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May 28th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

The Suicide Crisis

NSPILogo_lgOn the show and on this blog, I’ve talked a lot about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a free, 24-hour hotline that provides access to trained counselors for those going through the hardest of times. Last year, the Dr. Phil show worked with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to intensify suicide prevention efforts during the economic crisis, as more and more people are grappling with job loss, foreclosures and debt.

I’m so proud to announce that all of our efforts are paying off. This week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a report saying that more people are becoming aware of the Lifeline and its 147 call centers. The year-over-year increase in suicide prevention hotline calls rose by almost 15 percent between 2008 and 2009. The report directly attributes the increase in calls to the Dr. Phil show and to Internet providers who are promoting the Lifeline. For instance, Google now posts the Lifeline’s toll-free phone number at the top of the page when users type in “suicide” or “kill myself.” Also, MySpace, Facebook and YouTube are now providing information about the national hotline.

One of the reasons we do this show is to open up a dialogue about difficult issues and to provide resources for viewers who may be struggling with self-destructive thoughts or behaviors. “This combination of education, awareness and providing a way to get help, we believe, made a huge difference in the lives of many people,” says Dr. John Draper, CEO of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. “I want to thank Dr. Phil for handling the subject of suicide so sensitively in a way that people can understand.”

Here’s about as distressing a statistic as I’ve read in a long, long time: suicides now account for 34,598 deaths per year in the U.S. That’s almost twice the number of homicides.

Let that number sink in for a minute. Every year, more than 34,000 of our fellow citizens — men, women and youth — reach a point where they decide life is no longer worth living. It’s simply flabbergasting and so, so devastating to realize what a crisis this has become. 

This is only a beginning, of course. Studies by SAMHSA found that 8.3 million American adults seriously contemplated suicide in the past year, with 1.1 million adults actually attempting it. “Relatively few people realize how pervasive suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts are in our society,” says SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “Fortunately, the Lifeline has made a remarkable difference in saving the lives of countless Americans.”

Here’s the number of the hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Keep it with you. Pass it out to anyone you believe might be thinking about doing something disastrous. This is a fight we cannot lose.

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67 Responses to “The Suicide Crisis”

  1. Kate says:

    Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I don’t know who said that if anyone but I believe it.

  2. Teresa Matlock says:

    My brother committed suicide May 14 this year. I saw no warning signs or red flags that he was thinking of ending his life. I would give anything if time could be turned back and he would of talked and received help.

  3. Linda says:

    Thank you for your good work! I would like to add that I think it is very important to get this information out as soon as possible in any crisis situations. Especially if it involves young people.

  4. Joanmarie says:

    Education/Prevention… Education/Prevention…Education/Prevention…
    I am a 33 yr old widowed mother of 5yr old twin girls. I was widowed almost 3yrs ago. I found my husband hanging outside of our home that morning. No note and I could have never imagined he would have done that. I never saw it coming. I can only look back and wish that if he would have been aware of the aftermath of suicide and it would have been just in there through education MAYBE, just MAYBE he would be alive today. I can only hope that the education of suicide and prevention will help many other families before they have to live life the way I have!!! I honestly think that more awareness needs to be made to the survivors of suicide(the people left behind) to bring more awareness to “PREVENTION”. Not only was I instantly widowed and thrown into a life I knew nothing about I also was left to answer all the questions, to take all the blame, to have to explain to my children one day, to deal with the social STIGMA THAT MAKES ME COMPLETELY SICK, have the nightmares, anxiety, dpression, deal with my mind and all the confusion, to raise 2 toddlers, take care of a home and a life that I wound up losing anyway after the fight of my life. When the funeral was over everyone else went back to their lives but mine was completely gone. The blame, the looks, the whispers!! Thats not to mention his entire family and how his mother tried to strangle me after the burial, all the blame to my face from all these people that I thought loved me and supported me all while infront of everyone… The probate and the estate that is still lingering after all this time. The financial problems I deal with. The lack of support with my kids! GOD just a helping hand sometimes PLEASE!!!!! So on July 31 it will be 3 years that my husband passed…. With all the aftermath that was left in the wake of his “SUICIDE” I have yet to be able to grieve and morn the loss of him… I have not been able to start the rest of my life yet because I am still dealing with his!… When his life ended so did mine and everyday its a grueling experience just to take a step in the right direction…. and thats the short of it all and I mean short!!! So I guess what I am saying is that people who survive suicide dont like to talk about their experience of lossing someone this way. The shame, blame, guilt and of course the stigma. If we dont talk we cant help. I wish I could tell the world my story!!!! I just wish someone else had told my husband a story of survival, maybe just MAYBE he would be alive today….. People always say they dont know how I have found the strength to go foward and I just say…”you dont know how strong you are until “STRONG” is the only choice you have”
    THANKS FOR BEING YOU DR.PHIL and thanks for saying 5 days a week “This will be a changing day in your life”!!…….. One day I hope to have one of those days! MUCH LOVE TO YOU!!! AND THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!

  5. Katie says:

    Thank you for spreading awareness, aside from education we need to make it ok for people to ask for the help so many of them need. It’s one thing to know that help is there, but if you don’t feel, for whatever reason that you can reach out then nothing can be done. This all means we have to erase the stigma. I’m not sure how though. The stigma is the main problem.

  6. Lindsy says:

    First of all, thank you, Dr.Phil, for making America more aware of this problem. As you have said before, the more media shines light on suicide, the more it happens because it’s almost contageous. Unless, you just meant teen suicide, I don’t quite remember. Unfortunately, speaking from experience, when a person is at their breaking point of actually being mentally ill enough to attempt suicide, the last thing on their mind is calling someone that they don’t even know. Perhaps you talked about this, I din’t watch todays show, yet. I will watch it after this. I just put my two little boys to bed. I hope that more and more people will reach out for the help that they need because you’re right, it’s so sad and it doesn’t need to happen. Alas, I believe that everything happens for a reason. If God doesn’t want them to die, I don’t think he let’s them die. I have attempted, twice, and I’m still here and I now know the reason that God let me live. As you’ve said, so may times, you’re brain isn’t finished growing until you’re 25 and you are SO RIGHT! I am 25 and I finally “get it” and I finally know what I want to do with my life! I was put on this earth to help other people, a lot like the same way that you do, Dr.Phil. You have had a lot to do with inspiring me to become a Psychologist. I am only going for my bachelors of arts, as of now because I am a mother of two very little boys. I am bound and determined to become a Psychologist. I just don’t know, quite yet, what kind of work I want to do.

  7. brigid says:

    Suicide is a bigger problem than any other in my family. My youngest brother commited suicide over 20 years ago but it’s still yeaserday. I have attempted it a couple of times myself. The worst is that I love my four daughters with all my heart and soul. I just feel more often than not that would be so much better without me. I am so beyond depressed and I am sick of feeling like this and even more sick of what my depression is doing to the people in my life. Sadly depression in adults is rarely talked about. We suffer with no real support.

  8. depressed Veteran says:

    Ive been living with depression since my release from the Canadian Forces… I have struggled many struggles and have attempted various coping techniques.. I suppose at the time I didnt realize what I was doing was trying to cope with the so many mixed feelings.. I lost trust in everyone and kept to myself these feelings and my insecurities… I am recently in the process of getting help .. but Im still struggling.. I have many ups and downs… I have a wife and 3 kids and it hurts me more than anything that they have to see me when Im not well .. or sometimes hurt myself… I am trying very hard to correct myself so that my kids dont have to suffer and be affected.. I saw a doctor when i was in the military and told him that i was getting depressed because since my knee injury.. after my 3 months in bed.. I came back to duty but was put on “Garrison Platoon” which was a platoon that was for injured soldiers.. I was daily ridiculed and called names.. I was told that i was there serving them as i should since I am of middle eastern decent.. I was treated like the enemy.. even though i am canadian born .. I didnt get the same treatment as other injured soldiers .. I was the bottom of the barrel.. and when i explained to the doctor that I was suicidal.. eventually the Sergean Major got word of this and had me sent to his office and stated ” I heard that your being an ass… Is it true that you wanted to kill yourself… ? ” at which I replied “yes” .. he then went on to say “well if you dont kill yourself , ill do it myself.. thats not a threat … its a promise…” I felt hopeless at this point and confused as to why I could not get some help in my sorrowful feelings. eventually I was released after many more moths of riddicule and harrasment.. after my release in 1999 I have relied on my on techniques to cope and most of which have been destructive… now im at a point where i can see my kids growing up and I am still needing help… Veterans affairs has begun to help with some councilling … but Im very often still feeling confused , alone , hopeless and unable to express what I really feel … I am dissapointed with myself and the Canadian Forces for not helping me sooner.. now i feel as though its harder to deal with .. especially I have kids… I am doing my best and they kids mean more to me than anything.. I would never want them to experience what I feel. ultimately HELP…. I cant put into words how much struggles I have .. regardless of the recent “treatments” and financial benefits offered to me.. I still feel disconnected , confused , hopeless and dont know who to trust. When my pain is bad it makes it worse and when both kick in I feel confused and sometimes feel like ending my life.. I have stopped using Marijuana (which I was using to cope with pain and anxiety) . Yet still have stuggles.. is it possible that my on and off gambling may be some sort of coping ?? not sure but I am commited to be a good Dad , but I need help…..!!!?

  9. FosterBoys says:

    I feel for anyone with depression. No one else’s hard luck story will ever make you feel better about your own.

    Walked out this morning
    Don’t believe what I saw
    A hundred billion bottles
    Washed up on the shore
    Seems I’m not alone at being alone
    A hundred billion castaways
    Looking for a home

    from “Message in a Bottle” by the Police

  10. Ashley says:

    Wow it’s so great that you have this hotline. I just may have to re-blog this.

  11. karen says:

    My father is his last stage of dementia. He knew for a long time something was wrong with him but didn’t know what. Seeing him and what is has gone through has made me think that suicide is an answer for me. He has went through so much and has zero quality of life. That isn’t life, it just your brain keeping your body alive. I have all ready told myself if I were diagnosed with dementia I will kill myself. What is the point of being alive when your really dead? And yes I have been through the mental health system all my life and still feel that way.

  12. Linda says:

    Karen: I think I know what you are going through. My grandmother died in 2002 after having dementia for about 15 years. The last 5 years of her life she could not even talk anymore except saying yes if you asked her if she wanted coffee and things like that. It was really hard to see her like that, and I have been thinking myself that the only possible circumstance there I would consider suicide is if I was diagnozed with something like that. I hope it will not happen to any of my parents but I will take care of them if it does. Nobody in my mothers family had dementia though and I have heard there are better medicines on the way.

  13. Cindy says:

    I came home one day to find that my mom had committed suicide.

    I ran over to the neighbors and had them call 911 to see if they could revive my mom. When they arrived it was too late.

    My mom had been told that she was going to lose her eyesight. I was working at Walmart and they had offered me a night job, and I told them no. I eventually lost my job at Walmart, and did not tell them my reasons for refusing the job.

    Five months after I lost my job at Walmart my mother committed suicide.

    I did not want to leave my mom home alone of a night.

    My mom devoted her life to raising 3 kids and cleaning and cooking home made meals.
    I do not think that people should use the word stigma when referring to suicide. This implies that the person was crazy. My mom was not crazy. She was the best mother anyone could have hoped for.

    I had called a family member home and told her I was worried about my mom. They took her to a psychiatrist. They had recommended a hospital stay. My family member did not want to put her in a hospital. Two weeks after the family member left my mom committed suicide.

    I wish everyday that my mom was here, blind or not.

    Dr. Phil had a show on awhile back about suicide. He asked a person that was blaming there self for what had happened if they were a trained psychiatrist, in this field. They were not. He told them to quit blaming thereself.

    I have since worked and went to a community college and completed 84 credit hours. Walmart offered me my job back after this happened also, after I explained to them why I had to leave.

    At least I put my mother ahead of my job, and a paycheck. I am not doing very well financially right now and I am currently on food stamps and unemployed. \

    It has been several years since this happened. I have had enough time to save money but living on my own has been a financial struggle with low paying jobs.

    I would have preferred to live with my mother instead of in an apartment by myself.

    I hope someone else can learn from this.

  14. Dr. Phil, thanks for the update and getting the word out… Especially, to keep this number 1-800-273-TALK (8255) handy and pass out to anyone who needs to prevent suicide. PREVENTION IS THE BEST INTERVENTION. Thank you.

  15. vtvalenz says:

    I came home almost 10 months ago, on the weekend of our 34th Wedding Anniversary, to find that my handsome, successful, kind and loving husband had tried to commit suicide. I found out that all this was work related, the attempt had nothing to do with our relationship. Since then, he has been hospitalized twice, on 6 different medications, has undergone Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, (TMS) and we are waiting to see if the insurance will approve Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT). His Major Depressive Disorder has been drug treatment resistant. TMS has helped a bit, but he is no where near ready to return to work. He is in therapy, I am in therapy, and my family and work have been very supportive. I never saw it coming, either. I knew he was having trouble at work, and sent him to the doctor, who prescribed Ambien and Paxil. He never took the Paxil, but definitely took the Ambien, which is what he used in the attempt. I was furious with him, because he did not leave a note. If he had died, I would have spent my whole life blaming myself. Thank God he is still alive! I would rather be a concerned wife, than a a grieving widow. Mental illness is chemical and biological, it is not a character flaw. It is difficult to treat, just like cancer. You have to find the correct protocol to restore brain function to its correct levels. Suicide is not an act of cowardice. Patients truly do not know what they are doing. Their brains are not functioning properly, so they cannot make logical decisions. I feel sorry for patients that do not have some to advocate for them. I do feel numb a lot, though, as taking care of a mentally ill person is time consuming and frustrating. They don’t just “snap out of it”. I went into survival mode last September. Juggling SDI and the insurance companies, and all the paperwork that is involved is enough to drive any caregiver crazy! Every little accomplishment my husband makes is celebrated–even the ability to fold a couple of loads of laundry is movement in the right direction. Thank you, Dr. Phil, for always being there for all of us.

  16. Karen Stendahl says:

    I wish to thank Dr. Phil for helping people understand and deal with suicide. My husband committed suicide at the age of twenty-two and my son committed suicide at the age of twenty-six. I have one child left and he’s thirty-two. I watch and listen attententively to him. He has his dark moments like his father and brother and when those moments arise my heart sinks. It’s like talking someone out of a deep pit that they’ve fallen into and can’t see the light. Thank god he see’s the light at the end. So far!
    Again, thank you Dr.Phil. It needs to be explained that these people are not cowards but scared and lost and feel that everyone else would be better off without them. We need to be strong for them and let them know. They are sooo loved!

  17. Shannon says:

    I lost my 14 year old son in 2004 when he took his own life. He put his grandfather’s shotgun under his chin and pulled the trigger. I don’t know why he thought ending his life would be better than staying here with me. But he choose to die, and I died that day, too. My world stopped spinning, but everyone else’s didn’t. I had to keep going becasue my bills didn’t stop just because my baby boy blew his head off. The stigma that is naturally attached to suicide is something I can’t explain….it is hard enough living with the guilt, the shame, the pain, the ‘what if’s’, but to also have to constantly deal with the public’s perception of being a suicide survivor is hard. Since February of 2004, I have lost my only child, been divorced, moved 3 times, lost my job, lost both of my parents to cancer, had a house burn down, and had major surgery. When people ask me how I keep going, I tell them the truth. I wasn’t left with a choice. I never imagined my life without my son; now I’m a mother with no child. I miss him so much every day. I talk about him, because he is a part of my life and I want to keep his memory alive. One of my biggest fears is that people will forget he did exist. I sure do miss him.

  18. Laura says:

    When I was in my teens, a classmate whom I _thought_ was my BFF at the time attempted suicide. Her friends and boyfriend were shocked because she had given no clue that she was going to do anything like this. Luckily, she survived. I believe that perhaps she wasn’t genuinely suicidal, it was a cry for help. Sh ehad a bad family situation and the attempt occurred shortly after an acrimonious argument.
    Several years ago, I worked for a college library and one of the instructors at the college committed suicide. Nearly everyone who knew him from work or had been one of his students was shocked. He had given no indication he would do this. While things weren’t perfect for him on the job, I hoped he didn’t do it over the job. No job is worth your life, and he had the consolation of not having wife/kids to aupport, so he could be more free to look for something else than a man who did have dependants. Some of us speculated that he (a single older man) was lonely (see above), and if we had only known, I think a lot of people would have had made more of an effort to be friendly.
    Last year, I re-connected with an old friend who wanted to be more than a friend. I never thought he could be suicidal. Unbeknownst to me, he had a serious drug habit which isn’t doing any favors for his pre-existing conditions. His solution? Rather than quit the drugs and simply engage in a little harm reduction, when his situation becomes more serious, his brilliant plan is to overdose and off himself (in spite of his previously having led me to believe that he was a religious Catholic!) When I tried to talk him out of it, I went from being a girl he carried the torch for to becoming persona non grata within a matter of minutes. And no, I don’t think the mental health system (more drugs!) will help him.
    What I’ve seen in these last two cases, when people are serious about suicide, they become better actors than the folks in Hollywood.

  19. katie says:

    Some people are just seriously crazy and they warn you aout their actions before. If schools taught younger kids about suicide. Then that would probably lower the amount of suicides in the U.S. It may scare them but it would help save so may lives. Plus, tell me which is scarier seeing a loved ones dead body or their atempt at leaving them or knowing so they can help? I’ve seen all these things. Attempted Suicide, a dead body, and lessons about suicide. The lessons were definetly better than seeing it occur.

  20. Diane says:

    I am so glad you are trying to do something about informing the public about suicide. Very unfortunately I lost my dear son Eric July 9 2008, he was 28 years old. He hung himself in his basement. I found him. I held him at birth and held him in death. I was the last one to try to give him cpr before the medics came, I gave him his last breath. It has been a very hard struggle to come to terms with this. He lost his job, couldn’t pay his bills and started to self medicate with street dugs. We didn’t find this out until after his death. Thank you so much for all the good you are trying to do in this very difficult world!!

  21. Susan Sacca says:

    I SO LOVE AND I AM FOREVER DEVOTED/GREATFUL TO DR PHIL MY HERO/Beautiful Robin (Too)….because back in the day they did shows about “Abused woman”
    who yelled at an empty chair!~and What they wanted to say to the abuser if they were sitting in that chair??

    **Does anyone remember that show? **


    Has anyone read ALL of Dr Phil’s and Robin’s books?!

    I was in the deep/darkest/swirls of clinical depression.

    ALL my coping skills, healthy and unhealthy were used up…

    I was at my girlfriends LAWSCHOOL GRADUATION PICNIC, and I was basically cooking for her, cleaning up her yard, staying so busy I “really couldnt talk”…….because I was “so busy” helping out…

    (but)…..in reality

    I was so busy ploting my death sceen over and over in my head

    ***maybe if I run into a tree my kids would just think it was an accident…hmmmno

    I NEVER EVER drink or drive so DA^&^& I have to wait until daybreak!

    SO in my pocketbook I have Dr Phil’s Book LIFE STRADEGIES and I was getting tierd so I went away from the loud noise and the drunk people so I went down in my GAL PALs basement and turned on the side lamp and I gobbled up DR PHIL’s
    book and I cried my eyes out, and what that book gave me in my heart, honestly, and truly was HOPE…..

    I went out that very next day and bought like 7-8 copies of LIFE STRADEGIES for every singlemember of my family of origin and I wrote a note on the front flap to each brother of mine, my sister, my 3 kids, and my Momma too, READ this book this man actually saved my life I was about to kill myself last night!

    I WAS THAT close, and if DR PHIL didnt write that book with his brilliant mind, you wouldnt be reading my words today…GODBLESS YOU DR PHIL AND ROBIN and Boys and Girls too! xox S S

  22. ginger werhan says:

    I am so sorry, Joanmarie who lost your husband to suicide on July 31st, & to all others who have lost a loved one in this way. Yours stood out, however. Can not imagine others not pitching in & helping you out w/twins. How sad! Children should never be ignored because of something so tragedic. Suicide is the saddest of all deaths. Loved ones do not know how to handle it. Instead of trying to help others heal, they start to place blame on the person closest to the one who died. I know all too well about this death. My father, the love of my life, committed suicide when I was 15. When other deaths can bring families together, sucide tears families apart. Fortunately, I was mature enough to somewhat hold mine together! Was not an easy task at just 15. Since my Mother had a drinking problem, I became the parent & she the child. My understanding has lead to a happy & normal life for me. Married for 49 yrs. w/3 great children, & 4 wonderful grandchildren. One can recover & go on!

  23. M. Sturgeon says:

    Dr. Phil. My husband and I have been married for 46 years. We have a son, age 44, that has both of us extremely concerned and also questioning our past and I suppose, future role in his life (upbringing). Almost two years ago he lost his job of ten years as a successful management employee earning six figures a year. He also was divorced by his wife of 12 years. (There had been ongoing problems.) He lost full contact with his two children ages 9 and 4 (he has the usual visitation –every other weekend) and is almost two hundred pounds overweight and gaining. He was recently diagnosed with diabetes and is insulin dependent. Needless to say he is extremely depressed and although being seen by a physician cannot seem to climb out of a very deep hole. If it weren’t for his children we are certain he would resort to “checking out” of this life. We are and have always been here for him and he does have contact with us but we just don’t know what to do. We dearly love our grandchildren and it tears us apart to see the way their lives have been torn apart. I probably should ask a question at this point but don’t know where to begin.
    To further complicate the situation his brother has also gone through a divorce a few years ago to our ex daughter-in-law’s sister. Where the most recent divorce has been a bit more amicable the first one continues to be a series of battles between parents—-with children in the middle. This son has been an excellent father to his two girls, 10 and 13, and does his best to keep strife from them. He has been involved in a bad post divorce relationship that led him to file bankrupcy. He does have a good job, though.
    When we look at the lives our son’s have had we can’t help but ask ourselves “where did we go wrong?” The question now, however, is what is our role in the lives of our two adult sons. —-and more importantly right now, what can we do to help the son that was most recently divorced”

  24. Liz Edwards says:

    My husband Mike lost his son to suicide on 24 November last year (my step-son Robin) We are South African ex-pats living in Oman in the Middle East and Robin was in South Africa. We were devastated at the loss of a 33 year old son. Mike blames himself as he says that Robin was just like him. Mike was an alcoholic and has been clean and sober for ten years. We met six years ago and have been married for four. When I met Mike he was estranged from Eva, his first wife and his four children. Together we set about mending these relationships and Eva is now one of my closest friends and his children and I have wonderful relationships. It has been a beautiful thing to see Mike and his children happy together at last and they have forgiven him. We knew that Robin had problems and Mike still feels that he could have saved him, he just didn’t know how to. Robin left two precious children who don’t understand. Dr Phil Mike and I enjoy your show and we have learnt so much from you. Mike gets a lot out of your shows on alcoholics. Greetings to you and your family from Oman!

  25. sue says:

    hi, i have a question i have lost 2 brothers to sucide. both were 43 n 10 yrs apart
    both were musicans. what r the chances of more people in one family commiting sucide? both had tryed 3 times before it finally worked. it is so hard to have people ask stupid questions. i to have thought about it im being treated for severe depression due to my terminal illnesses. i have sat n wonder why not me
    they could walk n talk. i cant walk, dress myself, take care of my self. now i just found out my sister is schizaphic been commited 3 times. my other brother is biopolar, another 2 brothers suffer panic n aniety disorders how could this happen to one family?

  26. Rebecca says:

    My husband died by suicide 5 years ago. He was 23. He left behind me and our son. He was sick with mental illness. He also had extensive family history of severe mental illness and suicide. To help my family in our grief I got involved with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the Out of the Darkness Walks. This has given me a purpose, to help other suicide survivors and to memorialize Trevor. It is a great resource for suicide survivors.

  27. erin says:

    I am a 44 year old mother of 2 beautiful girls – ages 11 and 14. I come from an excellent irish-Catholic home- oldest of 5. My whole life I have been mentally ill – I am a recovered alcoholic as well. No one ever knows what to do with me. I have lived here, overseas, traveled to many places on my own as a younger person. Somehow, I survived. And believe me ther have been plenty of crazy situations- menatl institutions in foreign countries- seeing people killed right next to me – and much more- You would think I was a survivor- Well, I am tired- and I do not see a light at the end of the tunnel. My first husband beat the crap out of me and my second left us while I was out and left a note- so nice. I love my girls- but I do think they are better off without me- others in my life will take better care of them than I have. Talking doesn’t seem all that doable- I feel like I am wasting people’s time- why bother. I am glad people understand that I am not a coward- My girls deserve better.

  28. Marty says:

    I’m at the breaking point. The last person in the world I thought would screw me over did just that. I can’t believe my sister, my friend of so many years would use me and hurt me the way she did. My husband’s really pi*&ed about it too because she not only crapped on me and used me, she used my whole family and kicked us to the curb when we were no longer “convenient”.

    I always thought family was supposed to be BLOOD, not sweat and tears. If it were not for the love of my husband and my precious son right now I’d take my .38 and to the express elevator to hell because my life with this hurt is unbearable to where I think nothing else could be any worse. I’m numb from disbelief now. This has been such a shock, and one of the worst times of my life. I’ve experienced a lot of hurt in my life and I got through it, but I’m afraid this hurt will NEVER, ever heal. I can’t stand this. I truly feel like this is the end of the line.

  29. Barb says:

    I read every single blog on here about suicide and I truely am sorry for people’s losses….I suffer from bipolar and I am a rapid cycler. I have both physical and mental effects….At times I am literally living from moment to moment, trying to keep myself from not committing suicide. I pray to God and tell Jesus I am holding on to his robe and I dont know how much longer I can hold on….So far this has worked for me..There are people out there that just don’t understand and won’t…You have to walk the walk to talk the talk sort of speak.
    When I am cycling I can feel it in my body going from my downs to up phases. An hour or two can pass and then I am crying for no reason what so ever and it doesnt matter where I am or what store or restaurant I am at the tears flow heavily. People in these places look at me and the person I am with, like the person Im with did something to me.
    I have stages of agoraphobic and isolation..I use to be very outgoing and very friendly..I would talk to everyone whether I knew you or not in a store, or waiting in line somewhere, but through my cycling mood I look down.
    Im not very social at all, because if I talk with anyone I will cry.
    I have to take each day as it comes to see how I feel. People with bipolar dont have the pleasure of waking up in the morning every day and enjoying the flowers, the butterflies and the great scenerys…..We wake up with sadness, or isolation or fearfullness, sometimes we dont know how we feel as its like hollowness inside….
    This is why we feel suicidal and say Im tired of working so hard to feel good for a day once in great great while…..When you feel so terrible and miserable everyday this is when suicide plays a part in our lives. But Some of us, Just keep hanging on! Taking it one day at a time! Hoping for a brighter tomorrow! Hoping that tomorrow will come real soon! My best to you all! This is my life!!!!! Living with Bi-polar

  30. Dear Barb From June 21st:
    You sound very much like my 26 yr old son. He was never diagnosed with bi-polar but the attitude was the same. Although he was a very social and outgoing personality, it was all a front. When he was with me it was all doom and gloom and absolute fear. I applaud you for being strong and hanging on. I know how hard that can be. It may sound terrible but after he died I keep thinking to myself that maybe today he woke up and was happy. Maybe today he had no stress level and didn’t make a mountain out of a mole hill. My wish for you is that you find in each and every day something to get some solace and comfort out of. I would tell my Bernie on his really bad days that if its that bad, lets sit down and figure out what will make you feel better. his reply was always, “NOTHING” I would look at him in confusion and say not even watching the neighbor guy walk around in his moon boots and underwear? or the way your brother sleeps with the dog under the covers with him like a teddy bear? Or how about how the way your dad taught your son to pee like a man outdoors and he used the dog as target practice! These little things seemed to help him see the day and go on with it. I wish you well each and every day, Barb and stay strong. It’s something I wish my son would have done. He just got so tired. Please don’t get tired. It’s a wide and beautiful world out there and it’s so worth hanging out for.


  31. Angela McKay says:

    Dr. Phil, I know you prob. wont see this..I am going through a divorce and my son is in college. I am in a different city from where I lived and now going to school to get my feet on the ground. However, I drink every nite to a point to where I have no money. I just dont know what to do. I have alot in my head but I dont know what to do with it. Anyway, I was watching the show you had with “mary”. I feel her pain. The only difference is my child is on his own..I am too now but I dont know what to do.


  32. Debrah Main says:

    For Joni, with the 2 young children to care for after the suicide of her husband: I know the abyss you must be in since his suicide-my husband committed suicide 16 years ago and it often feels just like yesterday. One would think in this day and time with media exposure and suicide prevention programs, that the one’s left behind would not have to bare the stigma of this, but people can be petty. My husband, who was a police officer, left 3 notes, but this did not alleviate the whispers, snide comments, nor the guilt I carry with myself today. If I am honest, he had alluded to the fact that if he didn’t have me, he would have nothing, and in the back of my mind, I always worried if our relationship didn’t survive, he might commit suicide. I asked him for a separation on a Saturday afternoon for something he did physically to one of my children (a son from another marriage) and by Sunday morning he had died from carbon monoxide poisoning in our triple garage (Meaning he had to fill up the Jeep 2 times that night to accomplish it). I only shared with a few people what he did to my son because he was not there to defend himself and I didn’t think it would help anyone. I spent 15 years being “drunk” most of the time. Finally, a year ago, I quit drinking and I am studying to become a Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor. Please seek counseling so you don’t go down the path I took. I lost my job, my friends, my house and my self-esteem and I would hate for anyone else to go through that. Many people find it easier to blame the one’s left behind, than to admit that their family member or friend has issues that the suicidee, could not fix themselves and so they make the irrational choice to die. In the end, it is their choice; no one else’s. And as I write this, through the tears, my mind knows this to be true, but there will probably always be guilt that will linger somewhere deep in my soul. My prayers go out to all of the hurting souls: those left behind and those contemplating suicide. Hugs! Debrah

  33. Debbie Torbitt says:

    You often hear from an individual who has lost a friend or family to suicide saying they don’t understand why. What could have been that awful that it could not get better everything in temporary. I have never tried to commit suicide but at times I have given it serioius and detailed thought. I have gone through clothes and belongings of mine that i decided I should just get rid of. I am married but we have no children just 5 doggies. I think to myself who would want any of my things. They’ll just be junk with someone to deal with after I die. I feel it’s more humane to get rid of those things now. I just find myself sometimes really getting tired of trying and still failing. My life seems like it’s going backwards. I think of all the things that make me hurt and they seem overwhelming sometimes. It gets reallly tempting to reason why am I choosing to remain miserable when peace could be chosed instead. No I’m not thinking of running off and offing myself. But I do find it comforting that if I really need to it’s there.

  34. clohio says:

    I tell my children that tomorrow is a new day, a better day. When tomorrow comes and you repeat tomorrow is a new day, a better day. I have had thoughts of suicide for 4 or 5 years. The doctor asked me the check list of questions and got to suicide. I got tired of saying no when I could see myself going through the steps I was going through to do it. Ok this is scary yes i’m having thoughts. Well Mr. me if your medicine for depression was correct you would not be having these thoughts. Really? I did not know that… Changed my pain medicine, anxiety medicine, Depression medicine. and the thoughts are not as frequent. The bad part is that someone like me that would have the means would not tell anyone. You would not know I have it all. If your thinking about it remember you have to talk to your doctor and its not something your choosing to think about – it is a chemical problem that a doctor needs to find the solution. Reach out.. I’ve lost too many friends this way. I keep my family in mind and think how the heart break of losing me will impact them. No matter how messed up you are, or how little you think of your self, you have people that will be sick – sick – sick if you hurt your self in this way. AGAIN REACH OUT – Go to the Emergency room. GET Help. its that easy and you will feel better. Giving up is not an option.

  35. In thinking of options clohio, I may be out of line but what you state is so true..About getting help ! For those devastating thoughts I am glad that you seem more aware of the importance of REACHING OUT!! I have lived my whole life becoming a strong person and remain independent. Until the worst day of my life….My mom called me one October evening after work. We shared everything she was a single parent my brother was always running the streets on a dirt bike. We laugh now about it but This meant they were always at it he always had a mind of his own. But Me an her seemed more like best friends rather than mother and daughter.Anyway,we were much closer than many other people and their parents I know. I have grown up raising my own daughter as a single parent my mom was my enthusiasm,motivation she always gave me a kick when I needed to get back up she called me her little Ms. Reliable she knew if she needed anything she could count on me. Mom was so encouraging ,always made me feel on top of the world we talked about 3,4 times a day sometimes about nothing at all. My daughter was close to her (NANA) that’s what she called her.My mom always had my daughter stay the weekends especially so I could keep up with my sometimes 3 jobs. This in return had made mom and my daughter very ,very close also.
    So, as I was saying,out of nowhere mom calls me and sounded different in her voice. I asked what was wrong? she said ,Nothing I know you have a lot on your plate right now!! I knew what she meant we recently found out my place of work for 6 yrs. was shutting down..She knew I felt so helpless, but determined to figure something out..I went on still confused I shouted,” MOM TELL ME WHAT IS WRONG”?Mom started to cry, I just called to say Goodbye. Still confused at what she meant by that I said, What are you talking about? Still crying mom says, I love you babygirl,I wanted you to tell everyone I love them always and forever and I know babygirl you will tell your brother,Annie( my daughter )how much they mean to me.Make sure you tell Max (her husband )that he has done the best he can and I love him too.Still crying she says I can’t handle things anymore things are not what they appear to be!! What are you talking about? mom you sound so crazy right now and your talking stupid I screamed..She told me graphic details of the gun she had in her mouth just before we spoke. I was on a cell phone when we were talking so you can imagine driving,in a panic,confused,and wondering”Where did all this come from?” I said mom I’m on my way there (to her ranch) just outside of town. Mom said, I love you babygirl goodbye ..She hung up on me!!!! I drove as I kept calling her back no answer, no answer.I called my brother and begged him please meet me at moms.As much as he didn’t want to believe she was talking so crazy he did. My mother shot herself in the face before we got there..
    I gave details so it would be understood I never suspected a thing even though we were so close. I think I will never be the same since she did call me, her babygirl before she left this world .Some may say at least you got to talk to her to say goodbye,in my eyes it has made me a mess…so take everyone into consideration it is not just about person taking their own live..But it is the loved ones left behind.. Empty like a empty shell even if it was only going on 5 yrs ago. I still wake each day remembering the day we said,goodbye!!!!!!

  36. Anna says:

    My dad hung himself in hospital where he was supposed be getting looked after and treatment. What do we do about doctors and nurses who hide their mistakes when they we aware he was going to do it that awful night.

  37. Cyndi says:

    My son, Luke, attempted suicide on Thursday. We did not see any signs that this was coming, although in hindsight it makes perfect sense. We are very thankful he survived and will be getting the help he needs. As a mother, I know there is no way I can watch over him 24/7 and prevent him from doing this again, but I also know that God has a better plan for my blue-eyed angel and that He will be watching over Luke. Meanwhile, I will continue to be here for him, listening and talking with him and helping him in whatever way I possibly can. My world would not be right without him in it.

  38. Marsh says:

    It’s good to see that suicide awareness is spreading. I dealt with someone very close to me who threatened suicide. I never thought he would go through with it and I didn’t know who to call or how to get help. I didn’t know of any helplines to call.. didn’t know how to deal with this problem whatsoever. He went through with it and I was left wishing I would have made a call and gotten help to potentially prevent it and give him hope.
    I am so glad that this is getting out and more and more people are seeing how big of an issue it really is and how many people are affected, attempt,and commit suicide each year. People need to know where to turn to to get help because most people probably don’t see it coming in those they love or think no one they know would ever do it.

  39. Trudi says:

    I wish with all my heart that more people talked about suicide and the affects of it. Maybe then I could understand myself more or even not feel so alone. I met my husband in high school when we werei 15. We married once we graduated high school.. We were together for over 22 years when he committed suicide leaving my 15 year old daughter and I devasted and completely lost. It has been two years now and I still struggle dailly with most everything. I want so bad to be normal, hell to even know what normal is would be good. I just go through the motions and try to be there for my daughter though inside I feel empty. I spent a majority of my life with a man that was mentally ill and over time my reality became warped. I spent most of my time thinking ahead of him, trying to find ways to deal with his illness, to desifer what he meant everytime he said something, to not make him angry, to protect my daughter… and to keep his secret from our families, friends, and the business community we worked in. The things if life I once did with ease, I no longer seem to be able to do…including work. I feel like I am just liiving off of what savings we have left in hopes that by some miracle someone will come along with a really big glue gun and fix what is broken. What do I do now???

  40. FosterBoys says:

    I made a mistake in one of my earlier posts. I said that my mom is a schizophrenic. That would’ve been a good thing. She’s actually a psychopath. How do you miss something like that and WHAT IN THE HELL DOES THAT MAKE ME?

    Don’t answer that.

  41. Cindy says:

    Dr. Phil, I made the earlier post on here about my mother that had committed suicide.

    I just wanted to comment on Marsh’s statement, that people do not really think someone close to them would do something like this. I think that is very true.

    I always thought that is something that you read about in the newspaper that happens to other people’s families. This is very wrong to have this attitude.

    I never will forget what the coroner told me the day he came to my house when my mom died. I told him that we were running out of food and I had to get something to eat, that day.

    The coroner said “You cannot watch someone 24 hours a day. ” I guess that is what I was trying to do. I did not want to put her in a hospital either. If I would have she would have still been here.

    I do not recommend anyone try to take on that responsibility of trying to watch over someone if they are thinking of suicide. They need professional help of people that are trained in this area to prevent it.

    I went to the grocery for my mom and went to restaurants to pick up food for her, to make sure she had food there to eat.

  42. FosterBoys says:

    “Army Officer Orders Troops Not to Commit Suicide”


    Military mental health services are not there to make you “better”. They are there to make the military a better place without you.

    Depression is weakness. Depression is a liability. Kiss everything you’ve worked for goodbye if they find out you have it.

  43. randy says:

    i have this friend of mine, well lets just say that he is really obssessive and really insane. why do i say all this? because his girl friend really wants to dump him, and believe me he is threatening to commit suicide.

    what scares me about all this is that i don’t think he is kidding, am afraid am going to lose him over something so stupid, he claims that no-one ever loved him the way his girl friend does since his mom died.

    please help. i need to know how to handle the situation before i lose my dear friend

  44. Jean says:

    All I can say is….there is life after suicide….we just have to make it.

  45. Maxime says:

    We need something like that here in Quebec. I live in the Province that has the highest number of suicides of all the Provinces and Territories. I’ve attempted several times myself. I am in a bad spot right now and it’s all I can think about.

  46. Cindy says:

    Dear Dr. Phil,
    When i watched you show on suicide, it made me think of what my son did to himself a year ago in my bedroom on the first day of school. I found him at 10 am when i got back to the house. My son didn’t leave a note either. So a yr from now that it has been i still am looking for answers and wondering why he decided to not be here with us anymore. Since then i have heard that he was bullied at school and after school as well. But that might not be the only have of it. No one says they knew that he was going to do this. He didn’t confess to anyone that he was going to do this. So now i am left with the answer of why and have the guilt feelings of i should have been there that morning. I still beat myself up on what if and should of, could of, but didn’t. So now i just struggle each day with this. I am currently seeing a psychologist for this. I am taking medication also. I just want you to know that you are making a good move on taking this bullying to Washington DC. They need to be able to see how many suicides that kids are doing everyday. They need to see how many parents face this everyday with their kids. Maybe someday the schools will be able to keep better tabs on the ones who are bullying other kids. No one needs to be bullied at all. This is my story and how i am dealing with this everyday since he has been gone.
    Thank you.

  47. cheryll says:

    Dr. Phil
    My husband committed suicide 5 months ago he was 44 years old. My family expects me to be okay because I have always been strong and able to handle whatever life threw my way and believe me my life has not been an easy one. Not to mention most of my family wern’t to fond of Bill because he didn’t fit there mold, but he was very very good to me and we loved each other very much. when I am around them I pretend to be okay but this is making me very resentful of my family and I am becoming more and more depressed and a loner because when I do leave the house people always want to know how Bill died when I tell them I always get a funny look. Why do people always want to know how your loved one died? Does it really matter???? There is definetly a stigma attached to suicide but it is left for the survivors to contend with along with along with what they are already dealing with the grief, the guilt, the not knowing why, the eternal lack of closure and the forever dark tunnel of lonelyness.

  48. Starr Stimpson says:

    Dr. Phil

    Suicide has to be one of the hardest types of death to deal with. I have buried a mother and a husband who had ALS, and a father who died from diebetes and a bad heart. But I have to say that when my brother committed suicide while visiting me over the Christmas Holiday, that was one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. Even though my brother had a mental illness, he had learned to keep most of it to himself, worrying that he might be singled out or someone may put him in an institution. He was diagnosed with Parnoid Schizophrenia. He had been in and out of trouble since he was a young man. He died at 48yrs of age. It has been almost 2 yrs and I am still in therapy. My brother had been stopped by the police for a traffic violation, but he did not have a license. He became so parnoid that when the officer went to his car to write him a ticket, he took a gun that he had hide inside the car, ran down an alley and shot himself in the head. It was only after he passed away that I was going through his personal belongings and found several suicide letters. It was like I was frozen in time, numb, I couldn’t believe some of the things I was reading. It seemed like I was in a out of body experience. I will never forget the day the detetives came to my door to tell me what had happened. There are four simblings in our family but he and I were the closest, it was like I understood him and never made him feel like he needed to be scared around me. I miss him everyday, suicide in a family has to be the hardest type of death to try and deal with. I can only hope that one day I will only remember the good time. This is the first time that I have really put it into words. Thanks for having this sight.

  49. Melanie Dushell says:

    Im living in South Africa and 27 years of age, i have two daughters….to give u a bit of back ground…i have been molested by my step dad since i was 3 in witch this went on till i was 19, my mother opened a case against him when i was 10 and he got off on a 4 year probation no jail, month later he started again,my mother Neva did anything after that, i have 4 sisters one was raped by him,my mother still up to day will deny it all, my sisters will stand up to this but in passed as i wanted him to pay for what he has done, bailed on me and turned against me in public, i ran away from home at 14 where i became very sexual active and abused alcohol, at 17 i went back home….my mother abandoned me, got pregnant and my dad tried to have sex with me after a almost lost my life at birth, i then again took my child and moved in with friends of mine, started drinking badly again and being very sexually active,i met a man who i loved and still do, moved in with him at 19..he took by baby as one of his own…all was good for first year and then cheated on me and then started beating me badly, he was drinking heavenly and using hard drugs, i was in house 24/7 not allowed to leave, work etc, i fell pregnant again at 21, he tried to kill me while i was pregnant, he kept on abusing me mentally physically and emotionally..i left him in 2008, i had nowhere to go,i slept on the streets, stole to get by, lied to have a warm plate of food, i turned to god for help,family and friends and all turned they’re backs, i today im trying to pick myself up, but cant, as soon as there is a light it darkens quick again i have been suicidal since 13, i had a hand full of sleeping pills last night, and wrote my daughters a letter saying sorry, how much must a person take to reach this point, i have no self esteem, no courage, no drive to live and no love towards myself or any one…..i know why people do this every day….i know why im doing it, i cant do this punishment that is forced on me, im a good loving person, i do more for others than myself, i have been cursed since my first breath into life….there is lot more i can add to this, worse things, i want out that’s all i know thanks to the selfish human race out there!!!!

  50. Amber Billings says:

    I grew up being molested or raped by various family members, and raped several times as an adult, and raped by my husband numerous times. I have been suicidal many times since I was 7 years old, and have attempted suicide a few times. I live with chronic, severe clinical depression that has been drug resistant. This runs in my family really bad, and a number of my family members have committed suicide. Most of the ones that didn’t commit suicide are doing it the slow way with drugs or alcohol. I have a huge number of relatives that died at a young age from alcoholism also.

    On Dr. Phils show the “Housewives” I am like Michelle, and seem draw all the bullies, and am overwhelmed by peoples meanness and don’t effectively stand up for myself. I have also often been abused by various mental health professionals, and a couple of them have made sexual attempts. Also, a pastor tried to be sexual with me. I see that part of the reason I draw these types as an adult is because I am so wounded, fragile, and insecure. But, that in no way entitles anyone to do the stuff they do to me. Even if I have these flaws people are still responsible for their horrific behavior.

    I have a new counselor the past 4 weeks. I was doing much better the last couple of years but still having problems with ’socializing issues’ so decided to try again with counseling. Since I have been seeing her I am again extremely suicidal. She said to me this week, “So it’s all their fault these people raped or abused you? What is your responsibility in this?” And, she also said, “What keeps you from completing suicide?” almost like telling me to go ahead and do it. Almost like a challenge. And, she also said, “Why do you keep coming to counselors?” If I had not have gone to counselors I (would) have completed suicide years ago. But, the state this new counselor has me in I fight every day NOT to commit suicide (cause I am so ’driven’ with suicidal feelings for at least a week or more after I see her – to the point I almost can‘t stop myself), and I don’t know if I can keep going like this. I am sure if I keep going to her I will no doubt ‘complete’ suicide. I have been through hell on earth, and this (counselor) tells me I am partly responsible for all the times I have been raped or abused. I just can’t take any more of what people are like – including the mental health staff who are supposed to be there to help people who have been through this stuff. I know the fragile nature of me draws abusers (almost like I have a sign on me), but how am I supposed to overcome the traumas I have been through if I keep experiencing more traumas – including from professionals. I am to the point that I just don’t want much to do with anybody any more because of bullys. Cause if there is a bully in the group (and yes, most groups seem to have one) then that bully is gonna zero in on me as their ‘target’.

    I am trying to get myself out of this ‘suicide drive‘ I have, and trying ‘self-talk’ to tell myself things I have to live for, and thinking of ways I can get myself out of this thinking. I hope I can. But the last 1/2 weeks I have gone so far down the suicidal thinking it is like that is all there is.

    I am going to fire this counselor, and there will be no more counselors. I will do what I can to make my life better, and hopefully I will succeed. If not, I am not going to reach out to anyone again.

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