Stephen King Upsets Fans With Trump Tweet About Suicide

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On Tuesday, bestselling author Stephen King tweeted he was blocked from following President Trump on Twitter, in a message many are calling insensitive.

“Trump has blocked me from reading his tweets. I may have to kill myself,” King posted.

Twitter was swift to reply to King’s tweet, with many people noting the author’s poor choice of words.

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King has not addressed the controversy his tweets have caused.

It’s not the first time the author has been critical of the President, nor is it the first time he’s posted a questionable mental health-related tweet. In May, King, who holds no mental health qualifications, tweeted that Trump is a “textbook case of narcissistic personality disorder.”

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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To the Suicidal Patient in the Emergency Room, I Am Your Nurse

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Hi, there.

I am your nurse. I am so sorry you had to come to the ER, but I am so proud of you. You are so brave. I know people say, “Just go to the ER,” but I understand how big of a step you just took. Thank you for choosing to come when death can seem better than living.

I don’t know what is going to happen after you leave the ER, but I can tell you what is going to happen while you are here. We are going to keep you safe. You don’t have to try so hard anymore. You can cry. You can scream. You are in the safest place you can be, in my nursing care.

I want to warn you a lot is going to happen and it is going to happen pretty quickly. If you have any questions, ask for me and I’ll be here to answer your questions the best I can. I’m here to listen if you want to talk, but silence is just fine, too.

The doctor will be in shortly and is going to ask you a lot of questions about your past. You see, sometimes medical conditions can cause depression and anxiety and we need to rule those out. The questions are personal. It is important that you answer honestly. You might feel you are at the end of your rope and I know it can be scary, but you deserve the help you need. You’ve jumped the first hurdle, getting yourself here. Other hurdles are coming, but I’ll be here helping you. You are my patient and I am your nurse.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via dolgachov.

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What It Feels Like to Lose the Will to Live

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Losing the will to live is not always standing on a ledge. It’s not always being in crisis mode (for me anyway). It’s a dull ache in my chest that weighs me down constantly. I might laugh or appear normal, but that ache to disappear is there, underneath.

Sometimes I give up on life because everything in my day-to-day a fight. I’m just too tired, angry or depressed etc. to fight anymore. Sometimes I just don’t want to fight anymore for no particular reason other than I’m just done. I obsess over that thought constantly, I’m just done.

When I feel that way I don’t always think of my loved ones. I don’t want to hurt my loved ones, but it feels like I can’t fix anything, so what’s the point of existing if I’m just making it through? Nothing makes me happy. I often forget what joy feels like and all I want to do is curl up and not exist. Sometimes I get a break and the feeling hides. The feeling is always there, but it’s not on the front burner. Physical pain triggers me most of all, second I think is lack of sleep. I am often in chronic physical pain (endometriosis).

Sometimes I need to talk, but I know the people I love aren’t equipped to hear the morbid things I think even if I don’t mean them. Sometimes just vocalizing things helps and sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes the people I love invalidate me without meaning to because they don’t understand mental illness or my particular manifestation of it. When everything is a fight the last thing I want to hear is, “You are not doing enough.” I am doing my best, it’s all I have.

I have tried everything I know to try already. I’ve been to groups, tried medications, diet, exercise, thinking positive, hot baths, religion, regular counseling, self-help books, dietary supplements, crystals, Reiki, meditation, yoga, teas, petting cute animals, distracting myself in all sorts of different ways. I’ve tried combinations of all those things and plenty of other things that would take too long to list. At 30 years old I am tired, I’ve been at this since I was 10 years old.

 

Sometimes getting out of bed is a struggle on all levels of my being. It’s a resistance to life itself. Half of me has laid down to die and the other half that is in survival mode has twice the load to carry. I want to die but I’m afraid to. I want to live but it hurts. People don’t always understand that — they often think I want to be the way I am or I’m taking the easy way by being on social assistance.

I’d be rich if somebody gave me a dollar for every time I heard, “Man I’d love to be on disability and lay around all day.” Nobody wants to be like that. If you’re not high functioning chances are you battle fear, anger and depression deep in your being on a daily basis. Chances are you’ve had your fears confirmed enough times that a phobia might develop. Nobody asks for that! There is a major difference between plain laziness and a real social phobia or other form of mental illness that prevent you from going out.

I often hear, “I don’t have time to be depressed.” I don’t decide to pencil in two hours of crying hard, two hours of uncontrollable rage with a period of “normal” in-between up and down mood swings after lunch. This isn’t my choice. I’m tired of people thinking it is. Yes, you can choose to be more positive when possible, but I am not always in control. I can’t positive think my way out of this. But I don’t view myself as a victim. Nobody did this to me, it just is what it is. I do my best to change the things I can change.

Being bipolar isn’t who I am. It’s not my passport, but it’s a huge chunk of the reasons I do things. I know myself well enough to know certain things will trigger me, some things can’t be avoided, I know that. I make appointments and get myself to them. I pay my bills and do what I need to, but that’s about all I have in me most days.

Most of the time when I get advice it’s well-meaning, people care and they want to help, but sometimes you can do more damage by giving unsolicited advice. Unless you are a trained mental health professional, you likely aren’t qualified to give mental health advice. Don’t presume to know more about somebody and their manifestation of an illness. Everyone is different! You are not the one residing in the brain and body of that person. You cannot and will not ever know the core of their being, nor is it your place to decide it is your business.

Hugs or whatever the person is comfortable with is great. Asking, “What can I do to help?” is a truly wonderful thing! It gives me an in to say I need help without feeling like I’m being a burden. Sometimes the answer is nothing. Sometimes just watching a funny video or being there without needing to talk helps. It doesn’t fix it, but it doesn’t hurt either.

A lot of people with mental health issues don’t reach out because people often say, “So and so’s just trying to get attention.” Well yes and no. I often really need somebody, but I’m scared to say anything because I’ve been invalidated or people will think I’m too “dramatic” or “sensitive.” Sometimes when I do muster up the courage to say something, it’s a cry for help that goes unheard.

I can say for me personally, feeling out of control is scary, and feeling out of control in front of someone else is terrifying. That can be anything from crying to being overexcited. I guard my outward flow emotions fiercely, so if I’m emoting in front of someone, it’s only the tip of the iceberg of what’s going on inside. Even as I type this, I’m debating on deleting this because I feel embarrassed to admit feeling this way.

I’m not asking anyone to take care of me, walk on egg shells or make themselves available 24/7 just to talk. The last thing I want to do is upset or inconvenience anybody in any way. I am not asking for anyone’s sympathy, likes or shares. I want people to understand that mental illness is different for everyone. We don’t all fit into little boxes that certain medications cure. Mental illness is messy, it’s frustrating and often feels like a losing battle. I can’t speak for everybody with mental illness, I can only speak for me.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via JZhuk

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6 Ways to Help Someone Who Is Thinking About Suicide

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

When people talk about suicide, it stirs up something deep in us. It is incongruent with our biological instinct for survival. We know something is wrong.

If we love the person or even care about him, we may start to panic. What if I lose him?

We may not trust ourselves to help lift him out of the pain. We feel worried and helpless up against darkness he is facing. We don’t know what to do or what to say, but we know we have to do something.

As a therapist, I have talked to thousands of people about suicide over the 20-plus years I have been practicing. I haven’t lost anyone to suicide, but I stay vigilant and meet each new disclosure with my full attention. Each person is incredibly valuable and I don’t want to lose anyone.

I’ve seen people in the most intense pain you can imagine and I see them afterward, when they feel better. Seeing this process so many times, I have the retrospective view of the next person coming in. Things change. People get better.

I know you want to help your friend/child/lover/parent get to that “better” place, and there are things you can do that will be invaluable to helping them and bring the two of you closer together. Thank goodness.

Here are seven ways to respond when someone tells you they are thinking about suicide.

1. Stay calm.

Suicide has a way of freaking people out. But when we freak out, it becomes about us and not the person who is struggling. They feel lost, invisible and shamed when we freak out.

Unfortunately some professional questioning sounds more like concern for liability than compassion for the person. Most of my clients who have been suicidal have had experiences with people freaking out. They are afraid they will be put into psychiatric care and so stop talking about themselves.

I’d rather keep them talking.

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Call 911 only when the person is in imminent danger. Your friend texting that she “doesn’t want to live like this” does not need the police to barge past her parents, cuff her and take her alone in the back of a squad car to the hospital.

If you are a teenager and your friend tells you she is suicidal or thinking about suicide, see number three on this list.

2. Understand.

Loads of people think about suicide. First and foremost, it is an expression that you don’t want to feel this pain anymore. That is a normal response to pain. It would be weirder if someone wants to feel this bad.

When you were in pain, haven’t you ever thought about escaping somehow? Maybe you never said it out loud, but this person feels the same. Surely, you can understand?

People who think of suicide are usually scared by their thoughts because they think it is “messed up.” This entices fear and shame on top of what they were already feeling, making them spiral further down and intensifying everything. We want to ease this fear and shame immediately. Tell them there is nothing to be ashamed of. Understanding and staying calm will go very far in helping them begin to feel better fast, so you can get to the reason they were upset in the first place.

Assuming they want attention misses the mark. I don’t think in these terms. This person probably feels invisible and isolated. Please give them attention, right now.

People don’t want to feel bad. I think about what is absent but implicit in people wanting to escape pain: They want to feel better. It’s very understandable.

Acknowledging and validating that they want relief will help them feel understood and this makes so much difference.

3. Touch them (if they’re OK with it.)

Sometimes a kind word and a hug can do wonders. Being close to another person can feel so good.

Many people who are overwhelmed by their emotions can use a good cry in caring arms. They desire this, but they might not ask.

Being overwhelmed by depression can make you feel so alone and disconnected. Touch grounds us and makes us feel connected. Don’t hesitate.

4. Stay with them.

Stay with your lovey or arrange for someone to be with him or her until they let you know their desire to die passes.

Listen to them, but also distract them. Try to get them to laugh. Among my clients, laughing with a friend is the most common way to pass out of thoughts of suicide. It may not make the problem go away, but it helps pass the time until a mood can lift.

Let them know there is nothing more important than being with them in that moment.

Let them know you love them and what you love about them. Make a list.

5. Ask why they haven’t.

Most people say, “I want to die, but I don’t want to die.” This makes so much sense to me. They just want to feel better.

When someone talks about suicide, before I ask about a plan, or whatever, I ask why he hasn’t.

This is really what we need to know. People who think about suicide don’t attempt to die by suicide for a reason. And you bet I want to know that reason. When I ask this question, I find out the most fascinating things that all touch my heart.

Their response says something about what is important to them — what is important enough to live for. This is what I want to bring out in the open: their love and commitment to this priority. There’s a story about this important thing and I want to thicken it up and make it shine so they commit more fully to living.

Maybe it is not wanting to leave his family. This is beautiful and noble. This tells me so much. I don’t invalidate this gorgeous love by telling him that he needs to want to live for himself. Or that he has to find out why he wants to die. I know why he wants to die. He doesn’t feel good.

I want to know why he wants to live. I want to hear more about it and let his words and his care for that thing float around the room, come around him in a big hug and make him want to live even more. I want to be in awe of why he wants to live, so that awe is reflected back and he is in awe too.

This will stop him faster than any safety contract that focused on disembodied, imposed skills.

6. Make a plan

Rather than a safety contract, I make a plan of what to do. This plan includes:

1. Distraction: have something enjoyable to do to pass time.

2. Company: tell someone immediately and spend time together until it passes.

3. Call me: I encourage people to call me when they feel like dying. Any time of day or night.

My freshman year in high school, I lost a friend to suicide. I cared about Mike deeply and reeled with shock when he died. I didn’t even know he was struggling. If fact, the last time I spoke to him, I talked about myself. Maybe if we had texting back then, or Facebook, we would have been closer and he would have shared his depression with me. Maybe I could have helped.

Many more friends in high school disclosed their suicidal thoughts to me. Thank God, no one else died. Probably more felt this bad but didn’t tell me. You never know what someone is going through since people hide their pain so well. Whether they told me or not, I hope my kindness or smiles came to them when they needed it most.

A few years ago, I made peace with Mike. Instead of feeling shame that I was so selfish, only four days before he died, to dare speak about my own problems, I accepted his message that I helped him feel valuable and loved when he needed it most. I released his spirit that was held in my shame and recommitted to standing closer to people when they are in pain.

I accepted his message that I helped him feel valuable and loved when he needed it most. I released his spirit that was held in my shame and recommitted to standing closer to people when they are in pain.

Don’t let worry take you over; choose love instead. If you seek help and that person is responding out of fear, don’t give up. Find someone else.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via Thinkstock

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A Letter From a Grieving Heart, to a Forever Friend

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I sit, wrapped up in an old t-shirt of yours, your scent still lingering behind, the only real reminder of your presence that will forever leave me breathless until fading away.

It’s been six months since my world has changed entirely. Six long months since you’ve taken your last breath. Six months since you spoke your last words to me. Since I’ve heard you smile over the phone as we talk about the Rolling Stones and that time in Gran Turismo when I beat you in that little, red Fiat. Times I will forever cherish.

I still feel like you are going to pop your head in and say you’ve been well, that you’ve been enjoying San Diego and its endless nightlife. Good days are few and far between, but knowing I have known you make even the darkest days a little brighter. I have been doing mass amounts of crying, more than I let on. But I guess that is normal when you lose a loved one.

You meant the world and so much more to me. I’ve learned from you, you helped me grow, and now, part of me has died with you. A part that was once so full of life, just gone. I don’t know if I will ever be the same to be honest. You held a piece of my heart no one will ever be able to replace or compare to.

I know it is foolish to sit here and be so consumed in a moment of time that will forever stand still because you would want me to be doing the opposite. You would want me out living my life, the way you did: fast, fun and limitless. You would tell me to cheer up as you read me some vulgar humor from our favorite shared comedians while calling me “lazy bones.” Even now, just imagining this brings a smile to my face. I wish I could pretend you were just gone away for the moment and that this terrible thing has never happened…

But I cannot. Grieving your loss will never become any easier. But I suppose it cannot get any harder than it already is. I’ve met some wonderful people though you, and I will forever be blessed. I just want to thank you for everything because I’m not sure I have before.

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But for tonight, I sleep through the pain and hope for better days as tomorrow rolls through. Although my heart still breaks, it still beats in your memory. And for this, I am thankful. Forever missing you.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

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What I Remind Myself on Hard Days With Depression

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

Today has been one of “those” days. One of those days that those of us with depression dread. I’ve spent the last 18 hours battling with my greatest demon. On days like this, it seems like it could go either way. It could beat me or I could win. Yet through all these days, I am still here.

On days like this, I struggle. I struggle with feeling wanted. I struggle with feeling loved. I struggle with not feeling completely hopeless. I struggle with suicidal thoughts and in the past, actions have landed me in the hospital. Bottom line? Days like this are a struggle.

Sitting here going through my head are thoughts like, Why? Can I keep doing this? What would happen if this was the end? Is this the only way to stop the pain?

This has been my life for longer now than I care to remember. But somehow I’m still here.

How? How am I still here?

By many accounts, I shouldn’t be. I’ve been on the verge of death. So close that the doctors told my parents they didn’t know if I would pull through. I’ve tried ending my life more times than I would ever care to acknowledge. And yet… I’m still here.

Looking back at the person I was before my depression — before the attempts on my own life — I see a person not as strong as the one writing this for you. Now, I see someone who is still here. Someone who has pulled himself out of the darkest places. Someone who got a tattoo after these attempts that reads, “My Story Isn’t Over ;” as a promise to himself that his story isn’t over.

Days like these can make even the strongest feel like this could be the end of their story. But what I have to say to you is this: You can get through this!I’m still here, and if you are reading this, I know you are still here. You are never alone. I am writing this specifically for you so you know I care. I care about you and love you. You are so strong. You wake up every day and continue to fight, and only the strongest people can do that. I know right now you may not feel strong. I know “strong” may be the farthest thing from what you feel, but I can see it. Those who have gone through what you are going through can not only see it, but they know you are strong and can keep going!

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You can get through whatever you are going through.

Don’t give up. You’re still here. Have hope;

My Story Isn't Over tattoo

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Unsplash photo via Ian Espinosa.

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