Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.

In October some friends and I  (Team Eradicator) will be walking to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Please help us by donating to the cause. 

  • Every 13.7 minutes someone in the United States dies by suicide.

  • Nearly 1,000,000 people make a suicide attempt every year.

  • 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.

  • Most people with mental illness do not die by suicide.

  • Recent data puts yearly medical costs for suicide at nearly $100 million (2005).

  • Men are nearly 4 times more likely to die by suicide than women. Women attempt suicide 3 times as often as men.

  • Suicide rates are highest for people between the ages of 40 and 59.

  • Native American peoples are most likely to die by suicide, followed by white individuals.
Suicide can be prevented. While some suicides occur without any outward warning, most people who are suicidal do give warnings. Prevent the suicide of loved ones by learning to recognize the signs of someone at risk, taking those signs seriously and knowing how to respond to them.
Warning signs of suicide include:
  • Observable signs of serious depression:
    Unrelenting low mood
    Anxiety, psychic pain and inner tension
    Sleep problems
  • Increased alcohol and/or other drug use
  • Recent impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks
  • Threatening suicide or expressing a strong wish to die
  • Making a plan:
    Giving away prized possessions
    Sudden or impulsive purchase of a firearm
    Obtaining other means of killing oneself such as poisons or medications
  • Unexpected rage or anger
The emotional crises that usually precede suicide are often recognizable and treatable. Although most depressed people are not suicidal, most suicidal people are depressed. Serious depression can be manifested in obvious sadness, but often it is rather expressed as a loss of pleasure or withdrawal from activities that had been enjoyable. One can help prevent suicide through early recognition and treatment of depression and other psychiatric illnesses.

More than 90 percent of people who kill themselves are suffering from one or more psychiatric disorders, in particular:
  • Major depression (especially when combined with alcohol and/or drug abuse)
  • Bipolar depression
  • Alcohol abuse and dependence
  • Drug abuse and dependence
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
Depression and the other mental disorders that may lead to suicide are -- in most cases -- both recognizable and treatable. Remember, depression can be lethal.
The core symptoms of major depression are a "down" or depressed mood most of the day or a loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were previously enjoyed for at least two weeks, as well as:
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Change in appetite or weight
  • Intense anxiety, agitation, restlessness or being slowed down
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Decreased concentration, indecisiveness or poorer memory
  • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, self-reproach or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
Between 25 and 50 percent of people who kill themselves had previously attempted suicide. Those who have made suicide attempts are at higher risk for actually taking their own lives.

The signs that most directly warn of suicide include:
  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself (weapons, pills or other means)
  • Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
  • Has made plans or preparations for a potentially serious attempt
Other warning signs include expressions or other indications of certain intense feelings in addition to depression, in particular:
  • Insomnia
  • Intense anxiety, usually exhibited as psychic pain or internal tension, as well as panic attacks
  • Feeling desperate or trapped -- like there's no way out
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling there's no reason or purpose to live
  • Rage or anger
Certain behaviors can also serve as warning signs, particularly when they are not characteristic of the person's normal behavior. These include:
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities
  • Engaging in violent or self-destructive behavior
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Withdrawing from friends or family

Take it Seriously

  • Fifty to 75 percent of all suicides give some warning of their intentions to a friend or family member.
  • Imminent signs must be taken seriously.

Be Willing to Listen

  • Start by telling the person you are concerned and give him/her examples.
  • If he/she is depressed, don't be afraid to ask whether he/she is considering suicide, or if he/she has a particular plan or method in mind.
  • Ask if they have a therapist and are taking medication.
  • Do not attempt to argue someone out of suicide. Rather, let the person know you care, that he/she is not alone, that suicidal feelings are temporary and that depression can be treated. Avoid the temptation to say, "You have so much to live for," or "Your suicide will hurt your family."

Seek Professional Help

  • Be actively involved in encouraging the person to see a physician or mental health professional immediately.
  • Individuals contemplating suicide often don't believe they can be helped, so you may have to do more.
  • Help the person find a knowledgeable mental health professional or a reputable treatment facility, and take them to the treatment.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Create and Complete

One of my heroes in one of my favorite movies: Mark Borchardt in "American Movie."

Had a bad week, but it rattled me out of my downward spiral. Going to call my therapist this week and get back into that whole thing. I'm leaving for Florida this Sunday, and I'll be gone for a week. It'll be good to see my friends again; I haven't been to Tampa in five years. Unfortunately, I fly back to Portland two days before a Lightning game, so there won't be any hockey for me this time. I'm okay with that, though. I'm excited to get away, soak up some sun and hug the crap out of two of my favorite people. Besides, the lockout is over and apparently we have the NHL network, so I can at least catch a game or two every now and then. Yesterday I watched the Capitals/Sabres game while making chocolate cupcakes in honor of Chocolate Cake Day. 

I need to sign up for that gym membership I keep putting off. A good friend is (hopefully) flying out in September to do the Warrior Dash with me, and then we've got a week to tear up the Pacific Northwest. After a day of recovery, of course. I'm hoping to do the Shamrock Run in March, but I haven't signed up for it (or the Dash) yet. I can't wait to see my friend. She'll find out this week if her vacation request was granted or denied, and then we can really start planning. Fingers crossed! 

Had more to say, but I'm too tired to remember. So I'll just end with this SNL sketch that made me laugh myself into an asthmatic fit: 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Book after book, I get hooked every time, the writer talks to me like a friend

Books Read in 2012

  1. Learning the Blues, by ??
  2. First Contact, by Evan Mandery
  3. Plum Spooky, by Janet Evanovich
  4. Who Moved My Cheese?, by Spencer Johnson
  5. Boondocks Fantasy, Jean Rabe & Martin H. Greenberg
  6. The Island at the End of the World, by Sam Taylor
  7. Juliet, Naked, by Nick Hornby
  8. Preacher, by Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon
  9. My Abandonment, by Peter Rock
  10. Women, by Charles Bukowski
  11. Cairo, by M.K. Perker
  12. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, by Heidi W. Durrow
  13. Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay
  14. LZ-'75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin's 1975 American Tour, by Stephen Davis
  15. Apocalypse Nerd, by Peter Bagge
  16. Ball Peen Hammer, by Adam Rapp
  17. 90 Classic Books for People in a Hurry, by Henrik Lange
  18. Stuffed!, by Glenn Eichler & Nick Bertozzi
  19. Bluesman book 1, by Rob Vollmar & Pablo G. Callejo
  20. Bluesman book 2, by Rob Vollmar & Pablo G. Callejo
  21. Bluesman book 3, by Rob Vollmar & Pablo G. Callejo
  22. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
  23. Lords and Ladies, by Terry Pratchett
  24. Factotum, by Charles Bukowski
  25. Zombies - A Record of the Year of Infection, by Don Roff
  26. Singer of Souls, by Adam Stemple
  27. Sandman Slim, by Richard Kadrey
  28. How Do You Light a Fart?, by Bobby Mercer
  29. A Bone to Pick, by Charlaine Harris
  30. Skinwalkers, by Tony Hillerman
  31. Unseen Academicals, by Terry Pratchett
  32. A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey
  33. Dark Entries, by Ian Rankin
  34. The Wild Things, by David Eggers
  35. These Things Hidden, by Heather Gudenkauf
  36. Between the Plums, by Janet Evanovich
  37. Do Drums Beat There, by Doe Tabor
  38. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
  39. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
  40. Loveless 1, by Yun Kouga
  41. Loveless 2, by Yun Kouga
  42. Up Jumps the Devil, by Michael Poore
  43. Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, by Patton Oswalt
  44. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
  45. Thor & Loki - The Land of the Giants, by Jeff Limke & Ron Randall
  46. The Tyrant Falls in Love pt 1, Hinako Takanaga
  47. The Tyrant Falls in Love pt 2, Hinako Takanaga
  48. Fear Itself - A Journey into Mystery, by Gillen/Braithwaite
  49. Thor, by Michael Straczynski & Marko Djurojevic
  50. Mr. Stuffins, by Andrew Cosby & Johanna Stokes
  51. The Wind Through the Keyhole, by Stephen King
  52. The Stuff of Legend - Book One: The Dark, by Mike Raicht & Brian Smith
  53. Gunslinger Girl Omnibus Collection 1, by Yu Aida
  54. The Long Earth, by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter
  55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
  56. I'm the One I Want, by Margaret Cho
  57. Freedom's Challenge, by Anne McCaffrey
  58. Freedom's Ransom, by Anne McCaffrey
  59. Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman
  60. Marvel Visionaries: The Mighty Thor vol 5, by Walter Simonson
  61. On the Night of the Seventh Moon, by Victoria Holt
  62. Pure, by Julianna Baggott
  63. A Wrinkle in Time - the graphic novel, by Hope Larson
  64. Miss Peregrin's home for peculiar children, by Ransom Riggs
  65. Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
  66. The Bromeliad Trilogy, by Terry Pratchett
  67. Loveless 4, Yun Kouga
  68. Loveless 5, Yun Kouga
  69. Loveless 6, Yun Kouga
  70. The Tyrant Falls in Love vol 5, by Hinako Takanaga
  71. The Tyrant Falls in Love vol 6, by Hinako Takanaga
  72. Only Serious About You 1, by Asou Kai