• Practical Advice on How to Help A Depressed (Possibly Suicidal) Friend by C. Madden, PhD

Practical Advice on How to Help A Depressed (Possibly Suicidal) Friend by C. Madden, PhD

Practical Advice on How to Help A Depressed (Possibly Suicidal) Friend by C. Madden, PhD


Robin Williams. Kate Spade. Now Anthony Bourdain.

Just three of many celebrities who have committed suicide recently.

While our hearts ache for those we loved from afar, the problem isn’t limited to the rich and famous. Statistically, death by suicide has risen by 25% since the year 1999, and suicide is in the top ten causes of death in the United States. It’s an epidemic.

As a therapist, I’m deeply concerned about this quickly escalating mental health crisis. If you yourself aren’t personally struggling with depression, I’m quite sure you know someone who is. That’s why I’m offering this practical advice on what to do when someone you love becomes depressed.

Don’t Pretend to Understand if You Don’t

Yes, you’ve been sad, but sadness is not depression. Depression isn’t being sad. If you haven’t struggled with real depression, you don’t understand.

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• Inappropriate Responses or Attitudes Towards Suicide Victims

Inappropriate Responses or Attitudes Towards Suicide Victims

TLDR = A summary of sorts of what follows below:

It’s the oddest thing: people who write editorials about people who have suicidal thoughts or about people who died from suicide claim to find suicide sad or upsetting, and they claim to have compassion for those with suicidal ideation, but they go on in their articles to insult and demean those very same people by calling them selfish, cowards, or what have you.

When a famous person kills him or herself, it’s common for commentators to rush out of the wood work to shame, scold, or criticize the person and offer up all manner of horrid advice on how said suicide could’ve been averted.

Some conservative commentators have moronically claimed that culture has “romanticized” suicide, or made it appear sexy or glamorous, and these writers conclude that this supposed romanticization is one thing contributing to the increase in suicide rates.

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• Suicide Attempt Survivor Kevin Hines Now On A Campaign for Living

Suicide Attempt Survivor Kevin Hines Now On A Campaign for Living

Man Who Survived Suicide Jump From Golden Gate Bridge Shares His Story to Help Others: ‘The Moment I Hit Freefall Was an Instant Regret

Survivor of suicide attempt now on a campaign for living

Man who survived Golden Gate Bridge jump after being kept afloat by sea lion shares story with NSW Police suicide prevention conference

Man who jumped from Golden Gate Bridge encourages reaching out to others

Golden Gate Bridge suicide survivor brings message of hope to Australia

…Tens of thousands have listened to Hines speak about that day on the bridge, what utterly bleak feelings drove him there and how he lives a productive life today.

“It is so important to share a message of hope,” Hines tells nine.com.au.

“Mental pain and brain pain can destroy – but compassion, love, care and empathy can grow and create individuals who are resilient and strong.”

Hines’ story is detailed in a new documentary, Suicide: The Ripple Effect, about to screen in various locations across Australia.

The Ripple Effect film cites research that states 115 people will be affected by a single suicide.

Suicide survivor Kevin Hines: Smiling at a stranger may save a life

by Patti Singer


Kevin Hines was 19 years old, riding a bus to his destiny.

If someone looked at him and said one of three things — “Hey, kid, are you OK?” or “Is something wrong?” or “Can I help you?” — he would not jump off the Golden Gate Bridge.

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• #MeToo Movement Helps To Shed Light on Depression in Men

Some of what this article is discussing some liberals refer to as “Toxic Masculinity,” which is not, contrary to what some conservatives believe, saying that all men are abusive or that masculinity itself is toxic.

Toxic Masculinity refers to rigid societal gender expectations for boys and men, ones which can harm males (as well as females), such as what is discussed in this article.

#MeToo Movement Helps To Shed Light on Depression in Men

In the shadow of #MeToo revolution there is a quieter evolution occurring in the world of men: Famous men are coming forward to discuss their battles with anxiety and depression.

Just this Tuesday, NBA superstar Kevin Love penned a powerful pieceabout a panic attack he suffered during a game on Nov. 5, 2017. It is easy to miss the connection between Love’s story and the fight for gender equality. Males, from boys to old men, are prisoners of our own perceived indestructibility.

Love’s revelations about his battle with anxiety are part of a larger movement to destigmatize mental health and treat it as something more than the blues. Love was inspired by a former teammate, DeMar DeRozan, who himself came forward to discuss his depression in late February.

There are many obstacles to confronting mental health, but a common barrier for men is masculinity and gender expectations of male toughness, which Lovehighlighted, “Growing up, you figure out really quickly how a boy is supposed to act. You learn what it takes to ‘be a man.’ It’s like a playbook: Be strong. Don’t talk about your feelings. Get through it on your own.”

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• Understanding Grief, by Jane E. Brody

Understanding Grief, by Jane E. Brody

I have been considering writing a post or two of my own about grief, and I may still.

My experience after my mother died a few years ago is that the vast majority of Christians are not only terrible and incompetent at ministering to those with grief but they are, in addition, heartless.

Rather than receive love, encouragement, and empathy from Christians I approached after the death of my mother, I was subjected to all sorts of hurtful attitudes, actions, and comments: some Christians ignored me, hoping I’d back off and stop calling; some lectured me; some shamed me; some victim blamed me, some gave cold, hard advice.

Grief is going to happen to each and every person reading this post. You too will have someone you love very much die before you do.

If you are a Christian who has yet to experience the death of a loved one, do not count on the Christians around you to be there for you during your time of loss, because most of them (perhaps not any) will not support you, nor do most of them truly want to support you during your grief. I can perhaps blog on that issue more at a future date.

I believe all Christians should read this article at the New York Times about grief and learn from it:

Understanding Grief, via New York Times


“There is no right or wrong in grief; we need to accept whatever form it takes, both in ourselves and in others”

by Jane E. Brody

Although many of us are able to speak frankly about death, we still have a lot to learn about dealing wisely with its aftermath: grief, the natural reaction to loss of a loved one.

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• The Griefbot That Could Change How We Mourn

The Griefbot That Could Change How We Mourn

The Griefbot That Could Change How We Mourn

Muhammad Ahmed’s grandkids would never meet their grandfather, so he made an AI version of him. How might that change our concept of death?

… The data scientist believes artificial intelligence will eventually allow us to craft the data left behind by an individual into convincing text-based simulations of that person.

Dubbed “griefbots,” they’ll respond when prompted, imitating the deceased’s cadence, tone, and idiosyncrasies. Ahmad thinks these griefbots could make grieving for loved ones an interactive experience.

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• Jim Bakker: Washington Train Derailment Was A Warning From God

There’s nothing like blaming God for the failures, stupidity, or irresponsibility of human beings.

The following comes from a left wing site. Though I am a right winger, I follow or visit liberal sites.

I am a tad more sympathetic towards the right wing side, since I am right wing, but occasionally, other conservatives say or do some very stupid things, and the liberal sites will let you know about it, while the conservative sites generally remain “mum” about this sort of lunacy:

Jim Bakker: Washington Train Derailment Was A Warning From God

I think several people died in that derailment, did they not? And here Baker is using that tragedy to advocate for his own weird views.

In the future, should I compose a post on this blog explaining a bit as to why I have been thinking of leaving the Christian faith (after having accepted Christ as my Savior when I was a kid), this Jim Bakker post is one of the things I will link to as another reason.

And no, I do not “follow” or “worship” Jim Bakker, but I’m thinking, if this is the sort of nuttiness Christianity produces, I’d like to be counted out.


By Kyle Mantyla | January 3, 2018 10:31 am

End Times prepper pastor Jim Bakker declared on his television program last week that last month’s train derailment in Washington state was some sort of warning from God.

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