Deb Shugg Diary of Secrets Depression and Anxiety

It’s a long way to the top…

When you live with depression and anxiety thoughts of suicide can be hard to bear.

As you probably know, I’ve had a lot happen in my emotional world over the past few months. I plummeted into a desperate, suicidal chasm that took every ounce of my energy to endure.

I’m not the only person in this world to be sent freefalling into despair. I’m not the only person whose life has been turned inside out without notice. And, I’m certainly not the only person who figured the world and I would be much better off if I left.

It’s in a private world that despair takes hold. It’s not in the latte filled social activities with friends (that’s my life) that are excruciatingly painful. It’s not in the world outside ourselves where our despair has a brightly coloured blanket thrown over it. It’s not even about family. Thoughts of suicide are a private anguish. A desperate need to be released from pain, to find relief.

It’s not just depressed people, or those with an emotional illness, that seek out suicide as an option for relieving inner pain. Suicide can be the solution sought for a short-term crisis or in medical terms, an ‘Adjustment Disorder’ where an immediate need can be to ‘stop the pain’ or the unwanted experience.

It’s interesting to consider this in respect of not why, but how people choose to kill themselves.

Those who believe killing themself is the best (and very real) solution to the pain, may in fact not attempt it because of the lack of availability of a lethal option. That is, there is no method of death available.

Research has uncovered that when suicide plan A has been defeated (for whatever reason) there is usually no suicide plan B, either in the short or long term! As an example, if I drive myself to the bridge I’ve decided to jump off and find suicide barriers have been erected, it’s very unlikely that I’ll drive to another bridge. It’s also probable, that by the time plan A has been considered and perhaps even attempted (I arrived at the bridge) sufficient time has passed from the point of crisis for my heightened distress and pain to have quieted and my conviction waned.

Suicide survivors who have been seriously injured in their attempts and who have been interviewed for research purposes, admitted they realised they did not want to die. That is, a survivor of a bridge jump (from a bridge where suicide attempts had been fatal 98% of the time) stated that once he had let go [of the bridge] his immediate thought was that he did not want to die. A woman who survived a near fatal, self-inflicted gunshot to her head, stated her last conscious thought [after she had pulled the trigger] was that she did not want to die. She said to her rescuers: “Don’t let me die.”

Whether thoughts of suicide are part of a diagnosed or non-diagnosed ‘mental illness’ or they are the result of a single emotional crisis, the risk of suicide is very real. Especially if there is a lethal means readily available.

Feelings that include thoughts of suicide are real. Ongoing questions about why we exist that take shape in feelings of unworthiness, loneliness and too many more to mention, fuel a fire of self-doubt and anguish that can make us long for that ultimate release. Our inability to relieve the pain makes us vulnerable to any ‘catalyst event’ during which we might believe ourselves powerless. Unable to stop the pain in any other way.

For me, I continually work to hold firm to my spiritual beliefs. Beliefs that confirm my life has purpose and that I have value. Beliefs that I may not fully comprehend but that provide me strength to move forward. After all, what would faith be if it did not provide hope for an unknown future?

From Luke Richardson: We need to change the culture of this topic and make it OK to speak about mental health and suicide.

Research provided by: Matthew Miller MD MPH Sc.D: DAVID H. ROSEN MD: Richard H Seiden Ph.D MPH.

If you need to talk to someone NOW call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Deb Shugg Diary of Secrets Depression and Anxiety

Deb Shugg is an awarded businesswoman, wife & mother, author and a sufferer of depression and anxiety.

If you need help to deal with your symptoms see your doctor.

(Abuse of another person is NEVER okay. If you are being abused or, if you are an abuser please seek help.)

Deb Shugg Diary of Secrets Depression and Anxiety

Rise of the designer vagina…

Interesting times abound in the Diary of Secrets at the moment.

There’s no doubt that the time has come to take a deeper look at life and what makes us who we are. Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty going on with depression and anxiety – that won’t stop.

However, as I’ve pondered the increasing demand for pornography and the current trend of young women to pornify their bodies using mutative surgical procedures, I’ve begun to wonder whether we’ve made any advances in the gender respect skirmish.

It has come as an increasing awareness to me that women are falling out of love with their own body in preference for a digitally enhanced and sometimes mutilated example of western womanhood.

That’s not to say that women (and men) have never had a desire for something other than what their parents created for them. I can’t count the number of perms my hair has endured in an attempt to get that full wavy hair effect. And I’m sure that had I not been the recipient of my mother’s generous bosom gene, I would possibly have sought a little enhancement from the miracle that is the ‘wonder bra’!

It’s true that I’ve had an ‘abdominoplasty’. A cosmetic surgical procedure that removes an ‘apron’ of skin from the tummy area. A condition often experienced by women after childbirth when the stretched skin of the stomach area cannot retract. I was blessed by the delivery of healthy babies that weighed in at 11pound 8ounces and 10pound 14ounces respectively. Consequently, my stomach muscles had been ripped apart and the skin stretched beyond it’s capacity. I undertook the surgery to excise the dissatisfaction I had with my post baby look.

However, it seems recently that women are so grossly ‘uneducated’ about their body that they’re allowing carefully and artistically crafted images to provide a basis upon which they measure beauty. In a time when pornography was kept hidden from women, there were few opportunities to compare her genitalia to others. The obvious consequence of this is that ‘normal’ was what you had.

Now, for a generation of women who’s mothers held firm beliefs of equality and female empowerment, there seems to be an increasing trend toward self-hatred based on male sexual needs. That is, we’re submitting to male dominated expectations of what we look like ‘down there’ and further, what type of sexual activity we’ll (unwillingly or not) be expected to participate in. It seems, women (and men) are now using pornography as their bedroom instruction manual.

Before we get too carried away with other social issues such as gay marriage, we have to ask the question about the western trend towards the belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women. These are the tools of the burgeoning porn industry that are taking hold of young women who are mutilating themselves in order to be acceptable to their male partners.

Whilst we abhor the activity of genital mutilation in other cultures, we fail to see the problem as it exists in our own back yard. While clearly adult genital mutilation and child genital mutilation are different subjects, mutilation exists in any culture that sees ‘sexual beauty’ in a way that nature does not. Just because we have access to clinically sterile and anesthetised procedures, does not mean we are unaccountable.

If you’ve seen any amount of porn (I have), it’s hard to miss the wholesale degrading disrespect of women. And whilst the word misogyny (a hatred of women) is often used out of context, the reality is that if the behaviour fits… (if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…) it fits!

So why is it that we are not outraged by what’s happening to our young women (and men)? The porn industry does not exist to educate our young people on sex and sexuality. Like all industries it exists to make money from the products and services it provides. Like all businesses, they advertise to create the perception of need and makes sales.

Sadly, we’re allowing it (the porn industry) to determine the value we place upon ourselves and our uniqueness. We’re allowing a generation of women to see themselves as acceptable only if they meet the unrealistic expectations provided by people who have no interest in them or their wellbeing.

And why are we’re doing it? Because we haven’t even noticed…

From Waris Dirie: Because women and girls are not valued equally as human beings, they are treated as less than such. Female genital mutilation is one example of this that has to be stopped.

If you need to talk to someone NOW call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Deb Shugg Diary of Secrets Depression and Anxiety

Deb Shugg is an awarded businesswoman, wife & mother, author and a sufferer of depression and anxiety.

If you need help to deal with your symptoms see your doctor.

Abuse of another person is NEVER okay. If you are being abused or, if you are an abuser please seek help.)