When a Patient Dies by Suicide — The Physician’s Silent Sorrow

New England Journal of Medicine January 24, 2019 Dinah Miller, M.D. We talk about the toll suicide takes on families and the tragedy for the people who’ve died. What we don’t openly talk about is suicide’s toll on the doctors who have treated these patients. But when a patient dies by suicide, it leaves us profoundly changed. The news came by text as we drove home from brunch. My patient had died that morning by suicide. I read the text and wailed. My husband was driving, and our adult children happened to be away, traveling together on an exotic journey. I struggled to gather words, and my husband held control of the car through those excruciating moments when he thought something horrible had happened to our kids. I calmed down enough to tell him that the tragedy involved a patient. He was relieved. I was not. U.S. suicide rates increased by 25.4% between 1999 and 2016.1 It’s been estimated that at least half of psychiatrists will lose at least one patient to suicide during their career.2 There are no estimates on how many primary care physicians will have the same experience, though they often treat psychiatric disorders. Among people who complete suicide in the United States, 46% have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, and many more people have undiagnosed mental illness. We talk about the toll suicide takes on families. They experience grief, guilt, regret, anguish, anger, and stigma, […]

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Did Daddy know he was “Crazy”

My father committed suicide in 1992, put a shot-gun in his mouth. I was 28 years old, we were estranged since I was a teen. A trigger hit me like a hurricane this week. I’m having memories, not the worst. You put the the pressure on my shoulders to arrange everything, who to call. I had to face the chore of the house, a man living out of touch for many years. Worst was going to morgue, hand me original note and his bloody shotgun. Could you not see your friends were different? They were thieves but not in the same universe. They all took advantage of you, move in move out and steal what they want. One roommate committed suicide with your gun in your house. Down on their luck, will make payments on car, he was lucky to get three payments. He would have to track down and repo the car. They would come back begging and he would do it again. His friends were people at the bar he parked cars at. All the ladies got special attention, my father walked the lot to make sure the cars were secure. They all flirted with him, fake flirting, trashy bar, easy women going to bar in the hood looking for love. One night feeling the black dog, I went to the bar where my father parked cars. We played a game of pool, sitting at the bar he […]

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Dementia and Suicide

Second Stage Dementia   As dementia progresses, the symptoms first experienced in the early stages of the dementia generally worsen. The rate of decline is different for each person. A person with moderate dementia scores between 6–17 on the MMSE. For example, people with Alzheimer’s dementia in the moderate stages lose almost all new information very quickly. People with dementia […]

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Darkness Overcomes Me

I stand watching the darkness settle in. The black dog comes to torture me. Emotions, negative feelings left behind are brought out like dolls in a toy box.  I fight, fight hard not to fall in the abyss. Mask are taken out of their resting place, the mask are for me, which one will I need today. Lies and hurtful […]

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Bring Change To Mind

My daughter lost her battle with mental illness on March 19, 2013. She had just turned 23 years old. She was studying for the MCAT, and planned to cure cancer. She was curious and gentle and loving. She was too young. The pain of losing Emily is indescribable. And, I truly did not know how I would ever be able to move forward. In some ways, I do not think that I ever will be able to really move on from it. But, I knew that I had to try. Two weeks after we buried Emily, my sister saw one of Bring Change to Mind’s PSAs on television and told me that I needed to check out the organization. A month after my first conversation with the Executive Director, I joined the BC2M Board of Directors. After weeks of seemingly insurmountable heartache, I finally had a place to channel all of my emotions into something that felt productive. I had an opportunity to work with an organization dedicated to erasing the deadly stigma that surrounds mental illness. I had a chance to try and prevent another parent from going through what I had experienced. After Emily passed away, it felt as though I had become a member a club that I never wanted to join – a club for people who have lost a loved one to mental illness. No one wants to be a part of this club. And, I think that I speak for all of us who are united by loss […]

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What It All Means

This video floored me, it’s real for me, he spoke works to come from my mouth, Jim was able to show the guts, inside, raw communication and how struggles are battled. I ran across this last week, I don’t know who to give credit to. I’ve watched over and over and each time I see one of my dark times, suicidal journeys and crawling back from hell. I hope you will watch and reblog on. Everyone can learn from the inside look of depression.  M

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My Father

In the 1950’s doctors diagnosed my father Hyperactive as a teen, with little knowledge doctors prescribed tranquilizers. I can only imagine how this much-loved teen prankster turned zombie like. What doctors didn’t know was my father suffered from Bipolar Disorder. After leaving home, he never sought a second opinion or took medications. He committed suicide in 1992. I can’t say […]

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Beyond ADHD-Overcoming the Label and Thriving by Jeff Emmerson

I met Author Jeff Emmerson on Twitter, he’s motivating, a tireless advocate for Mental Heath and shines a bright light on ADHD for which he was misdiagnosed. Jeff’s book Beyond ADHD-Overcoming the Label and Thriving is on pre-order at Amazon and with an August release date.           By Jeff Emmerson and Robert Yehling Beyond ADHD weaves Emmerson’s personal story of his ADHD diagnosis, exploring along the way the latest medical, scientific and societal explanations and tools for managing and living with the condition. Including interviews with a number of experts at the forefront of next-generation ADHD diagnostics and treatment, he questions the cookie-cutter way ADHD is commonly diagnosed and treated. Suggesting that the list of symptoms often used to identify ADHD can be attributed to many other disorders and conditions, he explores how and why ADHD diagnoses have increased by 50% in the last ten years. Jeff Emmerson is a mental health advocate, popular video blogger and leading social media figure focused on reframing how we view ADHD, with a passionate mission to prevent mis- and over-diagnoses, and help people whose lives are impacted by the condition. He has more than 600,000 followers on his @IAmJeffEmmerson Twitter account, 15,000+ LinkedIn connections, a large viewership on YouTube, and is currently gaining about 7,500 followers per week. His e-mail list has over 26,000 subscribers. Emmerson is aligned with a number of leading medical, neuroscience and behavioral experts, many […]

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Department of Health & Human Services Grants 17 Colleges $4.9 million

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $4.9 million in grants to a total of 17 colleges and universities across the United States. The grants, varying in amount from $47,494 to $102,000 annually, will be funded over three years by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through its Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Program. The awards support a range of activities for the promotion of mental health, suicide prevention, substance abuse prevention, and more. This includes training faculty, students, and staff to recognize a student at risk for suicide and to intervene. The awardees include community colleges, small and large campuses, and state and private institutions. More… https://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/press-announcements/201706200200

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