6 things you need to know if you want to die

I get a lot of hits from people who google “help me kill myself”. I find this a little upsetting, because I can see exactly how many people find me through that phrase and for each and every one who visits with that in mind, I’m sorry.

If you’re feeling like killing yourself, there’s often not a lot that can be said to help you change your mind. But I hope you’ll take a moment to read what I’ve got to say, and perhaps follow my advice because there’s a few things you need to know.

To my faithful readers, please share in the comments your stories to provide hope for those who feel there is none. Particularly, I think it would be helpful to include things that have helped you when you have been in crisis.

Suicide

1)    You’re not alone

Did you know that most people will have thoughts of suicide at some point in their lives? It doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you (although it might be symptomatic of a mental health condition). It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or that you’re not worthy. It means you’re human. And it means that you’re in a situation that you want out of.

2)    Suicide is a form of avoidance

Human beings love good feelings like love, joy, enthusiasm and motivation. We also love having good thoughts like “I’m so happy” or “What an awesome day”. But we hate feeling bad. We hate boredom, anger, sadness. We hate it when we experience bad thoughts in our heads.

If you’re feeling like killing yourself, it’s most likely because you’re in an awful situation that you want out of. And that’s okay, I mean, who wouldn’t want to get away from feeling terrible? The only issue is, when you’re thinking about ending your life you’re experiencing extremes of thought and feeling, and no one makes decent decisions when they’re under that amount of pressure.

3)   This is not the best time to make a decision

Often people who are wanting to commit suicide are experiencing extremes of thought and emotion and are overwhelmed. This makes it difficult to see clearly due to narrowed thinking. When our thinking narrows, we cannot fully evaluate situations and make decisions clearly. That’s not your fault, that’s just the way it is. It’s not a good idea to make a life ending decision in the midst of a personal crisis. 

So what do you do about it?

4)    Wait it out. Things will change.

The only thing certain in life is that things will change. I’ve wanted to end it all too, and at the time I thought it was the right decision, that I would never feel any different. I was so certain of it. But I was so wrong.

One day – it could be moments from now, or a day, or a week – killing yourself won’t seem like a good idea. And even if it’s for a moment, take a second to appreciate that this moment may be a moment of clarity in an otherwise turbulent existence. I can guarantee you that things will change in time, and I encourage you to mark it on a calendar or in your diary (electronic or paper) when you find you don’t want to do it, even if you only doubt it for a second.

5)    Think about someone you love and someone who loves you

When I’ve felt like killing myself I always thought about my Mum. Imaging what this act would do to her always made me feel so guilty that I would never take it any further.

If you think that no one will care, that is just a sign that you are not thinking clearly and it’s not a good time to make any decisions.

When it comes to suicide people always care. Even if you think they don’t. Even if you think there’s no one out there who loves you or cares about you, there is. It might be your parents, a friend, a lover, or even an acquaintance. But when someone attempts or completes a suicide there is always at least one person (usually more) who says “I wish I could have done something”.

6)    Talk to someone you trust

People do want to help you. All you have to do is ask. Find a trusted friend, family member, a doctor, or other health professional and share your thoughts with them. If you’re feeling like no one cares about you, this is a great way to find out that they do. Other people have an amazing way of seeing the way out of horrible situations even when we can’t.

You can also call a suicide hotline. There are thousands of people who work suicide hotlines because they care about you and your future. Even if they don’t know you, they care enough to hope that you will call in your time of need and that they can help you through.

USA Hotlines:         1-800-Suicide or 1-800-273-TALK

UK Hotlines:            Call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90

Australia:                Call Lifeline on 13 11 14

New Zealand:          Call Lifeline on 0800 543 354

If you are in immediate danger of harming yourself please phone the emergency number in your country. 

 

Advertisements

Reducing Quetiapine: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I started The Bipolar Project with the intention of tracking my reduction of Quetiapine Fumarate (aka Seroquel). Since reducing the drug in 2011 there have been various issues that have prevented me from reducing at a steady rate throughout the past two years. In fact, in 2012 I didn’t reduce it at all.  Some of these issues have been Bipolar related but most have been completely unrelated circumstances that impacted on my emotional health, left me stressed out and miserable and my life just a little too chaotic to embark on a medication free life.

Slow and steady

If you’ve been with me from the start, I was initially on 400mg. I managed to reduce that by 125mg throughout 2011. When I stopped my contraceptive pill and my mood went haywire, I upped it back to 300mg and left it there for over a year. I started reducing again about four months ago and am now down to 206.25mg nightly. This quick reduction had minimal effect on my mood (apart from taking me a bit longer to fall asleep and feeling a little more tired the next day).  When I reduced it a couple of nights ago I noticed I was a little more irritable for two days afterward.

When I first started I had a number of rules: no alcohol, regular sleep pattern, exercise vigorously and regularly, only reduce by 6.25mg at a time. At the time, exercise was a major mood stabiliser for me and I noticed resistance exercise, like lifting weights, was better for my mood than just cardio.

Now, I’m too unwell to do vigorous exercise and resistance exercises are pretty much out of the question. Surprisingly, that doesn’t seem to have negatively impacted on my mood during the reduction. But I’m still exercising (I walk and do yoga pretty much every day – less than 30 minutes all up), but not the way I used to (spin classes, weights, long horse riding sessions, full length yoga classes).

There haven’t been as many positive effects this time around but these are probably being masked by my poor physical health. I’m so fatigued all the time that if being on less Quetiapine is making me less tired and improving my concentration, then I just don’t notice it.

I’ve slowed down the reduction again because I noticed I was getting pretty emotional, probably because I was extremely anxious and moderately depressed. Again, these seem like pretty normal responses given the events of the past year but ultimately, if my mood is unstable, it doesn’t matter what’s causing it – the reduction must be slowed down. Within the next week or so I plan to bring it down to 200mg and leave it there for a few weeks.

If you’re on psychiatric medications and have tried reducing or stopping your drug, what have you experienced?

‘How the Hell Did I Get Here?’

I’m in an exercise class. Standing silently, waiting to begin. I’m irritable because I’m tired, and I don’t want to be here. An overweight lady with a head the shape of an egg and an ass the size of a small futon is talking about herself and what she’s been up to lately. The instructor is looking uncomfortable and I can tell she wants to start the class but doesn’t know how to interrupt the inane chatter about aqua jogging and other admirable exercise pursuits. An awkward smile passes between us and she cuts the woman off and we start.

Vicky Pollard

This is an exercise class for people who need rehabilitation of some sort. There’s the lady with the egg-head with her mouth flapping like a sheet in a storm, and there’s a woman with more scalp than hair who’s clearly had some kind of stroke because she talks in a sort of mumble through which I can’t make out any words. And then there’s me. A 25 year old woman, wearing a pink Adidas sweatshirt and a blonde ponytail apparently feeling more fatigued than the jabber-mouth, and I’m wondering ‘how the hell did I get here?’

It’s a question I ask myself a lot. Where exactly did my life take this turn for the worse? How did I go from doing spin classes and lifting weights and riding my horse for three hours at a time to struggling to walk for 15 minutes?  There’s no real answer to that except that it took two and a half years and yet it feels like just yesterday I was going for a three hour tramp and today the only time I left the house in the middle of a work day was to attend that rehab class.

I don’t mind people older than me. I’m interested in people, I like them. In fact, I make friends with people 20 years my senior more easily than I do people my own age. As self-pitying and pathetic as it may seem, I just don’t want to be in a class with people who are 60 years and over, trying to learn to be ‘normal’ again. It seems so weird that I’m in the same class as a woman who for whatever reason, self-induced or otherwise, has so much weight that her knees are buggered. I don’t belong in a rehabilitation class with someone who has had a stroke that has clearly left her very impaired. My level of denial about the reality of my health varies from day-to-day, so being on an equal par as people three times my age and obviously disabled really brings it home.

 In the past two and a half years there have been many diagnoses, official and imagined by myself or those around me. Tardive dyskinesia was my first thought, and then multiple sclerosis, hypochondriasis (the winner for a while there) rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy. At some point I probably thought I had HIV (that tends to cross my mind from time to time). And now, we’ve finally reached suspected Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

But who really cares what the diagnosis is? In some ways, I do and I don’t. I do because that means I can get the right treatment and hopefully get better.  But when I’m lying in bed, too tired to read or watch TV or talk I don’t care what is wrong with me. I just feel like shit emotionally because I feel like shit physically, and I wish that I didn’t feel like this anymore.

Future-past-present

In the eight months and 29 days since I last wrote on my blog, I’ve done a horrible mixture of cry, grieve, be angry, be in denial, feel afraid, be anxious, feel hope only to feel hopeless, and attempt with everything I have to hold on to the life that I had made. In the end, I had to realise that I was too weak to hold on and accept that I’m 25 years young and too ill to do even half an hours work on my Master’s thesis per day. Sometimes accepting that life is unfair, that you never wanted this, or imagined this, but it happened anyway is all you can do. Because what choice do you have?

This is the human condition; finding ourselves in situations that we never wanted to be in. Whether it is a betrayal by someone we trust, a financial crisis or a mental or physical health condition that leaves us whimpering under the covers like a child afraid of the dark, the effect is the same. We don’t want it, we fight against it, and we grieve for it. Life is unkind, bad things happen to good people, no matter how many miles you run, vegetables you eat, charities you donate to,  you will still face challenges, get sick, feel lonely, sad, miserable, lose people you love, hurt and be hurt. These are the facts of life. The sooner we can accept that life is at times hard and unfair, the sooner we can move on to more important things. Like living.