Depression 1 ARB (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Wendy Burnett
I was checking the stream on one of my social media accounts a bit ago when I found an update from one of my friends containing the most terrifying description of a medication side-effect I have ever seen. There are many prescription medications that have the following warning:
X may cause suicidal thoughts or actions in a very small number of people. Call your doctor right away if you have new or worsening depression, suicidal thoughts or actions, or unusual changes in mood or behavior.”
I thought it was important for those who might be given one of these meds to see this, so I got permission to post it here. The clinical warning is so bland that it gives no real understanding of what it means to have suicidal thoughts, what kinds of feelings come with them, or how to recognize what’s happening to you. This description will help you recognize when you need to get help.
“Hi again you guys. I don’t know if anybody really notices or appreciates these updates but perhaps they’ll help somebody at some point which is why I keep thinking I should write it all down. If it ever gets bothersome please let me know, and I will stop talking about it or remove you from this circle or whatever. I don’t want to annoy anybody, but I keep thinking… What if there’s somebody else out there? What if they are having the same kind of trouble? What if knowing that I did too could help them? I am mildly anxious to tell this story because I sincerely believe, for probably the only time in my adult life, that I almost died because of a medication’s side effects. Continue reading Suicidal? It May Be Your Medication . . . »
Map of Washington State's physical terrain, made by the USGS using their NED dataset. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Wendy Burnett
An Open Letter to Washington State Legislators
I understand your desire to reduce accidental overdoses and diversion of prescription pain relievers, but these new regulations are not the way to do it.
Doctors are already abandoning their chronic pain patients, dumping patients who have a legitimate need for opiod pain medications because the new regulations will make it impossible for them to prescribe desperately needed medications without risking their careers and their freedom; and leaving themselves open to malpractice suits every time a patient makes a bad decision and accidentally kills themselves with their medication.
Many hospitals, emergency departments, and clinics have adopted strict anti-opiod policies; so you better pray to whatever god you believe in that you don’t have a car accident and get taken to one of these emergency rooms. If you do, you won’t get pain treatment that works . . . Continue reading Washington State’s Restrictive Regulations Will KILL Pain Patients »
Does having bipolar disorder automatically mean I’m not in pain, or that my pain should not be treated? Does the fact that someone has been addicted to something in the past mean that they should have to suffer excruciating pain for the rest of their lives to prevent readdiction to a new medication? If someone is dying of cancer, what difference does it make if they become addicted to the pain medication that makes their death less painful, that allows them to have a little relief?
Our society has become so terrified by the picture of the crazed, murderous addict that the government has painted for us that we will allow them to do almost anything to protect us, even though in the vast majority of cases that picture is no more than government propaganda.
The government has lost the war against drugs, they have no hope of ever being able to stop the illegal flow of drugs into this country, so they have changed their propaganda, and their targets. The war on drugs has become a war against chronic pain patients and the few remaining doctors who are willing to treat them.
Doctors are being persecuted (AND prosecuted) for trying to provide adequate treatment for their patients, and for every doctor who is prosecuted, many more begin refusing to prescribe the pain medications that make our lives worth living because of the fear that they will be next. Continue reading Killing Me Softly – The War on Drugs Becomes a War Against Adequate Treatment of Chronic Pain Conditions »
According to a recently released research study (Mortality in fibromyalgia: An 8,186 Patient Study Over 35 Years,) having fibromyalgia increases the chance that someone will commit suicide. I don’t understand exactly how much the risk increases, since the study provides an odds ratio rather than relative risk, but the simple fact that suicide is more likely is frightening enough. (The risk of accidental death was also higher in the fibromyalgia patients, which I’m guessing is at least partially related to “fibro fog” issues like forgetting whether you’ve taken your meds and accidentally taking an overdose.)
I totally understand why this is true, since my fibro has frequently triggered suicidal depressions for me, for various reasons. When I was first diagnosed, the total lack of understanding and support from my then-husband, combined with the lack of anyone in my life who DID understand and the terror of facing a life of pain and disability; threw me into a months long depression that only grew deeper as I dealt with the losses that came with the illness. I spent hours every day wishing I could die, and knowing that the fibromyalgia wouldn’t kill me.
There have been many more depressions since then, most related to the fibromyalgia in some way, even when it wasn’t the direct cause. The most recent one started 3 YEARS ago, Continue reading Fibromyalgia Increases Suicide Risk – Chronic Illness, Stress, and Depression Part II »
It’s National Suicide Prevention Week, and today is World Suicide Prevention Day. If you know someone who is suicidal, reach out, help them find help.
If YOU are suicidal, you need to know that you are not alone. There are many of us who have been where you are and come out on the other side. I’ve been there myself, more times than I can count, starting when I was 5 years old; and I’ve learned that if you can hold on, if you can reach out, it ALWAYS gets better.
Life is change, and EVERYTHING changes, even the misery you feel. There are people out there who can help, who WILL help. No matter what you think, your family and friends will NOT be better off without you, and your death will cause more pain and devastation in their lives than you could EVER cause by staying alive.
If you’re considering killing yourself, if you’ve started planning, even if you’re just thinking that things would be easier if you were dead, read this first. This article provides tons of ways to get help, and links to places you can connect with others that feel the way you do. Read the article, check out the links, maybe call one of the hotlines and actually talk to someone who understands what you’re going through.
The Suicide Project is another great place to connect with others who have been where you are, and read the stories of those who have been affected by the suicide of someone they love.
These two sites have saved my life more than once, by helping me find the resources I needed, and they can help you, too. Please, just check them out. It won’t take long, and death will always wait for you as it waits for all of us eventually.
on white sheets
or blue steel
and red blood
I fear it
and desire it
or continued suffering
or the pain
I wrote this in 2001, and it has been true for me many times, both before and since. I’m sure it will be true for me again, but I’m also sure that when it is, I will find the help I need to get me through, one more time. The help is out there, all you have to do is ask. Please give life one more chance, please ask.
According to a newly released research study (Mortality in fibromyalgia: An 8,186 Patient Study Over 35 Years ), having fibromyalgia increases the chance that someone will commit suicide. I don’t understand exactly how much the risk increases, since the study provides an odds ratio rather than relative risk, but the simple fact that suicide is more likely is frightening enough. (The risk of accidental death was also higher in the fibromyalgia patients, which I’m guessing is at least partially related to “fibro fog” issues like forgetting whether you’ve taken your meds and accidentally taking an overdose.)
I’d been wondering about this subject, since I’ve been dealing with some serious flare issues lately, and have caught myself thinking, “please just let me die and stop hurting,” quite a bit. Continue reading Fibromyalgia Increases Risk of Suicide »