Tag Archives: depression

Depression, Suicide & What I Do When I Need To Get Through The Day

Depression, Suicide & What I Do When I Need To Get Through The Day

I have struggled with depression and suicidal ideation for years. My darkest period was as recent as 2013. In fact, there was a day last September when I let my guard down for just a few minutes. It was enough time for me to walk into my kitchen, pick up a large knife, and touch the blade to see how hard I would need to press down to cut through my skin.

Sometimes that’s all it takes. If I hadn’t scared myself and snapped out of that headspace as quickly as I did, I might not be writing this right now. That’s the truth.

I’m not telling you this as a plea for sympathy. I’m telling you this because Robin Williams is dead, and like everyone else on the Internet, I am deeply sad about that. Yes, part of my sadness is because I grew up watching him in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Aladdin,” “The Birdcage,” and “Dead Poets Society,” and it’s awful to think of someone as talented as he is gone so soon. But another part of my sadness is because suicide is always heartbreaking. I know people who have committed suicide. I know people who have attempted and considered suicide. I am someone who has considered suicide. It is a serious problem that far too many of us know all too well. Keep reading »

Breaking News: Actor Robin Williams Dead In Apparent Suicide

Breaking News: Actor Robin Williams Dead In Apparent Suicide

Absolutley heartbreaking news to report this evening: actor Robin Williams, 63, was found dead this morning at his home in Marin County, California. The reported cause of death is axphyxia, and police are treating it as a suicide. Williams had struggled with depression and drug addiction off and on for years. His publicist Mara Buxbaum told The Hollywood Reporter, “He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.” The actor’s wife, Susan Schneider, also released a statement saying:

“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

Keep reading »

10 Things To Never, Ever Say To A Person With Depression

depression woman

Clinical depression sucks and it’s only growing more common. Almost one in two people in the U.S. will suffer from depression or another mental health condition at some point and about one in 17 Americans actually has a serious mental illness right now.

Despite its rising rates, depression can be hard to wrap your brain around, especially if you’ve never had it. It’s not easily treated or cleared up by positive thinking, or yanking yourself up by your bootstraps, or shoving your feelings to the dark corners of the back of your mind. It’s so much deeper and more insidious than that. I once described depression this way:

“None of those external [good things you have going for you] truly register or resonate when you have depression. You can logically identify them as Good Things, and you know they are supposed to make you feel Good, but you can’t feel them, they can’t get in. It’s like your brain is wearing a full-body armor designed to keep only the good things out. Bad things … get ushered in instantly, like VIPs.”

People who don’t have depression don’t always know what to say that could possibly help to a friend or family member going through the all-encompassing yet simultaneously utterly numb sensation of your own brain turning against you. Here are a few things not to say (unless you want said friend or loved one to grow homicidal as well as miserable): Keep reading »

Study: Empathy Goes A Lot Further Than Telling Depressed Friends To Think Positive

There’s often nothing more isolating than being told to “cheer up” or “it’s not so bad” when in the throes of a rough patch. Even when it’s clear that a shift in perspective or a perkier outlook could make a situation seem better, it’s not always possible to just flip an internal switch and suddenly decide to feel better. A new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reminds us of what psychologists have been saying for years — that these “positive reframing” phrases, which we use in an attempt to create perspective, are sometimes anything but helpful. Keep reading »

8 Things To Understand About Panic Attacks & How To Deal With Them

panic attacks

I remember my first panic attack in more detail than I remember losing my virginity or the first time I drove a car by myself. (I guess vivid terror of suddenly not being able to breathe really ingrains itself into your psyche.) It was 1998 and I was watching the “Psycho” remake with my family’s French exchange student. During the infamous shower scene, my throat and lungs tightened inside me like a figure eight knot.  I got up and paced around the movie theater, unable to control my body and wondering if I was having a heart attack. I’ve had panic attacks periodically since then, probably due to a combination of biology and circumstance. I’ve made an effort to lessen the conditions that they occur in and for the most part, I live a pretty calm life. My anxiety only spikes in extreme circumstances, such as the rare times I’ve gotten temporarily stuck in a subway underground (I’m claustrophobic).

After a couple of years without anxiety attacks in my everyday life, I’ve started having them again. The stress is related to old stuff resurfacing in my life and the anxiety is pretty much the same, too: my chest tightens, my heart beats too fast, I can’t breathe, and I feel like I’m having a heart attack. (Or, you know, what I assume a heart attack feels like.) I’m 30 now. Panic attacks are still shitty and frustrating, but all the experience I’ve had coaxing myself through them over the years actually does makes them less intense and quicker to get over.

These are my thoughts on what panic attacks are like, how to deal with them, and what I hope other people could understand if they’re trying to help:

Keep reading »

19-Year-Old Girl Committed Suicide After Being Cyberbullied Over Amateur Porn

alyssa funke 052114

When Alyssa Funke of Minnesota was 18, she filmed an amateur porn for a site called CastingCouch-X, which features “Fresh New Amateur Girl Porn Videos.”

In March, the porno was posted online. At some point thereafter, says her family, former classmates at Stillwater Area High School began harassing Alyssa over social media, calling her a “porn star” and slang words for “slut.”

On April 16, Funke shot and killed herself. Keep reading »

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