Views toward suicide have changed in recent decades. Once largely perceived as a selfish act and a “permanent solution to a temporary problem,” society has become more compassionate toward those who suffer in silence. This is an enormously positive development, and it is likely an outgrowth of our greater understanding of mental illness.
The causes of suicide are complex, but they seem to involve some combination of nature (genetics) and nurture (culture and environment).
According to the CDC, the suicide rate in the U.S. in 2015 grew to 15.7 per 100,000, sparking fears of a “suicide epidemic.” Continue reading
Chronic pain’s emotional toll can lead to suicide – By Lori Kurtzman & Mike Wagner, The Columbus Dispatch – Sep 4, 2016
There were brain surgeries and constant headaches, sleep binges that lasted for days. His right side partially frozen, Steven Lichtenberg could barely walk.
Then came Crohn’s disease, which caused regular bouts of diarrhea and nausea, leaving him keeled over. Eventually the chemo treatments, pain meds and surgeries stripped Lichtenberg of his ability to show emotion.
When life was darkest, he couldn’t even cry.
In May 2015, without warning to his loved ones, the 32-year-old Dublin man shot himself at his parents’ home. Continue reading
I recently had a doc say to me, “Fibromyalgia won’t kill you.”
I shot back, “Yeah, I know. The other half of that statement is, “But it will make you wish you were dead.’”
Let’s just say that particular doctor’s visit didn’t go well.
Opioid crisis: Pain patients pushed to the brink; Overdose prevention efforts have had unintended — and dire — consequences By Markian Hawryluk, The Bulletin, @markianhawryluk – Jun 5, 2017
Three weeks after her last appointment, Sonja Mae Jonsson got a call from her doctor’s office in Waldport, telling her she needed to come in. Her urine drug screen had tested positive for a drug she hadn’t been prescribed.
The doctor would no longer prescribe her any pain medication.
Linda Jonsson, a registered nurse, had taken over her daughter’s care after a traumatic brain injury when she was 32, and carefully monitored her daughter’s medications. She pleaded with the clinic they had made a mistake.
Without the pain medications, they would be condemning her daughter to a life of pain. Continue reading
The Global Pain Crisis | Psychology Today – May 2017
Images and words of America’s opioid overdose epidemic have captured headlines and TV news feeds for the last several years.
But there’s a different image seared into my mind, a mental picture of a different little kid and two adults. This one never made it into the news, but it’s just as real.
It took place in India, on June 1, 2014. The little boy in this scene had been suffering unbearable pain for most of his eight years, pain triggered by a severe genetic disorder. The hospital he was in, like most hospitals in India, had no morphine.
Eventually, the parents did the only thing they could think of to stop his pain.
They killed him. Continue reading
On May 9-10, 2017, the US FDA held a workshop titled “Training Health Care Providers on Pain Management and Safe Use of Opioid Analgesics—Exploring the Path Forward.” I attended that Workshop in person to offer public comment on behalf of chronic pain patients. This paper is an expansion on the same theme.
“… If you are truly concerned with the safety of patients who are prescribed opioid analgesics, then your first duty may be to adjourn this conference with a public acknowledgment that you aren’t ready to train doctors because you have no viable or safe standard of medical care in which to train them.
This is true because the March 2016 CDC Guidelines on prescription of opioids are fundamentally incomplete, desperately flawed, and actively dangerous to the lives and health of hundreds of thousands of people.” 1 Continue reading
Dr. Stefan Kertez posted a series of 18 tweets, supported by reference links, illustrating the many errors of the CDC opioid prescribing guidelines and how pain patients are being harmed to the point of killing themselves.
- Stefan Kertesz (@StefanKertesz): 1/An exquisite portrait of suicide &despair in pain patients after involuntary opioid discontinuations came out http://www.bendbulletin.com/topics/5342867-151/opioid-crisis-pain-patients-pushed-to-the-brink
- Stefan Kertesz (@StefanKertesz): 2/It shows those who think we’ll solve addiction with pill control that this leaves some in pain, sick or dead Continue reading
Patient Suicide Blamed on Montana Pain Clinic — Pain News Network – May 26, 2017 – By Pat Anson
A 54-year old Montana man who apparently committed suicide earlier this month was a patient at a Great Falls pain clinic accused of mistreating patients and poorly managing their chronic pain. Bryan Spece was found dead in his Lewistown home on May 3.
“From what we know, about two weeks before his death, they had cut his pain pills back significantly. We’re not sure the exact amount. We’re trying to get ahold of his medical records,” said a family member. Continue reading
it is hard not to see the obvious pattern created by the number of people who come into the EDs and state to a staff member that they want to kill themselves.
Why do we all want to die?
Sure, the world has its ups and downs and stresses, but there seems to be so many people who are bent on their own demise that it is mind-boggling.
Allow me to posit some reasons for this disturbing trend: Continue reading
After years of declining, the suicide rate in our country has been increasing, now at about 125 percent of the rate of several decades ago.
This increase accelerated after 2006. Although all age groups showed an increase, the rate among women, particularly adolescent girls, took a notable jump.
In 2012 suicide was the second leading cause of death in adolescents aged 12 to 19 years, accounting for more deaths in this age group than cancer, heart disease, influenza, pneumonia, diabetes mellitus, human immunodeficiency virus, and stroke combined. Continue reading