There’s a new app out called Samaritans Radar, offered by UK mental health charity Samaritans, that allows users to sign up to have their friends’ Twitter accounts monitored for words and phrases like “suicide,” “tired of being alone,” “hate myself, “depressed,” and “help me.” The app then sends the user a notification so that they can respond to their friend.
It’s a really, really nice idea at heart. But it’s flawed, and people are speaking out about it. The basic problem is this, as this blogger who has Lupus and deals with mental health issues points out:
You might also be thinking “What’s the big deal; they’d see your Tweets if they follow you anyway.” It’s the idea of being monitored by strangers for what they perceive as signs of suicidal ideation, who are then prompted by an app on what steps to take.
Keep reading »
War Machine, or Jonathon Koppenhaver — the MMA fighter who beat his ex-girlfriend/model/porn star Christy Mack within inches of her life in August this year — tried to commit suicide by hanging in his jail cell last week. TMZ obtained a copy of the suicide note he left, and MMANews transcribed it (h/t Gawker for the links).
In the note, Koppenhaver claims that “society has killed men.” Robyn Pennacchia at Death and Taxes points out that what constitutes “men,” to Koppenhaver, is rapists: He claimed on Twitter that he raped Mack, and that “Real men rape.” The feminist bitch inside me is itching to say this, so I’ll just give it air: Men’s Rights Activists or Red Pill-ers, I would never claim that “real” men rape, or that all men are rapists, or that any sexual act with a man is by default rape, or that all men want to rape, or that all men should rape. No, that’s one of your own making that claim. If you want to hate feminists because you perceive us as stereotyping men as rapists, go ahead and hate yourselves, too. Keep reading »
Ever since I heard about Robin Williams’ devastating suicide, I’ve been thinking about this post and how I was going to write it. I’ve thought about it as I was drifting off to sleep. What did I want to say? How did I want to say it? Would it come out right? Would I even know what to say? What sorts of emotions would this stir?
The word suicide is even like a black hole of sorts. It’s expansive, never-ending and dark, and no matter how much you talk about it, there’s always more than can be said. Always. I wish I could say that you can’t relate, but unfortunately, I know far too many of you can. Maybe you’re even grappling with what to say and trying to find the words to comfort a family member, a friend and even yourself. It’s been 11 years since my father’s suicide, and I still fumble to find the right words every single day. So today, I will write them. Not just for my father. Not just for Robin Williams. But for me and for you — and for the millions that live with the effect of suicide every day. In my darkest days of grief, these are the five things I’ve learned about suicide… Keep reading »
“‘Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life is harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor… I am Pagliacci.” — ‘Watchmen’ excerpt via Patton Oswalt
I want to talk frankly about how to support people who are suicidal, from the position of someone who has been suicidal at times herself in her teenage and adult life. It can be incredibly difficult to be a support person for someone struggling with these issues, and I get asked a lot what to say or what to do. I’d also like to create a basic support guide for someone with daily mental health issues like depression or anxiety, but that’s another post (and there’s some resources out there).
I’m someone who has often been told that I’m just so strong and so many people look up to me and I shouldn’t ever consider suicide because people need me, etc. etc. etc. I know it’s all meant well, but it makes me feel like an animal in a cage, unable to express how I feel because I’m constrained by other people’s opinions of me and my own reputation. It’s not healthy for me, or for anyone. It’s ok to break down sometimes. It’s ok to reach the end of your rope.
And we need a community to help prevent this from happening over and over again. Keep reading »
Selfish (adj.): Lacking concern for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.
Death is not profitable or pleasurable. It’s just nothing. It’s just not suffering. It has nothing to do with benefiting or not benefiting oneself or others. Saying that someone was selfish for having committed suicide is like saying that it was selfish of a person caught on fire to scream in agony.
When the topic of suicide is brought to the table, my primary concern isn’t to address people who have suicidal ideation. Everyone else is already doing that: They say, if you’re depressed or thinking about suicide, please seek help. Keep reading »