Depression Suicide: What to do if a loved one is Suicidal

Depression Suicide: What to do if a loved one is Suicidal

Depression, characterized by erratic mood swings, loss of interest in hobbies and activities is a very serious emotional disorder affecting about 9.5 per cent of the nation.

Needless to say, it is could be a lot more fatal if a depressed person is heading towards suicide.

Therefore, here are some signs to know if your loved one is considering suicide as a result of depression.

Depression Suicide: Warning Signs to be Aware of

1. Mentions of Suicide or Death

2. Wanting to tie up loose ends or give away personal belongings

3. Engaging in reckless behavior such as heavy alcohol and drug use

4. Withdrawing from family and friends

5. Erratic mood swings

6. Inappropriately saying goodbye.

7. Verbal behavior that is ambiguous or indirect: (for example: “I want to go to sleep and never wake up.”, “I’m so depressed, I just can’t go on.”, “Does God punish suicides?”

Though the signs and warnings may vary from person to person, it is important that you are able to recognize such warnings and take some steps to help your loved one.

Helping a loved one who is showing signs of Depression Suicide

If you believe someone is contemplating suicide do seek help immediately, however there are a several suicide prevention web sites and hotlines available to help those in need, but in case these are not within your reach, you can try the following:

1. Cultivate Physical Closeness: Simple hugs, kisses on the cheeks, loving pats and compliments go a long way in healing a broken heart or depressed mind. Remember, sometimes the little things DO count.

2. If the person is acutely suicidal, do not leave him or her alone.

3. Remember: suicidal behavior is a cry for help. Thus if someone contemplating suicide turns to you, it is likely that he believes that you are more caring and more informed about coping with depression, and more willing to help. This in itself is a positive, thus it will be time to empower yourself to be what a suicidal person views you to be; stronger and you are.

4. Other steps to take include reassuring them that help is available and that with appropriate treatment they can feel better. Try not to patronize them by simply telling them that “everything will be fine,” or that “they have everything to live for.

5. Try to search the house for dangerous items such as guns and knives that could be potentially harmful.

In addition to the factors above, if you are of a spiritual inclination, this will be a good time to pray according to the framework of your faith. Indeed, prayer when used effectively can work wonders to aid in curtailing depression suicide.

Moreover, in the hopes that your loved one begins to show signs of improvement from the warnings indicating depression suicide, it will be great to start to include such drug-free approaches for depression treatment such as exercise: namely Yoga, a proper diet for physical health which in turn heals the mind and positive thinking and affirmations.

Naturally we all would get concerned or frightened if a loved one seems on the brink of suicide resulting from depression, however as with all life’s problems, if we can catch it early and nip it in the bud, depression suicide can be prevented. If things may have gotten more advanced, then it may be time to seek professional help or as an alternative double up on our efforts to steer the loved one back to a positive outlook on life.

Recovery FAQ: What is a ‘core wound,’ anyway?

Recovery FAQ: What is a ‘core wound,’ anyway?

What is your core wound? Narcissistic Abuse Recovery FAQ

As you go through the narcissistic abuse recovery process, one of the biggest breakthroughs you can have is to discover, understand and overcome your core wound – the biggest issue that’s holding you back in your life and preventing you from getting what you really want.

In today’s vlog extra, I’ll tell you what a core wound is and offer several examples – plus, I’ll help you start to discover yours.

 

Why Narcissists Are Often Misdiagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

Why Narcissists Are Often Misdiagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

Today, in response to a question from one of my narcissistic abuse recovery coaching clients, I’m covering the differences – and similarities – between narcissistic personality disorder and bipolar disorder – and why psychologists and other medical professionals often confuse the two.

I’ve been writing and talking about narcissism, narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and narcissistic abuse recovery for years, and one of the questions that I hear over and over again is actually related to another major issue – bipolar disorder.

The question: What are the differences between bi-polar disorder and NPD?

For example, one client told me her ex-narc has been diagnosed by a psychologist as bi-polar, but that she doesn’t believe this to be the case – and no one will listen to her. While I haven’t experienced this exactly, I can certainly relate to her pain – how about you?

Why Are Narcissists Are Often Misdiagnosed by Psychotherapists?

Narcissists tend to be misread by many therapists, and generally in one of two ways – either the therapist doesn’t see an issue, or they are diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Why does this happen? Well, there are a few reasons, so let’s talk about that.

Psychology schools haven’t taught about NPD.

First, many schools didn’t teach psychologists a lot about narcissistic personality disorder, so a lot of therapists aren’t educated on NPD at all. Others just don’t even recognize it as a possible diagnosis. One of my clients told me that she mentioned gaslighting during a therapy session, and her therapist told her that he not only hadn’t heard of it but asked her how to SPELL it. No, I’m not kidding.

Bi-polar and NPD symptoms overlap.

Another reason this happens is that so many of the symptoms overlap between these two disorders.

So, to put it in clinical terms, let me share this with you from a 2008 study published by the US Department of Health and Human Services, entitled Commonalities and differences in characteristics of persons at risk for narcissism and mania, written by
Daniel Fulford,* Sheri L. Johnson, and Charles S. Carver.

“Clinicians have long noted overlap in some of the key features of narcissism and bipolar disorder, including excessively high goals and impulsivity. In addition, empirical findings consistently document high levels of comorbidity between the two conditions. To better understand the similarities and differences in psychological qualities associated with mania- and narcissism-related vulnerabilities, we administered to 233 undergraduates a broad range of measures pertaining to goals and affects (both their experience and their dysregulation) and impulsivity. As hypothesized, tendencies toward both narcissism and hypomania related to elevations on measures of affective and goal dysregulation. In addition, hypomania tendencies were related to higher impulsivity, but that association did not appear for narcissistic tendencies. Results highlight key commonalities and differences between those at risk for mania versus narcissism. Future research should examine these relationships in clinically diagnosed samples.”

Putting it in layman’s terms, both someone with NPD and someone with bipolar disorder will present with grandiose perceptions of themselves sometimes, and both will have unrealistic fantasies of power or success – plus, both may also feel a heightened sense of their own abilities or accomplishments.

This is most commonly misdiagnosed when a therapist believes that the person is experiencing mild hypomania – an elevated mood that hasn’t reached the full manic level yet – due to bipolar disorder. Of course, based on these symptoms alone, even a well-trained professional may misdiagnose their patient.

Psychologist on Bi-Polar and NPD Diagnosis Confusion

Now, as you know, I’m a certified life coach, NOT a psychologist – so I figured I’d bring some advice from a psychologist who IS qualified to offer it here.

According to psychiatrist Michael Peterson, who’s also an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health‘s school of psychiatry, one major distinguishing feature is the timing.

Peterson adds: “Personality disorders are pervasive patterns of relating to others and situations that are long-standing. In bipolar, manic or depressed periods typically last weeks to months, but are not always present.”

Of course, as I said, these symptoms can definitely overlap, and Peterson advises that other factors could play a part in the confusion.

He says: “Many of the core symptoms of bipolar can be confused with normal variability in mood, changes associated with personality disorders — including narcissistic or borderline personality disorder — or changes associated with alcohol or drug use.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms Vs NPD Symptoms

Let’s cover the basics here – bipolar disorder is mostly characterized by dramatic and overwhelming shifts in mood or energy – the bipolar person may hit the highest highs and the lowest lows, and these will alternate, often in a pattern. During the manic period, they’ll have lots of energy and be much more extroverted – while when the “down” side hits, they’ll find themselves exhausted, withdrawn, and generally in despair.

Another big marker for bipolar disorder: those who are most seriously affected sometimes can’t function in normal day-to-day life. They can’t keep jobs or relationships due to their disorder. Of course, when it comes to NPD, you’re dealing with someone who is self-absorbed to an unhealthy point, and who does not experience real empathy for the people around them.

So, in order to correctly diagnose or differentiate between the two disorders, psychologists must pay attention to the patterns in the lives of the disorder and be aware of the specific phases, if they believe the patient is bipolar.

Cluster B and Bi-Polar Can Be Co-Morbid Conditions

Sometimes the two CAN coexist: A recent study found that cluster B (which includes borderline, narcissistic, antisocial, and histrionic personality disorders) features were evident in about one-third of bipolar patients, with possible associations to childhood emotional and/or physical abuse.

NPD SYMPTOMS:

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, the official list of symptoms is as follows.

  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerating your achievements and talents
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
  • Requiring constant admiration
  • Having a sense of entitlement
  • Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
  • Taking advantage of others to get what you want
  • Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Being envious of others and believing others envy you
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

According to the DSM – 5, these are the basic symptoms for bipolar disorder – and please note this is a VERY high overview – bipolar disorder is far more complex than you’d expect.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

First, you cannot self-diagnose bipolar disorder – the DSM5 requires a medical diagnosis. “Mania symptoms include periods of elevated mood or irritability. When experiencing a manic episode, a patient often has high energy levels with reduced need for sleep. Less often, people may experience psychosis. Depression symptoms include feeling sad, low energy, low motivation, or loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities.”

  • Mood: mood swings, sadness, elevated mood, anger, anxiety, apathy, apprehension, euphoria, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, inability to feel pleasure, or loss of interest
  • Behavioral: irritability, risky behavior, disorganized behavior, aggression, agitation, crying, excess desire for sex, hyperactivity, impulsivity, or self-harm
  • Cognitive: unwanted thoughts, delusion, lack of concentration, racing thoughts, slowness in activity, or false belief of superiority
  • Psychological: depression, manic episode, agitated depression, or paranoia
  • Sleep: difficulty falling asleep or excess sleepiness
  • Whole body: fatigue or restlessness
  • Weight: weight gain or weight loss
  • Also common: rapid and frenzied speaking

Bipolar Disorder Has Periods of Remission, NPD Does Not

A final thought on this – while people with bipolar disorder might have episodes of “remission” in which the disorder doesn’t dictate their lives, people with NPD are pretty consistent about their behavior. Sure, there might be varying levels of intensity with the gaslighting and the manipulative behaviors with a narcissist, but it’s a character-type that doesn’t go away – and even when there is some success in treatment (rarely is the disorder even treated), it doesn’t usually go away. That fact, along with the fact that the narcissistic person can’t experience real empathy, are, in my opinion, the two most obvious differences between these disorders.

Now it’s your turn – what do you think? Do you know anyone who seems to be a narcissist but who was diagnosed as bipolar? How do you feel about it and what would you say to my suggestion that the easiest way to detect the difference lies in both the patterns and the empathy factor?

Get help with narcissistic abuse recovery right now.

 

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Pokemon Go: Drug-Free Way to Combat Narcissistic Abuse-Related PTSD?

Pokemon Go: Drug-Free Way to Combat Narcissistic Abuse-Related PTSD?

Can a game help to make your narcissistic abuse recovery less difficult? Maybe so, and I’m about to tell you all about it. 

July 6, 2016, something kind of unexpected happened to me – I accidentally found a connection with a whole bunch of other people across the world, who, luckily, included my kids.

In fact, I was far from alone – and within 24 hours of the game hitting the US app stores, the game had more active users than freaking Tinder!

Yeah, I’m talking about Pokemon Go, the app that has taken over your Facebook news feed and has already changed the lives of millions. But this one’s different than Candy Crush and all kinds of other games I never managed to get addicted to – it’s a whole other thing.

See, the way the game is played, it almost forces you to go out and move your butt a little, and to do so in places in the community around you.

You’re a Poke trainer and you are tasked with a few different things – including collecting/catching/hunting these little Pokemon creatures (monsters?) who you can then train and use to battle other players at the Pokemon gym.

But here is the reason I’m talking about this today – I believe that this app could literally change our society.

I’ve met neighbors I didn’t know before. I’ve run into all kinds of people that I couldn’t have or wouldn’t have ever run into – and I’ve got a whole new way to connect with my kids.

And what’s better is the latest news: apparently, people are reporting lots of benefits – in addition to the obvious benefits (moving your ass and getting into the community more often), there’s the whole mental health factor.

(Not to mention that local landmarks and businesses are seeing more traffic than ever – our St. Louis Zoo seeems to find itself busier than ever since that date).

And, while I’m brimming with ideas on how this app could change the whole world, I’m even more excited about the mental health part.

Okay, so what do the experts say about the effects of Pokemon Go on your mental health?

“In terms of the phenomena of people expressing the benefits of playing the game to their real-world mental health status, I think that’s very unique and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that,” Dr. John Grohol, the founder of Psych Central, told Engadget. 

“The research is really, really clear on this, that the more you exercise, the more it would help decrease feelings of depression,” he told the tech news site. “It actually works as an anti-depressant and it has a really, pretty strong effect. It’s probably one of the most beneficial things a person with depression can do, especially if they’re not accessing other types of treatments, such as psychotherapy or medication.”

Dr. Greg Wadley, a computer science lecturer from the University of Melbourne told ABC Australia that there are definite mental health benefits to playing the game.

“That way of taking a break and letting the mind think about something different is better than smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, which is what a lot of people do to de-stress,” he said.

And, he added, in addition to making people less isolated, an augmented reality game like Pokemon Go does force people to go outside and exercise.

Maybe even better, if you’re hanging out at a Poke-stop and there are 10 or 20 other people there all catching Pokemon, guess what? You’ve got something to talk about.

Of course, it’s a well-documented fact that physical exercise is one of the best ways to combat depression, and almost every other mental health issue. And in addition, the social aspect and the whole changing your scene deal are also standard practice when it comes to getting through the tough times.

Some users say that the game has actually become a better treatment than anything their doctors could prescribe and anything their therapists recommended.

So that’s what I’ve got for today – how about you – are you playing? What do you think about this phenomenon? What other unique ways have you found to get through the hard times? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section and let’s discuss it.

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