Suicidal Ideation: The Inner Voice of Chaos
By: Elizabeth Lynch
Having a mental illness can be extremely scary especially when suicidal thoughts creep into the mind. These thoughts are known as suicidal ideations; which are not uncommon in people suffering from mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other mood disorders. Suicidal ideations often consist of frequent thoughts about committing suicide but they can extend as far as incomplete attempts. Not everyone with a mental illness attempts suicide. However, many have fleeting thoughts about it which can grow into a more dangerous situation if left unaided.
If you or someone you know may attempt suicide or are experiencing any of the following actions, get immediate help now!
Please call 911 or the suicide hotline 1-800-273-8255
- Detailed planning
- Having a step by step plan
- Role playing
- Sitting with a bottle of pills or standing on a chair with a noose
- Incomplete attempts
- Usually constructed not to be completed or discovered
- May be fully intended to cause death
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal or experiencing any of the following thoughts please seek medical help from your doctor or mental health professional:
- Fleeting thoughts
- Example: “I’m nothing” or “I’m worthless”
- Extensive thoughts
- Example: “I wish I was dead” or “the world would be better without me”
- Intrusive thoughts
- Example: “I could crash my car right now”
Additional Warning Signs:
- Withdrawal from social contact
- Mood swings
- Changing of routines
- Self-destructive actions
- Increase use of drugs and alcohol, reckless driving
- Giving away personal belongings for no logical reasons
- Acquiring the means to commit suicide
- Stockpiling pills, unexplained purchases of razor blades, knives, or guns
- Unexplained notions of love followed by a goodbye that is seemingly to final
If you or a loved one appears to be suffering from Suicidal Ideations, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/
By: Liz Lynch
Self-harming is classified by the Statistical and Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as non-suicidal self-injury disorder (NSSID). It is an actual disorder that many people often write off as an angsty teens way of getting attention. While self-harming often starts in the teenage years it can persist long into adulthood which has a number of physical, emotional, and social consequences. To most people self-harming is an obvious thing not to do; however, what they don’t realize is that self-harming releases soothing, pain-killing chemicals such as endorphins and endocannabinoids which brings on a feeling of relief.
Why doesn’t everyone do it then? Well research suggests that people who self-harm have significantly lower levels of these naturally produced endorphins. This mean that some people are in a way compensating for these lower levels by self-harming just to feel “normal” without even realizing it. This disorder can bring on a lot of shame and guilt for the sufferer causing them to hide their personal abuse making it more difficult to identify and aid.
Types of Self-harming:
- Hitting or punching one’s self
- Banging head or other body parts against another surface
- Piercing the skin with sharp objects (not including body jewelry)
- Pulling out hair
- Abusing alcohol / medication
Reasons people self-harm:
- Provides them with temporary relief of negative emotions
- Provides them with a distraction from chaotic thoughts and emotions
- Provides them with a sense of control
- Form of self-punishment from guilt or shame
- Sees it as a way to express emotions
Need Immediate Aid?
- Call 911
- Call 1-800-273-TALK (24-hour hotline)
- Text the Crisis Line at 741741 (24-hour text line)
- For therapy see information below
If you or a loved one appears to be suffering from self-harm, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/
By: Sally Santos
If you are someone who is suffering with suicidal thoughts, you should be aware that most people that have attempted to commit suicide but did not succeed feel relieved that they did not succeed in ending their life. When things get tough sometimes your mind starts racing and you feel overwhelmed with emotions. Suicide doesn’t just happen on its own, it is led by many social risk factors some of them being:
- Marital status
- Employment status
- Lack of social support
Many people who have attempted to commit suicide will say that they were experiencing very intense feelings of hopelessness. They felt like they had lost control of their lives and that nothing is going to get better. But that is not true. In that moment it may feel hopeless but there are ways to help you feel better. You do not have to feel like you have to fight your battles alone. In order to steer away from those thoughts it is important to keep in mind a plan just in case your thoughts become too overwhelming. It is recommended to make a list of all the positive things that you have in your life such as:
- Read a favorite book or listen to your favorite music
- Write down positive things about yourself or the favorite aspects of your life
- Try to get a goodnights sleep
- Have a list of people you trust to call in case you want to talk
Always note that you can discuss how you have been feeling with a healthcare provider. They can provide you with the advice and help that you need in order to achieve a faster and healthy recovery. Lastly, as mentioned in an article in Psychology Today it’s important to “remember that you have not always felt this way and that you will not always feel this way”. The emotions and thoughts that you have now are temporary not permanent.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.
By Stephanie Osuba
We have all felt, in one way or another, like we weren’t good enough or even felt embarrassed after making a mistake at work. This is healthy in that we are expressing sadness or just reflecting on a situation that could have been handled differently, but we move on and eventually feel valued and confident again. However, for some, that feeling of shame and guilt never goes away. Some believe they are inherently flawed, worthless, and inferior to everyone else. These negative emotions and lack of self-esteem are largely rooted in repeated childhood and adolescence trauma that is often left unprocessed. Internalization of this emotional abuse leads to a conditioning of sort, usually by the primary caregiver, that the negative emotions constantly felt reflect who one is as a person. This person comes to genuinely believe that he or she is a bad person, unlovable, never good enough, and deserves to be treated with disrespect.
The constant shame is also accompanied by a constant feeling of guilt. Everything is his or her fault, regardless of the context. There is a sense of unjust responsibility for other people’s emotions and the outcome of all situations. Its no wonder why low self-esteem can manifest itself in anxiety, self-harm or poor self-care, or on the other extreme, narcissism and antisocial tendencies. Here are some behaviors that can be a manifestation of low self-esteem:
- Lack of healthy self-love: poor self-care, self-harm, lack of empathy, and inadequate social skills
- Emptiness: loneliness, lack of motivation, and finding distractions from emotions
- Perfectionism: this is often a behavior that manifests as adults because of the unrealistic standards these children were held to by their parents and were punished for not meeting
- Narcissism: grandiose fantasies of who they want others to perceive them to be; even if they do succeed however, this protective personality doesn’t numb the negative emotions they truly feel.
- Unhealthy relationships: people with low self-esteem are incapable of building and maintaining a relationship with others, largely because they don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like. Both parties are usually extremely dependent.
- Susceptibility to manipulation: the constant self-doubt, shame and guilt make it too easy to bend a person with low self-esteem to an experienced manipulator’s will.
Source: Cikanavicius, D. (2018, September 03). A Brief Guide to Unprocessed Childhood Toxic Shame. Retrieved from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/psychology-self/2018/09/childhood-toxic-shame/
If you or someone you know is struggling with self-esteem, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/
By Samantha Glosser
Many students expect their college years to be the best years of their lives. They will achieve great academic successes, make life-long friends, go to the best parties, and enjoy living away from their parents. This idea is emphasized all around us in movies, TV shows, and social media posts. However, this is a glorified image of college that may not be the case for all students. In fact, according to a recent study by the American College Health Association, about 1 in every 11 college students have attempted suicide; 1 in 5 students has considered suicide and 1 in 5 students engage in self-harm.
How could these statistics be true when students are told that they are living in the best years of their lives? As it turns out, the college years are filled with numerous different stressors. These stressors include academic and career difficulties, intimate relationships, finances, personal and family health problems, issues with personal appearance, and death of family members and friends, just to name a few. 3 out of every 4 college students have experienced at least one of these stressors within the last year. These stressors are highly associated with mental health diagnoses, self-harm, and suicidality. The societal pressure that college should be the best years of your life can also be contributing to these statistics. If a student feels alone or thinks that no one else is experiencing similar feelings, it can push them closer towards self-harm and suicide.
If you or someone you know appears to be at immediate risk of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If you are not at immediate risk, but appear to be suffering from suicidal thoughts or other mental health issues, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/
Self-harm is a way of expressing feelings that can’t be put into words by deliberately harming the surface of your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. It’s the release of pain and tension one feels inside. It’s a distraction from overwhelming feelings and emotions, from no emotion at all, and can be used as a way to punish oneself. It’s a way to feel control.
Dear readers that self-injure,
Maybe you feel ashamed, maybe you think no one would understand, maybe you think you won’t be left alone again, and quite honestly you might be scared of hearing that you’re crazy. But hiding who you are and what you feel is a heavy burden. We have all been there in one way or another. Truthfully, the secrecy and guilt of self-harm affects your relationships with your friends and family members and the way you feel about yourself. It can make you feel even more lonely, worthless, and trapped. But you are not crazy, and you are definitely not alone.
|Why You Should Stop:
- The relief is short lived.
- Keeping the secret is a lonely and a difficult journey.
- You can hurt yourself badly, on purpose or not, and misjudge the damage you’ll do.
- Those who care for you, even those who are unaware of the situation, would be broken to know it.
How to Rid Yourself of the Mechanism:
- Communicate with somebody you can confide in. A friend, a family member, a teacher, etc.
- Give yourself time to heal.
- Seek out professional help and begin to both work with and understand your emotions.
- Sprint, draw, paint, sing, scream, run, cry, and do whatever you can to make your impulse go away in that moment.
How to Help Someone that Does Self-harm:
- Don’t judge.
- Respect the person’s time needed to heal.
- Offer support, even if you might not completely understand.
- Help find therapy, and offer to help reach out to more adults and professionals.
By Isabelle Kreydin
| If you or someone you know is self-harming and needs help, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.