19%

I had my 6 month check up with my psychiatrist today and we were speaking openly about suicide after admitting that I was having suicidal thoughts. We were also discussing the differences in being suicidal and having suicidal thoughts (that is a different post.) He said that 19% of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder take their own life and that equals like 1 in 5. Those odds are shocking for some reason. If you think about the big picture 2.3 million Americans are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. If I did my math right that equals out to 437,000 people. That means there are 437,000 people contemplating suicide most with no support from anyone.I am one of the biggest supporters for the AFSP but how do we fix this? What can we as the mental health community do to combat these odds? There are so many people who can’t afford medicine, therapy let alone see a psychiatrist to properly diagnose and help them. This is something we need to recognize and help each other. We aren’t going to receive any help from the government and there is so much of a stigma attached to us people refuse to publicly support it unless it is a celebrity who claimed to “recover” from it. We need to speak openly and honestly about our struggles. I think we can be the change if we become more comfortable being open and knowing even though they might not understand we can make them care. 1 person loss to suicide is 1 too many. Let’s start the conversation and help decrease these numbers.

Conversations from the treadmill

Somewhere between 2Pac and Valerie Carter, drenched in sweat at a 7.5 incline with 2.8 speed my brain and I had a come to Jesus meeting. I’ve struggled the last couple of weeks last week being the worst with my depression. I’ve also hid it the best that I could and if you’ve dealt with mental health issues for as long as I have you know how to turn your illness into a “migraine” “stomach virus” or any other physical illness because saying, “I’m depressed.” Comes with so many questions you just don’t want to answer because for some reason you just can’t be depressed without a reason. I never understood why that is I think it’s just a stigma people don’t realize. (That’s another topic.)

I said things to myself that if anyone who didn’t struggle with this said to me it would piss me off. “You’ve dealt with worse. You’ve got to suck it up we’ve done so well with avoiding melt downs. I know right now working out feels like torture but you have to just sitting around the house makes it worse. Last week sucked but this week we are going to do better. We are going to shower more than once, brush our hair and teeth every day. Get out of bed on time put on makeup because we always feel better when we do. I know you hate it but you might have to force that smile. You around people who aren’t use to you and don’t know what you are going through maybe if they did they would treat you better but I doubt it. You are a badass who went through a complete breakdown, overdose got kicked out of the house, detoxed and never missed a day of work even if you were late. I know you can do it you just have to focus. It’s hard to focus but I need you to try. You have stereotyped yourself so much you want to punch yourself in the face but I know what you are capable of and I know what you’ve been through this isn’t something you need to worry anyone else with because you can do this. I love your crazy ass and the fact that I can say that now is a huge improvement. Just fight it okay.” That sums up the conversation I had with myself. I left out some of the swears and other personal details but I have learned to love myself some and I think that makes times like these easier.

Do you have these conversations with yourself?