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I called the suicide hotline the other night. First time, last time.

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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-11 11:20 AM
Original message
I called the suicide hotline the other night. First time, last time.
My meds stopped working and my support system IRL is nil. I'm not posting to moan about this but instead am wondering, has anybody else had the same experience with the (undertrained, volunteer and therefore blameless) hotline people? Or is that what it's supposed to be like? I admit, the clinical response shocked me back to the real world and I did as I was told, called my doctor the next day and have been launched into a new treatment program and I'm now faking it until the pain goes away. But when I hung up on the person my thought was, this system needs work. Maybe it doesn't and I'm being a fool, but maybe not everybody has been living with depression as long as they can remember and is inured to people's lack of understanding. Does anybody have any thoughts?

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postatomic Donating Member (478 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-11 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. I've called twice
The first thing I heard each time was "do you need us to send someone to get you?"

I believe the system is overloaded with calls including many of those that just had a bad day "and just want to kill themself". The first time I wasn't looking for anyone to talk to. I truly needed someone to stop me. The second time I did need someone to talk to and the woman who answered seemed annoyed with me. Like I was wasting her time.

I look at it like I do with much of this world. There are few truly caring people. I wish I could answer your question specifically. Losing your real world support system sucks. I know. The hotline is intended to prevent suicide and provide you with some direction. I suppose some of the people that work there are just 'follow the textbook' kinda' people. They forget that the person on the other end of the phone is real and need to temper their clinical approach with a little compassion.

Oh, and please don't think you can't moan or vent. I'll listen. Lay it on me.
:hug:
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-11 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I guess it's hard for me to imagine why a person would
volunteer to man the hotline unless they had something to offer, just a tone of voice or something. I think that's what shocked me the most, the fact that the woman I spoke with treated me as if she was taking my order for coffee and donuts. And she did stop me, and I suppose if I didn't already know to call a physician, she would have been informative.

As for my personal situation, mental illness runs in my family and I've always been depressed as far as I can, tell but since my separation and subsequent divorce have been unable to maintain control of my mood through any measure. I did harm to myself shortly after the separation and got immediate good care (at the time I was insured through my now ex-husband) but have not taken any other action since then, except for last week. Bad news, followed by bad news, and more bad news, physical health problems, unemployment and a scary decline in my economic status... the same stuff everybody else is dealing with but suddenly I feel permanently broken. Anyhow, I'm now waiting for the latest cocktail to take effect.

There, I moaned and vented and I feel a bit better. Thank you. :hug:
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postatomic Donating Member (478 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-11 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Glad you moaned and vented
It sounds like you've stood at the edge looking into the darkness. Pretty hard to explain to "normal" people what that feels like. What goes through your mind. I've tried.

I'm the only 'broken' person. Only one allowed. Sorry. You can't be broken. Rules are rules. :D

You've had a series of triggers flipped. Gawd that sucks.

When I was in the psych ward we were having one of the 3 billion group sessions. One particular one was a small group that a wonderful staffer was doing. We all told the group why we were there. At the end of the session this one woman came up to me and said "you need a hug". She then looked me in the eyes and said "there will always be someone there for you".

It took me months in therapy to recount that story. I would start crying (yea, men do cry). Here was this total stranger that took the time to approach me and say that. I recount that so you should know it too. I say to you "there will always be someone there for you".

Anytime you want to 'chat' just PM me. I too have stood at the edge and looked into the darkness. I know exactly how that feels. We are all unique and our experiences unique but there are some things we do share. As you can tell I don't spend a lot of time online but I will always respond.

Thanks for moaning and venting. :hug:
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-11 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. You just made me cry.
Edited on Sat Jan-29-11 11:28 PM by crim son
I'm great at talking about everything except how it all actually feels and how scared I always am. What you've shared means a lot to me and I will remember it and remember you. On edit: Okay, you can be broken and I'll be cracked. :)
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-11 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
5. we are wearing the same shoes.
come and vent in here any time. i spend way too much time online, and check in here often. also feel free to pm me.
i am sitting on the edge of doing what you have done. just in case you think you have not done anything to make it better for yourself, you are very, very wrong. you weathered a divorce and all that comes with that, including unemployment, loss of income and insurance, and a harrowing loneliness. i am still trying to gather my courage to get through it. you are a survivor. some people think that is a passive thing. i know better and so do you.

i started meds for the first time almost 2 months ago. still waiting for a damn thing to get better. i am sure you know that it can take a long time, but i am just reminding you to hang on while that all happens. that part really sucks.

:hug: to you, and those of you reading this in the same spot. du is a real community where people care about each other. don't forget that.
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-11 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. mopinko, my heart goes out to you
and I am immediately concerned for you as well. It's good to hear that you have started meds and the only thing I will suggest is to be proactive about asking for more/different if you find yourself having persistent dire thoughts. I have two sons at home who indirectly remind me when I'm having problems - it can be insidious, the slow slide back down - asking if I'm all right, why do I look so sad, that sort of thing. For them I hoist my expanding ass off the couch and back to the doctor. You will do the same thing for people who love you if not for yourself. And you offered to let me PM you, so I offer the same. My divorce came about after 18 years when I finally left the house and realized it wasn't normal, what I was living, the abuse and control and bizarre lack of kindness. So I did it and stopped the cycle but the guilt is enormous and the questions are never-ending though it's been five years since we first separated. I'm telling you so you know what we may or may not have in common. There was no third person involved. I almost wish there had been.

I forgot about the great support available at DU, and how it's different from other places one might go to talk. Thank you for responding to my post. I'll be thinking about you.

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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-11 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. my kids have kept me going for a long time.
but the things you put up with when you have little kids and the things you put up with once those kids are grown are real different things. still, it stays my hand to know that they will be the ones to inherit my suffering if i were to end it.
i feel pretty well supported right now. i think i have a pretty good doc who is very sensitive to my complaints. got a good counselor, too.

my situation isn't so much horrible as it is persistently crappy. 29 years with a motherless child. thinks he has no emotions because he doesn't count anger.
so far we have a detante, a separation of sorts even tho we are in the same house still. maybe there is hope. but i am done with the bullshit territorial crap, the low level conflicts, the silent treatment. he is going to have to fix his own broken heart before he can touch mine again.
such stupid animals we naked apes can be, tho. you would think we would have evolved some better tools by now.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-11 02:45 AM
Response to Original message
8. You would be most welcome to call me instead.
I've already spent 9 hours on the phone this week alone just listening to two other people vent and share their feelings/fears/concerns. I don't do a lot well, but listening is one of the exceptions, and I know all too well how it feels to be right there on the brink. As recently as November I tried to buy a gun from a friend. He jokingly asked if I needed ammo for it as well and I replied, "Yes, one bullet." He wouldn't sell it to me after that (which made me laugh...apparently it was ok if I wanted to use it on other people lol).

Part of the trouble for people like us is that the lower we sink the harder it gets to reach out for help. Experiences like yours just reinforce that difficulty. I've debated calling a suicide hotline numerous times in the past, but I doubt I ever will.

Seriously, if you do ever need to talk, I can be found here or on FB pretty much every day, and I'd be happy to send you my number. And anything said between us would stay between us.

:hug:
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-11 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. how you doing there, forkboy?
healing well from you mishap?
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-11 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. In was ok Saturday, but shaky yesterday.
Concussion symptoms come and go like that, so it's not unexpected.

The arm is throbbing like a bugger! :)

Thanks for asking.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-13-11 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
11. I was a volunteer once when I was pretty young.
Honestly, I can hardly remember it. I only volunteered one night and I'm not sure how I connected with the opportunity. I do believe I was in high school. I had about 1/2 hour of training, and was given a big book of referral resources. I remember feeling very anxious the whole night. I didn't go back. This is probably the first time I've thought about it since then. Pretty scary, especially to think the situation probably hasn't changed much in over 20 years.

I have never called a hotline. I was the type to call an x-lover then wait for the sirens. (Also many, many years ago.)
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