Posts Tagged ‘Suicide’

ACE study versus Neuroplasticity

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Neuroscientists and therapists pontificate on the brain’s ability to rewire itself.

They say we can either rewire around the damage or create new pathways to healing.

The literature is optimistic, plasticity avails us the opportunity to heal childhood abuse.

I question their stance and rhetoric.

Reality looks different.

Kaiser’s ACE study says we are more prone to disease, mental illness, cancer, incarceration, trauma, and early death.

Soldiers’ daily suicide rates average double digits.

The military should be the front line for healing trauma.

Why have they failed so miserably?

We can train them to kill but struggle to help them cope with the consequences.

I wish we had statistics on PTSD, who heals, how fast, and what percentage?

How many of us heal?

PTSD is out of control in America and the world.

The current climate of divisiveness, violence, hate, and vitriol makes the world even scarier for PTSD people.

PTSD is far more prevalent than reported, so many are undiagnosed.

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Look at the trauma inflicted on Ukraine.

That’s real life and death events, scarring a whole country.

Let’s not forget the Russian soldiers and their acquiring PTSD?

What percentage of seriously abused kids do you think heal?
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Emotional Regulation: Yikes!!!!!!

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https://unsplash.com/@tengyart

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Excerpt: From Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD

“The Body Keeps the Score”

“When trauma emanates from within the family, children experience a crisis of loyalty and organize their behavior to survive within their families. Being prevented from articulating what they observe and experience, traumatized children will organize their behavior around keeping the secret, deal with their helplessness with compliance or defiance, and acclimate in any way they can to entrapment in abusive or neglectful situations.

Being left to their own devices leaves chronically traumatized children with deficits in emotional self-regulation. This results in problems with self-definition as reflected by a lack of a continuous sense of self, poorly modulated affect and impulse control, including aggression against self and others, and uncertainty about the reliability and predictability of others, expressed as distrust, suspiciousness, and problems with intimacy, resulting in social isolation.

Chronically traumatized children tend to suffer from distinct alterations in states of consciousness, including amnesia, hypermnesia, dissociation, depersonalization and derealization, flashbacks and nightmares of specific events, school problems, difficulties in attention regulation, disorientation in time and space, and sensorimotor developmental disorders. The children often are literally are “out of touch” with their feelings, and often have no language to describe internal states.

When a child lacks a sense of predictability, he or she may experience difficulty developing of object constancy and inner representations of their own inner world or their surroundings. As a result, they lack a good sense of cause and effect and of their own contributions to what happens to them.

Without internal maps to guide them, they act, instead of plan, and show their wishes in their behaviors, rather than discussing what they want. Unable to appreciate clearly who they or others are, they have problems enlisting other people as allies on their behalf. Other people are sources of terror or pleasure but are rarely fellow human beings with their own sets of needs and desires.

These children also have difficulty appreciating novelty. Without a map to compare and contrast, anything new is potentially threatening. What is familiar tends to be experienced as safer, even if it is a predictable source of terror.

Traumatized children rarely discuss their fears and traumas spontaneously. They also have little insight into the relationship between what they do, what they feel, and what has happened to them. They tend to communicate the nature of their traumatic past by repeating it in the form of interpersonal en- actments, both in their play and in their fantasy lives.

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Navigating a traumatized existence

https://pixabay.com/users/aitoff-388338/

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Stating the obvious, we were innocent, helpless kids without the mental or physical abilities to escape or protect ourselves.

For me, healing looks totally different than a normal person.

Everyone talks about how connecting and trusting, having healthy social relationships are part of healing and wellbeing.

I did the opposite. Socially, trusting people was never going to happen except for an inner circle of a few.

For me, isolating from most people, stabilized my nervous system, so I could heal.

I never trusted people, never.

People betraying me, did so much damage after my childhood, I became a loner.

Finding a way to be happy without many attachments was difficult, but the alternative of a loved one betraying me was never an option after college.

I stayed alive, did not commit suicide, got up and created a private world for myself.

I am alive, I survived extreme abuse as a confused, little boy.

Terror followed me, nightmares, sweats, stomach aches, vomiting, anxiety and fear ensued.

Now, when all this explodes life goes back to feeling imminent danger is near, it exists deep inside my memories.

I can not make sense of my life and all the suffering.

Was I born to be a sufferer?

How should I endure a life filled with suffering.

Where is the worth in my life, keeps nagging me for answers

Abused kids can not escape the damage.

Any insight?

Note: I am not advocating isolating, except from your abusers, even if it is a parent until after you improve.

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Military suicides up as much as 20% in COVID era

FILE – In this March 31, 2020, file photo a U.S. Army soldier walks inside a mobile surgical unit being set up by soldiers from Fort Carson, Col., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) as part of a field hospital inside CenturyLink Field Event Center, in Seattle. Military suicides have increased by as much as 20% this year compared to the same period last year, and some incidents of violent behavior have spiked, as service members struggle with isolation and other impacts of COVID-19 added to the pressures of war-zone deployments and responding to national disasters and civil unrest. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Military suicides have increased by as much as 20% this year compared to the same period in 2019, and some incidents of violent behavior have spiked as service members struggle under COVID-19, war-zone deployments, national disasters and civil unrest.

While the data is incomplete and causes of suicide are complex, Army and Air Force officials say they believe the pandemic is adding stress to an already strained force.

And senior Army leaders — who say they’ve seen about a 30% jump in active duty suicides so far this year — told The Associated Press that they are looking at shortening combat deployments. Such a move would be part of a broader effort to make the wellbeing of soldiers and their families the Army’s top priority, overtaking combat readiness and weapons modernization.

The Pentagon refused to provide 2020 data or discuss the issue, but Army officials said discussions in Defense Department briefings indicate there has been up to a 20% jump in overall military suicides this year. The numbers vary by service. The active Army’s 30% spike — from 88 last year to 114 this year — pushes the total up because it’s the largest service. The Army Guard is up about 10%, going from 78 last year to 86 this year. The Navy total is believed to be lower this year.

Army leaders say they can’t directly pin the increase on the virus, but the timing coincides.

“I can’t say scientifically, but what I can say is – I can read a chart and a graph, and the numbers have gone up in behavioral health related issues,” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said in an AP interview.

Pointing to increases in Army suicides, murders and other violent behavior, he added, “We cannot say definitively it is because of COVID. But there is a direct correlation from when COVID started, the numbers actually went up.”

Preliminary data for the first three months of 2020 show an overall dip in military suicides across the active duty and reserves, compared to the same time last year. Those early numbers, fueled by declines in Navy and Air Force deaths, gave hope to military leaders who have long struggled to cut suicide rates. But in the spring, the numbers ticked up.

“COVID adds stress,” said Gen. Charles Brown, the Air Force chief, in public remarks. “From a suicide perspective, we are on a path to be as bad as last year. And that’s not just an Air Force problem, this is a national problem because COVID adds some additional stressors – a fear of the unknown for certain folks.”

The active duty Air Force and reserves had 98 suicides as of Sept. 15, unchanged from the same period last year. But last year was the worst in three decades for active duty Air Force suicides. Officials had hoped the decline early in the year would continue.

Navy and Marine officials refused to discuss the subject.

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The Connection Between PTSD and Suicide By Matthew Tull, PhD Updated September 02, 2019

Artur Borzecki Photography/Getty Images

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“In the United States, more than 40,000 people commit suicide each year. Although women attempt suicide more so than men, men are more likely to succeed in killing themselves during a suicide attempt. In addition, people who have experienced a traumatic event and/or have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be more likely to attempt suicide.

Trauma, PTSD, and Suicide

In a survey of 5,877 people across the United States, it was found that people who had experienced physical or sexual assault in their life also had a high likelihood of attempting to take their own life at some point:

Nearly 22% of people who had been raped had also attempted suicide at some point in their life.

Approximately 23% of people who had experienced a physical assault had also attempted suicide at some point in their life.

These rates of suicide attempts increased considerably among people who had experienced multiple incidents of sexual (42.9%) or physical assault (73.5%). They also found that a history of sexual molestation, physical abuse as a child, and neglect as a child were associated with high rates of suicide attempts (17.4% to 23.9%)

People with a diagnosis of PTSD are also at greater risk to attempt suicide. Among people who have had a diagnosis of PTSD at some point in their lifetime, approximately 27% have also attempted suicide.

There Is Hope: Seeking Help

Experiencing a traumatic event and/or developing PTSD can have a tremendous impact on a person’s life. The symptoms of PTSD can make a person feel constantly afraid and isolated. In addition, depression is common following a traumatic event and among people with PTSD.

A person may feel as though there is no hope or escape from their symptoms, leading them to contemplate suicide.

It is important to realize that even though it may feel as though there is no hope, recovery and healing is possible. If you are having thoughts of ending your life or if you know someone who is having these thoughts, it is important to seek help as soon as possible.”

3 Navy sailors assigned to USS George H.W. Bush kill themselves in a week.

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https://nypost.com/author/ben-feuerherd/

Three Navy sailors assigned to the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier killed themselves last week in separate incidents, officials said Monday.

The commanding officer of the carrier, which is docked at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia, announced the deaths in a post on the ship’s Facebook page Monday.

“It is with a heavy heart that I can confirm the loss of three Sailors last week in separate, unrelated incidents from apparent suicide. My heart is broken,” Capt. Sean Bailey wrote in the announcement.

None of the deaths occurred on the carrier, which is docked at the shipyard for repairs, Navy Times reported.

The crew members who killed themselves last week are the third, fourth and fifth sailors assigned to the ship to commit suicide in a two-year period, Bailey added in his statement.

Bailey urged sailors on the carrier to come forward with suggestions on how to put an end to the string of suicides.

“We need All Hands to engage by bringing forward your suggestions and ideas for how we can work together to prevent another suicide,” he wrote in the post, adding: “I want to reiterate that there is never any stigma or repercussion from seeking help.”

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My two cents: For the last two years military suicides have averaged 20 a day.

That is 14,600 suicides!

Families, wives, husbands, children, brothers, sisters and friends are negatively impacted or traumatized.

How many children will be 50% more likely to committ suicide in the future, now that a parent has.

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A world class Meditator faces capture and torture

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Matthew Ricard from the book “Happiness”

After the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, Tenzin Choedrak, the personal physician of the Dalai Lama, was first sent to a forced labor camp in northeastern Tibet along with some one hundred others.

Five prisoners, himself among them, survived.

He was transferred from camp to camp for nearly twenty years and often thought that he would die of hunger or of the abuse inflicted on him.

A psychiatrist who specializes in post-traumatic stress and who treated Doctor Choedrak was astonished that he showed not the least sign of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

He was not bitter, felt no resentment, displayed serene kindness, and had none of the usual psychological problems, such as anxiety, nightmares, and so on.

Choedrak acknowledged that he occasionally felt hatred for his torturers, but that he always returned to the practice of meditation on inner peace and compassion.

That was what sustained his desire to go on living and ultimately saved him.

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My two cents: This meditator did not get PTSD, did not become hyper vigilant, or contemplate suicide.

We do not know what thoughts (demons) any man faces but these world class meditators live life fully.

Suicide is extremely rare or non existent for these world class meditators.

In my mind, a focused meditator will not commit suicide unless there is a severe disorder or a traumatic brain injury.

“He occasionally felt hatred for his torturers, but that he always returned to the practice of meditation on inner peace and compassion.”

We let those hateful, harmful, suicide thoughts pass on through.

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Suicide prevention month finds two prominent depression and suicide prevention leaders committing suicide!

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Jarrid Wilson, a Southern California megachurch pastor and mental health advocate, died by suicide Monday.

“Wilson, 30, was associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, under Pastor Greg Laurie. He co-founded Anthem of Hope, a mental health nonprofit helping people dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts. He is survived by his wife, Julianne, and two sons, Finch and Denham.”

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“The executive director of counseling and psychological services at the University of Pennsylvania died by suicide Monday morning in Philadelphia, officials said.

Gregory Eells became the head of the department at UPENN in March.”

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My two cents: WOW! I am perplexed on many levels, extreme sadness is one emotion.

How does religion handle a suicide like this? Usually your condemned, a mortal sin in the Catholic Church. This pastor lived an exemplary life of giving and service.

On a personal level, they had a role similar to mine. The pastor mentored others with depression and mental illness, like this blog and my mindfulness group.

This is conflicting for me, I have compassion for their struggles but my father would win if I committed suicide.

All those that follow me or have been helped by me would be impacted negatively.

If you are the leader and committ suicide, have you considered those your leaving behind?

In the confusing throws of negative thought and unhealthy emotions reality slips away.

One thought dominates after a while, we never know what another is experiencing or thinking.

I have been touched by suicide in my mindfulness group. It is devastating for the survivors.

I wonder if one of the Dalai Lamas has ever committed suicide?

Next post will be on Dalai Lamas physician who was captured by the Chinese and tortured. An Amazing story.

Please share your thoughts.

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Military Suicides top record despite government’s best efforts: we have to do better

Patrice Sullivan, whose boyfriend, a marine, died from suicide, helps remove 5,000 small U.S. flags representing suicides of active and veteran members of the military line the national mall , Wednesday.

Washington Times by Gabriella Munoz

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The disturbing number has held steady for years: Roughly 20 U.S. military veterans take their own lives each day.

The Defense Department reported a significant uptick last year in the number of active-duty and reserve men and women who died by suicide. The suicide rate among veterans ages 18 to 34, some of whom served in Iraq and Afghanistan, shot up dramatically from 2015 to 2016, data show.

Top officials from the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs, joined by specialists from across the private sector, gathered this week to search for solutions to what has become one of the most persistent, painful and frustrating crises facing the military community. Although the nation has grappled with veteran suicides for more than a century — officials note that some of the first academic research on the issue appeared in 1915 — many of the core challenges remain.

Trump administration officials say a key factor is a reservation about addressing mental health care.

“There’s been a stigma throughout the history of our country that I still think you see manifestations of today,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie told The Washington Times in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the conference, a biannual gathering co-hosted by the VA and the Pentagon.

“In the military, there’s always been a reluctance to address those issues,” he said. “But with many issues, certainly complicated ones, just starting to talk about it is a step forward. People would run from this label, mental illness. Families would panic, communities would panic.

“It’s amazing to me that we’re not any farther along,” he added.

Beneath the startling figures on veteran suicides is an especially troubling number: Of the 20 who die by suicide each day, roughly two-thirds have had little or no regular contact with the VA. That suggests an unwillingness to seek help or a lack of knowledge about where to look.

In other cases, VA facilities have become the sites of tragedy. Earlier this year, three veterans died by suicide at VA facilities over the span of just five days.

Two took their lives in the parking lots outside VA buildings; a third reportedly shot himself in the waiting room of a Texas VA clinic in front of hundreds of onlookers.

The series of dramatic deaths brought an even brighter spotlight to an issue that already had become a top priority for the Trump administration. In June, the White House launched the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End the National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) task force, an initiative aimed at developing and implementing the first governmentwide national strategy to confront the root causes of veteran suicides.

Continue reading

Do we ever know?

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We make many judgments about the world and how we fit into it.

Our “Ego” keeps score how we rate in our circle of contact.

When we walk into a room of people, our “Ego” assesses the hierarchy. We feel superior to some and beneath a few.

Life destroys some of these myths for us. When Anthony Bourdain hangs himself, my evaluation system crumbles.

My judgment of Anthony is completely wrong.

How could someone who had it all, talent, celebrity, money, brains, writing skills and happiness, hang themselves.

Oh wait, someone I thought was happy, committed suicide in a gruesome way.

Still, I ask myself, what could lead this talented man to hang himself.

He sure seemed to have it all!

Life seems happier, easier for some, maybe that judgment is inaccurate.

Hard not to compare our life to others, but easy to let that comparison go with practice.

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