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How to Talk About Suicide the Right Way

How to Talk About Suicide the Right Way

I deal with suicide a lot in my writings. I’ve talked about people who have just attempted suicide, those left behind by suicide and the family and friends of those who have attempted suicide, among many other subjects. That’s because suicide is a subject that I think is very important. It’s critical to break down the walls of silence that keep people who have contemplated or attempted suicide at arm’s length from everyone else. Thinking about suicide or attempting suicide doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you; it just means that you have sought a way out of an extraordinary amount of pain that wasn’t the best way.

But the way in which suicide is written about matters because of a phenomenon known as suicide contagion. This is the act of copycat suicides and believe it or not, it is a real problem. The way a suicide is reported in the media actually affects the number of people who attempt suicide.

So if you plan on talking about suicide – and I encourage you to do so – think about these guidelines on how to do it.

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Self-Harm and Writing: Expressing Emotions

Self-Harm and Writing: Expressing Emotions

During my self-harming years, writing was my main outlet and focus. All my life, I’ve been writing, but as a teenager dealing with deep depression and a parent’s divorce, writing became more than just a hobby. It became the one coping skill I could really count on.

Well, until my floppy disk would crash (yes, floppy disk).

I’m not trying to push writing onto self-harmers who are seeking a positive coping skill to replace their negative one. I’m just putting it out there as an option. There are many other creative ways that can help you stop harming yourself. But since writing is the skill that practically saved my life, it is the one I know best.

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The Therapeutic Power of Writing

The Therapeutic Power of Writing

Recently I had a nightmare. I was in handcuffs and shackles, being transported by police to Richmond State Hospital in Richmond, Indiana, and determined not to go. I consider my time at Richmond State the worst four months of my life, and I don’t want to go back. In the dream, I kicked the paddy wagon door–and in real life woke up when my foot connected with my window. Later that day, I wrote about it and realized the therapeutic power of writing.

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Do You Have To Tell Your Story to Heal PTSD?

Do You Have To Tell Your Story to Heal PTSD?

When I first started my PTSD recovery I read a slew of books and articles about how trauma recovery is supposed to happen. Many of the theories, dating all the way back to the late 1800s (check out Charcot and Janet if you want to do some research), spoke about the need to ‘integrate’ the trauma by being able to tell your story.

Huge road block: I couldn’t tell my story. Did that mean I wouldn’t be able to heal?

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Shackled to Mental Health Political Correctness

Shackled to Mental Health Political Correctness

Since I’ve started writing for HealthyPlace I’ve learned a lot about what you’re not supposed to say about mental illness. Some classics are the word “crazy” and not referring to oneself as “bipolar” directly.

In other words, I’m not allowed to say I’m a crazy bipolar.

There are many other things I’m not allowed to say too. “Mental health” can only be used in some cases whereas “mental illness” must be used in others. And then there’s “behavioural health” and the myriad of rules around talking about suicide. One could get permanent writer’s block worrying about ticking off some group of people who care about some specific word.

So I have a rule. I do what I want. And I tick off some people. It’s not on purpose; it’s just that if I didn’t, how in the heck would I write?

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Why I Choose to Write About Mental Illness Under a Pen Name

Why I Choose to Write About Mental Illness Under a Pen Name

Last week, I wrote a post stating that “Natasha Tracy” is my nom de plume – it is my writing name and not my legal name. Some people showed concern over this and felt it was inconsistent with my convictions regarding stigma and standing up for one’s rights.
I would now like to respond to these concerns regarding my own choices, writing and reasons.

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My Bipolar Brain – My Bipolar Rock

My Bipolar Brain – My Bipolar Rock

I write an obscene amount. Here, plus my blog plus I write for other blogs and do technical articles. Oh, and I’m working on a book.

This is very difficult though as I’ve found that a highly symptomatic bipolar brain turns into something more akin to a bipolar rock.

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Breaking Bipolar Wins a Web Health Award – Thank-You

Breaking Bipolar Wins a Web Health Award – Thank-You

If you follow me here, or particularly elsewhere, you might have noticed there are some very vocal people who hate me. Mental illness is contentious, and some people take it to a personal level. That’s people for you.

Sometimes I talk about these people. I call them “the nasties.”

But today is not about them. Today is about celebrating all the wonderful, amazing people who support me, Breaking Bipolar and the mental health community in general.

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Consider Health Information Sources – Conflicts of Interest – Video

Consider Health Information Sources – Conflicts of Interest – Video

Many sites on the internet dedicate themselves to serving up health information, but you should always question the source of that information.

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Bipolar Steals Brain Cycles

Bipolar Steals Brain Cycles

My brain is a finite resource. Well, the grey, gooey thing in the skull is finite for everyone. But my brain’s ability to think reasonably is a finite resource. When I write it thinks, thinks, thinks, and then there is a dramatic thud.

My brain then stops thinking.

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