Suicide Prevention/Suicide

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Question
Hello!
I am very unhappy, cry, think of suicide (even though I would never do it).
This is really painful. Could never commit suicide but feel so sad. Could just cry right now. So sad!
Please say something wise.

Answer
flowers for Jan
flowers for Jan  
Dear Jan,

I'm sorry you're feeling so terrible! It sounds as though you are so very sad and in a lot of emotional pain. I'd really like to help you to work through this and find a resolution to your depression. I have some wonderful resources I can share with you on recognising the symptoms of depression, and strategies to cope with it.. but it would help to know more about you and what you think might have caused you to be feeling this way. There are so many triggers for depression, for example suffering a loss which can result in prolonged grief, redundancy, financial problems, health problems, suffering a crisis such as rape, or an accident.. the causes can be many Jan, or they can be none at all! Sometimes for no apparent reason, we just get 'down', and can't seem to climb out of the big black hole we find ourselves in. When depression hits - for whatever reason - it's crucial to reach out and seek help from others. I'm glad that you've done that, by writing to me. It's a good first step, and I will work with you  to put together a sound plan of action with a good support network.

I hope you know that there is no shame whatsoever in feeling depressed. Most of us have felt this way at some time or another, and many people have just had to learn to live with it, adapting their lives to best cope with their depressive illness in much the same way as a diabetic must adapt their lifestyle to allow for the care and treatment of that illness.

You say you don't feel suicidal and I'm extremely pleased to hear you say that, even though I do realise your pain may be just as much to bear as for somebody who would take that path.

Jan I would like to ask you some questions in order to best help you, if that's okay. I'd like to know:

- What you believe has caused your current depression, if anything in particular has played a role.

- Have you suffered depression in the past?

- Have you been treated for it? (i.e, if on medication, what medication at what dose, and for how long? Have you had counseling?)

- Do you have understanding and supportive family and friends around you? And if in a relationship, is your partner supportive?

Tell me as much as you feel comfortable telling me while bearing in mind that anything you disclose to me will remain confidential.  Meanwhile I will access some good information that you may find useful, such as online support groups, and general up-to-date information on lifestyle and treatment of depression, etc. It is important that you know you don't have to remain feeling so blue, because there is such a lot of help 'out there!'  

I look forward to talking more with you about this soon Jan.. meanwhile, I hope you have a good weekend! If I may make a suggestion until we next speak, try to go for a long walk, as brisk as possible.. or watch a funny movie.. do something every single day that get's your blood pumping no matter how seemingly insignificant, just to make you feel alive!

Sending you a lovely warm hug (((Jan))), bye for now,

:-) xRachel  

Suicide Prevention

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Rachel Hurst

Expertise

All questions sent to me will receive a warm and caring response. I'll do my utmost to address a persons particular problem, but in most cases will also attempt to supply that individual with additional resources which might be of further benefit. There are many helpful online support groups where readers can benefit from the ongoing support of others who have suffered similar problems. These groups offer invaluable peer support from others who have 'been there'. As well as responding to your initial letter, I'll attempt to provide ongoing encouragement when this is needed. Advice will be focused on addressing the writers individual needs, and providing related information and resources. I would try to ensure that any person seeking advice has accurate and up-to-date information on the signs and symptoms of depression, and importantly, is made aware that help is available through many different avenues. Where I feel that it's relative and helpful I would mention my own life experiences with depression and coping with a loved one's suicide (however, only in context.) I would be on the lookout for warning signs that the person is in crisis and may require immediate intervention. As such I would arm myself with as much information as possible in order to refer them to the help they need. In cases where I believed the persons life to be in imminent danger I would contact authorities in their area, or if unknown, I would call the emergency services in my area in order for the person to be located through tracking.

Experience

I am by no means a trained professional. My knowledge comes mainly through life experience, having endured the devastating loss of my best friend through suicide, as well as my own subsequent battle with depression following his death. I found that my own experience of losing a loved one to suicide put me in a strong position to help others, due to my ability to empathize (as opposed to sympathizing). I became knowledgeable on the topic of grief, and the extensive repertoire of depressive illnesses, signs, symptoms, and treatment options available to people in crisis.

Organizations
S.O.L.O.S. Survivors of Loved Ones Suicide - Active member since 2003.

Publications
'Marie Claire' Australian, 'Cleo' (Australian), Online discussion forums (in which my submissions have stimulated discussion and generated much feedback).

Education/Credentials
I am a professional writer. I was trained in journalism. Please see my profile in Linked In. http://au.linkedin.com/pub/rachel-hurst/41/178/165 I have studied related subjects during training as a registered nurse. Both of my parents are mental health professionals. However most of reading widely and life experience has been my greatest teacher.

Past/Present Clients
I have helped a number of individuals who have sought my take on a particular problem, or whom I have felt concern for, for various reasons.

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