Psycho-Babble Social Thread 222030

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suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please

Posted by mmcasey on April 24, 2003, at 14:32:18

So, the other day, I was "toying" a lot with the idea of overdosing
on some of my medications (trazodone and risperdal, to be
specific). I was about 98% sure that I would NOT do it.
But I still had this incredible urge to dump out all of the pills,
place them in my hand close to my mouth. What I REALLY wanted
to do was put them in my mouth, and not swallow. But I didn't
do that because I didn't want to get them all soggy and then put
them back in the bottle. I told my therapist about this incident.
She was okay about it, but of course worried that I could easily
just decide to put them in my mouth and swallow. She said it
was an act to be taken "very seriously". I agree. But I really
was not planning to actually swallow. I don't know really what the
meaning and purpose of this urge is. I would not say that it
makes me feel better or worse than not doing it. It's just
really hard to resist, but I certainly don't feel like I am in some
kind of trance or not in control of myself. What do you guys think?
I'm just not sure what to make of it. I've done it other times, too,
but this was the first time I really wanted to put them in
my mouth.

 

Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please mmcasey

Posted by Miller on April 24, 2003, at 14:51:16

In reply to suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please, posted by mmcasey on April 24, 2003, at 14:32:18

MMCASEY,

I have attempted suicide twice in the recent past. I still have the "need" or the "urge" to have my escape route in order. I have done extensive research so that the next attempt will be successful. Even though I am hoping not to get that desperate anymore, I have made sure that I have all of the necessary ingrediants for the act itself. Some people need to always have the option until they feel safe enough with themselves to let go of the escape hatch altogether. Is it possible you needed to be sure that if you decide to do it, you needed to be sure it really is possible? Just a thought.

-Miller

 

Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please Miller

Posted by mmcasey on April 24, 2003, at 15:00:30

In reply to Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please mmcasey, posted by Miller on April 24, 2003, at 14:51:16

Yeah, that is quite possible that I like to just have my
escape ready and available. Even though I have never actually
tried it, these thoughts have been in my head on-and-off pretty
seriously for the past several years. I have always had
medication that would do the trick. Once, my sleeping pills
were taken away from me, but I immediately went out and bought new
ones. I like to be in control of my own destiny. I love getting
new prescriptions (especially dangerous) ones from my
psychiatrist. Recent example: I acquired lorazepam (ativan)
just yesterday. I immediately did "research" and found that
it is most dangerous and fatal if xxx. Anyways...

Thanks for your input.

 

Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please mmcasey

Posted by Miller on April 24, 2003, at 16:32:51

In reply to Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please Miller, posted by mmcasey on April 24, 2003, at 15:00:30

Your welcome. I hope you find the peace you are in search of.

-Miller

 

Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please mmcasey

Posted by leeran on April 24, 2003, at 16:33:28

In reply to suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please, posted by mmcasey on April 24, 2003, at 14:32:18

Your post reminded me of something.

Every time I drive by a certain hotel in the metropolitan area where I now live I get a really uneasy feeling. This feeling goes back to something that happened about twenty years ago. It's odd to think about it because I ended up living out here, and at the time I would never have believed my life would take such a weird series of turns that would result in me occasionally driving by this emotional landmark from my past.

This hotel is very tall, and circular, almost like a tower. I was out here in my early twenties, on business (sounds so laughable because I was still such a baby and probably had no business being anywhere!), and I spent one night in this hotel.

Weird, even when I type this I feel shaky.

I had a room that faced toward the city and it was on one of the upper floors. Unlike a lot of other high rises, this hotel did not have screens or any kind of protective barrier at the window. When the sliding doors were open there was about six inches of a ledge with a railing - and then the wild blue yonder.

I am very certain when I say that I had never had any suicidal tendencies up until that night, and I don't even know if this WAS a suicidal tendency or just a weird thought that took on a life of its own.

Once I looked over the edge of that railing I became obsessed (now, as I type this I'm beginning to see that it was OCD at work) with the thought of "what if I walk over to that door, open it, climb over the railing and jump?"

Once this thought invaded my consciousness I couldn't let it go. I went out for awhile and came back after dinner and the thought was there waiting for me, like a weirdly packaged mint on my pillow. Like you, I wasn't in some kind of a trance. I wasn't on any medication and I hadn't even had a drink at dinner.

I remember that night so vividly. The movie "Coal Miner's Daughter" was playing on HBO and I can't think of that movie or hear that song without thinking of that scary night (such a blessing I don't like country music).

I just laid there, afraid to go to sleep because I might sleepwalk myself straight to that railing without knowing any better.

Writing this down makes it all seem so textbook simple, but it certainly wasn't back then.

It's obvious to me now that, after being alone for a few days in a strange city, I had crossed that scary line of not trusting myself. My fear of being alone, or of something bad happening to me, must have manifested itself into a feeling that I wasn't in enough control of myself to prevent myself from literally going over the edge.

It feels like I'm talking about someone else because it was almost half a lifetime ago, but I think it was probably some elaborate scheme I created to see if I was capable of trusting myself.

I've stayed in many hotels since then and have never had that urge again.

Strangely, one of my "life epiphanies" came twelve years later in yet ANOTHER hotel in this town. In fact, it was the day I officially acknowledged that there was something really wrong with me.

BUT, there are a LOT of things that are right about me, and about you, too, mmcasey (and about every one of us here on this board and everywhere).

Something about that night made me who I am today. Right at this moment. I think it might be similar to your moment with the pills. It happened, and now you're rummaging around trying to make sense of it. Maybe you won't make sense of it today, but you're willing to take a look at it now and that won't make it as painful later on.

When I checked out of the hotel the next morning I left that night up there in that room.

Last week, the night before I "crashed" we drove by that hotel on the way home from dinner. As usual, I looked away and turned up the radio. The static can be so safe.

BUT TODAY, thanks to Wellbutrin, and your courage in writing about your experience, it brought back that memory and as I am typing this it feels much less shameful.

I don't know why the word "shame" comes to mind, I suppose it's because I saw that night as a form of weakness in myself when in fact (for me), it was part of a mental illness I didn't even know I had. Had I been given a diagnoses of high blood pressure in that room it wouldn't have been remembered as shameful, so there you have it - the stigma of depression, etc. (didn't you bring that up a week or so ago?). Not only do we have to worry about the stigma from others, but we have to put up with it in ourselves!

Thank you, mmcasey, for being so open with your experience. You are SO brave and I'm kind of riding in your wake, like a "wheel sucking" leach(as bicyclers call it).

 

Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please

Posted by mair on April 24, 2003, at 17:21:45

In reply to Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please mmcasey, posted by leeran on April 24, 2003, at 16:33:28

I go through periods when I can't stop thinking about suicide - those thoughts seem so prevalent as to be oppressive.

I count myself as fortunate that my own suicidal ideations do not involve overdoses. I always imagine myself shooting myself. I don't own a firearm even though I've frequently thought I should buy one "just in case." I think buying a gun would be disastrous for me because I recognize that my suicidal urges are impulses. When I think things through more clearly and deliberately, I never see suicide as a viable or attractive option. But those impulses are strong.

It's ironic that the decision to commit suicide which is the most irrevocable decision one could ever make, is frequently acted upon without any real deliberation at all.

Since thinking about suicide does not mean I'm suicidal, I've sometimes been reluctant to talk about it with my therapist. I used to have a concern that she'd overeact. We've worked through this pretty well now, the result being that while never a comfortable topic, it's at least an acceptable topic. Now I think it's better if I do discuss my ideation with her when it's most oppressive. It seems to reassure me that one other person out there knows the depth of my despair even if I'm not at risk, and if things really do get out of hand, I might then be more likely to contact her.

Mair

 

Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please leeran

Posted by Dinah on April 24, 2003, at 17:24:14

In reply to Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please mmcasey, posted by leeran on April 24, 2003, at 16:33:28

My mother always has that compulsion around heights. And she grew up in the mountains and loves them. She just has to fight the urge each time. And she isn't the least bit suicidal. It's odd, isn't it.

 

Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please mmcasey

Posted by Dinah on April 24, 2003, at 17:28:03

In reply to suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please, posted by mmcasey on April 24, 2003, at 14:32:18

I've had that precise compulsion. Back when I was on Luvox and a few other meds, can't recall what. But I got the overwhelming compulsion to put the meds in my mouth. I acted on it a few times, keeping control over how many and what sort, and usually using a plastic baggie to keep it from harming myself. But the compulsion was too strong to resist. It went away as abruptly as it came, and I haven't had that particular compulsion since. Do you have OCD?

I'm kind of embarassed admitting this. No one but my therapist has ever heard of this.

 

Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please leeran

Posted by mmcasey on April 24, 2003, at 19:09:59

In reply to Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please mmcasey, posted by leeran on April 24, 2003, at 16:33:28

Well, I am generally not so brave and open about these things... not at all in fact! But I feel that this board is good for that sort of thing because I don't really *know* any of you, and also because I do know that many or most of the people on the board have similar kinds of feelings!

I'm glad my post helped you!
Meghan

 

different types of ideation

Posted by mmcasey on April 24, 2003, at 19:17:41

In reply to Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please mmcasey, posted by Dinah on April 24, 2003, at 17:28:03

I don't have OCD, at least not in the clinically diagnosable form, though I think that I have a few tendencies.

But, from reading some of your responses, I have realized that it seems like there are 2 different (if not more than 2) types of suicidal ideation. One is the "non-suicidal ideation" when someone has more of a compulsion to do something to hurt herself even though she does not have thoughts that she wants to end her life. I've had those, when feeling perfectly fine and good... just standing on the side of the road and suddenly thinking that I could step in front of a car, or stading with a razor in the shower and thinking that I could slice myself with it.

But the other kind, like what I had the other day is the more "suicidal" suicidal ideation, where I really did feel like I wanted to end the pain and despair of my life, and was therefore drawn to putting the pills in my mouth. Even though I was pretty sure that I would not swallow them.

Hmmmm. Just some thoughts.

 

Re: different types mmcasey

Posted by justyourlaugh on April 24, 2003, at 22:05:18

In reply to different types of ideation, posted by mmcasey on April 24, 2003, at 19:17:41

mm,
dont get caught in the trap of lables...
there are so many reasons why your "ideation" was wrong and just as serious as all of them.
mine come from a place ,,where i dont think about me as a person..a mom.a wife ..a daughter..a sister...
its all about ending the horrid pain...
i am sorry if you still think we dont understand what you ment...i do..everytime i empty the dish washer and hold a "sharp"
j

 

Re: different types of ideation mmcasey

Posted by whiterabbit on April 24, 2003, at 22:54:16

In reply to different types of ideation, posted by mmcasey on April 24, 2003, at 19:17:41

Damn, I let myself get upset this evening about that pesky divorce business and had a good cry.
Then I was feeling dismayed because I lost control - bad enough - but I had to make things worse for myself by crumbling right in front of the enemy (who fled the scene, so I'm sitting here drinking his last couple of beers out of spite. I don't really care for beer).

Anyway...here comes the point...I was about to give up hope on distracting myself. Couldn't read my book. Couldn't follow TV. Too shaky to call anybody. And here you are, casey my angel.

Indeed you are brave for discussing suicidal thoughts, as we often feel so distressed and ashamed by ideas of self-destruction that we keep
this darkness inside. We can't believe that somebody else would really understand, and actually I think that anyone who hasn't been in the grip of serious depression can truly comprehend the blackness and massive pressure that
we bottom-dwellers live with.

So we tend to curl up and not reach out, and for the most part this is probably a good instinct.
It doesn't help to be patted on the back and told to keep our chin up, and it certainly doesn't help to see dismay or fright in the face of a loved one. But it does help to connect with others who have managed to live through the torment and know exactly what you're talking about. The details vary but the underlying wish to just end the pain is what drives us all to such drastic measures.

I know you, I've been to the terrible place where
you are now. After thinking about suicide for many years - the idea would go away for awhile but it kept coming back like a cancer - each time this wish to self-destruct would return, I would get just a little bit closer to the act itself.
Once, quite awhile back, when it was late and I was alone, I did load a gun and hold it beneath my chin for some time. Finally I turned the gun and shot a hole through the wall (it was just a .22, I knew the bullet couldn't wander outside somehow) and after that, I was able to put the gun away.

Just last year, I woke up in ICU after an overdose. My stomach had been pumped and I was hooked up to bags and machines. I couldn't understand why I had been spared, why I was still around. People who love life die every day, and there I was - drained, wretched, but alive. It didn't seem right or fair.

Shortly after I was released from the psychiatric ward, the medication I had been taking for years
finally kicked in (of course, I hadn't been taking the same dosage of the same medication for years...I had to get through the dreaded experimental stage and plow through all the side effects). First the bipolar symptoms faded to a tolerable degree and then the SSRI went to work.
My God, it took forever and I'll tell you the main reason in one word...non-compliance. I'd forget meds, run out of meds, skip them on purpose so I could drink (never wash down your Seroquel with alcohol, I'm telling you now).

But now I'm completely out of self-destruct mode, unless you count smoking and okay, sometimes too much wine. Of course I'm devestated about my husband's sordid little affair and the pending divorce, but
that's a reasonable reaction.

So let me leave you with these thoughts.

-If you can bear it, please consider admitting yourself to a hospital with a reputable psychiatric program. I know it sounds awful but it's not. Once you get past the fear and shame, it's quite an experience. Your medications and the reaction you have to them are closely monitered so they can be tweaked if necessary.
Decisions and other pressures are temporarily removed so that you can concentrate on getting well. You'll connect with some of the other patients and be amazed by the people who understand your ordeal. I became attached to a medical resident (an almost-doctor) who had managed to somehow get herself hooked on street heroin, and we clung to each other like sisters.
I left the place feeling relieved and somewhat hopeful, something I never imagined feeling again in this lifetime.

-I'm convinced now that suicide is wrong, spiritually and morally wrong. I believe that if you don't deal with the pain in this life, you'll just have to pick up where you left off in the next life. I'm fuzzy on the details, but I'm convinced that it works something like that.

God bless-
Gracie


 

Re: suicidal ideation mmcasey

Posted by Dr. Bob on April 25, 2003, at 3:31:20

In reply to Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please Miller, posted by mmcasey on April 24, 2003, at 15:00:30

> Recent example: I acquired lorazepam (ativan)
> just yesterday. I immediately did "research" and found that
> it is most dangerous and fatal if xxx. Anyways...

I'd rather details like that weren't spelled out here, thanks.

Bob

PS: Follow-ups regarding posting policies should be redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration.

 

Re: suicidal ideation-casey

Posted by whiterabbit on April 25, 2003, at 11:55:56

In reply to Re: suicidal ideation mmcasey, posted by Dr. Bob on April 25, 2003, at 3:31:20

You wouldn't want to go that route with the ativan anyway. My son had a good friend who died from that combination exactly, but he didn't drift away peacefully...he aspirated (bluntly, he drowned in vomit). Even if he wasn't aware, how terrible for the family members who found him, I'm sure this horrifying image is seared in their brains.
-G

 

Re: suicidal ideation-casey whiterabbit

Posted by mmcasey on April 25, 2003, at 14:59:55

In reply to Re: suicidal ideation-casey, posted by whiterabbit on April 25, 2003, at 11:55:56

Thanks for the yucky image to add to my mind, as another reason
why NOT to do it... if I again find myself holding the pills
in my hand and deliberating over putting them in my mouth or
not... and I undoubtedly will find myself there again soon.

 

Sorry about posting dangerous info, didn't realize (nm)

Posted by mmcasey on April 25, 2003, at 15:06:12

In reply to Re: suicidal ideation mmcasey, posted by Dr. Bob on April 25, 2003, at 3:31:20

 

Re: suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please mmcasey

Posted by shar on April 25, 2003, at 20:59:04

In reply to suicidal ideation - your thoughts, please, posted by mmcasey on April 24, 2003, at 14:32:18

mm,
I haven't read all the other posts, so this may be a repeat. It seems you are getting very close to the fine line between thinking it and acting it out. Sort of like driving a bit too close to the side of a cliff, or holding the razor just a hair above your wrist. Or...well, you get the idea.

If you aren't 50 years old yet you shouldn't even be considering suicide seriously. That's my cutoff. I figure if you give life a half a century, and you've tried to get better, and haven't gotten better, and it's been pretty much awful for decades....then it's appropriate to consider suicide (not do it, consider it carefully and thoroughly). And, if you're at least 50.

Keep talking to your therapist. All that wanting to get rid of yourself probably should be directed outward to getting rid of the trauma, anger, angst, rage that leads to suicidal ideation.

Good luck,
Shar


> So, the other day, I was "toying" a lot with the idea of overdosing
> on some of my medications (trazodone and risperdal, to be
> specific). I was about 98% sure that I would NOT do it.
> But I still had this incredible urge to dump out all of the pills,
> place them in my hand close to my mouth. What I REALLY wanted
> to do was put them in my mouth, and not swallow. But I didn't
> do that because I didn't want to get them all soggy and then put
> them back in the bottle. I told my therapist about this incident.
> She was okay about it, but of course worried that I could easily
> just decide to put them in my mouth and swallow. She said it
> was an act to be taken "very seriously". I agree. But I really
> was not planning to actually swallow. I don't know really what the
> meaning and purpose of this urge is. I would not say that it
> makes me feel better or worse than not doing it. It's just
> really hard to resist, but I certainly don't feel like I am in some
> kind of trance or not in control of myself. What do you guys think?
> I'm just not sure what to make of it. I've done it other times, too,
> but this was the first time I really wanted to put them in
> my mouth.


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