What is a suicidal person like? How do you find help for a suicidal person? Can you describe the profile of someone who wants to die? Are they melancholy? Irritable or agitated? Are they funny? Always making people laugh when they’re dying inside? Do they present themselves one way in public and another way in private? Are they sad…do they fit in …or are they misfits?
Yes. The answer is YES. And NO.
A suicidal person can be any of these people, or none of them. Someone like you …or me. Or different than both of us.
Anyone is capable of suicide given the wrong set of circumstances.
Someone who can’t remember a time when he wasn’t sad… or just vacant. A person who’s had a series of deep losses, major stressors, and profound disappointments: all in a row…or all at once.
Someone who just finished medical school. A young mother; a 9 year-old child. An elderly field laborer. A mail carrier.
The pastor of a mega church. The owner of a multimillion dollar consulting firm. A thirty year-old single father. A world-famous performer. The head of a university medical department. A kindergarten teacher. A 14 year-old girl.
Sister, father, son, daughter, grandmother.
WHO is a Suicidal Person?
For every person you find who ends his or her life, there are thousands with similar circumstances who don’t.
Why? What makes the difference?
What causes one person who seems to have “everything to live for” want to die, and another whose life is similar want to live and not even consider dying…? Why is it that two people can face shame, humiliation, failure; and one wants to die and the other bounces back and moves forward?
One thing is for certain. It’s not about one person being weak and another being strong.
Or about one being flawed and another being “normal.”
The complexities of suicidal thoughts as symptoms of a deeper, more complex underlying condition cannot be completely explained yet…certainly not here. But, somewhere in it all you’ll find genetic links, brain circuitry, complicated response mechanisms, and more.
Why does one person bear the burden of kidney malfunction or lung disease and another doesn’t? Or Type 1 diabetes? Or liver disease?
One person’s genetic makeup provides a tendency toward more resilience and another’s genes lean more toward less resilience. One woman’s genes map out a future with breast cancer while another’s don’t.
How Many In a Week..?
Last week was Suicide Prevention Week. On last Monday, September 9, 2019, a beloved associate paster of a prominent church in Riverside, California, officiated over the funeral of a lady who had ended her life. Before the day was over, he had ended his own, too.
Don’t ask why. Ask, “How can I help?”
We Need to Supply Real Help for a Suicidal Person
Then, two days later, the director of psychological services at a prominent state university jumped from his 17th- story balcony.
The gentle and caring pastor was a devoted, loving husband and father of two. He founded Anthem of Hope in 2016, for those who suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts. He had always been open about his own struggles with the same.
Jarrid Wilson was a kind-hearted, vibrant, encouraging person, with two beautiful children, and an amazing wife. He’d suffered from depression since childhood. His depression and suicidal thoughts became too much to bear for him that day.
His wife is grief-stricken, suffocating with the loss of her best friend, and his church is stunned.
Our hearts go out to his family, his church, and all who knew and loved him.
Jarrid’s life didn’t end because of something that was wrong in his life, but because of something that was malfunctioning in his brain. This is why we promote treatment for suicidal thoughts.
When you hear someone say, “She had so much to live for,” remind them that this is an illness. It’s not about hating her life.
Gregory Eells, Ph.D., was accomplished and a strong, capable leader. Was there a reason, or was his death also the symptom of an underlying disease..?
That’s the thing about suicide. Since we don’t know what his thoughts were, we can only guess. But it’s important to understand that stress…too much of it for too long…can lead to depression.
Prolonged Severe Stressors Can Result in Depression and Lead to Suicidal Thoughts
Stress breaks down those signaling structures and interferes in other areas of the brain. When that happens, the connections between brain cells become pruned and sparse… and signals are reduced in strength and number. The more severe the depression, the more profusely suicidal thoughts may grow.
Crisis on top of crisis; death and loss; financial difficulty; illness; divorce; foreclosure; …all of these things together can prune away those connections and lead to deep and overwhelming depression.
Then come the thoughts. Maybe a desire to escape the torture? Possibly. But more likely they’re somehow related to the poor communication of signals within the brain. The darkness. The silence. The void. The vacancy of any reward.
These thoughts tend to intrude in your mind when your depression and anxiety are most severe. Some people experience these intrusive thoughts of death and dying no matter what they’re doing. The more their condition worsens, the more these thoughts bombard their minds.
Suicide is Reaching Epidemic Proportions
In 2017, 1.4 million people attempted suicide, succumbing to those intrusive thoughts. Of those, 47 thousand people died. We talked last week about how this means that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in this country alone.
And we haven’t even scratched the surface of all the people who have suicidal thoughts, plans, or intentions. Most of us are unaware of the numerous people around us who struggle with suicidal thoughts, because they maintain a brave mask.
This is why IV ketamine treatment is so vitally important now more than ever. As suicide threatens to take more lives, we need more and better ways to prevent it. And to do that, we need treatment that stops those thoughts.
IV Ketamine Can Provide Extraordinary Help for a Suicidal Person
By a mechanism that’s separate from what ketamine infusions do to relieve depression, they also can stop those intrusive suicidal thoughts in an hour or two…or an afternoon. So even those patients who might not feel relieved of depression symptoms after ketamine infusions, may still be relieved of those thoughts of death…and dying.
IV ketamine infusions are a life-saving treatment, and nothing else comes close. Other medicines that have been used for this purpose required weeks or months to be effective. And, well…with someone severely suicidal, that may be too late.
Ketamine acts in a multiple areas in the brain, and in a variety of ways. We do know some of the ways it works, but we suspect neuroscience researchers will continue to uncover more and more of ketamine’s handiwork going forward.
Ways IV Ketamine Goes to Work in Your Brain to Lift Depression
We know that as a NMDA receptor antagonist, ketamine increases levels of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, the most prolific neurotransmitter in the body.
We know that ketamine turns the mRNA switch to “ON” which turns on DNA, that turbo boosts BDNF (brain-derived-neurotrophic-factor). Then the BDNF acts like a rich compost, stimulating growth of the connections between neurons, or brain cells, called synapses…and their branches of dendrites and dendritic spines.
These synapses, and dendritic branches proliferate abundantly throughout the brain, building superhighways for signaling to be high speed and abundant, lighting up the brain like a Christmas tree.
The slow, dark, sluggish signals that crept along during depression, explode with speed and efficiency as the brain comes alive.
When this happens, your thoughts become creative, extensive, and bright. Your outlook soars, and so does your initiative and sense of purpose. Resilience replaces despair, and hope sets down roots. THIS is real help for a suicidal person.
While all this is going on, there’s a change in the lateral habenula, that tamps down that bursting of cells that prevents you from enjoying reward. Your ability to enjoy moments, scenery, beauty, appreciation, and love is restored.
Then, there are those G cells stacked up on lipid rafts in the cell membrane. They lazily while away the afternoon. Then IV ketamine comes along and slides those G’s off the lipid rafts and puts them back to work moving signals down the highway.
These are the things we KNOW about. We’re sure there are more actions we don’t know yet. But we will.
The result is joy. And hope. And the energy and motivation to take initiative and build relationships, strengthen bonds, improve productivity at work, creatively advance in all you do, for a rewarding and fulfilling life.
Spread the Word and Stop the Torment to Provide Real Help for a Suicidal Person
At Innovative Psychiatry we see people like Jarrid and Gregory often. And we see so many others. People who don’t want to die…but who don’t want to keep living like this, tormented by pain and suicidal thoughts, images, and ideas. People who want to enjoy life, enjoy their families, and invest their energy in their careers, hobbies, and interests.
We’re thrilled and relieved to see the majority of them walk out without suicidal thoughts at all, confident they can get better with therapy and medication. Or they walk out in remission.
That’s the beauty of IV ketamine treatment at work. We’re trying to get the word out that there is now a treatment that can rapidly stop suicidal thinking. Help us spread the word.
We’d like to help you.
Are you tired of living like this? Do you ache for the freedom to build your relationships, your career, and your hope?
Protect yourself from those thoughts of death that try to lure you to an action you don’t want to take. Call us. Let us help you tap into the life you hunger for.
You’re not alone, and we’re here to help.
Please, if you have suicidal thoughts, call us. Or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: +1(800) 273-8255. Those intrusive thoughts are symptoms of an underlying condition and treatment can help.
IV ketamine treatment can erase those thoughts in an afternoon. We want you to live and to discover what life can be for you. We want to help you heal.
To the healing of your best self,