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Every time somebody attempts or dies by suicide, at least six people are left struggling profoundly to deal with the difficult, overwhelming emotions that are a natural part of grief1. Those bereaved by suicide often feel high anxiety and guilt. Unfortunately, however, this intense anxiety and crushing guilt can be overlooked as everyone focuses on the person who has attempted or died by suicide. If you have excessive anxiety, worry, fear, and/or feelings of guilt in the wake of suicidal behavior of someone you care about, know that you're not alone and that your feelings aren't wrong or selfish. The following information can help you identify your anxiety and guilt as well as know what to do about it. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
How can blogging help your mental health? Here's how it's helped mine.
It can be quite scary and disturbing to experience suicidal thoughts. These kinds of thoughts may also overwhelm you and make you feel worried about acting on them. However, you can calmly deal with suicidal thoughts. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
Let's face it; most people feel uncomfortable when the word suicide comes up in conversation. No one wants to think about losing a loved one to suicide. It can be painful to hold space for someone struggling with suicidal thoughts. You might think, "I don't know what to say. What if I make it worse?" Luckily, providing support to a suicidal friend or loved one is more straightforward than it seems. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
The time to talk about suicide and dissociative identity disorder (DID) is now. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in adults. For those with dissociative identity disorder (DID), the Cleveland Clinic asserts that 70 percent of sufferers, more than any other mental health condition, have tried to die by suicide. Discussion of suicidality is no longer optional. It is imperative that we end its stigma and discuss it now. There are 12 coping strategies and skills you can use to help those who are suffering and wanting to die by suicide. What specifically can those with DID do to help themselves and their headmates cope with the overwhelming desire to end their pain? (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
When a celebrity dies by suicide, the reports that follow tend to focus on different versions of the same question: how could someone with such an awesome life be so unhappy? (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
I wish I knew better when my friend was suicidal. I was 12 years old. My brown curls were cut into sharp bangs that crossed my forehead, identical to the bangs of my best friend who sat facing me. She didn't look any different from the last time I saw her, still pale, still skinny. She wore a sweatshirt. And under the sleeves of that sweatshirt, I knew there were scars up and down the length of her arms. Three weeks prior, my friend was suicidal and she made her most recent suicide attempt. It was not her first nor her last. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)
The stigma of attention-seeking behavior is everywhere. How many times have you heard someone dismissively say something like, "They're just doing it for the attention."? We talk about attention-seeking behavior like it's a low, manipulative trick when in reality, it's just the manifestation of a deeply-human need.
As a form of expression, writing can help us understand the world around us and our experiences, including experiences with mental health. Many mental health advocates talk about journaling specifically as a tool for mental health recovery. But, journaling isn't the only form of writing beneficial to mental health.
When you feel anxious, it is natural to look for ways to get rid of it immediately. In general, this is an effective response because it allows us to evade danger and survive. However, for chronic anxiety that isn't tied to immediate threats, it can be harmful to focus on avoiding or eliminating anxiety because this can actually exacerbate it. If I told you not to think about what to eat for breakfast, it's likely that the first thing you'd think of is precisely that, and this is the same trap we fall into with anxiety when we attempt avoidance. Rather than giving us peace of mind, it just brings our anxiety to the forefront of our minds. So, is there a better option? I believe the answer is a resounding yes. 

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Comments

Cay
Hi Alice, I have been struggling with the same problem as you and reading your comment made me feel like I wasn’t alone...I want to make it stop.
satyadeva
Thank you so much for share your thoughts
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Hi Hailey,
You're not alone. So many people with anxiety hate confrontation and talking on the phone (I'm one of them). Sometimes, this type of anxiety can feed on itself when you (anyone) avoid what makes you anxious (like talking to your sister and your co-worker). Avoidance can make the anxiety grow until it's overpowering. Often, the best way to reduce anxiety is to do the very thing you dread. The more you do it, the more anxiety recedes into the background. Until it does, remember that a phone conversation is pretty short, and as soon as it's over you get to move on.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Hi Mae,
Job-related stress and anxiety can cause a lot of misery. It's very real, and because jobs are such a huge part of our lives, this type of anxiety can feel overwhelming. Know that there are no "shoulds" in a situation like yours, and rules about having to stay in a job or look for another or go to a doctor can make things worse. Think about what it will be like when your anxiety and stress are less, and then brainstorm what it might take to make that happen. Working with a therapist through this process can sometimes be beneficial in helping you sort things out. Just now that there isn't a right or wrong way to get through this, but there are ways to overcome this anxiety.