Today is the 10th anniversary of David Foster Wallace’s suicide. While it’s not fair to build an entire theory on an incredibly complicated issue like suicide around one person, Wallace’s death should challenge the common narratives around suicide — that “mental illness” causes it and that “we can’t ever know why people do it.” Both of these are self-serving platitudes that are simply not true.
Robin Williams had "therapeutic" levels of the tetra-cyclic antidepressant mirtazapine in his blood at the time of his suicide, according to the coroner's report...
During the past twenty years, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American psychiatry have adopted a "medicalized" approach to preventing suicide, claiming that antidepressants are protective against suicide. Yet, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 30% since 2000, a time of rising usage of antidepressants. A review of studies of the effects of mental health treatment and antidepressants on suicide reveals why this medicalized approach has not only failed, but pushed suicide rates higher.
I am still trying to reconcile what these chemicals are capable of, how the urge can morph into an action, how we maybe just don’t understand suicide all that well. For me, the suffering was so intense it was too painful to stay alive. I understand how my friends felt in their last moments.
The “good” suicide attempt survivor wakes up in a hospital bed bathed in beautiful natural light, surrounded by the people who love them most, and they realize that their thinking was flawed and all those unsolvable problems can actually be solved if they are just compliant with medication and therapy. And then there's the “bad” suicide attempter who is angry that they lived, who challenges the status quo.
Changing the mental health and psychosocial support system in Germany requires public debate about the ways our society should help and support people in mental crisis and with chronic mental health problems. We believe the driving force behind all help and support should be humanitarianism and respect for inalienable human rights.
My purpose in writing this case study is not to suggest that creativity is a mere byproduct of trauma, or to deny the role of so-called mental illness in suicide, but to situate these phenomena within the context of human lives. To render them humanly (rather than medically) intelligible. With his mind and body disintegrating, Robin Williams took his life to thwart the eradication of self.
The suicide crisis is real. The pain is real. The deaths are real. None of us can afford to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that this isn't happening. But the helplessness and confusion about what to do about it are also real. And that's why peer relationships and peer-developed modalities can be so helpful. Many of us have been there and are still alive to talk about it. We know what ways of relating gave us hope and helped us to continue on.
Disturbingly, our study and others reveal that the black box warning is now ignored in many countries, since antidepressant prescriptions for children are on the rise again. Despite increasing certainty that antidepressants are ineffective and likely cause suicidal behavior in young people, psychiatry continues to claim that they reduce suicide risk.
What do you do when the media reports stories of children who have killed themselves on SSRIs? Position the stories of these children, not the drugs they were taking, as a suicide risk. Warn that more children will die if mouthy parents are allowed to speak and upstart journalists are allowed to report. And then position psychiatrists as the only people who can talk about suicide without producing an epidemic of self inflicted deaths.
What if the key to saving someone is to admit you are powerless to save anyone at all? What would that beckon us to change? A few years ago, I spent a substantial amount of time talking with a man who entered my life because someone in the mental health system told him I might be the one who could save him (or at least, that’s how he heard it). His name was David.
The primary factor protecting psychiatry’s unwarranted power and authority is that it is perceived as shielding society from folks who are believed to be dangerous. It would seem, then, that one logical step toward reducing society’s trust in biological psychiatry would be to reveal the evidence of a significant correlation between the use of prescribed psychoactive drugs and the commission of violent acts against oneself or others.
Multiple media sources are reporting on new data from the CDC revealing a substantial increase in the suicide rate in the United States between 1999...
New analysis of post-discharge suicide rates finds estimates 6 times higher than recent studies.
When the CDC released data revealing an increasing suicide rate in the US, some experts, speaking to major media outlets, speculated that the increase...
Study finds that traditional healers in South Africa, whose services are widely used by the country’s population, perform important suicide prevention work.
The man who deliberately crashed a Germanwings commercial airliner with 150 passengers aboard was actively in psychiatric treatment at the time, reported the New...
Researchers report that sexual minority adolescents have considered, planned, and attempted suicide substantially more than their heterosexual peers.
A new study suggests that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may halve the likelihood of re-attempting suicide, for those who have attempted in the past.
The New York Times reports that the "baffling" rise in suicide rates in the U.S. military is not correlated to deployment, as is often...
Smoking laws and cigarette taxes have strong links to suicide rates, according to psychiatrists from Washington University in St. Louis. Previous studies have presumed...
We live in a culture of mandated positivity and compulsory happiness, which somehow remains untouched by the current political, social, ecological and economic realities of the world. If you’re distressed, it must either be your bad attitude (which is a choice) or your broken brain (which is not a choice); god forbid we look anywhere outside the self.
Of course one wishes for an easy answer, but the things that conspire to drive a person over the edge are too numerous and varied ever to point and say, it was this one; one can never really be so certain. No one can say it wasn’t that one, or that it wasn’t really all of those together, or that, when it came my own turn for “insanity,” I wasn’t standing halfway over the edge already, waiting for gravity to kick in and for me to fall.
Without clarity and consensus around what social justice means, psychologists risk perpetuating injustices that undermine their stated mission.
A new study conducted by Jeffrey Vittengl at Truman University has found that taking antidepressant medications resulted in more severe depression symptoms after nine years.