A Suicide Therapist’s Secret Past

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In this piece for The New York Times, suicidologist and psychotherapist Stacey Freedenthal tells her story of having struggled with suicidality and discusses the importance of disclosing her own experience as a mental health professional.

“In recent years, several high-profile mental health professionals, such as the psychologists Kay Redfield Jamison and Marsha Linehan, have come forward about their personal experiences with mental illness and suicidality. And more and more people who survived suicide’s assault have begun to share their stories in blogs, social media and videos. I have always been too scared to join this conversation. But knowing my silence made me stigma’s accomplice also felt hypocritical.

The openness of others inspires mine now. I still feel scared, but perhaps it can comfort people with mental illness to know that many professionals who appear to sit on a high horse of happiness, in fact, sit with them.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I suppose there’s nothing I can do. I’m forced to continue to live in a world filled with this kind of tripe and nonsense. I’m sure the author really believes what she writes here. But I say that thoughts of suicide are a perfectly normal part of life for ALL persons, at least at *some* points in life. And, that we ALL have far more control over our thoughts and feelings than we have been lead to believe. The “mental illness industry”, and PhRMA, both, are heavily invested in keeping as many of us as possible helpless, dependent, on drugs, and believing that the dreaded *STIGMA* is anything but a figment of the imagination. It’s as “real” as presents from Santa Claus, but not more real…. Sadly, no, not all suicides are preventable, any more than death itself….

    • Are any suicides prevented by drugs? Frankly I doubt it. Looking back, what I needed wasn’t “uppers” but encouragement, acceptance and love. I found none of that from the Mental Illness Makers.

      Worse yet, they turned my friends and family against me, making me more alone than ever. I never committed suicide–no thanks to “mental health!”

      Furthermore, without psychiatry, “stigma” as we know it would not exist. Psychiatric organizations like the APA, NAMI, and the MHA are no more against “stigma” or sanism than the KKK is against racism or the Westborough Baptists are against homophobia.

      Promoting discrimination is how they empower and promote themselves. Psychiatry needs “stigma” to exist, though most are too stupid to admit it–even to themselves.