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Bipolar Sister Saw Suicide as the Only Solution

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Dear Annie: Recently, my 49-year-old sister committed suicide. She lived with my partner and me for the last 18 months. I find it harder each day to understand why this happened. I am upset, angry, troubled and confused.

My sister was bipolar and on medication. She had attempted suicide before, but tried to fight the self-destructive thoughts, admitting herself to the hospital when necessary. We assured her that she could live with us forever and that we loved having her with us. She was so good with our dogs, and they seemed to be a comfort to her.

We never had a clue what she was planning, and she had it all planned out two weeks ahead. She bought a gun, cleaned her room, did her wash and left a letter explaining that this was the only way to ease her pain. She waited until after midnight and went to a nearby nature preserve. She was found within two hours.

My sister often said that she hated her life and had no friends and thought when she died there would be few people at her funeral. But the funeral home was so crowded that there wasn't even standing room. Do people who commit suicide know how much pain they leave behind and how much we struggle to accept it? I will always wonder what I could have done differently. Please help. — Miss My Sister

Dear Sister: We can tell how anguished you are, and our hearts are breaking for you. Your sister was mentally ill and obviously in great pain. She could see no end to it and believed suicide was her only way out. You sound like a loving sister, and you created a warm and supportive home. Now you could use some support, too. Please try Survivors of Suicide at survivorsofsuicide.com.

Dear Annie: "Mike" and I are in our 60s and have been married seven years. We each have children from previous marriages, all of whom are grown and out of the house.

Recently, I noticed that Mike friended his ex-wife on Facebook.

They correspond occasionally and play an online game together. I always suspected that she still had a thing for him, even though she was the one who initiated the divorce.

Mike was divorced for eight years when we met, but I have always felt that his children resent me. Today, I saw a receipt for tickets to an out-of-state amusement park where he is planning to go with his daughter and grandchildren. I noticed a receipt for another person (a senior). It's not for me because I have to work. I believe this ticket is for his ex-wife. I asked if she would be there, and he said he "didn't think so." He claims he can't stand her.

I am considering divorce because the trust is gone. I get along with my ex, but would not jeopardize my marriage by going on an out-of-town trip with him. Am I jumping the gun? Is this just a family outing? — Not Worlds of Fun for Me

Dear Fun: You are jumping the gun. You don't know that the ex-wife is going or who invited her. And if she's there, it doesn't mean he is cheating. Get the details from your husband, and explain your concerns. If his responses aren't satisfactory, tell him your marriage is at risk and ask him to come with you for counseling.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Sherman Oaks, Calif.," who dropped her friend "Jill" because she wouldn't stop gossiping.

She should have told Jill, "I have told you I don't like the way you gossip about your friends and I don't want to hear it. Please change the subject." Repeat as needed. She might change her behavior if she is interrupted at the moment of offense every single time. — St. Maarten

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

77 Comments | Post Comment
LW1's letter is heartbreaking, and she has my sincere condolences. The Annies are right that her influence on her sister was all good. She provided a loving environment, and is in no way responsible for what happened.

There is though one thing that should be commented on: the statement that her sister was on a psychoactive drug, "but killed herself anyway." People need to learn that psychoactive drugs, particularly antidepressants, increase the odds of suicide. They should be treated with great caution. If a doctor prescribes one, please investigate other alternatives, including more natural treatments such as omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA, found in fish oil and krill oil), which provide similar relief without the sometimes devastating side effects. Some people develop a dependency on psychoactive pharmaceutical drugs and become trapped in a cycle with their suicidal thoughts. More natural alternatives are available and are worth investigating. Being aware of them can make the difference literally between life and death.



Comment: #1
Posted by: sarah morrow
Fri Sep 2, 2011 9:14 PM
That was my exact thought also, about the drugs.
Comment: #2
Posted by: N
Fri Sep 2, 2011 9:17 PM
LW1- This is why suicide threats should always be taken seriously, no matter how much of a bluff it may seem. You did take it seriously and did everything in your power to help her. It is unfortunate she still killed herself, but it is not your fault. Suicidal people are not in their right minds, so it is not so much they do not realize the pain they are inflicting on others, as they truly do not see any other way out. Please get some grief counseling to help cope.

The increased risk of suicide from the drugs are primarily found in the elderly and adolescents/children, and this is primarily only found in antidepressants. In these two age groups, antidepressants in particular are known to cause suicidal thoughts, as well as benzodiazepines. It is common for many drugs in general in adolescents/children and elderly to have paradoxical reactions to treatment. People outside of these age groups generally do not have these types of reactions. It is important to say generally in medicine, cause there is always an exception to the rule.

People on antidepressants, no matter the age group, are at risk for suicide because their mood elevates, and as their symptoms start to alleviate, suicidal people who previously did not have the energy or motivation to commit suicide now have it. It is particularly important to watch people during the initial beginning of treatment with antidepressants, and bipolar people (or any depressed person) while they appear to be lifting out of the depression, since this is when they are gaining the energy needed to go through with their plans. These people were suicidal before being put on medication, but the antidepressants give them the energy needed to go through with the plans as the depression begins to lift. This is why loved ones are recommended to watch the patient for the initial few weeks until the medicine has a chance to stabilize them, but it is important to watch a bipolar and depression patient anytime their mood fluxuates during treatment and they are on a climb up out of a depressed state (as I said before, this is when they are gaining their energy back) since this is when they have the highest risk of suicide.

However, the sister here was suffering from bipolar, not major depression. The other sister does not mention the name of the medication, so it is impossible to know if suicidal ideation was even a side effect of the drug. Not all drugs have this side effect, only certain classes, plus the sister was outside of the age groups common for this side effect. It is common for bipolar patients to be treated with an antipsychotic combined with lithium or an anticonvulsant if they have psychotic episodes, or an anticonvulsant combined with lithium. Some bipolars may be treated with antidepressants, but usually bipolars are given mood stabilizers instead since antidepressants can cause manic episodes in bipolars. Lithium is what is common to treat depression in bipolars. It is likely the medication she was taking did not even have a side effect of suicide since suicidal ideation is not a side effect of lithium or other mood stabilizers.

I agree it is important to treat vitamin deficiencies or any deficiency in people as it can cause depression, but it is important to realize this may not be the case in all people, as not all depression is caused by vitamin or other deficiencies. Some people require drugs to treat depression, and leaving the depression untreated is lethal. There is a genetic component to bipolar disorder, but the cause is still not completely understood.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Maria
Sat Sep 3, 2011 12:17 AM
LW2- I also think you might be jumping the gun. He might've friended her on facebook solely for the sake of the children and grandchildren, and he might correspond with her on there just to be polite, again, for their sake. There are a couple of people I am "friends" with on facebook who, in fact, I am not friends with, and this is all for the sake of being polite to other friends and family.

Even if the ex does go to the outing, this does not mean he is cheating cause she is their mother and grandmother. I could be wrong. He could be a cheater, but the evidence you have is not really proof enough. Just keep an eye on him. If he is cheating, he will show his true colors and you will have your sufficient evidence soon enough. Wear a condom if you don't trust him.

However whether he is cheating or not, the issue of your trust still remains and no marriage can survive without it. Perhaps it is time for some counseling if you want to remain married. If you don't get counseling to resolve the trust issues you have, the marriage will die even if he is faithful.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Maria
Sat Sep 3, 2011 12:25 AM
The only red flag on Mike is his evasive answer "Don't think so" when asked if the ex wife would be going to the amusement park. He could be up to something, or he could just want to avoid an argument with the wife.
Comment: #5
Posted by: sarah stravinska
Sat Sep 3, 2011 3:53 AM
Has everyone overlooked the fact that his wife found the receipt in THEIR stuff? That means THEY must have paid for that extra ticket...I think I would suddenly find a way to get off work that day and announce it after dinner the day before the trip! If he's buying another woman a ticket, that's a date.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Twee
Sat Sep 3, 2011 5:51 AM
LW1--What a heartbreaking story! The only thing I have to add is that suicide is a very permanent solution to what is likely a temporary problem. Moreover, suicide leaves a black hole of anguish and grief to the friends and family left behind that never goes away. LW1 is proof of that. Modern advances in psychiatric medicine means that there is very likely some drug or combination of drug therapies to help anyone suffering from any form of bipolar disorder, depression, or other such painful and devastating mental disorders. Before taking the ultimate step, please exhaust all other avenues and seek the help and support of loved ones.

LW2--Apparently, I'm the only person left whose not on FaceBook! And every time I read a letter like LW2, I'm happy that I'm not. The interesting thing about social media sites is that they allow people to peek into others lives and then draw all sorts of conclusions based on what they see. I agree that LW2 is letting her imagination get the better of her. So what if the LW's husband "friended" his ex-wife on FB and they occasionally correspond or play some silly game. They have children and grandchildren together. The LW should face the fact that the ex is going to be a part of her husband's life. When asked whether or not the ex-wife would be at amusement park, it seems as though the LW's husband answered perfectly honestly that he isn't sure. That could very well be true. Maybe he bought the extra ticket just in case she shows. As for not being able to "stand her", that too could be true. Interfacing with someone over a computer is a lot different than being in the same room. My advice to the LW is to stop driving herself crazy by speculating endlessly about what her husband and his ex-wife might be doing and simply ask her husband point blank what's going on. If he acts evasive or secretive, then perhaps there's something amiss and she is entitled to an explanation. Even if there is something there, counseling would be the better choice than divorce. My guess is that he's having a perfectly normal and ordinary love-hate interaction with his ex-wife that seems more intimate than it is only because they a common history, children and grandchildren together.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Chris
Sat Sep 3, 2011 5:52 AM
Then again I might wait til the very last moment possible and see how quickly he tries to sneak off to use the phone or computer. I might even hide his cell, unplug the computer's modem and stick to him like glue. If he becomes antsy then you know it was a sneaky plan between them all along...
Comment: #8
Posted by: Twee
Sat Sep 3, 2011 5:59 AM
Re: Chris...No, Chris ~ You are not alone. I'm not on Facebook either. I could care less about that crap. If a person - and this includes my middle son - can't communicate with me by either phone or 'regular' email, then I guess that's just too bad. dcd
Comment: #9
Posted by: Ms Davie
Sat Sep 3, 2011 6:10 AM
LW1-
My mother committed suicide also, so I know exactly how you feel.

"Do people who commit suicide know how much pain they leave behind and how much we struggle to accept it?
No. They are so trapped in their hellhole of black thoughts that they don't see the light anymore. It becomes a black hole that sucks everything, even the light, their depression is all they can see and everything else stops existing altogether. The fact that she though there would be nobody at her funeral shows how distorted her perceptions were.

"I will always wonder what I could have done differently."
Nothing. You did everything you could to help pull her out of that painful place, and it wasn't enought. Even she tried to help herself and it wasn't enough. The pit was too deep. It may be that the ebb tide of her bi-polar curve, this once, hit so low that she was left with no resources - the urge to self-destruct became stronger than the will to live.

It may also be that the medication she took pushed her over the edge. What Maria said. These medications can be life-savers, but they have been known to have the opposite effect, and finding the right combination can be extremely tricky. Some people, trying to ward off suicidal thoughts by taking them, end up having even stronger ones. Not everybody survives. Someone close to me refuses to take them because of that, and God knows he's in sore need of help.

My condolences for your loss. Try the resource the Annies gave, talk to a minister, enlist in grief counselling. You cannot control having feelings, but you certainly can control what you do about them. It is natural to feel guilty when a loved one suicides, and to wonder "what else you could have done". But the answer is nothing - this was her situation and her problem, not yours. Don't make it yours - understand that your sister died of an illness, just as if she had had cancer or a heart attack.

LW2-
"I have always felt that his children resent me", " I believe this ticket is for his ex-wife"... These are assumptions, not fact. Keep assuming them and they might become fact - that's called a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even if his ex is there, so what? He said he can't stand her, he may tolerate her presence (and the FaceBook friending) for the sake of his daughter and grandchildren, who want her there. What is he supposed to do, wage a war for all eternity with her, just to cater to your insecurity? She is the mother of his children, of course there will be SOME interaction.

If his children really do resent you, well, your best strategy is to be as pleasant company as possible so that they have nothing real against you, and possibly learn to appreciate you as a person. There is nothing you can do about their possible fantasies of their parents reuniting - often comes with the territory when you marry a divorced man with children.

LW3-
"She might change her behavior if she is interrupted at the moment of offense every single time."
And she might not. Not to mention that having to interrupt her and reprogram her every single time she starts misbehaving as if she were an errant child in need of re-education can get tedious, especially since the "child" is not particularly interested in changing. Might as well try blowing in a fiddle, and her friend is not her mother.

I once knew someone like that. She kept badmouthing absolutely everyone, including people I had never met. When she was with person #1, she would badmouth #2, 3, 4, 5 etc. When she was with person #2, she would badmouth #1, 3, 4, 5 etc. I got the proof when a friend of 45 years reported she had badmouthed me to HER. She was trying to latch unto her - she kept having to replace her friends, gee I wonder why. I had already started distancing myself, but I stopped frequenting her completely then. I warned my friend that the next one she would badmouth would be her, and she thanked me.

Comment: #10
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Sep 3, 2011 6:13 AM
@sarah Morrow

What's this alternate natural treatment you were mentioning? What is it called exactly, so I can Google it?

Comment: #11
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Sep 3, 2011 6:17 AM
Wow - LW2 is a barrel of laughs. "I am considering divorce because the trust is gone. I get along with my ex, but would not jeopardize my marriage by going on an out-of-town trip with him." So now she's willing to jeopardize her marriage because of suspicions that sound like a hill of beans. SO WHAT if the ex is on facebook or they sometimes play video games? That proves nothing, but "I notice" "I suspected" "I always felt" blah blah blah. My ex and I sometimes e-mail each other and we're both remarried. I wouldn't have him back on a silver platter, but we have a child and grandchild together and enjoy talking sometimes. SO WHAT? If she's that stirred up about a trip to an amusement park, then she should take the day off and go. If the ex is there, act pleasantly surprised. What does she think she's going to accomplish with all the jealousy and suspicion?
Chris and Ms. Davies, move over, there are at least three of us who have no interest in facebook.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Maggie Lawrence
Sat Sep 3, 2011 6:48 AM
Re: Maggie Lawrence

And I'm #4 - I'm on FaceBook because my daughter set up the account. She uses my FaceBook presence to add to her gameplaying on Farmville and Cityville or whatever. When someone I specifically know - like one of the posters here of a Delphi friend or my brothers or a cousin - posts on my wall, I bother to go take a look. That's it. When my daughter wants to contact me electronically, she e-mails me. Any posting on my wall by her is related to the game-playing and I don't even bother reading it.

Right on for post #12, methinks the woman is creating drama where there is none. SHE's the one jeopardising her marriage with her yurunda. Perhaps what his children resent so much is her suspicious attitude. After the dust settled (it took a couple of decades) with my late ex-husband, I would have loved to enjoy a friendship with him, and enjoy the things that had attracted me in the first place, but it wasn't possible because his SO was insecure and possessive. And yet, believe you me that I wouldn't have wanted him back if he had been the last man on Earth.

I don't have that problem with Mister Trinidad, and we do occasionally enjoy a get together, at the restaurant or at his place. His girlfriend of several years now, she knows all about it - sometimes she's there, sometimes not. She likes me and I like her. Not everything is about sex all the time!

Comment: #13
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Sep 3, 2011 7:08 AM
You are NOT the only one not on FaCEPlace or Places for Faces or whatever. I have an account, cuz I was bulled (not bullied) into it but have NO idea how to work it.

I am a joyous admitter of being a computer idiot, so it's probably that. I like Email. I stick to email.
Comment: #14
Posted by: Samantha Kimmel
Sat Sep 3, 2011 7:45 AM
My son gets hundreds of emails every day. When I send one, I'm never sure if he'll miss it in the mass of email lists he participates in or runs. When I send a private message on Facebook, I know he'll see it, even with 500+ friends. I don't have to constantly check my page, either, to see the answer. I have my notifications set to email me when someone sends a private message to me.

My cousin has his ex on FB, too. They have 4 kids and 9 grandkids together, it's only natural. As far as I know they don't get together in person, though, unless they are invited to the same event by one of the kids.

Comment: #15
Posted by: nonegiven
Sat Sep 3, 2011 7:48 AM
LW2: I am getting SO TIRED of hearing all about the evils of Facebook. Like anything else, FB is what you make it. I have successfully used FB to organize an international charity program, helped victims of domestic violence in real time (using IM through FB), and also been involved in raising awareness for many good causes from an abused dog that was shot to raising money for wells in Africa. People who like to trash FB and Twitter are not recognizing that social media is a HUGE phenomena and is fast overtaking television as a form of building public awareness and a strong customer base.

That being said: here's my take on LW2.

Sister, you have bigger problems than your hubby's FB friendship with his ex. Let's start with your extreme insecurity. You are ready to leave a marriage over perceived problems? May one suggest that you find out exactly what is going on before you jump the gun? May one suggest that you take stock of your entire marriage to see if there is a reason you are so afraid he would cheat? May one suggest that you let your husband have a relationship with his kids and their mother without you being paranoid that he's going to do her at each family outing? Honestly, what do you think is going to happen if she DOES show up at this amusement park? He's going to follow her into the ladie's room?

I understand the trust issue, but have you considered that maybe your own insecurity and nagging has forced him to hide things from you for his children's sake? Maybe if you lighten up a bit, he won't feel the need to hide things from you. Try talking to him in a calm manner about this: don't accuse him, just ask if there is anything you can do to help build a better relationship with his children. Start there. You are being paranoid, most likely have been since you married your husband which is why you have a strained relationship with his children. Your husband is trying to have a better relationship with his children and that means being friends with their mom. Get over yourself and try to build a relationship with them as well.
Comment: #16
Posted by: nanchan
Sat Sep 3, 2011 8:10 AM
Lise: First, my deep sympathies for losing your mother this way. I guess I never can know how you or anyone in your situation would feel.

I guess when it comes to suicide, hindsight is always 20/20. Even with all the counseling in the world, you always wonder what you could have done differently and what word or phrase could have been said that would have changed things.

I just have to wonder why the "pit" was so deep for your mother, that pretty soon even the "good" days became fewer and far between before going away completely? I can't imagine that, and I never will sorry to say.

I work at a newspaper, and compile the sheriff's and police reports. Many times, I have read reports on domestic disputes where one party is bi-polar or has some similar disorder, is on medication and refuses to take it for whatever reason. Perhaps it's because of the side effects, the bad taste or bulkiness in their mouth, the perception that they're being turned into a robot, or ... it worsens their situation. I'm not bipolar, but I did take medicine once to treat anxiety ... I didn't like the side effects so I quit it.

I guess if I could say anything, speaking from that (minor, thankfully) experience, if the medication you're taking for any condition you have you don't like the side effects ... then either don't take it or go to your doctor, flap your gums and get it changed. It doesn't have to lead to suicide. Yes, there were minor thoughts of suicide with my medication, but I am glad I was able to tell where things would have been headed had I continued taking this medicine. Please, I beg of everyone, if you have even minor thoughts of suicide, quit taking the drug and talk to the doctor.

I hate to bring up the religion question, knowing how insensitive and cruel it's seem to become to some, but would talking to a pastor and/or joining a friend to read the Bible help one get out of depression, even if only somewhat? (I know the reaction's going to be, "Hey, I tried God and He didn't help me get out of my hellhole. Buzz off, you Bible thumper!")
Comment: #17
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sat Sep 3, 2011 8:37 AM
I guess continuing my thoughts of LW1: Could any of her friends invited her to parties, getting her a dog, being available when she wants to talk ... any of those have helped? Ignoring someone who is on that much of a brink -- even if unintended, and I think it was -- might have exasperated her depression.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Bobaloo
Sat Sep 3, 2011 8:40 AM
When cancer patients are being treated with chemotherapy, there is the concern for some patients that they can die from the treatment before it eradicates the cancer. So too, the medication for mental illness may increase suicidal thoughts for some patients. This doesn't mean that cancer patient and patients with mental illnesses should not seek medical treatment. Medication for mental illness is frequently a lifesaver just as chemotherapy is. I have lost a family member to suicide and understand the loss that LW1 is feeling. Mental illness can block out the person's ability to feel love, to feel worthy of love, and can make the person feel that their loved ones would be better off and happier without them. It's an illness, LW1's sister would not have had any idea of the emotional toll her death would cause to others. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., but due to stigma and ignorance, mental illnesses do not get the same funding for research as cancer, AIDS, heart disease, and more "acceptable illnesses". In addition to survivorsofsuicide.com, LW1 can go the www.afsp.org (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) and look into the Survivor Outreach program and also look for a support group meetings in her area for survivors of a loved one's suicide.
Comment: #19
Posted by: WS
Sat Sep 3, 2011 8:48 AM
Bobaloo:

I think reading the Bible would only be helpful for those who have faith in it already, if a person doesn't, then just reading it is not likely to do any good.

I don't know why some think the Bible promises miracles to all of us when we're sick, it doesn't. Even the miracles in the Bible were few and far between. God healed some people, others weren't healed, depended on what would suit God's purpose better at the time.

It does promise that God will wipe out all this mess we have right now and make things like they should be, that's what Armageddon is, but for now the Bible can help us cope with our troubles.

Comment: #20
Posted by: jar8818
Sat Sep 3, 2011 9:43 AM
@Chris, Ms. Davies and Maggie Lawrence
Count me in for the I'm not on FB club. I have zero interest in joining. That said, one of my best friends who I have known since I was 14 half jokingly told someone the other night that since I wasn't on FB, she's had a few people (mostly ex BFs) contact her to get in touch with me so I don't need a FB account. She just gives me the messages. I've looked at her FB account (when I have visited her house) and when I see idiotic comments (one woman said her heal[sic] got caught and I thought who really cares you idiot) it makes me that much happier that I am not on it.
Comment: #21
Posted by: Kitty O'Shea
Sat Sep 3, 2011 9:48 AM
nanchan, may one suggest that no one has said facebook is "evil" - just that there are still people left who don't need the daily ego massage of thinking that they actually have 500 "friends"? I wouldn't stop anyone from being on it who wants to be because frankly, I don't care. I have actual friends. But I do feel that the fb climate has in many ways perverted the notion of friendship.
Your testamony about all the good things you have done on facebook is great - but do you also realize that the ease with which people can "vote" or sign a political statement actually decreases involvement? So thousands - maybe tens of thousands - will sign on as agreeing with whatever outraged statement is going around, and then what? Nothing. And those who have checked the box go away thinking they've done something.
I've received several facebook "invites" in the last few years, all of which I ignore. The interesting thing is that the people who sent them to me never sent me whatever important announcements they supposedly wanted me to hear. Since I wasn't part of the "pretend celebrity circle", I wasn't worth notifying. It's that mindset that I find most irritating about fb. And for those who say they can't get hold of someone any other way, hey, here's this great invention called the telephone.
Comment: #22
Posted by: Maggie Lawrence
Sat Sep 3, 2011 10:14 AM
Those of you not on Facebook, OK, you don't like it or don't get it. That doesn't make it a bad thing. I have over 250 "friends" but not all are true friends that I would hang out with on a regular basis. I work with a lot of teenagers and I use Facebook as a way to keep up with their lives after they have moved on to college and beyond. It is what you make of it. It is great hearing about their accomplishments and to see how they have grown. I have never been bullied or seen anyone bullied. The most negative messages I have read have to do with someone's bad day, etc. Even if a curse word is used, most use *** and don't actually type the word. If you have a private account, only those you want to interact with can see you so you are not exposed to the entire world. I have had a few random strangers want to friend me but, unless I know them or we have many friends in common, I just ignore the requests. I do find the "yummy PBJ for lunch" messages a little tedious but it certainly doesn't ruin your day. You can even hide friends who post annoying things such as politics or religious views, which I have also done. You don't have to de-friend them or be rude to anyone.

Facebook isn't for everyone but I do enjoy going on once per day to see what everyone is up to.
Comment: #23
Posted by: Julie
Sat Sep 3, 2011 10:23 AM
LW1- I'm sorry to hear about your loss. You wonder what you could have done differently. There's nothing you could have done differently. You opened up your home to your sister and let her know how much you liked having her around you. You and your partner let her know that she was welcome to stay with you as long as she wanted. You were a great sibling who gave your sister a lot of support. You were also a great friend to her.
Comment: #24
Posted by: Michael
Sat Sep 3, 2011 10:32 AM
Maggie: you sound like a real B!TCH.

First of all, I don't think everybody on FB needs a "daily massage"... I think most of us look at it as an enhancement to our lives, not as some kind of thing we need for ego reinforcement.

You just reinforced my original point, though which is, use it for GOOD. If you can't, then you need to look within yourself to understand WHY. You sound like an old frustrated biddy to me :) Have a great weekend!

Comment: #25
Posted by: nanchan
Sat Sep 3, 2011 10:39 AM
@Maggie Lawrence RE: Post #22

Bravo and applause! Very well said! I couldn't agree with you more. Many people I know are affronted that I'm not on FaceBook, since I am an IT enthusiast and former IT professional and all around uber geek. As a result, I'm often excluded from various things or omitted from the loop regarding important information. Regardless, I couldn't care less. I'm with you; use the phone once in awhile people. It's ironic that people message each other on FB all day long, to the exclusion of other forms of communication, when most people have a cell phone glued to their hand around the clock, regardless of where they're at or what they're supposed to be paying attention to. But that's a topic for another day.
Comment: #26
Posted by: Chris
Sat Sep 3, 2011 10:50 AM
@nanchan

Hey, there is no reason for name calling! I think you owe Maggie an apology pronto! She merely expressed her viewpoint, which she's entitled to do same as you. Just because you happen to disagree with her, or her delivery, doesn't mean you have license to start hurling insults. I thought you were better than that.
Comment: #27
Posted by: Chris
Sat Sep 3, 2011 10:53 AM
Re: Bobaloo
Re your reaction to anxiety medication. DITTO. I was sent from from Rochester MAYO CLINIC with 'the standard' for my fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue--you know the stuff out there. They first day I slept 16 hours. The druggist said to cut in half. Then the 3rd person appearances started happening--I was watching myself do things from a distance. And my main thought was if I got to the roof, I could fly like a butterfly. Hubby called the pharmacist (NOT THE DOCTORS) and he said NO MORE. In my medical records of severe reactions to the antidepressant amitriptyline which is also a 'mild' sleeping medication. And many people, esp the elderly are given this to 'relax' at night. My mother is one who was scripted it for sleep. MY HEAVENS, a rock in a sock would be much better!

So yes, drug reactions of the degree I had were NOT supposed to happen. BUT it did. And the lethergy stayed quite a while. And people get this stuff every day. Get in cars and drive. Run our trains. Teach our children. And the TV ads with SIDE AFFECTS listed so fast BUT PLEASE ASK YOUR DOCTOR FOR OUR DRUG.

But for people in depression or severe pain or what ever reason don't always ASK what is the 1% side affect that could happen? You need to know that to know you are not nuts when something happens. As a diabetic, if I get any kind of steroid (prednisone, etc) for regular medical issues--it blows up my blood glucose readings to 50% or more and that must be addresses as well. Many elderly are given small amounts of steroids for their arthritis and then BECOME diabetics at that late stage of the game. My neighbor just got a kidney transplant AUG 15, got home for good last night--anyway he said he was a PRE-DIABETIC now cause of the rejection medications (steroids) that were given. Because of his perfect match from his sister, those meds were whittled down to minimum BUT now he has to test his BG daily.

Your medical doctor is not the one to ask about the medications AS their amount of pharmacology is medical school is about 2 months (dr told me so) and the pharmacist MUST have every update EVERY DAY in his/her knowledge. Doctors listen to REPS who stop by, trying to get them to use their latest 'discovery' on the market. So ASK YOUR PHARMACIST.
Comment: #28
Posted by: Joyce/MN
Sat Sep 3, 2011 10:57 AM
Re: Maggie Lawrence

Exactly. Just like people who send emails instead of hand-written letters only do it to make themselves seem more important, as if their time is too precious for a hand-written note. Anyone who sends an email instead of writing a letter obviously doesn't value the friendship at all. Email allows them to keep in more immediate contact with their so-called "friends", expanding their communication base and allowing more people in their circle. It's ridiculous.

As for the phone, are you kidding me???? What, you're too important with all your other "friends" that you can't take time out of your day to get off your lazy butt, drive over to my house, and have a face to face conversation with me? You think you can just pick up a phone and leave me a voicemail asking how I'm doing, and that makes us friends? You just have my number to build up your contact list and massage your ego that you supposedly know 200+ people that want a phone call from you.

I refuse to use email or phones, it's ridiculous technology eroding our ability to interact with other human beings. Everybody who uses them clearly needs a daily ego massage.
Comment: #29
Posted by: SopSop
Sat Sep 3, 2011 11:02 AM
Re: Maggie Lawrence
I am NOT friends with my kids on FB. We talk several times a day. I started FB when my graduating class of 73 put up a site and that has blossomed to 'ANYONE WHO GREW UP IN (--------------------) my home town. And so connecting with many people of many decades of youth. BUT I never have to go to FB to read what they posted, it comes to my email, Including all the wonderful photos of our home town--when you think from 1950s to about up to 25 years ago--people from all over the world you remember, including teachers, friends, businesses, etc. This was a small town 'where everyone knew your name', etc.

I would NOT be on FB if it were not for this. Since this started me--I check out family friends' kids who currently went off to college. Too busy for them to write to everyone but a peek a week knows they are alive and well. (1 one said she told her daughter to COMMUNICATE through FB as she is too busy in college to keep up with family. She is excited about being in post secondary school.) Anything on the 'wall' not pertainging to exact messages, I have blocked. I don't have family on it as we talk and email. And for my own information, only those on the hometown site have access to it. I am a security buff, so very careful. Even my cell phone # does not go beyond my immediate family--MY MOM DOES NOT HAVE IT.

SO MAGGIE, you made a good point.
Comment: #30
Posted by: Joyce/MN
Sat Sep 3, 2011 11:08 AM
Re: WS
When cancer patients are being treated with chemotherapy, there is the concern for some patients that they can die from the treatment before it eradicates the cancer
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
How true. My M-I-L's cancer would never have killed her. She was in her 80s. The medication created a diabetic condition, congestive heart failure and kidney issues. All which she never had before. Dementia was also a side issue of the medication. WHo knows if that would have appeared before BUT in removing the cancer treatment she was getting (her choice in sound mind to start it) her other issue did not get much better, it was in her system, shutting down the body/organs. And so the cancer was not on the death certificate. The CHF and kidney failure was.
Comment: #31
Posted by: Joyce/MN
Sat Sep 3, 2011 11:13 AM
Re: SopSop
YES I love the face to face interaction, but sometimes distance of travel is there and day to day look in the eyes can't be done. THAT BEING SAID, I do make a point to do this with family who live in the same town, friends in the neighborhood, even if it is just a stop by their garden, front steps, pop in with some tomatoes or a handful of fresh flowers.
Comment: #32
Posted by: Joyce/MN
Sat Sep 3, 2011 11:16 AM
WOW, try to make an apology and I guess the WEBMASTER doesn't like another opinion!

It was out of line for me to call maggie a name. But... SHE was out of line being snarky to me. My post was entirely respectful, she attacked me.

So Maggie, I am sorry. WEBMASTER can this one be posted? Thank you.
Comment: #33
Posted by: nanchan
Sat Sep 3, 2011 11:21 AM
@Nanchan - I was planning to stay out of the fb debate. I have an account, I like the interaction but I don't log on every day. I hate to see all those posts about fb game scores and such. To each his own. You often seem pretty reasonable in your responses and even if I don't agree, I have liked reading your posts. But there was no need to restort to name calling. Maggie Lawrence has posted here for a long time and her opinions are just as valid as your opinions are. Your last post was really offensive and uncalled for.
Comment: #34
Posted by: sharnee
Sat Sep 3, 2011 11:25 AM
Sharnee? It's offensive to offer up an apology? WOW, I am so behind the times! Have a great weekend!
Comment: #35
Posted by: nanchan
Sat Sep 3, 2011 11:34 AM
Re: Joyce/MN

Sorry, Joyce, I was being sarcastic. :) My point was, FB and the like is just new technology to communicate with others and interact. Before facebook, people were getting their knickers in a twist over the proliferation of cell phones and texting eroding or social structure, before cell phones, it was email, before email, it was answering machines, etc, etc, all the way back to people bemoaning the very existence of a basic telephone and how it was destroying our ability to interact with others. When the fact of the matter is, all of these technologies have broadened our social structure, allowing us to interact with and be in contact with people we never could have before. When I was young, if someone moved out of town, you wrote letters for awhile and eventually that dropped off and you never heard or saw from the person again. Now, my son keeps in touch with people all over the country with facebook and Skype, and doesn't have to lose friendships that are important to him just because of geography.

I really get tired of those with their nose in the air over new social technologies. You don't want to use it, fine. Frankly, we don't need you there (the general you, not you=Joyce). But don't act as if you are some superior high ground because you don't take advantage of the latest technology that allows us to socialize and interact with others. Do *some* people abuse it and use it as a daily ego massage? Sure. But that doesn't have to be your experience, and you don't have to interact with those people.

I don't have anyone on my fb that I haven't met in person. That's the way I choose to use it, and it has put me in touch with long-lost friends and relatives that I wouldn't have a hope of being in touch with otherwise. Do some of them post stupid stuff? Sure. But there's this nifty little thing where *I* have control over what I see of other people's posts and what I don't. Imagine that. Personal responsibility. I just wish people would stop waving the "I Would Never Use Facebook" flag as if it puts them on the side of the right and the mighty. It just means that their world is a little smaller than mine. Good for them if that's they way they want it. Doesn't make them better than me.
Comment: #36
Posted by: SopSop
Sat Sep 3, 2011 11:48 AM
@SopSop

"I really get tired of those with their nose in the air over new social technologies. You don't want to use it, fine. Frankly, we don't need you there."

Really? Who has his/her nose in the air again? I should have clarified that I'm not on FB or other social media sites, not because I believe I'm superior to those who are (what a stupid notion by the way) but rather, as an IT professional I recognize the inherent insecurity of these sites.

You might be interested to know that a recent study by Consumer Reports showed that millions of people who use social networks, like FaceBook expose sensitive personal information and put themselves and their families at risk. The study showed that about 9% of social network users were abused in some form or another by malware infections, scams, identity theft, or harassment. Most social network users are naive about privacy and its implications to identity theft. About 40% of the users had posted their full name and date of birth. Further, 26% of FaceBook users with kids posted their children's names, dates of births and photos. Many users reported posting updates when they were leaving home, on vacation, or their work schedules, leaving their homes vulnerable to burglars. When creating a profile page on a social network, many people fail to consider the possible security risks, especially with regards to social engineers who will use your personal information to gain access to your life or work! The more personal and professional information you include on your public profile, the easier it is for a hacker to exploit that information. Many people erroneously believe these networks are secure because FB says so, right? Wrong! The supposed security advantage of most online social networks is that only your "friends" or members of your network can see your complete profile. That's only effective if you're extremely selective about whom you include in your network. People who have 250+ "friends" are not being selective enough. Here's a riddle: What do the CIA, Lady Gaga, Fox News and Hugh Grant all have in common? They were all recent victims of having their social media page hacked! As an IT person who also specializes in computer security, I will tell you that it's extraordinarily easy to hack social media sites and gain access to myriad personal or professional information; it's even fairly easy to use social media sites as a vector to gaining full access to a users' personal computer itself (and all its files.) Think twice about what you post to your FB page and who your "friends" really are.
Comment: #37
Posted by: Chris
Sat Sep 3, 2011 12:11 PM
Re: Chris

"Really? Who has his/her nose in the air again? " Uh. You. "use the phone once in awhile people." has nothing to do with internet security.

You are aware, are you not, that it is possible to use social media sites without posting your date of birth, social security number, mother's maiden name, credit card numbers and size of your jock strap? It is extraordinarily easy to use these sites in a safe way. Just because some people post too much personal information on there doesn't mean you have to. Just saying.

Again, not trying to talk you into using facebook, don't care if you do or don't. But please, dial down the hysteria.
Comment: #38
Posted by: SopSop
Sat Sep 3, 2011 12:43 PM
LW1 - I'm so sorry about your loss. I lost my best childhood friend to suicide 15 years ago. He never left a note. They found no serotonin in his blood after he died from what I've heard, so he biochemically "snapped." Nobody ever figured out what happened or why, though folks have their guesses, and since he was an adult nobody could force him to do anything.

Knowing that he had a biochemical illness/imbalance has helped me be able to reconcile some of the pain. It doesn't erase the loss though.

Sarah Morrow and WS are right about medications. Sometimes they are a miracle, sometimes they're a disaster, depending on the person. Anti-depressants screwed me up royally but they've helped so many people I know. Cancer treatments extended my grandmother's life until she was 90, but they cut short my friend's daughter's life at just 25.

It goes to show that life is so short and we don't know when it will be our time... we also cannot determine it for someone else if they decide it's their time and don't want anyone else to do anything about it. Bipolar is a very hard illness to treat - I have a few friends with it and the struggle against suicidal ideation and self-destructive/self-defeating thoughts can be exhausting some days.

LW1, be sure to take gentle care of yourself and get the support you need. I can only imagine how tremendous your grief must be.

LW2 - It sounds to me like there isn't enough direct (not confrontational, but direct) communication going on here. Ask him outright who the extra ticket is for. If he refuses to say, ask him why and let him know this is undermining your trust in him. I think there's too much open-ended here in your letter to be able to draw conclusions either way.

I will for once agree with the Annies that counseling is in order, especially if there's a communication breakdown and/or violated boundaries.

Re: Facebook - I have an account... I call it my superficial happy place :-) Sometimes I vent about things that frustrate me, but usually I'll use other means for venting about anything deeper with close friends, and it's nice to see how other people are doing at a glance who I haven't seen in years (and often can't because they're out of state). With all I'm juggling lately (school, work, family, crisis of the week from any or all of the above), sometimes it's the only place I'm able to keep up, especially as a lot of my friends don't really use email anymore.

I say hey, whatever works for everyone per what they prefer. Anyone who doesn't use FB won't get any judgment from me :-) It's what you want to make of it, and if that happens to be nothing that's not reflective on you as a person.

LW3 - It really depends on the person. Some people get REAL riled up when told it's wrong to gossip, no matter how much you sugar-coat it or tie it up in pretty ribbons. Such folks honestly think nobody has the right to say no to them... case in point, look at the BTL comments regarding narcissists the other day.

IMHO sometimes the three strikes rule is a good guideline. After warning someone three times that their behavior's offensive, if they refuse to modify the problem or have to flay your face over setting a boundary of all things, limit your time with them.
Comment: #39
Posted by: PS
Sat Sep 3, 2011 1:00 PM
Re: nanchan...I, for one, am not "trashing" Facebook. I just don't have any interest in it. It's as simple as that.
Comment: #40
Posted by: Ms Davie
Sat Sep 3, 2011 1:20 PM
Re: Maggie Lawrence...Regarding "signing something on Facebook" ~ Pleez know that NO petition that comes via the Internet...whether it's Facebook or 'regular' email...is legal and binding!!! In order for a petition signature to be legal, it must be signed and proof that you are who you say you are MUST BE PRESENTED at the signing by a proper ID and you can't do that when the petition is on the Internet. Btw, my name is DAVIE ~ no "S" on the end. I put the "Ms" in front to let folks know that I'm female.
Comment: #41
Posted by: Ms Davie
Sat Sep 3, 2011 1:33 PM
@SopSop

Hysteria? Really? Come on hon. Get a hold of yourself. My post regarding social media security was informational only, nothing more. You're just getting pissy because you're justifying your own FB use, which by the way, I don't give a rat's ass about. Maybe you don't post personal information on your FB page and good for you. My point is, a lot of other people do! Moreover, posting personal information is not the only way to foil security my dear. People can (and do) plant malicious code in games, links, messages, and pictures which surreptitiously download files to your computer that opens a back door through which the attacker can pretty much have free reign over YOUR files. And by the way, my comment about using the phone did not condemn nor condone FB use; it was a neutral comment, nothing more. Seems like it's you who are getting hysterical. Why don't you come down off your high horse before you give yourself a nose bleed.
Comment: #42
Posted by: Chris
Sat Sep 3, 2011 1:59 PM
Re: FB / SopSop / Chris et al
RIGHT ON SopSop. That was exactly what I was just about to type.

1) Answering machines. "I will never get one or leave a message on one. It's demeaning to talk to a machine". Heard this many times by later adopters.
2) Cell phones. Many friends were adamant that they would NEVER be "tied to a phone 24 hours a day". They all have them now. All.
3) Texting. Same as FB currently; people see kids texting all day and don't get that sometimes it's necessary to send or receive a quick message that is clearer when it's SEEN instead of HEARD. (I actually was late joining in on this one myself).
4) Computers. I remember many people in the late 90s who were very proud that they were computer free. ANN LANDERS was one!

Ms Landers* often talked about the evils (yes, evils) of the internet in the 90s. She printed many letters from spouses of people who were cheating with friends from chat rooms. (Early on, it was all about chat rooms)
*reference: search for "Ann Landers internet bad" and you'll find a few columns. (I don't seem to be able to enter actual links here, my posts don't show up til I delete them).
You know all those people who send mass emails about stupid quotes, funny pictures, or large emails with a hundred vacation photos attached? They're (almost) GONE! Thanks to FB! They now just post on FB. But you'll still get an email if you're not on FB. So, ignore those posts (or "hide" those people), and just read the posts from people you like.

You can't get spam on FB. It's the new way I email. Emails also can't disappear - they are there forever and organized by each person you've emailed. Family photos can never be lost or destroyed. They are there forever (I realize that the Facebook headquarters could burn down or whatever, I assume they have backups all over the world).
OK I realize I'm sort of a radical technologist, sorry about the tone! Been this way since I studied computer science at college in the 80s.
Comment: #43
Posted by: Steve C
Sat Sep 3, 2011 2:16 PM
nanchan, I appreciate the apology but really, how was I snarky to you? I ATTACKED you? Can you tell me how I did that please? My reference to an ego massage and 500 "friends" was general - in fact is aimed at the people who use it to make random personal announcements to myriad people they barely know but call "friends." Is that you? I didn't think so. I also think you jumped the gun. Sharnee obviously posted before she saw yours.
Ms Davie, I am totally aware that petitions signed on facebook are not binding in any way. That's my point. People can sign and forward and then think they've struck a blow for justice (or whatever.) Instead of actually doing anything that may have a real effect.
Thanks Chris. Your information was very enlightening.
Comment: #44
Posted by: Maggie Lawrence
Sat Sep 3, 2011 2:18 PM
Re: Maggie Lawrence...Dear Maggie ~ Talking about petitions, I've wondered for a l-o-n-g time just how many people think that Internet petions are 'legit'. That's sad, isn't it?
Comment: #45
Posted by: Ms Davie
Sat Sep 3, 2011 2:31 PM
LW1: I give this grieving sister my deepest sympathy for her loss. I could see that she loved her sister so much and wanted to help her. When I read Annie's response, she said "your sister was mentally ill...", I felt that was insensitive thing to say. If I had a relative who commit suicide, I wouldn't want to hear someone say, "yeah, she or he was mentally ill."
Comment: #46
Posted by: Rebecca Sturm
Sat Sep 3, 2011 2:35 PM
Re: Bobaloo
My mother was made suicidal because she was severely sexually abused for years on end - her own mother pimped her out (she was a striking beauty, a Vivien Leigh look-alike). I guess I learned from a close-up view what severe, chronic sexual abuse does to humans - it strips them of all self-esteem until they feel like a garbage can and that they don't deserve the air they're breathing. I have come to believe the only worse thing that can happen to a child is to grow up in war conditions and witness horrors every day.

She met my father in a club she was working and where he was the hired entertainment (my father was a musician). As far as I remember, he treated her well, but to someone as damaged and emotionally injured as my mother... she would have felt like an impostor stealing someone else's happiness and it woulld make her even more depressed.

My father was a pragmatic man whose thinking about mental illness is that one "should get over it". He was extremely intelligent, but his only area of expertise was music. He knew zero about psychology and, at any rate, the prevalent views of that time were very Freudian - whatever happens to a woman is always her fault (whatever happen at all is always a woman's fault). There were no self-help books, shelters for abused women and rape crisis centres back then. And she was even further alienated because my father was a TV star, she couldn't talk to anybody, it would have ended up in the tabloids. The choices of medication were Valium and electro-shocks. Rape trials were really the woman's trial. Divorce was shameful and always the woman's fault. Things have fortunately changed, but back then... the poor woman didn't have a lot of options.

All this made her very insecure and rather needy. My father eventually grew tired of the drama, for which he was not equipped to deal, and fell in love with another woman. The fact that he was leaving her pushed her over the edge, but it was not the first time she was trying to kill herself - she already suicidal tendencies when she and my father met. Only this time, she tried to take her children with her. She succeeded with my younger brother, but not with me. I did die, but I was sent back.

It took me several years to understand all the aspects of this story. For years, I asked myself also, if there was something I could have said or done. But I do know now that the pit was way too deep for her to climb out of by then - perhaps today there would have been hope. At least there is effective therapy nowadays, not the kind that tells the woman that if she is being abused, it's really because she's "subconsciously seeking it". Yrrrch.

Comment: #47
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Sep 3, 2011 2:52 PM
Re: Chris

Oh, little Chris. Calm down, please. No-one is justifying anything. I said I was sick of people getting high and mighty about fb and you instantly got defensive. Then you posted this scare-tactic bs about how unsafe fb is (implying, I guess that you're just too worldly and savvy to use fb). Then when I called you out on it, you throw a tantrum. Calm down, please.

There was a time when people had figured out how to use your landline to run scams. They also did it with email, then texting. No-one gave up their phones and emails and texts in the name of security.

It was just an acorn, Chicken Little. The sky is NOT falling.
Comment: #48
Posted by: SopSop
Sat Sep 3, 2011 2:53 PM
Ms Davie - You might want to check out Change.org in respect to online petitions. Click the Victories link at the top to see what people have fought and won against. They aren't as illegitimate anymore as they were even five years ago.
Comment: #49
Posted by: PS
Sat Sep 3, 2011 3:08 PM
Well, my email account has been hacked, but my facebook account never has been. As for "real" friends, I've reconnected with more old friends over facebook than I ever did over email or phone or paper mail. And the reconnections over facebook turned into multiple real-life get-togethers that continue to this day, that probably never would have happened any other way.

I have no problem at all with someone who just says "Well, facebook really isn't my thing." No issue at all.

It's a completely different story for someone to try to use scare tactics or reverse elitism or to dismiss FB as "ego boost". Because ANY means of communication can be used poorly, and ANY means of communication can be hacked. Phone lines can be tapped, baby monitors used to pick up cell phone calls randomly, and people used to steam open other people's mail.

Facebook is just one more way people communicate, and it wouldn't be so huge if it weren't working really really well for lots and lots of people.

Insulting or dismissing or denigrating people who use facebook is just petty. But people who simply don't like to use FB don't need any grief about their choice, either.
Comment: #50
Posted by: Mike H
Sat Sep 3, 2011 4:44 PM
Re: SopSop
Personally, I wouldn't say I have my nose in the air at new technologies, seeing that I've been working with computers ever since they started existing and I was one of the first to be connected to the Internet, back in the bad old days when finding a server was an expedition...

But some of us use the phone instead of a visit when the person lives too far, or when time presses. And some of us use the Internet instead of snailmail because it's faster yes, but also because it doesn't cost a stamp every time. People on a fixed income have to be very careful with avoidable expenses.

So don't be so quick to call it a "daily ego massage" and to accuse people of trying to make themselves look important.

Personally, I'm on FaceBook, but FB is not a format that appeals to me, I prefer places like here and Delphi. And I found Chris' post on Internet (in)security quite neutral and very informative - for those who still need to be told. He's posted that information before, but there are so many people who post way too much info (I've been accused of that myself), that the warning can't be repeated too often. He's right. Even us adults who have seen the ways of the world and ought to know better, we all have a tendency to naively project our own innocent good faith on others, and most people would never use personal information to harass, steal or harm others in any way.

@Rebecca Sturm
I understand how you meant it, but... there would be nothing insensitive about such a statement if there wasn't still such a stigma about an illness being mental rather than physical. In fact, mental illnesses ARE physical, but the problem is that the symptoms are behavioural instead of a pain somewhere, an x-rayable broken bone or a visible rash. Because people can't put a finger on behavioural symptoms like they could on a lump, a lot of them seem to feel it doesn't really exist and that anything behavioural can "easily" be changed if the affected people are "reasoned into sense" and "get a hold of themselves". It doesn't work that way - that's why it's an illness.

My mother killed herself. Her illness was mental, even though it was the result of extreme trauma and she wasn't born with it. Ailments such as diabetes, chronic pain, fybromyalgia, migraines, skin problems etc can also be trauma-induced. Some illnesses are something you're born with and some you develop over the years. Whether they be mental or "physical" shouldn't be perceived differently... but it is.

Comment: #51
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Sep 3, 2011 4:45 PM
Re: Lise Brouillette

Lise. I said I was being sarcastic with my initial post. It was in response to whoever said that fb was for people who want to pretend they have 500 friends, and need a daily ego massage. I believe it was Maggie who snarked, "I have real friends."

Comment: #52
Posted by: SopSop
Sat Sep 3, 2011 5:26 PM
@Nanchan - I was referring to post #25 - your apology posted just before mine and had not posted by the time I typed my response. I am glad that you did apologize because as I said, you usually seem pretty reasonable.
Comment: #53
Posted by: sharnee
Sat Sep 3, 2011 5:36 PM
Re: Lise Brouillette
Hi Lise, I would recommend reading the book, The Omega Three Connection, by Andrew Stahl, M.D. Stahl is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School He talks in the book about how the fatty acid EPA, found in fish oil and krill oil and grass-fed beef, can sometimes be used as an alternative to pharmaceutical antidepressants, or used in conjunction with pharmaceuticals to lower their dosage, which can minimize their damaging effects. (The other fatty acid found in fish oil, DHA, can sometimes have a mildly depressant effect, so for most people EPA is the recommended oil.)

I am blessed not to suffer from a mood disorder, but after reading Stahl's book I began taking several capsules a day of high EPA fish oil, and was interested to find that it improved my mood and mental clarity. Some friends who were on antidepressants decided to try it also, and they found that they could (carefully and gradually) get completely off the pharmaceuticals as long as they keep taking it.
Comment: #54
Posted by: sarah morrow
Sat Sep 3, 2011 5:40 PM
Last word from me on FB: It took me 7 years to get my family on email. It took 10 years to convince my mom a microwave oven wouldn't kill you.

Now, my whole family talks about FB as if if they invented it. CMon people! Get with it! But then of course by the time YOU do, the rest of us will have found another forum.

Ya snooze (or are fearfull of The Devil, or Hackers, or whatever) YOU LOSE!

PS: I bet most of you FB haters would not have ever been on an internet board 5 years ago as well!
Comment: #55
Posted by: nanchan
Sat Sep 3, 2011 5:44 PM
Oh the poor survivors.
Nobody seems to care that her pain was so great she couldn't stand another minute in this world. If you did all you could, then that's it. You did what you could and it was STILL not enough, it was NEVER going to be enough.
The pain doesn't go away, it doesn't stop, and it can never be cured. And here is the really dirty part of the secret, nothing will help. At some point we figure out that all the emotions, even the good ones if there are any left at all, are just chemical reactions. There is no joy, there is no relief, and there never will be as long as breath can be drawn in.
Let her go, know you loved her, and let her be, FINALLY at peace and no longer tortured with a past, present and future that could have only brought more and more pain.
Comment: #56
Posted by: shadowed
Sat Sep 3, 2011 6:00 PM
Lise, re: post #51:

"In fact, mental illnesses ARE physical, but the problem is that the symptoms are behavioural instead of a pain somewhere, an x-rayable broken bone or a visible rash. Because people can't put a finger on behavioural symptoms like they could on a lump, a lot of them seem to feel it doesn't really exist and that anything behavioural can "easily" be changed if the affected people are "reasoned into sense" and "get a hold of themselves". It doesn't work that way - that's why it's an illness."

Beautifully put! Thank you!
Comment: #57
Posted by: PS
Sat Sep 3, 2011 6:38 PM
@Sarah Morrow
Thank you for the reference. I know someone who could use it. But it's always a problem getting someone unmotivated because of depression to start getting pro-active about anything.

@PS
When the pain of living gets worse than the fear of death is when there is a REAL problem. I have been close enough to death to know that it is not death that is difficult - it's living.

@Shadowed
I care.

LW1, please find peace in the fact that your sister is no longer suffering. Finally.

Comment: #58
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Sep 3, 2011 7:13 PM
@Shadowed

P.S.: You don't sound too happy yourself. Anything you wanna talk about?

Comment: #59
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sat Sep 3, 2011 7:14 PM
Hi Lise, I hope it helps. But I know what you mean, it can be difficult to motivate people, when the motivation itself is part of what's so challenging for them. With one friend, it took about five years from the time I mentioned it to her, to the time she decided to try it herself. She's become kind of a fanatic about omega 3 fatty acids now. But it took a while. Interestingly, she said that she finally tried it not because of anything I'd said to her, but because she saw good changes in me and other people who were taking them.
Comment: #60
Posted by: sarah morrow
Sat Sep 3, 2011 8:21 PM
Re: Lise Brouillette
Lise, I just read your posting in which you mentioned your mother. I don't know how long ago it was, but my condolences. I'm sorry you had to go through that.
Comment: #61
Posted by: sarah morrow
Sat Sep 3, 2011 8:24 PM
Re: SopSop
I too, know each one I have 'let in my front door' of FB personally. I don't get why with security checked on HIGH that I get all these DO YOU KNOW??? It is like--WOULD YOU LET THIS STRANGER IN TO YOUR HOME? It does not take much investigative time to find info out on some people who put their information out there. They may 'feel people want to know' BUT it comes down to TMI.
Family, friends who are on caring bridge or carepages, I check daily WHEN a link is sent to my email saying an update has happened. And our community prayer chains are both via email (if you provide it to the churches) and telephone.
My neighbor wtih the new kidney got home last night so was busy bringing what he could eat from the garden, cooked both a beef roast and a turkey tenderloin. He was SOOO limited on any protein the last 2.5 years, he welcomed meat, potatoes, bananas, dairy--all banned from his diet. He basically had about 10 different kinds of food he could eat the last year. He said a cardio diet is what they said, which is so much easier to fix for!
So no, I got your satirical point. Remember when the source of information was on the party-line--lifting the reciever and having whomever was on with (my grandma's line) telling you to stay in and listen so they did not have to call you??? We had a private line but as a small child, the telephone operator would listen in, tell me when it was time to hang up the phone with my friends. I remember blowing kisses to a old maid great aunt on th ephone with me and the operator telling me to quite blowing on the phone. Meaning INTO HER HEADSET!!
Comment: #62
Posted by: Joyce/MN
Sat Sep 3, 2011 8:27 PM
Re: Joyce/MN

I hate to show my age, but yep, I remember the party line. (I was only a kid though!!) We had a neighbor that my dad called "Motormouth", because every time he tried to use the phone, she was already on it. I vividly remember him picking up the phone then hanging it up with an exasperated sigh, saying "Motormouth is still on."

Comment: #63
Posted by: SopSop
Sat Sep 3, 2011 8:43 PM
@nanchan in post 55 - right on.
MY last word on FB - my house was just flooded in hurricane Irene. People posted to my page checking if I was OK, to which I quickly responded, posted some insurance pics of the poor house, etc.
My one and only friend who IS "too good" for the frivolity of Facebook was frantic for 3 days. She left me phone messages but I wasn't checking or returning individual calls with all that was going on - but a quick FB post was easy.
Comment: #64
Posted by: Steve C
Sat Sep 3, 2011 10:00 PM
Advantages of Facebook:

You can keep in touch with family and friends.
You can reconnect with friends and relatives whom you haven't seen in years.
You can share photos from your life with your friends and family.
You can block people with whom you wish to have no communication, and the block feature even keeps them from finding a listing for you on Facebook.

Disadvantages of Facebook:

Too many people use their status messages as a way to push their religious and/or political beliefs on other people.
All those people who never spoke to you in high school now suddenly want to be your friend.
People post pictures of things like a plate of food that they had for supper or the coffee mug on their desk at work.
Nothing is private anymore--if someone's kid mouthed off, the parent posts about it all over Facebook. In other words, private matters don't remain within the closed doors of one's home.
People who used to bully you now think they can be your friend.
You have to be really careful when it comes to the professional world and Facebook.
Comment: #65
Posted by: Paul
Sat Sep 3, 2011 10:57 PM
@MikeH - My fb account was hacked last year. I found out when one of my friends frantically called my cell phone because I had apparently IMed her via fb and told her that I was on vacation in Europe and had been mugged - wallet and passport were stolen. My imposter had asked her to wire me some money.

FB is only as secure as your password - which I found out that day. And while I use FB, I happen to agree with Maggie Lawrence. I happen to know quite a few people who collect friends on fb and brag about their friend count. Thanks to fb, I have reconnected with former classmates, friends with whom I have lost contact, and can keep in touch more frequently them. But there are quite a few people who are not able to differentiate between real friends and fb friends and treat it like a popularity contest.

In addition, last year I found out that a friend with whom I used to be very close suddenly passed away. Thank goodness I had not been on FB that day because that is where the news was circulating - another close friend called me and delivered the news personally. I am glad that she did, I feel that finding out something like that over a website almost makes my friend's life appear to have been of far less value than it actually was. My goodness - our world is turning in to one of virtual interactions. I don't blame people for resisting it.
Comment: #66
Posted by: sharnee
Sun Sep 4, 2011 4:23 AM
Re: Steve C

Sorry to hear you're one of the victims. I hope your insurance pays off for the damage and then some!

Comment: #67
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Sun Sep 4, 2011 5:30 AM
I have bipolar disorder. One thing people do not always realize is that the treatment is not only to lift the depression, but to stabilize the manias. When I went on the meds I lost a very wonderful effect of bipolar, which is phases of great creativity with the energy to actually create. It's a huge loss to most bipolars, and the most common reason why we stop taking our meds. It's possible that faced with the choices of living with the mood swings, or losing the amazing creative spurts, that neither seemed tolerable.
Comment: #68
Posted by: Gail
Sun Sep 4, 2011 11:16 PM
Re: Gail

Thank you very much for this essential information. Nothing but the voice of experience.

I think I knew about this before, but sort of periphally, not consciously. You were very succinct and nailed it perfectly. I will not forget now.

Comment: #69
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Mon Sep 5, 2011 5:38 AM
To miss my sister:
My heart goes out to you. I know how it feels as I had a sister who committed suicide on Good Friday of 2010. A truly devastating thing to try and find your way out of.
I know it sounds so simple, but I'd like to pass on a piece of advice that was given to me via the internet." Do not continue to put a question mark where God has put a period." Live your life honoring your sister and the memories you shared. Remember to focus on the years that she lived and not only on the day that she died. Wishing you a sky full of silver linings.
Comment: #70
Posted by: sheri
Mon Sep 5, 2011 7:49 AM
As a grown child of divorced parents with children of my own, I had to chuckle at LW2's Facebook comment. My mom and dad are Facebook friends. My step mom's solution? She friended my mom, too! Result? No hidden jealously and all of them can share pics of the grandkids!
Comment: #71
Posted by: jenh
Mon Sep 5, 2011 12:02 PM
Dear Miss My Sister,
I hope that I can express myself clearly enough. It's really hard to explain to people that suicide thoughts in a person with a mental disorder is NOBODY's fault. I have fought the compulsion to commit suicide for years. It comes from a deep depression within. I love my family so much. I appreciate them and would never intentionally hurt them. That said, suicide somehow seems seperate from them. It doesn't make sense, I agree.But there you have it. You have no idea how your sister must have struggled to overcome this feeling. She did her best. So did you. I hope you will forgive her...and yourself. She is at peace now and the best way for you to honor her,in my opinion, is to live a happy life. Sincerely, Diane
Comment: #72
Posted by: diane
Mon Sep 5, 2011 12:21 PM
Re: sarah morrow The reason that I am able to write you is the miracle of drugs. I was diagnosed as clinically depressed with post traumatic stress symdrome. The thoughts of suicide were my plan of escape.. The doctor found the drug that I needed to stabalize and be a "normal" person. I am thankful everyday.
Comment: #73
Posted by: diane
Mon Sep 5, 2011 12:30 PM
to LW1: I'm so sorry for the loss of your sister. She sounds like a wonderful person who was in pain that we just can't imagine. You and your partner, her friends, the dogs, etc. all sound like they provided immense comfort to her, despite her decision to end her pain the way she did. I know suicide is something that leaves behind a great deal of confusion and anger. Who knows -- maybe her medication helped as much as possible, and maybe it stopped helping. She did everything possible to make her decision solely about ending her pain -- there was no anger or animosity or ANYTHING in her actions to imply that she felt anything but great love and appreciation for you and her circle of family and friends. How different are mental anguish and physical anguish? Probably not too different. People in great pain, no matter what the pain is, want nothing more than to end the pain. She struggled her entire life, did the best she could, and she's at peace now. She wanted to leave you with peace too. I hope you talk to others and find peace. Good luck.
Comment: #74
Posted by: deb
Tue Sep 6, 2011 8:09 AM
Re: sarah stravinska

Totally!! ARGH, those dodging responses drive me crazy!!!! "I don't think so" -- yeah, RIGHT! He is NOT being up front with his wife. Maybe nothing is going on, and he thinks he's doing his wife a favor by trying not to upset her, but he is definitely making it worse.
Comment: #75
Posted by: deb
Tue Sep 6, 2011 8:11 AM
LW2: You're the problem. Your insecurities and pettiness are why your husband chooses to lie to you. He does it to keep the peace. He should have a good relationship with the mother of his children. You obviously think otherwise. Get some therapy and stop being an obstacle to everyone's happiness.
Comment: #76
Posted by: Diana
Tue Sep 6, 2011 9:42 AM
LW2: You're the problem. Your insecurities and pettiness are why your husband chooses to lie to you. He does it to keep the peace. He should have a good relationship with the mother of his children. You obviously think otherwise. Get some therapy and stop being an obstacle to everyone's happiness.
Comment: #77
Posted by: Diana
Tue Sep 6, 2011 9:44 AM
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