1st Person Accounts- Suicide Research- Interview 3
1st Person Accounts- Suicide Research- Interview 3
By Sheila L. Ferguson
Have you or someone you know been affected by suicide or thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts? My name is Sheila Ferguson and I have Complex PTSD, or C-PTSD. I experience thoughts about suicide. I am a survivor. Nevertheless, my trauma timeline has changed me. There are times when my brain function is so "off"- my apologies for lack of a better word- it feels so off that it can even affect my balance. I have had stress induced seizures. Mood swings. Inability to concentrate. I have had to have heart surgery to control what my heart does during panic attacks. My heart rate was documented at 268 beats per minute. Nobody wanted to believe me. I have severe fibromyalgia, which is directly connected to and a side effect of my C-PTSD. My body has been so affected by the stress and my response to the traumas. I have to take medications for my night terrors. I wake drenched in sweat and those dreams can affect my well-being for hours or even days. I cannot work a full time job. I struggle. I really struggle to want to live. Sometimes, it is all so much bigger than me, I feel unable to win against the part of me that wants to die. I've written a poem about feeling suicidal which you can read here: https://steemit.com/psychology/@jealousyjane/insight-suicidal-thoughts.
I want to live. I want to continue to survive. I don't want to be bullied and abused by the part of me that wants to die. In an effort to understand myself and others who struggle with suicide, I have decided to conduct some research in the form of interviews. I will be sharing those interviews openly as they come in, and the survivors will remain anonymous. I will be studying the responses, comparing and contrasting them to my own story, and I will be revealing my own findings as I stumble across things.
In the meantime, I hope you will find Interview # 3 both interesting & informative.
How have you come in contact with suicide? Someone you know, or yourself? Answer: Myself
Age and other demographic information you choose to provide. Answer: 44, Caucasian male
Any formal diagnosis for the person? Answer: Yes, 1997, clinical depression
What can you tell me about the person and the events leading up to the suicide or attempt? Was something going on? How long? Isolated event or ongoing? When did this happen. More than once? etc. Answer: After listening to a special chapel speaker while attending a Christian Liberal Arts College, severe depression began to take over. Guilt, shame, low self esteem, not being able to graduate and then becoming very scared of graduation. Had grabbed a pocket knife and threatened to use it, but decided against it.
Did the person reach out for help? Answer: yes. Many caring friends and counseling services at school.
Did the person mention struggling with suicide? Answer: yes.
Did suicide run in the family? Did mental illness? Answer: yes, on both sides of the family. Lost a step-relative to suicide in 2008. Lost a cousin to suicide in 2012.
Was there anything that would have changed or prevented this from happening? Answer: yes, a better outlook on life, involvement in church/social life, exercise, diet.
What was the method? Answer: it would have been a knife or drugs.
Was there a note or planned note? If so, who was that addressed to? Family? Bully or abuser? Government? School? Answer: yes, a planned note given to close friends and school.
How did this experience affect you? Answer: I think I was obsessed with suicide/depression, trying to figure out what caused it and why. Lost a young man to suicide in 1991. Shot himself at the age of 15.
How did this experience affect others? Answer: I think it made people realize we have a real serious problem when it comes to teenage suicide.
Was the person under mental health care of any kind? Answer: some counseling.
Do you have any advice for people who experience suicidal thoughts? Answer: get help immediately. Try to stay positive. Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems.
Do you have any photos you wish to provide to accompany the story?
Can we contact you for more information or additional questions? Answer: yes.
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