According to this new study, researchers discovered that “at least least 10% of suicides in Britain are linked to terminal or chronic illness, accounting for more than 400 deaths a year,” meaning that one in ten suicides is linked to chronic illness. This does not even cover the suicide link in the US.
I’ve seen some terribly tragic and concerning posts on both tumblr and blogspot recently from chronic illness sufferers hopelessly trying to put an end to their mystery diagnoses by contemplating putting an end to their lives. It’s no surprise that the suicide rate among those who are chronically ill or living with chronic pain are higher than the average.
For those that do not suffer or do not care for those who do suffer, it is hard to understand how the concept of an end is not morbid, but a last resort for comfort— a sanctuary, in a sense. Rather than death being tragic, it is an apathetic feeling for life in pain that drives one to seek an end. But no individual, regardless of disease, should have to take their own life in order to gain control over their suffering, and there are resources out there to help you learn to take control and find yourself outside of the pain and illness.
This week’s link roundup will provide resources for those feeling like they have reached the end of their rope, and I write it in memory for RA Superbitch, who passed a few months ago after suffering from RA and other complications. I hope that everyone reading this understands that though they may not be able to cure their pain or disease, they can conquer it. They have the strength and the courage, and there are resources to help you discover it.
- Suicide Hotline-- If you need to talk, if you need to listen, whatever you need, they are there for you 24/7, no charge. Do not hesitate to call: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- CFIDS/FMS Self Help Organization -- (C/FSHO for short)— A non-profit organization created by Dr. Bruce Campbell, a CFS patient who was a “consultant to self-help programs for chronic illness at Stanford University Medical School” prior to becoming ill. C/FSHO is dedicated to providing support groups and resources, stress management techniques, strategies to decrease sensory overload, techniques to help pace yourself and your energy, dealing with family and friends, low cost self help online courses to managing and coping with your illness (though I cannot vouch for how successful they are), and much more. Many of the articles are relevant to a wide range of chronic illness, so do not disregard the link if you have something other than CFIDS/FMS.
- National Pain Foundation -- This specific link goes directly to their Community page, linking you to a bunch of different organizations that provide support groups. Reach out to others, please. For both your body and mind. NPF also has an entire section on chronic illness and mental health.
- How to Cope With Pain -- An organization dedicated to those suffering from chronic pain and their loved ones. Stress management, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, guided imagery, and so on.
- But You Don't Look Sick's Bad Day/Venting Forum -- Exactly what it sounds like. Need a place to vent? Someone to talk to or relate to? Here you go.
Some other ideas:
- Find an art therapy group if you are artistic
- Push yourself (or tell someone you trust that you need a push) to find a new hobby
- Find a constructive outlet. Working in the community, either from your couch or in person, is a great way to fuel some of the negative energy into something positive.
- Find a support group.
- Start a support group.
- Find a therapist who specializes in illness, or seek out a cognitive behavioral therapist who can show you specific coping mechanisms to combat the anxiety, stress, depression, and all things that come alone with your disease(s).
- Consider biofeedback
- Consider meditation (trust me on this one). Sometimes visualizing your pain and putting yourself into a focused state of mind can help you get through a particularly painful hour.
- Reach out to someone somewhere. Online, in person, a stranger or a friend— reach out. Recognizing the need for help is the first step.
PLEASE send me any other resources you know of. I am creating a kind of- “End of the Rope? Find help here” page of links for support groups, forums, and whatnot.