Bipolar ThoughtsDepressionPersonal HistoryPersonal RelationshipsSuicide

So, I have both been avoiding this essay, and also chomping at the bit to publish it. This one is a difficult one, and I think suicide attempt survivors are united both in our visceral reaction to this story, and our opinion of what happened.

You have probably all heard about this, but if you haven’t, you need to look it up. A 20 year old woman named Michelle Carter was just found guilty of manslaughter for encouraging the suicide of her friend, Conrad Roy III, almost entirely through text messages and a single phone call. The suicide happened on July 12, 2014.

I have no desire to get into the legal talk about the case or the verdict. Frankly, I don’t care. I have an uneducated opinion that I won’t share here. But I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about how significant an influence a person’s words can be, and how important timing is in that scenario.

Bipolar ThoughtsSuicide

When you commit to a plan of suicide…

…and I mean fully commit. I mean not just the method and means or timing, but also the details of how people might find you, how you can control the dissemination of that information, if you can give a final word or meaningful act. When you begin to crystalize the plans down to what will happen not just in sequence but also minute by minute. When you begin to contemplate how your death will impact people. When you decide to destroy worlds, dramatically shift lives, and alter timelines. When you pour over how everything about your very personal life might become public, including the hundreds of god awful blogs you have written that are sitting in a file named “never use”.

Bipolar ThoughtsObsessionsSuicide

I had a strange, but not at all uncommon experience driving my car this afternoon.

I was stopped at the train-tracks today. I was second in line, and therefore saw the gates coming down. The car in front of me decided he didn’t want to wait and drove around the downed gates before the train came. And so I pulled up very close to the gate myself.

And as soon as I saw his car go I couldn’t stop thinking about his car being crushed, and then I couldn’t stop about my own being crushed.

I assume that isn’t uncommon. I think this is a common fantasy people have; same as the desire to jump from a high open location.

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That was the most motor vehicular related deaths ever recorded in a single year in the USA, in 1972.

The federal government proclaimed motor vehicular deaths as a public health issue and has since thrown billions of dollars at the problem. And it worked! Not only have those deaths sharply decreased to 32,675 in 2014, they have done so despite the fact that we now drive many more miles with more cars on the road. There has been nearly a 215% increase in the amount of miles driven since 1972, but the mortality rate has dropped over 40%.

That is a truly amazing thing and many people consider it the greatest achievement of the public health works of the 20th century.

That’s difficult to quantify, so I won’t try, however it is still amazing.

Bipolar ThoughtsPersonal RelationshipsSuicide

Monday was my wife’s first day back to work since the birth of my son.

So Monday was also my first day driving both kids home from my parent’s house. And for whatever reason, very surprisingly, the drive home was rather emotional for me.

Maybe it was the realization that this is the last one. I’ll never have another first day of driving my child home from my parent’s house. This one is it. Our family is settled at this point. But to be honest, I wasn’t thinking about my son really at all. I was focused on my daughter.

Bipolar ThoughtsSuicide

September is Suicide Prevention Month. And so, here is a bit about gun violence and suicide and mental illness.

If you want to make a serious impact on reducing gun violence deaths, you need to target suicide.

Fun facts about gun suicides!

They are over 90% (some say 95%) effective!

Gun suicide is the most common method, accounting for more deaths than all other methods combined (and this isn’t even counting homicides that most people believe are suicide. For example, suicide rates in African American communities are extremely low, but homicide rates are higher than average. Most experts believe that suicidal people in these communities put themselves into a situation to be murdered as a way out. Similar logic applies to a significant proportion of motor vehicular accidents).