell her how much you would miss her. You know what you needed back then..give her the same. Reason will not work. When I am depressed, the last thing I want to hear is logic. How can I go and cut down a tree, when I dont give a damn about anything?


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 09:50 PM

Dear Emily. What you must be going through! I've had five friends suicide over the years...Three of them in under a year. You can imagine how totally useless I felt, being unable to prevent these losses. For a while I tried to figure out what was the fatal flaw within me that attracted me to (and vice-versa) people who were that troubled. I at least felt that if I could have seen any one of these people the day before they acted, perhaps I could have said something that would have changed their situation.
When I was in my twenties, most of my friends were very regular drug users and pretty heavy drinkers, and it often became my role to "talk people down" from bad acid trips, or help them "walk off" a coke or heroin overdose. (a hospital would have been out of the question in those days due to the drug laws) I got used to saying the kind of things that would ease their fears and generally making them feel that they were in "safe hands". Perhaps you're a bit like that. If so, this is going to really hurt if she follows through.
There are a lot of folks (perhaps even some in our Mudcat group) who for whatever reason see the end of this year as hugely symbolic and this has probably become a great burden to them. I doubt that any logical argument about arbitrary calenders, or stuff like that is going to change their feeling that somehow their passing must be connected to this time.
I don't think you can help your friend anymore than you have already. If she wants to decide whether "to be or not to be" that will inevitably be her decision alone, and if her decision is to leave, try to have respect for her choice along with the sadness you'll surely feel. As you may know, I don't participate in the "group consciousness" threads (It just isn't my reality) but should you ever want to talk, my e-mail is over at Bbc's resources (I'd blue clicky but I'm afraid I'd fuck it up) or give me a call at 416-690-8697. I'm a good listener.
Love

Rick


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Áine
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 09:52 PM

Dear emily,

I'm so sad to hear what your friend and yourself are going through. I've thought about this since I saw your message, trying to come up with the 'perfect' answer. But, there is none. The best thing that can be said at this point is that she is still 'talking' about suicide. When/if she suddenly stops talking about it, that is when you should really worry and not leave her alone, if at all possible. As long as she's still 'talking' about it, she's still open to input from you and other people she's sharing these thoughts with.

First thing I would advise you to do is to call the suicide prevention number (if you have one) in your telephone directory. If one is not listed, call the operator and ask for the nearest one near you. Talk to the folks there, explain the situation with your friend, and ask them what they would suggest.

If you do not have access to a suicide prevention line, then I would call the psychologists/psychiatrists that are listed in the yellow pages. Tell them you are trying to find some way to help your friend -- I'm sure that they will be able to steer you in the right direction.

If you have a personal physician, call him or her and ask them if they can refer you to someone or some place that can help you.

Lastly, and I speak from personal experience here, you may have to try some 'tough love' with your friend. I have lost two people that I loved very much through suicide. I not only felt sad and bewildered; I also felt very, very, angry. And I am still angry with them. The grief that I had to experience did not come by accident or natural causes, it came from their own actions, and to this day, it still pisses me off. I don't know how many times I wish I could sit the two of them down in front of me and let them know how pissed off I really am -- and how many times I wish I had had the opportunity to tell them how their actions would make me feel before they did what they did.

If you've been a sympathetic ear for your friend, listening to her talk about suicide and the different ways she could off herself, perhaps it's time she listened to you for a change. Tell her how you would feel -- not only about yourself, but also about her -- if she carried out her plans. It just might be a light at the end of the tunnel for her and a reason to keep on trying and to get some help in doing so.

Remember, dear emily, you can only do so much. If your friend still refuses to seek help and accomplishes her sorrowful task, it is not your fault. Love her and try to help her, but also realize that in the end, the choice to live or die rests in the hands of each individual.

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:09 PM

Emily & Rick, I do not believe it is a fatal flaw that causes troubled people to be attracted to you. You are who they have reached out to at their lowest point. It is a gift to be able to really listen. You offer these individuals compassion & understanding. This is of great service.

BB


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Diesel
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:26 PM

Emily

There is only one solution : Talk !

Talk,talk and don't stop talking ! This is only half the battle, the other half is Listen !

Listen,listen and then listen some more. Your friend is calling for help and needs someone to listen - not necessarily have answers to give but a shoulder to lean on.

Stay with her Emily and don't for one minute let her think you aren't there to listen - on the phone, ready at moments notice to sit for tea/coffee with them. It's going to take it's toll on you - make no doubt about that - but for what the friendship is worth on the other side of this, nothing can ever repay.

DON'T ring the helplines yourself - that is to destroy a trust, suggest it politely - but your friend must be the one to take that step. Seek advice yourself from them but don't give them her number for the same reason.

Somethings in Life Emily you may be able to help - and some you will not, this is one where an old adage is useful - when you were born - you were given two ears and one mouth - so you can listen twice as much as you speak.

Be there for her - let her talk,talk and talk - you just have to listen !

Diesel

PS - I do speak from experience


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:30 PM

In total agreement Bonnie. I didn't feel that for long. In actual fact, having for most of my life been part of an "artist's community", it's a wonder that I haven't lost more friends and acquaintances. Almost everyone I know in theatre and dance have lost friends to aids or suicide (often one resulting in the other)
I learned about 10 years ago that one remedy for myself when I was feeling misunderstood was to read ANYTHING of Quentin Crisp. I inevitably feel MUCH better almost instantly. He speaks to me in a way no religion or self-help book ever could. Sadly I found out that his suggestions for being happy and content don't work for most folks.
Hang in Emily.

Rick


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: _gargoyle
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:37 PM

Mr. Rick Fielding....

Given
............. your above statement

Will....either, MAX, or dick, or susan

Be held liable for their participation?


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: _gargoyle
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:38 PM

OOOOOPPPPPSSSSS!!!!

Sorry to add...the """""cavete emptore""""""(sic) to the above posting.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 10:47 PM

Emily,

You've already told her pretty much what I would've: get on prozac, get on zoloft, get on luvox, get on whatever a qualified psychiatrist prescribes for the case. These medicines sometimes have only a marginal effect, but sometimes, as I understand, that margin makes all the difference between feeling overwhelmed and feeling equal to one's troubles. Other than that, I can only repeat what Diesel said: keep talking.

I know this is easy for me to say when it's you on whom the burden falls. Has she other friends, besides you and the one other you mentioned, who agree with your evaluation of the situation's seriousness ? With their help at least you won't feel as if you are the only one who even sees the trouble.

You and your friend are in the thoughts and prayers of many of us here at the Mudcat. Maybe that isn't much, but it's more than nothing.

T.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 11:16 PM

Save the obvious, all of the above is excellent advice. As long as your friend is talking about it you're working. Of the 4 people close to me who have committed suicide, NONE talked about it beforehand. In retrospect, we all saw signs, but they never verbalized it. Your friend shows many of the symptons we deal with from many of our teens that have been in foster care, clinical depression. Take Aine's advice (and others) and get your friend to decide to seek help...forcing her to go won't do it. Then, perhaps a combination of drugs, counseling, diet, and friendship will help. For you emily....keep on hangin' in. If you get tired of Rick, call me at 740-569-7610. I know what you're going through and the sheer helplessness you feel can take you down the road too. We're here, or a phone call away.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: harpgirl
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 11:21 PM

...Kay Redfield Jamison has a new book out called "Night Falls Fast". Her premis and one I have found to be chillingly true in my practice is that many dangerously suicidal individuals are manic-depressive (or Bi-Polar I or Bi-Polar II.) Correct diagnosis is crucial because medical treatment can and should vary depending on the individual's diagnosis. Diesel gives good advice. Depressed people need contact, connection, attention, love, caring, prodding. Help your friend stay connected to her community and friends and get her in to see a GOOD psychiatrist ASAP for medication and an expert therapist for therapy....good luck


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Jeri
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 11:29 PM

Emily, this is my opinion, for what it's worth.
What you can do: listen, talk, be a friend. Strongly advise her to get professional help. Call suicide prevention, call a psychiatrist. If someone you loved was running a very high fever, you'd call a Dr immediately. This is as severe an illness, only mental, not physical. Mental hospitals and current psychological treatment may not be that great, but it's better than doing nothing. If she's religious, she could talk to her priest/rabbi/minister/???
What you can't do: give her the will to live. You can do everything within your power to point out reasons for her to keep hope alive, and show her she's loved, but she's the one who has to want and accept those things. There are no magic words.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: reeebop
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 11:31 PM

the first answer that i read is on that i truely believe in. my partner has been struggling with dpression and suiceid for a few years and one thing that really seems to elp is music. there are just certain songs that i can start to pick and suddenly everyone is up and feeling a little better. it's not a perminant solution, but it can make things a little more berable for the time being. i also recomed a healthy diet and just getting up and doing stuff. that seems to have made a dramatic difference in the quality of my parter's and my life. keep your own strength up--things will work out in mysterious ways. good luck. your friend is lucky to have you.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 11:40 PM

The only thing I would add, Emily, is that you listen and talk, yes, but don't try to do it all on your own. Someone who is that ill needs professional help, as well as good friends. Follow the advice of the others and ask for advice for yourself from professionals and try to get her to seek their assistance, too.

kat


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: MAG (still posting from off-list)
Date: 29 Dec 99 - 11:47 PM

Emily, Aine is right on about telling your friend the impact her self destruction would have on you and others; I think it's OK to say it is a very selfish thing to do. She is in so much pain she may not be able to think about it. If the depression has gone on for so long, there is almost certainly a biochemical factor. Find out her family medical history, if you don't know it. Finding the right drug is a start, but they take about a month to kick in. Seed is right about using your body, those endorphins help with depression. Take care of yourself, or you will get dragged down by this. Live, laugh, and love.

One immediate family member of mine committed suicide, and 3 others have made gesture/attempts. Take the talk very seriously. What is the situation with her next-of-kin? They are the ones who COULD have her put in for evaluation if there arer "Danger to self or others" signs.

Good luck.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: DonMeixner
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 12:12 AM

A Unitarian Minister and folksinger named Ric Masten wrote a book about helping with a suicidal friend and did work shops in suicide prevevntion many years ago. I've lost track of Ric over the years but if he is out there he'll help.

Do a book serch on the web.

Don


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Paul S
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 12:59 AM

All right. I hate to soil a basically friendly thread, but Gargoyle, you really are quite a prick. I can't even imagine what derangement would cause you to type the shit you do.

Emily: I hope things turn out. Remember to take care of yourself, too.

Paul.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Barry Finn
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 01:10 AM

Good luck Emily. If they're still talking keep the lines open put her on a contract that they won't do anything perment without ?????? you first (maybe, "don't try it, first give the meds a shot"???). Wonder drugs are a wonder, wished I had them in the 60's when I was self medicating myself to the grave along with most of the friends I no longer have. Watch for signs of "getting things straighten out" or "getting affairs in order" (& not talking about it) like they're readying themselves for a long trip, those are the ones that aren't reaching out or asking for help (or are now past that point). You can & probably should tell them that it's selfish but if it's to hard or painful they may think the selfish one is you. Do what ever you can but you can't make happen what they don't want to happen you can only get angy then some years down the road you mourn & cry every once & a while, still bewildered. Hope all turns well. Barry


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: sophocleese
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 01:13 AM

emily hang in there. The only other thing I might suggest is that comedy can help. Use your sense of humour and try to stimulate hers. Point out the absurdities of this beautiful and ridiculous world. You may not get belly laughs but even weak giggles are helpful.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: El Jefe
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 01:15 AM

My brother took his life in 82... 37 years old...brilliant beyond all comprehension.. Witty, very good looking, self employed and unexplainably despondent.... I tried to help..parents tried to help...

I strongly urge you to contact the local chapter of Suicide Prevention....neither you nor I are equipped to help or for that matter accurately determine the gravity of the situation....I wish I had made that call. I would rather harbor guilt over that contact than to spend the 17 years wondering ...........

One of the things that is wholly a human trait is hope.. that being gone nothing else will matter..

Next I strongly recommend reading ..Allen Watts "The Wisdom of Insecurity" I believe from the 50's but as relevant today..

I wish you and your friend peace.. Jefe


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Margo
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 01:16 AM

Gads, Emily, I've been through this too! Had a roommate that did commit suicide. I found her. It was definately a very selfish thing she did. I have always wished I could have somehow been a better friend but there's only so much a person can do. Then it is up to the suicidal person to take the step towards health.

You said that she has felt this way for years? How long have you known her? I wonder if this is nothing new, her way of getting sympathy? Just trying to look from every angle. Professional help was good for me, I'd recommend it.

Margo


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 02:24 AM

All I can do is pray for you, I've felt too close to this one to do anything more sensible. On some people it works if you give them a list of things that will actually help them. A friend Fay was constantly talking suicide, and finally, a close circle of about 10 people finally got sick of her never even attempting to help herself, that we all just said, OK, here's what you can do so that we don't have a pile of shit to clear up.

Last I heard she was alive and well and living by the seaside, something she had always wanted to do, but never had the gumption to up and move 8 miles down the road....

LTS

And Garg, there are some people who should be allowed to kill themselves..... get the message???!


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From:
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 02:30 AM

If four (4) people close to ANY substance/person died (from natural OR un-natural casues) the "E.P.A." should be organizing an invesitigative inquiry.

Mr. Paws perhaps you are toxic!


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Llanfair
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 05:24 AM

Emily, you need to take care of yourself. People with depression can be enormously demanding, and suck you dry emotionally. How come she has been in this state for many years, and yet still has friends to look after her?
Depression is very isolating, as it affects 2 way communication. Does she sleep? has St John's wort been tried? Take care of yourself, Bron.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 06:56 AM

Holding you and your friend in the Light...


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Skipjack
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 07:46 AM

Emily, you shine, brilliantly.

Charles' idea of playing/learning struck a chord with me. I am wrestling with marriage breakdown after 16 years, and whilst my contribution is genuinely humble, I have found such solace in both playing music, and sharing my sadness with other moths drawn to the same flame.

I ain't overly gone on secular religion, but I pray for you, your friend, and gargoyle that devils be driven out, and the comfort of peace be visited on you.

With love

Skipjack


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: alison
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 08:42 AM

If you are in the UK Emily (sorry can't remember where you are)try the Samaritans just for some advice.... I've been there.. a friend who was just willing to listen is why I'm still here...... just keep reminding her that you're there for her....

keeping you and your friend in my thoughts and prayers....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 08:55 AM

Emily, if you are comfortable with it, you might also have a blunt discussion with her on death. What does she think it would be like; how would it feel; what does she expect, etc. And, by all means, tell her how you would feel and what a mess it can be. Sometimes being blunt can shock a person out of the thinking rut they might be in. My uncle used a gun to commit suicide after living in constant pain for many years from WWII wounds. I am sure he never thought of how messy and horrible it was for my cousin to have to clean his brains up off of the garage floor.

On a more positive note, you might try getting her to go with you to help someone else, such as singing in a nursing home or visiting children in hospital; anything to get her to think of someone other than herself and her hopelessness.

I think Margo raised a good point. If she's been like this for years, has she ever had any therapy? Did the schools ever notice or her parents? Most people who talk about it a lot, from what I've read and heard, do so because they are crying out for attention. It sounds as though there must be some issues for her about that. While you don't want to ignore her talking about it, perhaps getting friends to agree to trying to give her attention only for more positive things would help, kind of like LTS was talking about with her friend?

As others have said, she needs professional help; take care of yourself first; and, know that it is NOT your fault if she chooses to follow through.

Holding you and your friend in my thoughts and prayers.

Kat


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: MTed
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 01:22 PM

Emily,

Kat has got a really important point there--you should talk to her, not only about death, but about what she is doing to you--she has got you hook line and sinker, because you care, and the whole deadpan act, "Life is meaningless, and here is what I am going to do to end it" gets the desired response out of you, horror, despair, and guilt, every time--

Part of what suicide prevention/intervention people do these days, is to put the patient on notice that the threats are taken seriously, that it is not a game, and that, no matter what they are feeling, they have to learn to accept responsibility for themselves--

The bottom line is simple--she is trying to make you responsible by refusing to take any action herself, and dumping all the plans and feelings and hopelessness on you,and making you do something about it--

I don't say that this is all a game, and that with a little tough love or whatever, she'll straighten out--there is a real danger that she will carry out her plan(even if she doesn't really mean to kill herself, she just wants the attention) and goes too far--

You are dealing with a person who doesn't accept responsibility for herself. so she believes that other people are responsible for her present situation, and if she does something horrible, it is because others have mader her do it, and therefore that others are responsible for stepping in and saving her--

Obviously your friend has long term depression, some possible causes have been suggested above, and I will throw in traumatic brain injury(TBI), which may have occurred, either detected or undetected, anytime from birth through adolescence, and, because it left no lingering outward debility, was never noted--

Recent advances in brain scan technology allow neuro-scientists to observe both organic and functional damage in the brain, and it is becoming clear that the brains of chronically depressed and TBI survivors show similar irregularities in function--

But the problem is not that there is something wrong, but that your friend has refused to make any effort to deal with it--

She has put you in the responsible position, since she won't deal with it herself--do what you have to do, even if it means having her locked up--in the US, she has already told you enough to have her committed to an institution--

At the risk of sounding melodramatic, after a while,you get used to visiting the mental institution, but you never get used to visiting the cemetery--


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: longhair
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 01:55 PM

Emily, I don't have any pat answers for you, I wished I did. I know where your friend is at. I've been there. I if weren't for good friends and a very understanding and helpful wife, I'd be gone now. I believe you're doing what you can do. Like someone else said, talk, listen, if she's telling you these things she's crying for help. My wife was the last to know, but my best friend, a Vietnam Vet, he could see the signs, and kept a close watch on me. She really needs to see a doc and get started on some meds. I really can't tell you how to make her do that. There's a depression newsgroup that help me some. I was able to see there were others in the world that felt like I felt, and that seemed to help a little. It took 2 years of my friend telling me I needed help and having a gun in my hand before I realized I really needed to do something. I still fight it everyday, but meds help a whole lot.. Email me at longhair@cei.net, lets talk.. Hang in there, it's really hard..


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Bert
Date: 30 Dec 99 - 02:06 PM

One of the times to be extra careful is when she just starts to pull out of the depression and you are thinking she is getting better. That's a time when a lot of people in her situation finally get the courage to go through with it.

We are always here for the both of you and I'm sure you've told her about Mudcat. If she has email, we would love to send her personal messages to let her know that there are people here who care for her even though we only know her as our Emily's friend.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: emily rain
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 03:36 PM

god, you guys. thank you so much for your responses. there are a million different perspectives here, all valid, all well considered, all kind. i'm taking it all under advisement, most especially:

calling the helplines for myself (not to "tell" on her; you're right, diesel, that would be a betrayal of her trust)

talking frankly about the ramifications of what she's considering

helping her make a list of things she could do besides killing herself

being there to help her get started on those things

continuing to talk up the merits of SSRI's

telling her again and again how much i love her

and taking care of myself.

silly me; i wasn't expecting all the sweet beautiful comforting things you've said to help me! of course, if i take a moment to remember who y'all are... : ) thank you again, friends. my heart flows with love for every one of you. whatever happens here, i know that your words have been a help and hope. you go with me where ever i go.

love,
emily


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 06:00 PM

Emily

I urge you not to get involved. I strongly so urge you.

I have a friend. He has been my friend since about 1962. He has always been a pisshead. He joined the armed forces and spent years killing (war or no) for the Queen. He was one of a handful in the world with a large bore rifle over very long ranges. He is equally dangerous at close range. He nearly killed the PTI at his passing out parade because he annoyed him, and spent his first month in the forces in the brig. He has never had a comfortable life. His father was bankrupted. His older daughter is a self destructive blimp. His younger daughter had bulimia. He married a woman with a background of her father's self-made success to which he could never aspire.

When he dried out after civilian jobs aggravated a spinal injury and first reduced him to a wheelchair, he divorced. It was messy. His wife's father had been a powerful free mason and his wife still worked for a masonic charity. Small wonder his lawyers got nowhere fast. He also lost his workers comp claim.

"Faith healing" got him walking again (in reality it probably destroyed a healing process and crippled him for life). He also remarried. He left his second wife 9 times before he married her. She was a manic depressive and attempted suicide about every 6 or 7 weeks. When they split up his legs had gone again. He was left in a wheelchair in an upstairs council flat with no lift. He could not get out, for health and safety regulations forbade anyone other than ambulance workers to lift him or his wheelchair down the stairs. His wheelchair would not go through the doors of the flat, for it was too big. So he crawled, until the damage to the tissue in his kneecaps caused life threatening bloodclots in his legs.

He will probably never walk again. The catch 22 is that his legs hurt as if they are in a fire. The painkillers will kill him sooner or later because of the liver damage from his lifetime's alcohol abuse. But cutting the nerves (a surgical option) will definitely mean he will never walk again.

This Xmas his family (several parts of it) would not come and take him out of the flat or cook him a Christmas meal because they wanted to drink and would not risk a drink-driving conviction.

But the only times he has tried to commit suicide were some of the times when his second wife did – when he was trying to support her.

For your own sake: walk away.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: emily rain
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 08:23 PM

Richard,

i respectfully submit: my friend is nothing like that. she's a wonderful thirty four year old mother of three who's seen her share of hard times but has always pulled through. she's a writer, landscaper, musician. she's surrounded by loved ones, a position she's earned with her own loving ways.

i respectfully submit: i am nothing like your friend. i've been down the suicide road and i know the terrain. never never again would i go there, not for anyone. you're right, though; it's a slippery slope. the day i started this thread i was feeling pretty shakey... but i know my own warning signs and i love myself enough to rest when i'm tired.

thank you for your concern, but you may trust me. : )

love,
emily


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Áine
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 08:40 PM

Dearest Em,

I'm pretty sure I speak for all who know you here on the 'Cat -- You are one hell of a woman!

Blessings to you this New Year's Day, Áine


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: emily rain
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 09:51 PM

i know. *shrugs* *polishes fingernails*

blessings to you, too sweetie. : )


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 10:20 PM

I have been down the suicide root many times and maybe one day will go that way again and I get sick and tired of meds being suggested. I don't know this case but it as fact that some of use are singled out for shit in life and no meds will stop the shit coming.

Try this one, one of mine. I satrated saying (and I can proove this) at the age of 36 that one element of my life that sereved as some proof of the way life was treating me was that I never had a girlfriend. Within 2 weeks of saying that and considering publishing it, I suddenly got a girlfriend - somebody I had known for a long time suddelnly out the blue wanted to go out with me - didn't last long - but JAyne came along instead lasted a few months till I was emotionally destroyed finding out I was having an affair with someone whose boyfriend was in prison.

Oddly enough, although I've wanted another one since and nearly that was 3 years ago. I haven't changed at all. Why then. The truth is life shits on some people all the way through and meds will never cure that.

Jon


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Micca
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 10:23 PM

Emily. big love and hugs(insert homily about I've been there done that). what matters is, YOU'VE been there, done that and survived, you are you unique and valuable and feel that you can save your friend and why not, all we can do is try, for our friends. If not you, Who? If not now ,When? love and BBs from Micca


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Mary G
Date: 31 Dec 99 - 10:35 PM

about the friend in a wheelchair: your friend needs an advocate for housing on the first floor and medical help and probably sounds like help for PTSD. He might be a pisshead but he is also a veteran and needs whatever he is entitled to as one ...perhaps there is a veterans' group that can help...and shame on any country that allows any veteran of any war or situation to live like that...

and Emily, sorry to intrude on your discussion but it sounds like you have some good suggestions...


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 05:05 AM

The only thing that you could possibly do for your friend, is to tell her how much she means to you and others. That her life (or any life) is not futile and meaningless. Life is a precious gift, the easiest thing to do is end it. Living for others can make a difference, but she must also learn to live for herself. If she cannot or will not seek help, she must consider how the negative consequence will burden her friends and family. How will her family recover from the event, if she kills herself? Ask her questions that are open not closed. If the terrible event occurs remember this; All life has a purpose, hers may have been to serve as an example to others; this is the only (cold)comfort you will ever find in such cases. My posting may not be of any help, but ultimately she should not continue to destroy the quality of other peoples lives around her for too much longer. She may very well force someone else to consider such action. The point of my posting is to care for those who wish to live and contribute to the benefit of society. You obviously care a great deal about your friend to solicit our help. I hope that it is of some help. From your description of her, I am more concerned about her familys quality of life and health (and yours) at this point. Sincerely. Dave


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 08:31 AM

I agree with Dave. Knowing her situation does make a difference. Not that I don't care about her, but suicide is a very selfish act and, IMO, becomes even more so when one has children they should feel responsibility for/to. I will never forget riding the bus to school one morning when I was about 10 years old and wondering why my friend didn't come out and get on. I later found out, the previous day, her father had committed suicide. Has your friend thought of how it would effect her children, especially if one of them found her?

Keep talking, Em, we luvya...kat


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 09:10 AM

MaryG

Thanks. Yes, did that and got him moved to another area. He now has a powered wheelchair and a flat he can use it in. Navy assistance was useless - expected gratitude and patience for charity. So Victorian. But that was not the point of what I was saying. Despite all that the only time he attempted suicide was because someone else was making the running. Ergo, I say, if you get involved in helping the suicidal you run the risk of being taken down too. Help by all means, but keep enough distance.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: longhair
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 10:32 AM

Richard, sounds like your friend had a hard way to go, and must be strong indeed, if all his friends run from him when he needed help, and he didn't kill himself or somebody else. Now, let me see if I have this straight....just because your friend had it so rough and didn't try to kill himself, Emily should walk away from her friend? I don't really see how you can tell Emily to walk away from someone she cares about. As far as her getting "dragged down with her", I don't see your logic in that. Do I rightly assume that you gave no help, no moral support to your friend? I hope not. I also would like to know what your friends ex wife's father being a freemason has to do with anything? Can you explain?

Jon, I agree that some of us are destined to have a rough row to hoe, and meds don't alway work, nothing always works. But in most cases they help, and a lot of times just helping a little bit, is the difference between suicide and living. I take it a day at a time, and trust that God will help me make through another day.

Emily, I respect you for trying to help somebody that you apparently care for, that's what being a real friend is, not running away when times get rough, but being there when needed. I wish the best to you and your friend. The best to you all! longhair


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: momnopp
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 10:44 AM

Em, Obviously, you've come to the right place to ask for help on a topic like this. I'm sure that there are probably more mental health professionals than you can shake a stick at (or wannabees, like me) on the 'cat. And plenty of us have "BTDT". Keep up the love.

For more long-term investigation, I like to read. Some of my personal favorites are "Potatoes Not Prozac" by Kathleen DesMaisons (this book is mistakenly - IMHO - put into a category of/for/about dieting, but it's about sugar and other addiction), "The Healing Power of Humor" by Allen Klein, and one I am just reading now, "Love & Survival" by Dean Ornish. Kay Redfield Jamison has already been mentioned, I understand that all of her books are extrodinary.

And then there's always my favorite light bulb joke. I'm always astonished that more people haven't heard it: How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?

Just one -- but the light bulb has to WANT to change!

Love, JudyO


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 10:55 AM

Richard, if you do get involved and the person commits suicide anyway, you think you should have done something more, or maybe wonder if you said or did the wrong thing. If you never get involved, and a person you love commits suicide, do you really think the feelings would be better?

People can't force another person to want to live. What they can do is open doors to a different path and windows to a different view.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 11:22 AM

Jon, take care of yourself. You have told us this before and are obviously having a hard time coping.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: charcloth
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 01:11 PM

wish I knew what to say. will pray for you both


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: emily rain
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 01:11 PM

yes, Jon, ditto that.

i hear ya: happy drugs can't change the way life is treating you. that's why depression is an illness with two causes, situational and chemical. in some cases, though, a situational depression can become a chemical one. your brain spends so much time marinating in unhappiness that it resets itself to maintain the feeling, regardless of what's going on around you. i would guess that's why people keep suggesting antidepressants for you.

if you've felt suicidal before and don't now, you must be doing something right. i wish you peace, jon, however you can find it.

emily


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: emily rain
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 01:13 PM

oops -- charcloth and i posted at the same time... i meant to be dittoing Peter T.

(and thank you. that's the best i could ask for)


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 03:32 PM

Peter T, I am getting through a day at a time and am not struggling at the moment. The only reason I mentioned it here was to try to illustrate that there are plenty of good reasons for being down or depressed but far too many people seem to think that medication is the answer.

It seems a wierd world when one on is not supposed to be depressed when one watch their lfie or parts of it collapse around them. I do agree that some people can be depressed for no reason and presume that is an ilness butI think that all many people need is just a little break in life.

As a general rule, I am against psychiatric drugs of any kind and believe that they are often prescribed without any real thought. My mothers gp wanted to put her on antidepressants simply because she was worried and upset over my father being in a coma having had a stroke...

Jon


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 04:29 PM

I agree Jon, and am glad you are keeping on keeping on. Masking depression with drugs is like refusing to mourn when someone dies or you lose some hope you had. If you can't respect your own response, what can you respect? It is betraying the honesty of your own existence and experience. And if you believe that the world is meaningless or a machine out to get you, there are good reasons for thinking so! D.W. Winnicott, the child psychiatrist, once said that the patients he respected most were the ones who refused to have a nervous breakdown, and those who had enough courage to have a nervous breakdown. The line gets crossed perhaps when months or years have gone by without any relief, or when one can feel oneself being sucked down too deep. Then drugs or almost anything seem to me to be justified. A close friend of mine once said, just before he was hospitalized, "You know how in Alcoholics Anonymous they say you can't do anything until you have hit bottom? I have discovered that there is no bottom." He is now on drugs, which keep his life and family together, but he is not the person he was -- but then he stopped being the person he was a long time ago. Do I like him better now absolutely? No. Do I like him better than he was when he was beating his wife and lying howling in a bottomless pit? Yes. Some things maybe, just break, and will not come back together again, ever.

When it becomes endless or bottomless, then even a strong person, who has always shunned help, needs help. Even just to try, even if it seems really stupid, or betraying your right to be angry at the world because of all it has done to you. It is a terrible time. I have been there myself, and watched friends grope towards asking for help, and failed to ask for it myself. I came out with just a belief bitterly earned, that asking for help often takes much more strength than toughing it out.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Okiemockbird
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 04:31 PM

No one has any business claiming that antidepressants or lithium can magically prevent misfortune, or sorrow. No one has any business saying that they make one immune to all grief. But my (admittedly amateur) observation of those who have been prescribed (by a competent, experienced physician) seratonin re-uptake inhibitors for depression, is that they give the patient a better grip on himself, giving him a fighting chance to prevent himself from getting caught in a sort of feedback loop in which the sorrow itself (not the original pain) creates more and more sorrow. I have also known someone with manic-depression, whose condition appeared to me to have been stabilized by the drug-treatments appropriate to that condition.

T.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: JenEllen
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 04:35 PM

Dear Emily;

So sad at heart to hear of your troubling time. Your friend is lucky to have your peace and light.

I agree with confronting your friend, but I'm not too much into the "duct tape them to the chair" kind of interventions stuff. In my experience it does more harm than good.

I've had to deal with this myself, and the best I can offer is that you sit her down, and be prepared. Imagine a good sheepdog. Whichever way she goes, argument wise, nip her back into the fold. Tell her you love her, and offer options instead of the trite crap that pervades most folks senses. Tell her how to get help, and offer to go with her. Tell her that if she kills herself, there will have to be someone to find her. When I was six, a man hung himself in my grandfather's barn. He had been there a few days when my grandfather sent me in to get some tools. Does she want a six year old to find her body, and have to find out the horrors of death well before her time? It's not just herself she's hurting here.

And whatever her choice is, remember that it is HER choice. In coming to ask for help, and showing that you care, you have done the best you can. Keep your strength, and the love of those around you. I send you as much love and strength as my lil' black heart can muster. Elle


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 04:49 PM

Em, have you thought about printing this out, minus a few postings, to show to her, so that she can see for herself how much you and those who love you care? It's just a thought; not sure if it's a good one or not.

Jon, I think I understand what you are saying. I too, advocate no use of drugs unless there is no other way. I was on heart meds for almost twnety eyars, always itching from allergic reations, always aching, always with brittle hair and nails. Finally found a doc who was open to my ideas on herbs and last April I went off of any medication stronger than an occassional tylenol. I take garlic, hawthorn, motherwort, and dandelion tinctures everyday and feel so much better, plus my hair, skin, and nails are normal, again!

For me, most drugs are extremely toxic and I shun them. I also believe that doctors and society in general use them to excess and I abhor the general mentality which comes through in commercials which basically tell us to "take a pill" it'll solve all our problems.

I don't think that is what most Mudders were saying though. One thing I love about the Mudcat, is most of us post from personal experience, just as you've done, Jon, and I really appreciate that.

I do understand PeterT's point and that of others about friends or themselves benefitting from drugs. And, I do agree there comes a time where the feeling of depression is the motivation to keep being depressed and may cause a chemical imbalance which need to be righted.

Emily, you are doing a great job as a friend and fellow human bean!

luvyaKat


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 05:00 PM

Peter, I completely agree with you that it takes more strength to ask for help - probably because people think there must be something wrong with them if they can't solve their own problems. On the other hand, the one time I did ask for help, I didn't get it. I knew the people in the Mental Health office on a professional basis. They first thought I was joking, then told me I needed to fill out a rather lengthy questionnaire. I was very stressed at the time, and there I couldn't deal with the red tape and road blocks, so I walked out.

I've been lucky. For me, things always seem to work out. For others, things always seem to go down the crapper. There are undoubtedly a myriad of reasons for the two different perceptions/realities. I think some people lose a feeling of contol, or actual control, over those reasons, and just give up trying.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 05:10 PM

I seem to have spread confusion. Let me try again.

I have a friend of long standing. He has had many troubles. He never tried to commit suicide.

Then he got involved with a woman who regularly tried (how hard I cannot say) to do so. That was the only period during which he tried to commit suicide. The only times he did so was when she did so. Even then he did not do so every time she did so.

This suggests it is safer to keep a fair distance from those who do try to commit suicide. If they lock you into their lives you may find you go with them.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: emily rain
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 05:23 PM

awesome post, Peter T. well put, Okie.

yes, Richard. i, for one, heard you. and again, i do appreciate what you're saying and the concern that goes with it. and i am keeping a fair distance; after all, i'm not married to her or living with her.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: longhair
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 05:55 PM

Let me also clear up somethings I said that may have been misunderstood. I, like many on here, believe that doctors had out pills willy nilly. I think they script them out to kids way yon more than nessasary, and also to people that just has a case of the blues. I hate taking the meds I'm on, and can promise that if it wasn't a need be thing I wouldn't. I tried all the herbal stuff, St. Johns Wort, plus what ever else they said was good for depression. I've only been fighting this shit for 20 years, so my view on things may be a little jaded. I'm not, nor would I ever claim to be an expert. I'm just relaying info from my own experience and those of some people I know. I got off my meds for 2 years before it came back worse than it ever was. I thought I had it licked, but was just lying to myself. Yes, I agree with Richard that one should be careful when dealing with someone in this mode, but I also cannot see not trying to help.

Jon, I'm glad you're making it w/o drugs, it's good that you seem to have a handle on it. Evidently I could not, it's not anything I'm proud of, but just the way it is. Just keep on fighting the good fight.

Emily, there's been some good info written here, mine might not be included in it, but I hope that something that somebody wrote in this thread you helps you and your friend... longhair


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 06:50 PM

Longhair, what works for you is good and nothing to be ashamed of.

Richard, while I respect your experience with your friend, I think it may be a generalisation to assume the same things will happen with anyone else whose friend/SO or whomever is suicidal. No disrespect intended.

Like Jeri & PeterT said, too, it does take a lot to admit to yourself that you need help and then ask for it.


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Subject: RE: very much OS: Suicidal Friend
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 07:00 PM

Richad, I appreciate that you are talking through experience but I have been involed with several other people who have felt suicidal and have never found that has effected me. My feelings have been my own and come at there own time and there is no connection between the 2 and in fact, I would almost be inclinded to suggest the opposite, ie that if you have a friend who is struggling in that way, you in fact have somebody to be strong for rather than join in the depression with. Are you sure that it wasn't the emotional involvement within a relationship that caused that problem with your friend.

Coming back to drugs, I had a friend (in fact the first of the 2 girlfriends I mentioned earlier). She had been on Prozak and all sorts and I got a phone call from her on New Years Eve (a long while after I had stopped seing her) telling me that she didn't know who to turn to and that she couldn't see any meaning in life. I cancelled my plans and went over to see her and took her out for a drink. As luck would have it, it ended up being the night when life finally gave her the break she needed. She met somebody that night and they later had a daughter. Did her far more good than any of the drugs. She has moved out of the area now and I have lost touch with her but as far as I know she is still doing OK.

I have recently been trying to restore some stuff that I had written at the time I got labeled sz. I am past caring what anybody thinks about me. If any of the let's say "amatuer psychologists or psychiatrists" (just don't know what term to use - I'm not being rude to anybody" want to have a read of some of it, it is at http://members.tripod.co.uk/jonbanjo/life.htm

Jon


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