Suicide Research Interview 1

in #psychology4 years ago

Suicide Research Interview 1
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:

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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 # 1 both interesting & informative.

All people will remain anonymous. No names will be revealed. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Please answer all that apply and all information you are willing to share. If you do not know that answer please put, unknown answer. If something is too personal or do not wish to discuss, please indicate that.

How have you come in contact with suicide? Someone you know, or yourself?

A former coworker passed away a few weeks ago.

Age and other demographic information you choose to provide.

He was a 54 year old white male. He was married with at least one child.

Any formal diagnosis for the person?

I'm not aware if there was one.

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.

He was fired from our employer in October. He loved his job, but wasn't able to do it well. He may have lacked the training and support needed.

Did the person reach out for help?

I don't know.

Did the person mention struggling with suicide?

I don't know.

Did suicide run in the family? Did mental illness?


Was there anything that would have changed or prevented this from happening?

Not sure on this either

What was the method? I didn't ask.

Was there a note or planned note? If so, who was that addressed to? Family? Bully or abuser? Government? School?

There was a note that named some of our coworkers. I didn't read it, but I heard that the environment in his department was toxic for him.

How did this experience affect you?

I thought about all the things I said to him when he was alive. I felt bad for any criticism, even though it wasn't personal. I had no idea that he was experiencing mental health problems as he usually seemed enthusiastic at work.

How did this experience affect others?

Those who knew him were sad to hear about his passing.

Was the person under mental health care of any kind?

I don't know.

Do you have any advice for people who experience suicidal thoughts?

Talk about it, and if your friends and family don't understand, find someone else to talk to.

Do you have any photos you wish to provide to accompany the story?

I don't have photos, but I can find the obituary if you want.

Can we contact you for more information or additional questions?


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