Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Brief Note on Depression and Suicide

A lot of great things have been said online in response to recent events.  Since this is an emotionally draining topic for me, I won't rehash what's already been said online and just share some of my favorite articles below.  However, I will toss in this brief bit:

"Victim blaming" when it comes to mental illness has always infuriated me.  However, when such behavior comes from someone in the medical field, I can't help but question the quality of education this person received in medical/nursing/social work/allied health school.  When caring for a severely depressed or suicidal individual, statements like "Look what this is doing to the people around you" and "This is a call for attention" do not help the situation. Neither is calling a family member to confront the patient (which is a potential HIPAA violation).  As medical practitioners, our focus is to provide care, not judgement.  My advice is this:  If you're not going to try to be understanding of a patient's predicament, then step aside and let someone else take over because you are doing more damage than good.

As I said, I wanted to keep this post short so I will leave all of you with links to some easy reading on the topics of suicide and depression:
There's Nothing Selfish About Suicide
Robin Williams's death: a reminder that suicide and depression are not selfish
Best Ways To Support Someone With Depression
21 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Depressed