When Love Isn't Enough: The Aftermath Of Suicide

Thursday, September 10, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Depression

We watched you die. 

It was a slow, meandering type of death, one punctuated by success and woe, optimism and hopelessness. No one suspected you’d slipped so far down into the abyss as to assume that today was the day. 

But I should have known. I have seen it before, oh how many times, the quiet looks of fevered desperation, the tears that come more often, the rage that bubbles beneath the surface, waiting for a reason to erupt. The need to blame someone else, something else, anything else, for the burning, molten hatred that eats at you like a cancer until you’re hollowed out and sick. 

But you weren’t a patient, and I was just your “almost” sister....  continue reading

Do We Need To Worry About Suicide Contagion?

Wednesday, September 09, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Depression

Many people have issues talking about suicide. First, there is horrible social stigma associated with it: you “commit” suicide as if it were a crime. Family members left behind rarely clarify cause of death due to shame and the prevailing societal belief (or at least personal feeling) that they are somehow at fault. We see, “after a long battle with cancer,” but not, “after a long battle with depression,” in obituaries.  Because you can’t catch cancer from someone who died. 

So why do we think we’ll catch suicide? 

The portrayal of suicide “victims” by the media or in school settings may be one reason we see suicide contagion or “copycat” suicides, especially among adolescents or young adults. When we glorify suicide, make the suicidal into martyrs or heroes, or glamorize the action itself, we run the risk of contagion1. Detailed descriptions of the method used to bring about one’s death may also contribute to the likelihood that someone may try to copy those actions. Likewise, if we talk about suicide as the shocking or inevitable action of an otherwise “normal” or successful person, there is a higher chance that others with mental illnesses will identify with the person in question and follow suit. There was great concern following the death of Robin Williams because of the way the media idolized him, discussed their love for him, instead of being specific about the pain he caused through his death....  continue reading

Hugs, Help and Hope: Assisting A Loved One Through Suicidal Thoughts

Monday, May 04, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Depression

Why do people commit suicide?

Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t commit suicide because they hate themselves or because they are cowards. They truly believe that their families will be better without them. For most, suicide is seen as a way out. This does not bode well for all who must suffer their loss.

But as the Dalai Lama notes in The Art of Happiness, those who want to kill themselves want to end their suffering, showing that they have at least some self compassion and self love left. I tend to take this approach and see suicidal thoughts as a last ditch effort to make themselves feel better, because somewhere inside they know they don’t deserve to be unhappy. 

You want to die? You love yourself enough to try again.  

But how to drive this point home? How can we help someone who is struggling with suicidal thoughts?

First, let’s do a little background. Understanding matters....  continue reading

10 Reasons People Who Don't Understand Depression are Annoying to be Around

Thursday, February 26, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Depression

The National Report has been accused of all kinds of shady reporting, even going so far as to publish blatantly false stories on the Ebola epidemic. This week, they published an article titled “10 Reasons Why People With Depression Are Annoying To Be Around.” 

Unfortunately, the list was a little backwards. So I kept the headings but corrected the information. Now without further ado, here are ten reasons that people who don’t understand depression are annoying to be around. When you fuck with my people, you fuck with me....  continue reading

"Who Are You Calling Depressed, Assh*le?!" The Relationship Between Depression and Anger

Monday, February 02, 2015 by Meg   •   Filed under Depression

Depression is usually categorized by a lack of pleasure in things you used to enjoy, lack of energy, changes in sleep or appetite, trouble concentrating and worthlessness (see a full list of symptoms here in What Is Depression?) But there is one symptom that isn’t brought up as often because there is some taboo around it: anger. 

That’s right, all you non-depressed folks. The depressed population don’t just lay in bed feeling sad. There’s a whole slew of other stuff that goes with it. So do me a favor and don’t do something stupid like tell them to snap out of it, okay? If they could, they would. And if you mutter something of that nature, I will support them punching you. (Steps off soapbox.) 

Anyway, anger attacks are present in both obsessive compulsive disorder, and Major Depression and all three often occur together1. They are also common in anxiety, post-traumatic stress postpartum depression and other conditions like Borderline Personality Disorder. And if you get caught with PPD, PTSD, OCD, depression and anger, watch out. 

Good times. Fucking mother nature....  continue reading

Foods For Depression: One Surprising Reason to Save Your Banana Peels

Friday, April 25, 2014 by Meg   •   Filed under Depression

Do you eat bananas? Don't toss your peels! 

Maybe it's the conservationist in me, or maybe I am just frugal...if frugal means cheap as hell. It's probably both of those that led me to discover the fact that banana peels can be amazing for mental health. 

Food, Serotonin and Natural Prozac

While bananas have things like potassium and magnesium--both of which play an important role in mental health--the high concentrations of tryptophan in banana skins may play an even more important role in depression, specifically because tryptophan is the chemical humans use to synthesize serotonin....  continue reading