Saturday, August 16, 2014

I had a plan for suicide; Depression runs in the family.

Because of stigma, most obituaries do not mention the word suicide. It seems to me the most common label used in obituaries is "died unexpectedly," or “died suddenly."  Recently the suicide of Robin Williams has shocked the world and left many to wonder "How could he do such a thing?"
One answer is that he is part of a statistic.  Fifteen percent of people who suffer from depression successfully kill themselves.  But Robin Williams' suicide took that wooden statistic and made it 3 dimensional to millions across the world.

My sister, Cyndi, had read the book that my wife Robyn and I wrote. It is called
Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. The largest chapter in our book deals with suicide. She ordered about 20 copies of our book to give away. She was proud of us for getting my depression out in the open. Cindy had bi-polar disorder and for years Robyn and I
 (and our kids) tried to snatch her from the dark clutches of mental illness. She lived in Florida and we lived in Michigan.

Vain regrets
I am a pastor and a mental health clinician but she hid her dark thoughts from me. Cyndi visited my parents in Michigan a month before she shot herself and we spent time with her. While she was with my parents and us, she put her fingers up to her head in the shape of a gun and pulled the trigger.
I asked her not to do that but did not probe further. I wish I had done so. Survivor's guilt is a common thing when someone close to you commits suicide. Two days before the act I had called her and talked to her about some problems that she was having with her children. She made a veiled comment about "taking less responsibility" in regard to her children. I mentioned it to my mother, but neither she nor I thought it warranted a response. I regret this. Some people have wondered why I could not stop her. I don't have the answer to that question.
But the real culprit is the disease, itself. I will repeat the statistic: fifteen percent of those who have major depression successfully end their own lives. The best answer to suicide is early detection and crisis intervention. The church of Jesus Christ must talk more about the subject of suicide.

The Perfect Storm
A suicide is like a perfect storm. Cyndi used hollow point bullets and had checked the internet about how to commit suicide without maiming herself. There are many web sites today that press others in chat rooms to actually end their lives. Stresses in the environment, alcohol and drug abuse as well as the biology of mental illness all intersect to set the stage for suicide.

I have had depression for almost thirty years. Suicide is a great temptation for me when I am in an episode of depression. It is because I want to move away from the horrible brain storm that is in my head. Robyn and I are dedicated to help those who are in the throes of mental illness.

I encourage you to get our book and read it. As I said, our largest chapter is on suicide. If you would like to help our ministry,  you can purchase our book. You can contact me confidentially through our website. It is!contact/cito.  We are upgrading our pay-pal at this time but if you give any gift to our ministry, you may receive a copy of Broken Minds. You can also pay by check made payable to Steve Bloem and sent it to:
Heartfelt Counseling Ministries
4371 Northlake Blvd, Suite 256
Palm Beach Gardens, FL

If you would like to read reviews of Broken Minds, just  do a google search on "bloem, broken minds."Thanks and remember there is hope and help for your depression. Don't give up-we will help you"!

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