Autism, social struggles, and suicide

by Abby

There is something that’s been weighing on me lately. I was diagnosed with depression about 3 years ago, and it got better for a while but it recently started to come back. I keep having thoughts that everyone would be happier without me, and unfortunately, it’s starting to seem more and more true every day.

I’m on the autism spectrum so it’s already hard to deal with a world that wasn’t built for someone like me, but feeling like this all the time makes it harder.

I keep having a hard time at work and disappointing my boss, … Read more...

How can I help a friend who lost her child to suicide?

One of the most frequent questions I get is, “How can I help my friend who lost his or her son (or daughter) to suicide?” And so I’ll answer that here with some explanation of how those parents feel. I can’t possibly touch on everything. I have a 280-page book that does that.

I remember a friend who lost his Dad to suicide in the 1970s. No one came by. No one called. And then two days after, a neighbor dropped by but didn’t come in. And he brought with him a bucket of chicken and handed it to him … Read more...

What I put in my self-harm safety kit

by Ayushree

Note from Anne Moss: A self-harm safety box is a kit that a person puts together as a self-help strategy. This was sent to me by Ayushree and she details the contents of her safety box which she has so far found helpful in breaking her self-harm habit.

Self-harm safety box

To make my own self-harm safety kit, I took a shoebox, covered it in white paper and made doodles all over it. I didn’t write anything on it because otherwise, my mom would know.

Doodles are one of my hobbies and it helps me to relieve stress. … Read more...

‘My family wouldn’t be surprised if I suicided’

Dear those who struggle with thoughts of suicide,

No matter how many times you’ve said it, we could never be “prepared.”

It is always a shock if that’s the way a loved one dies. To us, we think you won’t really follow through. Because you love us so much or you made a promise you can’t possibly keep because you are not in full control of your actions at that moment.

That sort of thinking does reflect our gross misunderstanding of what those struggling with thoughts of suicide go through. But we family members and friends tell ourselves you’re not … Read more...

I wanted to die. But I didn’t.

Trigger warning: Strong emotional content and suicide method mentioned.

by Devon Barfield

Devon Barfield

Growing up I’d always known I was a bit different. I was an introverted, shy, creative, and intelligent child. I felt that I was special in a way, almost as if I was from another time or place. I never felt like I belonged, therefore fantasized a lot growing up and had a vivid imagination.

As I got older and gained more insight into the world, my mental health slowly began to decline. I had just recently started middle school so naturally, I thought I was … Read more...

Shirley Ramsey tells her story

My dear friend and co-facilitator for RVA Survivors of Suicide Loss Group tell her story on this podcast. Shirley started the Virginia chapter of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. She has stepped down from that role although she is still on the board and serves as head of Loss & Healing.

She lost a son to suicide, Jackson at 15, her mother, her uncle, her nephew, and her grandmother. And yet she has found a way to move forward, give back, and be at the forefront of this conversation. It will be worth your time.

Imagine living with a
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In April 2020, my life almost came to a halt

by Jessica Donovan Amend

Sitting in my bathroom, with my then fiancé asleep in our bedroom just a few feet away, I sat with tears streaming down my face. I literally fell to my knees praying that God would help me figure this out, help me through this agony that I felt so deeply in my soul.

Now I’m not going to say that YOU need to believe in God and I’m also not going to say that I know anything for certain, but what I do know is that this night, God showed up for me. That night I … Read more...

Book number two manuscript sent

The first draft is done and sent to the publisher, Jossey Bass, a division of Wiley Publishing. And it’s now with the editor and will be sent out for peer review. I’ll get it back some time in January and have one more edit. I’m not sure what to expect. Will I be the one to merge all the comments from the reviewers?

Kim O’Brien Ph.D. and I interviewed over thirty experts, school counselors, teachers, students, and principals. And we included data from Kim’s studies and comments from mine. I didn’t realize I had so much data on this blog, … Read more...

You’ve helped me give away 63 books

It all started with Ryan. He is a young man, a student, studying in the funeral director’s track and had lost his dad. While I have donated books, it’s usually in person at events and I can’t afford to lose money on it. Buying my own books and then shipping them gets costly. But it got me to thinking.

How many who were not able to afford it right now, want it? I figured no one would be interested in gifting someone else a book or getting one. I don’t know why. And I feel awful for underestimating your generosity … Read more...

How do you help someone who doesn’t want help?

We want our loved ones to go to therapy, rehab, take their medication or do their follow-up. But many times with those who struggle with behavioral health, whether mental illness, addiction, or both, don’t always want to comply with treatment. What’s more, teens doing drugs want even less to do with healthcare because they have “all-natural” solutions to the pain they are enduring. Never mind that they move to unnatural remedies.

The point is, they don’t want to listen to you. And you may not have the relationship now to get them to accept treatment or take medication. Not because … Read more...