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The Black Dog

Discussion in 'Living Room' started by geoffw, 25th Apr, 2016.

  1. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    My daughter, who has recently gone back to uni, has a very good friend (not a boyfriend) studying in the same course.

    They have studied a lot together, and he has provided a lot of academic, and sometimes emotional, support for her.

    He has always been a bit of a loner, and lives by himself.

    Just over a week ago, she was at his place studying, when he opened up about the depression which has dogged him all his life. He hadn't talked about this before, although it was obvious from his behaviour. It's something that he had never shared with his family, even though he was very close to his brother- they were aware though that there was something wrong.

    He had been to a psychologist just once, and didn't see any value in going again. So his opening up like this was a positive sign.

    But he hadn't contacted her again, and she started to get worried. She couldn't reach him.

    She contacted his brother through Facebook, and he called the police. He had killed himself.

    Such a waste of a young life. It's possible that it could have been controlled through medication. Or through further counselling.

    Apparently it's not uncommon for somebody contemplating this to have an appearance of an improvement in attitude before taking things further.
     
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  2. Ozzie in Texas

    Ozzie in Texas Well-Known Member

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    I am so sorry.

    I try to volunteer as much of my free time as I can handle to reddit suicide watch. I knew instinctively that he may have suffered from depression. But him dying caught me by surprise.

    Again. I am sorry.

    Look out for your daughter while she grieves. Make sure she is ok and understands what it so difficult to understand when it comes to depression and other mental disorders.
     
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  3. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    That is tragic. What a sad loss to his family. What a shame he couldn't reach out. Your daughter will forever wonder "could I have helped him more?" and she really needs to be able to talk openly about how she feels. I truly believe that women speak up more about troubles. It seems that often men don't really ever feel comfortable doing so.
     
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  4. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    We tried to ensure that she doesn't feel guilt, something which she may feel prone to; and that she doesn't let it affect her own life.

    She wants to remember him, and is afraid of letting go memories. I've told her that it's like a wound. It leaves a scar which won't ever go away, even though details will be lost to memory.

    She is a five hour drive away; we spent the weekend with her (thanks to not having to sell Mexican food any more!)
     
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  5. Bran

    Bran Well-Known Member

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    That's a terrible loss, and a waste. I probably go against the grain by querying how treatable it really is (was).

    Mental non-perfect health sucks.

    I really feel for these people. I've suffered anxiety my entire recall-able life. I came across a diary only last week from when I was 10. In it, I had written about my anxiety and a sentence saying basically "I think when I am 35 this will be over, and I won't worry about things". But I vividly remember this concept of waiting til adulthood and it would be better. Sadly, I'm 35 and have I no longer have such hope.

    Even now, when I sometimes tell people (or tell those close that I'm having a bad hour/day/week/month), the first question is always "what are you anxious about". But it's not about anything, its just there. Like that rush you get when you slip on loose gravel, except more-or-less permanently.

    I've got insight about it and always have, but 99% of other people don't know about it. It doesn't effect me professionally, in fact, harnessing it helps success. It does effect my down-time and relationships though.

    Anyway. You are not alone, whoever else there is.
     
    Last edited: 25th Apr, 2016
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  6. larrylarry

    larrylarry Well-Known Member

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    It's sad indeed. A friend/colleague of mine committed suicide some 6 years ago. I remember driving home on Thursday night from work and I decided to phone her on the way...we chatted and she said she saw a psychologist and didn't really want to talk about it that night. I told her that we should catch up on Monday and chat about it. I received a phonecall on Monday morning and it was too late.

    Sometimes I wonder if I could have done anything different...
     
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  7. JenW

    JenW Well-Known Member

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    That is horribly sad, both for the young man and also your daughter.
     
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  8. pinkboy

    pinkboy Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I had (yet another) school mate (boarding school - so many of us a pretty tight knit) take his own life last year who lived in Mackay. A victim of a twisted scenario of 4 week on/1 week of FIFO worker and marital troubles. He left behind 2 incredibly gorgeous kids, his wife, family, and MASSIVE friend network. Devastating, because he hid his troubles so well.

    In 3 weeks, I'm registered to do a charity ride, based around a young guy, nicknamed 'K.G.', who also took his life last year. He was a young tradie guy, with a long future ahead, but couldn't get rid of the deep emotional stress he felt, coupled with the troubles of the economic times up here. A group of his mates decided they want to do a 450km cycle from Townsville to Mackay in his memory (3 days), so I've been roped in as a Sherpa to make sure these guys get here. My mate Ev and I are going 1 step further, and actually riding the 400km north from Mackay to Townsville on the Monday before, just to take the sting out of our legs, but also as our own little tribute as well.

    We are doing the ride in conjunction with www.livin.org.au - a website and organization aimed at young people with mental health issues. Our ride is here: Upcoming Events - LIVIN , having also just done a 'beach walk' a few weekends ago, where we did a walk, then had a bbq at the beach and kicked a footy, shot some hoops, and talked with other people who we had not met before, who were friends with K.G.

    Remember, #itaintweaktospeak and a simple #ruok could help someone. I say there is no shame in asking, as we are all human, with differing degrees of ability to control, adapt and revert stress.

    pinkboy
     
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  9. alexm

    alexm Well-Known Member

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    This is a very sad situation. I'm sorry to hear of this outcome and hope your daughter is coping well.

    Looking through the stats, many people will go through some form of depression in their lives. Unlike broken bones or ligaments, it's very difficult to treat as it can be hidden well.
     
  10. Northy85

    Northy85 Well-Known Member

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    I was in the army and suicide is a really big problem within the services, most of the boys I've spoken with including myself have had some sought of well thought out plan to end it. It's one of the biggest problems facing young men in Australia but gets so little traction within the community because of the stigma attached.

    All I can say is try and be more intune with the people you interact with and if they seem a little off, ask how they are doing. If you feel uncomfortable about someone and just think that they are totally depressed ask "are you thinking of killing yourself". Straight to the point. If the answer is anything other than no, explore the issue more. Find out if they have a plan and how far along they are. Then get them to call any one of the suicide prevention lines, and don't leave them alone until someone who is trained can step in a deal with the situation.

    Finally, if they do succeed with the suicide don't blame yourself. Similarly to perfoming CPR, you're not going to save everyone.
     
  11. Tim86

    Tim86 Well-Known Member

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    Mental health sucks. No one size fits all solution either.

    Interesting the common theme of seeing psychologists and then killing themselves. Must have been pretty bad sessions for their last ditch effort of getting help to drive them to give up completely.

    I wonder how much of it is on them for not opening up in the session and genuinely trying for help. Or the psych being rubbish at their job.

    Most psychs dont deal with suicidal clients right there in the moment. Thats what crisis services do. So it wouldnt surprise me if the psychs completely dropped the ball and didnt properly risk assess.

    I wonder how many of my clients have killed themselves after talking to me. Sobering thought. I know one lady at work has had two clients kill themselves while on the phone to her.

    Its a messed up world we live in unfortunately. We just have to try and carve out our own bit of sanity and enjoyment.
     
  12. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    I gather that there was bo cause and effect in seeing the psychologist. He may have been to see the psych months ago. He just felt that he didn't get enough value from a single session to continue. I would have thought that a condition like that might have taken many sessions to find causes and treatment.

    I have seen a more direct causal relationship however. A lady, a psychologist herself, who was seeing a psychiatrist for depression entered into a relationship with that man. She ended up committing suicide while in police custody as a direct consequence of him trying to terminate the relationship IIRC. Hee was prescribing drugs illegally for her and she had preciously complained about this- although he was previously a member of the board hearing the complaint.

    One of her children was going to school with my other daughter. The psychiatrist was never even censured for entering into an inappropriate relationship or for the illegal prescription; however he was later struck off for a subsequent sexual relationship with a patient.
     
    Last edited: 26th Apr, 2016
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  13. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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  14. vbplease

    vbplease Well-Known Member

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    Such a shame he couldn't confide in someone to help him work through his depression.

    A good friend of mine has depression. I'm not qualified to give any therapy, but I know just spending time together helps.. Jamming to music also helps a lot.

    Interesting how the label "dog" gets dragged into negative connotations.. We have two black dogs and they're the best antidepressant going around!!
     
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  15. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Oh wow :(
    I'm very sorry to hear about that GeoffW.
    I wish there was more awareness around these issues so that they could be better medically treated.
     
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  16. Ozzie in Texas

    Ozzie in Texas Well-Known Member

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    My husband's father and sister suffer from manic depressive episodes, so I am alert to ensuring that my kids are OK.

    I also suffered a mini breakdown years ago after a horribly abusive work environment. At the time, I was working long hours and dealing with horrible work conditions........and that coupled with having young children and sick parents who were in/out of hospital, was just too much.

    I remember feeling like a session with a psychologist was like picking open old wounds and would feel worse afterwards. I stopped attending my session and stopped taking antidepressants and slowly healed myself.

    However, I cannot compare my transit depression with someone like my in-laws. I knew and know I could get over mine. They can't. It is a constant part of their lives. There are times that are good and times that are horrible. I've seen my sister-in-law go through her worst and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
     
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  17. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    I cannot understand how anyone would think their life is so useless or helpless that they feel they need to end it......

    so sad, I hope I never become or anyone I know become like this
     
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  18. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think anyone who never experience it can fully understand what depression is like, which is the reason why it is hard to confide with anyone.
    An illustrative post how depression might look like
    Hyperbole and a Half: Adventures in Depression
    Hyperbole and a Half: Depression Part Two
     
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  19. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    The reality is that mentall illness affects about one in five people. The most common illnesses are anxiety and depression.
     
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  20. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    absolutely, ive listened to a few people talk about it

    and its not a choice, its not something you can shake off for the most part, you cant just take a tablet and fix it, althought tablets help manage it, its not a logical condition, and its not all in the mindset and its a chemical/physical thing
     
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