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James Donaldson on Mental Health – Teen Allegedly Left Suicidal by Bullies Speaks Out

Wenatchee School DistrictJames Donaldson notes: I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people and student-athletes.

Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle  

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 10 and 24, according to the CDC. From online trolling to school bullying, teens are suffering from mental health issues like depression and anxiety more than ever.

Fox News’ Dr. Manny Alvarez sat down with a teen who has recently been bullied and had suicidal thoughts of her own to find out how she was able to prevent her suicidal ideation from becoming a reality.

Emily Odesser, 18, of New York, claims she was repeatedly bullied by a group of her own friends in middle and high school. She alleges they would talk behind her back, have parties without inviting her, refuse to let her sit with them at lunch and made a ” “continuous stream of jabs, that was meant to make me feel like I was the odd one out.”

“I think there’s this idea that high school bullying is like pushing someone into a locker and it wasn’t anything like that,” Odesser told Fox News. “I was kind of the ostracized one for whatever reason, there was just kind of this message always being spread along the group that I was unlovable, and I was unlikeable and I was ugly.”

Odesser was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and said she still manages both conditions with medications and therapy today.

“It’s been a normal part of my life, I’ve been experiencing it for a while, I don’t even really like to use the word suffering but there was a lot of trauma for me in middle and high school that came at the effect of bullying and I’m still going through those to this day,” Odesser said.

16% of students reported seriously considering suicide, 13% reported creating a plan.

– CDC

A nationwide survey of high school students found that 16 percent of students reported seriously considering suicide, 13 percent reported creating a plan, and 8 percent reported trying to take their own life in the 12 months preceding the survey, according to the CDC.

While Odesser said she never attempted suicide, it was a “constant stream of thoughts.”

“It never got to the point where I made any attempts or serious plans but I remember it was kind of this morbid obsession,” Odesser said. “When I was walking to school and I would see a car drive by me I would be like ‘Oh if I just go in front of that I can end this’, [or] I would see a knife in the kitchen and be like ‘If I just use this I could end it.’”

The CDC reports that suicide among young adults has nearly tripled since the 1940s.

“A lot of what drives suicide is how we take care of our mental health,” Dr. Christine Moutier, a psychiatrist and chief medical officer for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention told Fox News. “Bullying is one factor but there are many other things that can interact with a person’s mental health.”

More than half of the people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition. Other problems that can become a factor to suicide may be related to relationships, substance use, physical health, job, money, legal, or housing stress.

One of the key things to be aware of when talking to a loved one who’s contemplating suicide is to illustrate that there is no shame in any kind of suffering or challenge, Moutier said.

“If they tell you that they’re suffering you need to ask if they’re having thoughts of ending their life and you need to make sure that you make it very clear with your child that you are not there to judge them,” Moutier said. “Give them a line of hope and let them know that you’re not going to leave them alone.”

Although therapy and medication helped Odesser overcome her mental health issues, she credits her discovery of an online community that helped her feel like she wasn’t the only one dealing with these kinds of problems.

“I found a lot of my community online when my friends were treating me badly,” Odesser said. “I would go on Tumblr and Instagram. You can ask questions and someone messaged me once when they were considering suicide, talking about my experiences, that was the start of it all.”

Odesser said finding someone who you trust to talk to was a pivotal moment in her recovery. She later became involved in the Sad Girls Club, an online platform for girls of all ages to feel comfortable in speaking out about their experiences with mental health issues.

If you think someone you care about might be having suicidal thoughts, there are warning signs to look out for, Moutier said.

“They aren’t going to come up to you and say ‘I’m thinking about ending my life today’ you have to look for the clues that they’re behaving in any different way from their usual patterns,” she explained.

“Like withdrawing, not seeming themselves, dressing differently, behaving differently, clues that they’re beginning to feel hopeless, trapped or especially that they feel like they’re a burden to others.”

You don’t have to live your life to exact revenge, the best revenge is to heal…

– Emily Odesser

As the nation continues to remove the negative stigma surrounding mental health issues, it’s important for those thinking about suicide to find an outlet that they can trust to share their feelings, whether that’s a person, a journal or a hotline, Odesser said.

“If I saw myself five years ago I would never have thought I would have been able to find this community that I feel like I belong in,” she said. “You don’t have to live your life to exact revenge, the best revenge is to heal and you don’t have to prove to yourself ‘Well if I’m gone then they’ll finally miss me’ there are other ways.”

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number: 800-273-TALK

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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James Donaldson on Mental Health – When College Students Feel Suicidal

James Donaldson notes: I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people and student-athletes.Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle

 

Should the student be sent home on a medical leave? Mental health professionals discuss the challenges that colleges face in making that decision.

Lark Trumbly, a former student at Stanford, took two leaves of absence. “I just wish I could have done it on my own terms,” she said.

They Sought Help on Campus, but Were Sent Home Instead” (news article, Aug. 31) seemed to criticize colleges for going overboard to ensure the safety of suicidal students. In May, The Times published “His College Saw Despair. His Parents Didn’t, Until It Was Too Late,” in which grieving parents called for colleges to do more for suicidal students.

In treating college students and suicidal patients every week, I sympathize with universities’ challenge of balancing individual autonomy against paternalistic care. Remember two facts about this age group: Their prefrontal cortex is still developing, which contributes to impulsivity, and the second leading cause of death is, in fact, suicide.

Professionals struggle with this conundrum every day: Is this person safe right now, or is a higher level of care needed? In my own career, I have overstepped the bounds in an abundance of caution, and I have worked with someone who insisted on remaining in school even though I thought a medical leave would be beneficial.

The experts do not get this right every time. Why would we expect colleges to do so?

 

Universities are required to respond to every student with a mental health problem, but this is different from treating every mental health problem. Meeting such an obligation would require every campus to build a hospital with psychiatric departments and intensive outpatient programs. Just as no one expects student health centers to provide open-heart surgery, no student counseling center can treat every severity level for all mental health disorders.

Medical withdrawals are designed to protect a student’s transcript and are not meant to be punitive. The student’s academic standing is protected to allow him or her to return.

With a national epidemic of college students struggling with anxiety, depression and suicidal ideas, universities face the daunting challenge of walking the middle ground between reflexively sending students home and waiting too long to do so.

Emotionally distressed students need thoughtful and sensitive professionals whom they can talk to about their troubles — not only capable therapists who can assess their functioning but also compassionate administrators who can deliver the news when it is time for troubled students to leave campus, and reassure them that they will be welcomed back when they are healthy again.

 

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James Donaldson on Mental Health – 21 Reasons to Keep Living When You Feel Suicidal (#7 of #21)

 

September Nation Suicide Prevention MonthJames Donaldson notes: I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people and student-athletes.

Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle  

I remember when I was really struggling and in the depths of my despair, where there was only darkness and no hope, the only reason I convinced myself to stick around was because “I wanted to tell my story” (and not have everyone else out there trying to tell my story for me).

Also, with my personal experience  I felt that by sharing my story, I can help countless numbers of others who are going through a similar thing, or know someone who is going through something similar.

In celebration of September being National Suicide Prevention Month, I want to share with you a recent report I came across to, in which 21 “once suicidal”  individuals, gave reasons to keep on living. I’ll share one with you a day throughout the rest of the month.

 

  1. I stayed for my sisters, my grandparents, and I eventually came to accept, I stayed for me. — N.P.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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James Donaldson on Mental Health – Preteen Suicides are Rare, but Numbers are on the Rise

James Donaldson notes: As I’m slowly getting on top of my physical health issues, I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people and student-athletes.

Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle  

 

Preteen suicides, like that of a 9-year-old Denver boy last week, remain rare. But as their numbers rise, they’re getting new attention from researchers.

Jamel Myles died Thursday of suicide, the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner said Monday. His mother said on Facebook that he had been bullied by classmates.

“Please we are all the different and that’s what makes us the same because we all have 1 thing in common we’re all different that’s what makes this world beautiful,” Leia Pierce wrote in the post. “I want justice for my son and every kid who is bullied.. I want bullying to end I never want to hear someone else go thru this pain,” Leia Pierce wrote in her public Facebook post.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the teen suicide rate rose by more than 70 percent between 2006 and 2016.

Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death for elementary school-aged children in 2014, the CDC reported. The death rate among 10- to 14-year-olds more than doubled from 0.9 per 100,000 in 2007 to 2.1 per 100,000 in 2014.

Suicide is a particular concern among LGBTQ youth. Pierce told KUSA-TV that her son was bullied because he was gay.

Denver Public Schools said late Monday it was “deeply committed to ensuring that all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or transgender status. It is critical that our students receive all the support they need to learn and thrive in a safe and welcoming environment.”

The district said it has policies and training to prevent and stop bullying, and that it fully respects gender identity, “including the use of preferred pronouns and restrooms.”

Three out of four LGBTQ youth have searched online for information about depression, a survey this year of 14- to 24-year-olds by Hopelab found. That was more than double the percentage of straight youth who searched for the information.

The percentages who looked for information on anxiety were was similar: 75 percent of LGBTQ youth, compared to 36 percent of their straight peers.

Social media is a big part of the problem, says psychologist Benjamin Miller, chief strategy officer at the nonprofit Well Being Trust, which was a partner of Hopelab for the study.

Preteens and teens are “not given enough time to process heavy and emotional issues every day,” Miller says.

“How do you process that as a teenager when you’re still trying to learn coping skills?” he asks. “It’s an even bigger problem if you are 6 to 12 years old.”

There’s a “significant relationship” between peer victimization and suicidal ideation, researchers reported in JAMA Pediatrics in 2014. The authors analyzed 34 studies, with participants ranging from 9 to 21 years.

The suicide rate among black children aged 5 to 12 appears to be roughly double that of white children of the same age group, researchers funded by the National Institute of Mental Health reported this year. In contrast, the rate of suicide for black adolescents was half that of white adolescents.

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James Donaldson on Mental Health – Many Soldiers Who Attempt Suicide Have No Prior Mental Health Diagnosis

James Donaldson notes: I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people and student-athletes.

Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle 

 

By 

Over one-third of a sample of American soldiers who attempted suicide did not have a prior mental health diagnosis, a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry finds. But the risk factors that predict suicide attempts in these soldiers are largely the same as those for soldiers who previously have been diagnosed with a mental health issue.

Dr. Robert J. Ursano, a psychiatrist at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and lead author of the study, said this points to the importance of broad screening efforts.

“There are those at risk who never come into specialty care,” Ursano told Journalist’s Resource.

This research gets at how to better identify this population.

The study looked at administrative records belonging to a sample of 9,650 enlisted U.S. Army soldiers with a documented suicide attempt occurring between 2004 and 2009. Nearly three-quarters of the sample were male. The researchers looked at the risk factors among these soldiers, comparing the factors involved for those with and without a prior history of mental health concerns.

Veterans as a group are at a higher risk for suicide than civilian adults — 22 percent higher, according to a 2016 report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Nationally, across the whole population, suicide rates are increasing, according to statistics issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In their analysis, the researchers found that the risk factors associated with suicide attempts among soldiers were similar irrespective of past mental health history.

Among soldiers who did and did not have a prior mental health diagnosis, those who attempted suicide were more likely to be female and have less than a high school education (GED or similar program). They also were more likely to have experienced job promotion delays or demotion in the past year. However, these risk factors increased the odds of a suicide attempt significantly more in soldiers without a record of past mental health issues than in those with a documented history.

Other risk factors for both groups included family violence, eight or more outpatient physical health care visits in the past two months, injuries in the past month, and previous combat injuries. (The researchers acknowledge in the study that “our injury variable may have captured injuries that were self-inflicted but unrecognized as such.”)

For both groups, soldiers who had married in the past month had lower odds of attempting suicide than those who were unmarried and those who had been married for four to 12 months.

Soldiers without a documented history of mental health concerns were much more likely to attempt suicide early in their service than those with a documented diagnosis history. Nearly 60 percent of the attempts among soldiers without a history occurred in their first year of service, compared with 20 percent for those with a history.

One risk factor unique to those without a mental health diagnosis history was enlisting at a young age – before age 21.

Ursano said the health care system can use this additional information about risk factors to identify and refer vulnerable individuals. He stressed that many of these individuals do come into contact with primary care providers, mentioning the risk factors of past-month injuries and multiple outpatient visits in the past two months. He suggested interventions that tie primary care and mental health care closer together, such as incorporating mental health screening into primary care.

The authors note a few limitations, including the fact that the records analyzed, did not capture unreported suicide attempts and unreported or undiagnosed mental disorders. They also indicate that these findings might not generalize to other populations.

The project was part of the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS), the largest mental health study ever conducted among military personnel.

 

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James Donaldson on Mental Health – 21 Reasons to Keep Living When You Feel Suicidal (#6 of #21)

 

September Nation Suicide Prevention MonthJames Donaldson notes: I am turning more and more of my time and efforts towards mental health issues, especially pertaining to our young people and student-athletes.

Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space.  http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle  

I remember when I was really struggling and in the depths of my despair, where there was only darkness and no hope, the only reason I convinced myself to stick around was because “I wanted to tell my story” (and not have everyone else out there trying to tell my story for me).

Also, with my personal experience  I felt that by sharing my story, I can help countless numbers of others who are going through a similar thing, or know someone who is going through something similar.

In celebration of September being National Suicide Prevention Month, I want to share with you a recent report I came across to, in which 21 “once suicidal”  individuals, gave reasons to keep on living. I’ll share one with you a day throughout the rest of the month.

 

  1. I stay for my dog, I stay for my family, I stay to see what I’ll create next. — Logan

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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James Donaldson’s Book Review – What’s Eating You? (People and Parasites) by Eugen Kaplan

What's Eating YouWow, if we only knew what was “eating us”!

The author, Eugene Kaplan, recounts his personal experiences, and many years of study and research into parasites and their hosts, as they create a “symbiotic” relationship with each other that turned out to be mutually beneficial, at least for the life of their hosts.

He talks about animals, of course, bacteria, and all the way up the evolutionary ladder to humans. In many parts of the world, picking up parasites in the water, or unsanitary conditions will lead to parasitic conditions within us.

Luckily, we live in a day and age where medicine can usually counteract the effects of parasites it may be causing a problem within us, but on occasion, the parasite will make itself readily visible and problematic to us.

Not necessarily for the “faint of heart”, but he does go into very good detail, and with just a little bit of imagination, you can envision all the goings-on and parts of your body that you have no idea about.

Enjoy this reading for the information, and I’m sure you will have learned a few things yourself.