Trigger Warning: Suicide
Friday, March 25, 2022
Monday, March 7, 2022
Earlier this week I came across an article in The Courier Mail where a couple spoke of their child's suicide after experiencing bullying. Understandably, they were upset, and campaigning for change to laws to make bullies accountable for their actions (in this case catfishing was used). I'm definitely on their side, as I think bullies need to realise that their actions have consequences, and one way to do this is to stand up and say "we will not tolerate this". It may not be a physical assault, but bullying can lead to outcomes that are just as damaging, whether that be mental anguish or like in this particular case, suicide.
I wish I could say that I was never bullied. The truth is I don't think my bullies even consider what they did as bullying me. Grade 8 and 9 was filled with times where my so called friends would go through stages where they'd all talk to me, then they'd tell me that I was too annoying and I couldn't sit with them. They continued to make me feel "less than" and it led to a time where I lost myself, drifting from friend group to friend group trying desperately to find that place where I'd fit in. For a young teenager losing all your friends at once is very overwhelming (I often question if this is where all of my mental health struggles first started). It's hard not to lose yourself when you're constantly reminded that your "friends" find who you are, annoying. It's hard to remember to love yourself and express yourself. It's hard to stay existing, and you end up fighting against your own mind, with their words echoing, battling to stay alive.
My "friends" threw me a going away party when they found out I was leaving in term 4, grade 9. For me, at the time, I viewed this as a considerate thing, and was just glad to have my friends back. Little did I realise that their earlier actions would cause me to further question all friendships in the future, and to consistently hold back certain aspects of my personality that I perceived may be annoying to others. I grew up with a great fear of rejection and abandonment and I attribute much of this to this experience.
As I have grown and become an adult, I have forgiven those who hurt me and even have several of them as friends on Facebook. I know that in my case they were probably uneducated about bullying and didn't realise what they did was wrong. I truly believe if they knew the pain it would cause me, they wouldn't have acted the way they did.
This brings me to my next point. Whilst I believe there should be consequences for bullies to hold them accountable for their actions, we need to provide an education to our younger generations about what bullying is and the damage that it can cause. We can't punish people for bullying if they don't realise what they're doing is bullying. Our schools need more comprehensive education sessions about bullying and the damage it can do. They need to talk about what bullying looks like. They need to educate our kids that "jokes" aren't always funny for everyone. They need to talk about the teenagers and young adults that have committed suicide because they were bullied. They need to make it a real issue and talk about the consequences so that future bullies are deterred from hurting others.
Once we've educated our kids on what bullying looks like, I definitely believe there should be strict laws in place for dealing with bullying (including catfishing). Whilst the school should, no doubt, be involved with stopping bullying, there should be police involvement and persecution for those who've made another suffer unnecessarily. Bullying has been made easier with advancements like Facebook and other social media apps. It's 2022, it's a time for change, time to start looking after the next generation and put a stop to the pain caused to so many undeserving young people.
Sunday, July 18, 2021
“Yeah, everything is alright.” It’s easy to tell the psychiatrist that everything is fine so I don’t have to go into detail about anything. It’s easy to ignore certain things so that I can convince him that I’m making progress in my recovery. It’s easy to keep information from him that in any way shows that I might need a little more support than I’d care to admit. It’s easy, but it’s not necessarily for the best.
This week I was honest with my husband about still experiencing quite strong suicidal thoughts. Whilst I have no actual intent on carrying out any specific plans, suicidal thoughts still fill my mind and make it difficult for me to stay distracted with positive goals and aspirations.
My husband, at first, wrongly assumed that I had been honest with my psychiatrist, who I’ve been seeing weekly since a recent discharge from hospital. Needless to say he was quite frustrated and disappointed upon finding out that the psychiatrist was not made aware of how the suicidal thoughts had occupied my mind for much of the time. He argued that we pay the psychiatrist to help me, and that if the psychiatrist doesn’t know the extent of how my illness is affecting me, how can he possibly help me?
The truth is, I know that I should be honest with my psychiatrist. I know that I should tell him that I’m still struggling quite a lot with suicidal thoughts that occupy my mind for much of the time. But I’m scared. I’m scared that he’ll think I’m not making progress, like I know I am (despite the suicidal thoughts). I’m afraid he’ll read into it too much and consider me as a risk to myself, whereas at the moment, as bad as the suicidal thoughts are, I know that there’s no risk to my safety. I’m petrified he’ll suggest another hospital admission, where after spending weeks on end as an inpatient already this year, I’m not prepared to spend any more time admitted. It worries me that he’ll think I’m not trying. Most of all though, it means I have to admit to myself that I’m still struggling, as sharing it means I can’t keep ignoring it and pretending that I’m not experiencing any of it.
How do I tell my psychiatrist that my mind constantly wanders to thoughts of ending my life, and how much better things would be if I was to cease to exist? How do I tell him that these thoughts even fill my mind when I’m distracted with activities, albeit less intensely? How do I mention that every day I struggle to shower and complete basic tasks to face the day? How can I be honest about how much I struggle with housework, like doing laundry and sweeping floors? How can I possibly admit how much I struggle to leave the house or do anything that isn’t laying in bed or on the couch? I’m afraid that if I tell him any of these things he’ll judge me, he’ll think I’m not trying, he’ll write me off and give up.
Part of me knows that telling the psychiatrist is important. If I’m honest we can look at strategies together that may help improve those things I’m struggling with. Whether that’s tweaking medication, encouraging exercise, or even just having someone to talk to about it all, so I don’t feel so alone. Telling the psychiatrist allows him to be aware of where I’m at and lets him provide appropriate support. Somehow the part of me that knows honest communication is important, needs to convince the scared, depressed, suicidal part of me, that it’s for the best, and that’s perhaps the biggest struggle of all.
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Thursday, November 28, 2019
However, I have done just that. On Sunday I will be admitted to the Belmont Private Hospital. This time will differ from the other times though. This time I’m opting to go into hospital for a two week period to complete an introduction to DBT course. One week I’ll be focusing on mindfulness and grounding, and the other week I’ll be focusing on distress tolerance. These skills will both be of great benefit to me and help me work towards recovery.
I keep reminding myself that this time hospital is different. That this time, I’m proactively making the decision to seek help and gain skills, to avoid future hospital admissions. And I really hope that this works and I’m able to acquire the skills taught, because I’m tired of waking up in hospital, but even more so, I’m tired of not wanting to wake up at all.