Let us be who we've become -- people changed by tragedy. Just try to "be there" and support whatever form our grief takes. Trying to understand is okay, but just caring is enough. Realize that you can't pos-sibly relate to what we are ex-periencing. You don't have to.
Mourning a death by suicide is a lengthy, intense and confusing process. It is also unique; each of us experiences grief in our own way.
Because suicide is a sudden, unexpected and often violent loss, the grief it causes is excruciating, prolonged, and still often stigmatized. This may cause us to withdraw socially. We may even feel responsible for our loss. Those who witness the suicide or find the body may suffer post traumatic stress.
We don't "get over" a suicide. The effects may stabilize, but the loss is forever felt. Our personal values and beliefs are shattered and we are changed emotionally.
Every suicide survivor needs im-mediate support at the time of the loss. Individualized or family coun-seling, medical care, and parti-cipation in on-going support groups can be extremely helpful.
To read a heartbreaking first-hand account of the aftermath of a loved one's suicide, click HERE.
A suicide survivor is an individual who has lost someone he/she cared for deeply to suicide. The victim may have been a parent, child, spouse, sibling, other relative, partner, or friend. It is estimated that every suicide leaves six to eight "survivors."
It's okay to talk about "it" because that's all that's on our minds. Let any statements we make about respon-sibility, blame, or guilt just flow. It will sort itself out over time. Please mention our loved one, whether it was a child, spouse, sibling, parent or other loved one. Avoid setting any timetable for recovery as there isn't any.
Some suicide survivors find it uncomfortable to speak about the loss. With this in mind, it's wise simply to ask, "How are you feeling? Can we talk about it?" And then be willing to listen.
Taken in part from lifegard.tripod.com.
Why do we use the term "survivor" when we lose someone to suicide? Because mourning a death by suicide is a much more intense and confusing process than mourning a death from natural causes. Words are completely inadequate to describe the raw, painful emotions of confusion, guilt, possible anger and depression, but ac-cepting them as part of the grieving process is essential. How well we learn to survive our loss depends on how well we learn to cope. With hard work and support we can eventually find our way through the unbearable pain and towards a place of acceptance. This web site is filled with ways to help.
What is Grief? | Everyone Grieves Differently | Myths and Facts about Grief | Are There Stages of Grief? | How Stressful is a Suicide? | Grief Can Be a Roller Coaster | Common Symptoms of Grief | Coping with Grief and Loss | When Grief Doesn’t Go Away | Complicated Grief | The Difference Between Grief and Depression | Can Antidepressants Help Grief? | When to Seek Professional Help for Grief | The Work of Grief | Am I Going Crazy? | Healing After a Loved One’s Suicide | How to Grieve When You Need to Work, Care, Give and Live | Keeping Busy-Exhausting and Not Emotionally Helpful | Mourning is Lifelong | Helping a Surivor Heal | Grief and How to Deal With it, A No-Nonsense Approach | Elder Suicide |
Making sense of a suicide is an emotional journey. Support groups are a form of mutual self-help where those bereaved share their experiences dealing with their loss. Groups may be peer-led by a volunteer who is also a survivor or they may be professionally lead. In a safe, supportive environment, survivors learn that they are not alone as they share their stories and learn from others.
Click HERE for for a one-page version.
Click HERE for stories.
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We all need nutrition to support our bodies. A poor diet equals poor health, contributing to obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes - conditions that many people living with mental illness are at a high risk of developing. Nutrition is important for everyone. If you are living with mental illness, eating well is especially important for you, because what you eat can affect your daily life, mood and energy level. Healthy eating is not about being thin or deprivation. Healthy eating is about feeling good, having more energy, participating in your recovery and mapping out your future. Simply put, healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to improve wellness. Dietary guidelines set by the USDA state that a healthy diet is one that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat free or low fat milk products. A healthy diet should include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts. Be sure to limit saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars. Lear more about the U.S. government's guidlelines by reveiwing the food pyramid: mypyramid.gov.