Hello to you. How are you doing in the moment you are in visiting here? I’m doing o.k. Kyle and I aren’t feeling 100% today. This too shall pass! It always does.
We are having the suicide discussion as a country again after another public figure took her own life. I didn’t know who Kate Spade was until hearing about her death on the news yesterday.
Suicide rate: US saw 25% increase since 1999, CDC says
By Susan Scutti, CNN
Suicide rates increased by 25% across the United States over nearly two decades ending in 2016, according to research published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Twenty-five states experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%, the government report finds.
More than half of those who died by suicide had not been diagnosed with a mental health condition, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC.
“These findings are disturbing. Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in the US right now, and it’s one of three causes that is actually increasing recently, so we do consider it a public health problem — and something that is all around us,” Schuchat said. The other two top 10 causes of death that are on the rise are Alzheimer’s disease and drug overdoses, she noted.
In 2016 alone, about 45,000 lives were lost to suicide.
“Our data show that the problem is getting worse,” Schuchat said.
There are so many personal reasons for deciding to end it all. My Mother, my Grandfather and my cousin actually went through with it. I will tell you their choosing to take their own lives was definitely a deterrent for me making the same choices. It’s easier to leave than it is to be left after something like that. The survivors are left with so many questions, the “what if I’d only’s,” blame, shame and overwhelming despair. For many years I blamed myself for my Mom’s taking her own life. They said she suffered from baby blues or post-partum depression and when I found out what that was, I blamed myself for her choosing to die.
I don’t have all the answers. I’ve been in the mental health system since the 1990’s and it really hasn’t changed too much since then which is really sad. I’m seeing way too much emphasis on drug therapy and too little on alternatives like talk, art, musical, spiritual and physical therapy. I won’t say that the pills haven’t helped me at all, but I will say that there have been times that nothing of this earth could begin to contain what was going on inside of me.
What’s my opinion as someone who is in the risk group of this “crisis”?
A good start would be to work as a country to remove the stigmas attached to mental illness. May be people would be more inclined to get the help they need. Another, probably the most important thing, would be to make reputable mental health care accessible and affordable to anyone who needs it. I’m not talking just handing people a bunch more pills….obviously that is tipping the suicide tables. I’m talking about integrated mental health care that deals with the entirety a human being is – their mind, body and spirit. Troubled people need someone they can trust, someone with integrity who they can talk to about their problems on a regular basis. They should be able to do this without having to choose between doing that and putting food on their table. Sometimes that’s all somebody needs is just to talk and get things out of their own head!
It’s sad that it takes another famous person to die before this issue gets serious attention. Mental health and suicide is a lot like the gun issue. It surfaces, gets talked about for awhile, everybody throws up their hands because it’s too complicated and volatile to deal with and it gets pushed aside until the next time. Unfortunately, there is always going to be a next time with this.
https://www.bustle.com/p/9-people-on-the-alternative-type-of-therapy-thats-working-for-them-9244860 – several of these suggestions are in my personal toolkit.
9 People On The Alternative Type Of Therapy That’s Working For Them
While the jury is still out on why, it’s pretty clear that mental illness is on the rise in the United States in recent years. Titles like “The Meteoric Rise of Mental Illness in America and Implications for Other Countries” and “The Alarming Rise in Teen Mental Illness” blare at us from social media and news outlets. Mass shooting after mass shooting is attributed to individual mental health problems, rather than structural societal ones. The opioid epidemic barrels forward, with no sign of stopping. And, at the same time, a recent CDC study found that despite increases in serious mental distress, access to mental health services are on the decline.
“Alternative” therapy just refers to anything that isn’t traditional talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. (You, know — the image of sitting down in a room with a therapist and talking about your feelings.) It can include working with a professional or can simply be an activity that helps people manage their minds, feelings, and symptoms. While traditional therapy has been and continues to be a great resource for people dealing with mental health issues and trauma, it’s not available to or not the right fit for plenty of people.
With that in mind, here are nine people who use different types of alternative therapy, and why they love it.
1Arielle, 27: Dance
“I suffer from pretty intense derealization and dissociation and find that dance is one of the only modalities to really help get me back into my body. When I stay consistent, I find it’s really helpful. I’ve been off the wagon for a bit and notice my symptoms intensify when I haven’t danced in a while. By just having a few moments of tapping back into my body and myself, I find that I don’t get as anxious or nervous when I’m floating above myself the rest of the day, because I have a point of reference to come back to.
I just recently started getting back into traditional therapy, which is definitely helpful but doesn’t alleviate any symptoms. It’s been a great way to focus on the specific issues I want to work on and make me feel like I’m doing everything I can to get better, but it doesn’t necessarily help me get better.”
2Anonymous: Trauma Sensitive Yoga
“[I use] trauma sensitive yoga to incorporate therapy and healing into my physical body once I had gotten to that stage in my recovery. Yes, I am still doing both [traditional and alternative therapy]. I find the combination of “traditional” and “alternative” to be the most effective, rather than one or the other.”
3Irene, 40: Somatic Experiencing Therapy
“[I chose this form of therapy] because trauma is stored in the body and cannot be released by talking about it. Somatic Experiencing works with the nervous system to release stuck energy from a past nervous system activation (when we were unable to fight/flee or froze) that did not get discharged (nervous system was not allowed to calm down), thereby creating a new balanced, relaxed and calm normal.
Somatic Experiencing helped me release pent up anger and regulate my nervous system, releasing most triggers that would have created anxiety in the past. I have done traditional therapy and coaching before and it helped to a point — but it did not go deep enough within the body, so I had outbursts of anger and anxiety that I did not know were coming from or how to manage them.”
“I found a therapist who is also a reiki practitioner, so she offers both talk therapy and reiki for my anxiety. And since she’s an LMHC my insurance covers our visits. I love it! It’s an amazing option for dealing with stress and anxiety. When I’m having trouble slowing down to process complex emotions, it’s a great tool.”
5Emma, 31: Acupuncture
“I actually started acupuncture as treatment for a hormone imbalance, but I found that talking about the different things that are affecting my energy each week has been as therapeutic as — if not more than — the needles themselves. I’ve done traditional therapy in the past but the thought of finding a therapist right now exhausts me. Starting acupuncture felt like a much lower barrier to entry.”
6Chris, 45: Biking
“I hate all people. You know, pretty much. [I chose biking because] it’s biking. Ipso facto, it is awesome. Did couples counseling once. Meh. People are really really really stupid and there’s just no substitute for good ol’ introspection.”
7Michael, 43: 5 Rhythms And Ecstatic Dance
“Check out Maps to Ecstasy by Gabrielle Roth. It’s an effective and fun way to process through emotions via movement. And the community is amazing, all over the world. I have not done traditional therapy, but am familiar with it. The model isn’t my style.”
8Alex, 30: Meditation, Self-Help Books
“[I chose this type of therapy because] I feel like it is more on my time. I like that I’m not expecting anything of anyone else, even a therapist… I know from the outside it looks great. I’m positive that I’m checking lots of societal boxes, but I’m not sure I’m doing all I want to. No, I know I’m not. I want a lot.”
9D, 31: Meditation Community
“[I found this type of therapy] through my family. It is a beautiful and supportive community that encourages me to change how I view, react to, and accept circumstances instead of constantly thinking something is ‘wrong’ with me. I still do [traditional therapy]. But meds weren’t doing it. I needed to change how I saw the world instead of hoping a pill a day might completely save me from traumatic past”.
There you have it — nine people and the type of alternative therapy that they use. When it comes to treating a mental health issue, there’s clearly no one-size-fits-all answer. The most important thing is that you find something that works for you.