Depression and Bipolar info explaining the latest research in everyday English

10Sep/10Off

Today is World Suicide Day

World Suicide Prevention Day is observed on September 10 each year to promote worldwide action to prevent suicides. Various events and activities are held during this occasion to raise awareness that suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death.

One hand holding another hand.
World Suicide Prevention Day promotes issues such as suicide prevention. This photo is used for illustrative purposes only. It does not imply the attitudes, behaviour or actions of the models used for this photo. ©iStockphoto.com/Valentin Casarsa

Nearly 3000 people on average commit suicide daily, according to the World Health Organization. For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives. About one million people die by suicide each year. Suicide is a major preventable cause of premature death which is influenced by psycho-social, cultural and environmental risk factors that can be prevented through worldwide responses that address these main risk factors. There is strong evidence indicating that adequate prevention can reduce suicide rates.

World Suicide Prevention Day, which first started in 2003, is annually held on September 10 each year as an IASP initiative. The World Health Organization co-sponsors this event. World Suicide Prevention Day aims to:

  • Raise awareness that suicide is preventable.
  • Improve education about suicide.
  • Spread information about suicide awareness.
  • Decrease stigmatization regarding suicide.

In Australia our annual toll of deaths by suicide is greater than the number of deaths on our roads, yet we only hear about the road toll. Mental health organisations are making slow but steady inroads into the macho culture of Australia and getting politicians and fund holders to realise that reducing the mental health burden of our country is good for our country’s health – fiscal, physical and mental.

There are plenty of places to go if you think you or someone you know might be in need of help to cope with anxiety, depression of suicidal thoughts. Try any of these:

  • Lifeline Australia – tel 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800
  • Suicide Line (only in Victoria, Australia) – 1300 651 251
  • SANE Australia – 1800 18 SANE (7263)

7Sep/09Off

Letter to my psychiatrist: 7th Sept 2009

G’day D,

I’m due to see you next week, but I’ll be in Sydney on that day so I guess I won’t see you until the appointment in October.

I think we need to look at a different drug regimen – perhaps the Efexor is losing its efficacy with me. I certainly feel like I’m unravelling at a faster and faster rate.

Just today I have deliberately and successfully over-priced my services on a quote in order to not get the work. Normally I would have jumped at the chance to earn $15-20k for a month or so of work, but I can’t even complete the simple tasks I have at the moment, let alone entertain the prospect of taking on more responsibilities.

The escapist fantasies still loom large in my thoughts and I wonder if I am bringing them to fruition with my own behaviour – all I want to do is expire, to have my light extinguish itself peacefully; to suffer a cardiac arrest from which I do not recover, an infection from a superbug from which there is no cure.

I feel like I am sliding down an ever-increasing spiral, the speed picking up and the wind blowing in my hair as I dissemble, deteriorate and hopefully die.

Naturally, being the skilled showman I am, I can smile and laugh and cause merriment in others. But each day finds me sadder and sadder, each night a torture as I smile for my wife and try not to scare her.

As a pop song in the mid-late 1990s had it, “the drugs don’t work.” Not at the moment, at any rate.

Yours…



27Jun/09Off

Antidepressants and suicide

Here’s a statement of the bleedin’ obvious: ‘depression increases the risk of suicide.’

But the research community is divided as to whether one of the extremely unwanted side-effects of second-generation antidepressants is an actual increase the likelihood of suicide, especially in the initial phases of medication, or not.

1Jun/09Off

Diary of a depressive: 1st June 2009

From the floor of a SFO waiting lounge en route to Seattle

And so a new adventure starts – and one wonders if the old ghosts can travel across the Pacific Ocean. I suspect they can.

Already on the way over I have entertained the thoughts of handgun purchase, wondering how easy it might be and what checks I might have to undertake in order to purchase a weapon and ammo.

Is America the ‘wild, wild west’ of folklore, or is firearm legislation something no longer foreign on these soils.

What would my hosts say and think if I took my own life over there as their guest?

Would any kind of farewell, explanatory letter be enough to curtail any sense of guilt they might have?

What would my wife say to my mother?

A foreboding sense of inertia threatens me; I know that I should make full use of my time here to network and set up business and doctoral contacts and opportunities – but just as in Melbourne last December, being away from the comforting warmth of my routines and familiar surroundings may induce an overwhelming desire to hide from the world, retreat into my cage and sleep for an eternity.

But unlike Melbourne there will possibly/probably be people around me with whom I have to interact and engage, thus keeping me from only functioning at a basic level. There may not be much chance to withdraw into my shell – instead I shall have to keep my happy face on and bounce my way through it all.


   

Depression and Bipolar info is using WP-Gravatar