What to do when a loved one is suicidal… Guest Article

The Mypersonalrecoveryfromschizophrenia blog walks through the journey of living and coping with Schizophrenia. Read more informative posts today!

What to do when a Loved One is Suicidal

A Prevention Toolkit

According to the World Health Organization, more than 700,000 people across the globe commit suicide every year. What can we do to curb this tragic statistic? One thing was can do is understand the link between Schizophrenia and suicide, and do some homework on what the mental illness is all about. Mypersonalrecoveryfromschizophrenia provides steps you can take if you’re concerned about someone you know hurting themselves.

Assess the Situation

If you’re worried a loved one may be considering suicide, step one is assessing how immediate the threat of self-harm is. Don’t beat around the bush — instead, ask these questions to find out if you need to call 911.

  • Are you thinking of killing yourself? Asking directly if someone is thinking of suicide may be uncomfortable, but it’s the best way to get to bottom of the situation. If the answer is anything but a strong “No,” it’s time to dig deeper.
  • What are you unhappy about? This may include work, among other things. Many things may factor into this malaise and discontent at the workplace, including boredom, stress and perfectionism.
  • Are you using drugs or alcohol? Psychology Today notes that alcohol and drug abuse is one of the top risk factors for suicide, second only to mental health disorders. If your loved one is abusing substances, it can be a big indicator that they’re in danger.
  • Do you have a plan? If someone not only has considered suicide but also has a plan for how they can do it, it’s time to be very concerned.
  • Do you know when you’ll do it? On the surface, this may sound like an insensitive question. However, someone who is planning suicide may freely admit their timeframe for taking their life. If they do, you’ll have a better idea of how urgently you need to act.
  • Do you have the means? If the person has a suicide plan, ask if they have the means to follow through on that plan. This could be access to prescription pills, a gun, or some other method. If someone has both a plan and the means, it’s time to call emergency services.

If the answer to all five of these questions is “Yes,” there’s no time to waste. Call 911 immediately. Emergency services will arrive to take the person to the nearest emergency room, where they’ll be evaluated by a mental health professional. Depending on the outcome, they may be referred to an inpatient facility for psychiatric treatment. If they’re deemed to be at imminent risk of suicide, they’ll be placed on a 72-hour psychiatric hold at the hospital.

If the person is thinking of suicide but has yet to formulate a plan or acquire the means, a call to a crisis hotline is the best approach.

Call a Crisis Line

It can be frightening to know someone you care about is thinking of ending their life. Instead of trying to handle the situation on your own, turn to a suicide hotline. Trained staff and volunteers on the other end can help you find out what to say, what to do, and what resources to turn to in your region.

Try to convince your loved one to contact a crisis line themselves, too. A helpline can keep a suicidal person off the ledge while you wait for emergency services to arrive and they can be a valuable source of support when harmful thoughts reemerge later on. A person in crisis may find it easier to open up to a stranger than to a friend or family member whose judgment they fear, and the hotline worker will be able to quickly research mental health resources in your area.

No matter where in the U.S. you live, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline also has a Spanish language helpline (1-888-628-9454) and a TTY helpline for people who are deaf or hard of hearing (1-800-799-4889). They also have an online chat option for people who are struggling with their mental health and need someone to talk to.

Plan the Next Move

A person considering suicide has likely been dealing with mental health issues for a long time, and the problem doesn’t go away as soon as the threat of suicide has dissipated. To prevent self-harm and improve overall mental health, direct your loved one toward resources that can help them learn coping mechanisms and improve their well-being. This could mean therapy, medication, and tools for staying calm in high-stress moments, like an emotional support service dog. Whatever path forward they choose, be sure to continue to offer nonjudgmental support and a sympathetic ear.

Image via Pixabay

Thank you June Duncan, author and caregiver for this excellent article and toolkit. Feel free to write for my blog more. I think this is my favorite blog of all the almost 10 years of blogging due to my own experience of being suicidal, while wanting to live, but this would have been helpful for my loved ones in any case.

peace love light and joy to all of you

Feel free to reblog this insightful article. Let’s together spread this message of hope and love to all!

Victoria

Welcome to my blog! For new readers click here for my brief bio.

Victoria here with a late night blog. I am still holding a vigil for my father who is eating again but is still very weak from lack of food and recovery from covid. It’s been a day mixed with tears, laughter, dancing, singing, cooking, music on repeat and laundry!

Odd sort of day but here I am excited to share some new ideas I have about this blog. Starting tomorrow I will be blogging about what schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are and my personal experience with the positive, negative and cognitive symptoms. I will explain more in detail and questions are welcomed.

I am calling it Schizophrenia Education and Personal experiences…

I’m excited anyway so till tomorrow.

peace love light and joy

pax

Victoria

Psychotic episode from 2007…

Things were intensifying. Many messages and late nights feeling the heavy presence of God. No drugs, no alcohol, but some stress of my grandma’s passing may have induced schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder. Dx’ed in 2008.

Things other people take for granted became next to impossible like going to the store. Visits from God at these times or my disorder in full psychotic state, not sure really but it was pretty cool except for the time when~

I was walking down the spice packet aisle at my local grocery store and suddenly the command came to buy one of each. I ignored it at first but suddenly I found myself melting to the store if I did not do this weird thing. I hate to ever cause a scene so after several attempts to ignore what I thought to be God testing my obedience, I did it. I felt the paralyzing of my limbs when I tried to ignore the strong inner command.

$200 later I was leaving the store with bags of spice packets half of which I gave to a friend who I believed had shared psychotic disorder. Paralyzing, commands and testing are not of God I believe. I know now it was this dastard bleeping disorder. And luckily enough, do not have psychotic experiences since started taking goterpy cbd oil full spectrum the past few years.

I voluntarily entered UCLA in January of 2008 and the minute I started taking anti-psychotics meds the symptoms began to cease. The messages stopped mostly. God does break through at times in important things such as certain friendships and others I get the green light.

I must now release these terrible memories and do some cord cutting with my quartz crystal tonight, when the house is quiet…

Wishing you all recovery, peace and love

pax

Victoria

Hello from the other side…

I must have called a thousand times.

Hard week for sure! Anniversary of my dad’s stroke, 4 years as of July 2, 2020. And he still blesses me…

That is our song by Adele, Hello. I do not have him with me in the same way anymore but we still have a strong connection and always will…

No more words on that.

I have decided I am no longer Catholic. 20 years wasted but it was the course I thought I was supposed to be on.

I love Jesus…

nothing more other than I am a child of God as we all are. In my Father’s house there is a place for me…

With that I shall leave you.

Good night my readers and visitors.

May the peace of the Triune God be with you all!

And may you find peace in Jesus also…

pax

Victoria

Welcome and happy Sunday…

Welcome to my new followers~

How I appreciate you all~

There is a method to my madness~

Not as mad as I once was 2006-2008.  Hearing voices, hallucinating, buzzing and messages I had to write down and give to various priests and people.  No one was safe except for a few.  The devil even attacked me and my daughter one night.  God was at the center of all my delusions.

But once I started the antipsychotic drugs everything pretty much stopped.  I went on to earn my Master’s Degree in psychology and worked in the field 2011-2015 until stress caused a relapse of symptoms.  I took a Sociology Teaching job at our local community college and loved it and my students appreciated my teaching until a fight erupted in the classroom and stress again took me out.

I am now on permanent disability and I enjoy writing, gardening, doing yoga, meditating, walking, cooking, cleaning, tidying, and spending time with family and my pups.

I have written a May series on the mentioned activities above but have taken a little break.  Not sure anyone liked the cleaning one haha.  That’s ok.  It’s just where I am at.

Today is Sunday so taking a rest day.  Just some light yoga later and some cooking…

Hope you all have a great day and week ahead!

Pax

Victoria

Part One~ Interesting facts on my Schizophrenia love journey…

None of this is made up.  My memory serves me well when I remember things due to my creativity.  I forget boring things most the time.  You let me know will you please if this is all very weird?  I am not delusional right now for some time now due to the CBD oil I take called Goterpy which I am selling now.  So many benefits but will skip for now as I want to share  the all very odd occurrences since my birth.

  • Born in 1969, first year with man on the moon to celebrate my coming into this world. ok maybe I still am delusional to some extent ha ha.  Anyway the first few years of my life were happy.  Until…
  • Can’t say for sure when or why the turn occurred.  But my earliest moments of oddities were at age 5 bilocating by floating down the hall at the top of the ceiling at night to observe my parents as they watched tv in the family room.
  • No fear then and no real fear now as I face my most difficult time ever but am doing it all very well.
  • My dad is my heart and soul and that is all I shall say about him.  When he finally dies and gets to go home to our Precious Lord Jesus I will die inside and hope it doesn’t cause me backtracking of my disorder…

At times I am very detached from things in this world.  But I am never detached from God…

end of part one

part two on how I thought everyone experienced strange occurrences as a child… coming soon!

pax

Victoria

Part One~ Interesting facts on my Schizophrenia love journey…

None of this is made up.  My memory serves me well when I remember things due to my creativity.  I forget boring things most the time.  You let me know will you please if this is all very weird?  I am not delusional right now for some time now due to the CBD oil I take called Goterpy which I am selling now.  So many benefits but will skip for now as I want to share  the all very odd occurrences since my birth.

  • Born in 1969, first year with man on the moon to celebrate my coming into this world. ok maybe I still am delusional to some extent ha ha.  Anyway the first few years of my life were happy.  Until…
  • Can’t say for sure when or why the turn occurred.  But my earliest moments of oddities were at age 5 bilocating by floating down the hall at the top of the ceiling at night to observe my parents as they watched tv in the family room.
  • No fear then and no real fear now as I face my most difficult time ever but am doing it all very well.
  • My dad is my heart and soul and that is all I shall say about him.  When he finally dies and gets to go home to our Precious Lord Jesus I will die inside and hope it doesn’t cause me backtracking of my disorder…

At times I am very detached from things in this world.  But I am never detached from God…

end of part one

part two on how I thought everyone experienced strange occurrences as a child… coming soon!

pax

Victoria

Short bio

Welcome to my blog!

My name is Victoria and I suffer from Schizoaffective Disorder (SA), which is basically Schizophrenia plus depression; this blog journals my progress from fall 2013 to now although I was diagnosed in 2008. I have experienced both the positive (hallucinations and delusions) and negative symptoms (lack of motivation, flat affect. social difficulties) of Schizophrenia and while the positive symptoms have been under control with Risperdal, since being diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder by UCLA in 2008, I have still suffered from the negative symptoms until recently when my psychiatrist added Latuda. Post diagnosis I received my Masters Degree in Psychology and used to work in the mental health field until stress caused me to try to go on permanent disability in September 2015.

I started this blog in fall 2013 which journals my personal recovery from Schizophrenia. The earliest entries chart my psychotic period 2006/2007 with much in between and my current focus is managing the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia. I welcome all feedback and enjoy meeting new people through this blog and other articles I have written. I have also written a book which is available on Amazon by me, Victoria Marie Alonso- My personal recovery from Schizophrenia, which is for loved ones or those afflicted with this disorder. This blog has been viewed over 11000 times and by over 50 countries! Bienvenidos a todos! Welcome to all!

Please feel free to email me to share your story or that of a loved one at:victoriamariealonso@yahoo.com

Other mental health providers or researchers are welcome to ask any questions, as well.

 

Pax

Victoria