That she's really gonna kill herself someday What are you afraid of?: That she's really gonna kill herself someday

By The Dinner Lady on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 01:13 pm:

    and I won't have been able to stop her.

    OK Sorabjites. Here's a question. I have a friend who has been pretty depressed for over 10 years. She's now been in therapy for about the past year and a half. Last night she called me and was telling me that she was searching the web for ways to kill herself. This is by no means the first time she's told me she wants to kill herself - I've heard it lots of times in 15 years - but she seemed a bit more resigned last night than usual - "there's nothing I can do, there's no hope, my entire life is unsatisfactory and I'm slipping into another depression badly..."

    Anyway, I must say I've gotten a bit callous since I've been listening to her self destructive ambitions for years, but I did find myself getting a bit more upset since her tone seemed different than usual. So I wound up actually calling the Samaritans last night who basically said 'be a good friend and listen' and her Employee Assistance Program today who said 'there's nothing we can do unless she contacts us' which will never happen I assure you boys and girls.

    What I want to do is get a message to her shrink to tell her that she is threatening suicide, an action which I don't think she's revealing to shrinky-poo - spesh since there has been no drive to get her on any kind of meds. In fact, I'm a bit alarmed at the idea that maybe her shrink knows nothing about how low she is since she told me 'nothing much was happening in therapy' now. Of course the EAP are out for themselves and won't help and I don't know where she's seen for mental health. What can I do???? Even if she doesn't kill herself today her shrink should know maybe she's planning something, no??

By Dougie on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 01:25 pm:

    Call 911/the police immediately, tell them that your friend has threatened to commit suicide, and that you need to get help for her. They are required to come, and will take her to a hospital for observation/counseling. This is nothing to fuck around with. Even if she hates you forever, you've done your part to try to get her help.

By Patrick on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 01:33 pm:

    let her go.

    i know it sounds callous and mean spririted but fuck, people are so damn selfish when they play this game....suicide is such a pussy cop out, selfish fucks. I lived with this for years. my dad threatened almost weekly. he would cut himself in the bathtub and call 911 minutes later. fucking drama for attention. Anyone who does this to their friends and family is a fucking asshole......they just go and off themselves and leave you with the pieces to pick up because they couldn't handle life or were to damn self pitiful to ask for help.

    it shouldn't be against the law for someone to commit suicide, fuck it, they wann go, let em go........

    call her docs and maybe her family, but don't run yourself ragged trying to help this person. Or perhaps you should call her, talk to her, get angry with her, let her know how this would affect everyone around her, tell her how selfish it is to go thru with it......maybe she will realize she is being a big fuckin baby and go get help.....

By Rhiannon on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 01:39 pm:

    Unless she has actually attempted to take her life, the hospital probably won't hold her (insurance reasons).

    Call her therapist right away. At best, the therapist can get on the stick and get her some help themselves. At the least, they'll tell you what you can do to help her.

By Dougie on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 01:43 pm:

    She's not being selfish. She's depressed, doesn't see any point to life, and thinks that the only way out is to kill herself, but hasn't been able to find the courage to do it. One day she might though. Like I said, even if it kills your friendship, call 911 and have her looked at. If it's been 10 years, you're not going to get her to go voluntarily.

By Patrick on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 01:47 pm:

    suicide is totally selfish. it does nothing but cause pain to others. but know she isn't thinking of that. she is wrapped in a blanket of self pity and drama.

    and if she truly doesn't see a point to life, no one else is gonna be abe to give her a point. I would be willing to bet, if you handed her a loaded gun and walked away she wouldn't do it. She just wants attention.

By One step ahead of Spider on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 01:48 pm:

    that should be a "no", instead of "know"

By J on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 01:54 pm:

    It would help to know more details,is it chronic depression(Sounds like it),is she bi-polar?Why does she want to check out?What,s going on in her life?That therapist doesn,t sound so good.I tried to kill myself when I was 15,I got no help just juvinal detention.Patrick,didn,t your dad commit suicide?In some states it,s against the law to commit suicide.

By Patrick on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 02:00 pm:

    well it's hard to say. the official cause of his death was alcohol combined with his narcotic meds for schizo/paranoia. he was an alcoholic, so he may not have inteneded to kill himself, it's hard to tell his motive.....

By crimson on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 02:02 pm:

    all of the people i know who killed themselves were never the ones who talked about it all the time. those people--the talkers--are still alive, some after decades of repeatedly threatening suicide & generally hustling for sympathy.

    however, i might add that if she really does it, please don't feel that it's your fault. you seem to be a concerned & ethical person who's doing everything you can. hang in there.

By J on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 02:07 pm:

    Yea,if I had a dollar for every time Amee pulled that shit on me I,d be loaded.

By The Dinner Lady on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 02:10 pm:

    I don't think she'll commit suicide. Her Father did and she ADMIRES him for it. She sees suicide as something only strong people can do, not weak people like her. She's not a drama queen because I think I'm the only one who she tells she wants to kill herself. Other friends of ours don't seem to know just how depressed she is and I think that her shrink says the same. I don't know the name of her shrink or where she's seen and her stupid Employee Assistance Program which *I* called today were like 'there's nothing we can do unless she calls us.' - golly thanks. With help like that she'll be up and around in no time.

    She's been depressed for at least 10 years (not bi-polar, just always down - her symptoms are more obsessive compulsive) and it took about that long for her to seek therapy. I think her therapist needs to recognise she's not just a little down - if you dig what I mean - since I think she's not saying 'I WANT TO KILL MYSELF MY LIFE IS SHIT' in therapy. I don't think calling 911 will help, it will only make her resent me. Since she is very reclusive and private she certainly won't trust anyone if she were picked up by the cops, it's the sort of thing that would push her in the opposite direction of where she should go. And really, she's felt her life was shit for at least 10 years.


    Anyway she told me today that she was just upset and gets more upset at night so that is the root of it but I still worry about the future

By Rhiannon on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 02:19 pm:

    Patrick, people who are seriously suicidal are in no state of mind to evaluate whether their intended actions are selfish or not. They are mentally ill. Your father was mentally ill. He and they don't think like healthy people, and they can't say to themselves, "I know this is selfish and weak, but I don't care who it hurts, I'm going to do it anyway." In fact, if they do think they're selfish and weak, that's all the more reason to get rid of themselves, in their opinion.

    Then there are people who don't actually intend to be successful at their attempts, but they just want the attention from others. Which in itself is unhealthy and deserving of therapeutic attention.

    J, that really sucks that you didn't get any help when you were 15. Were you made to see a psychiatrist when you were in detention?

    Today, it's the opposite...they can't hold you even if they should. There's a thing called a GAF index -- it measures your general level of functioning. The only people who really use it are insurance companies. If you try to kill yourself and your GAF is higher than 40 (on a scale of 0-100), your insurance won't cover your hospital stay and the hospital is obliged to release you.

    My professor used to work at the Children's Hospital in Boston as the on-call psych evaluator and he told us most of his job was taken up by yelling at insurance companies.

    And if you're schizophrenic and in danger to yourself or others, the only way to get forced into in-patient treatment is to commit a felony and then (hopefully) get sent to a mental hospital instead of prison.

    The whole system needs revision.

By The Dinner Lady on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 02:24 pm:

    Ya I used to see a shrink who wouldn't take insurance because she said she couldn't have companies looking in her files and deciding who was healthy enough that they didn't need therapy anymore.

By Patrick on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 02:33 pm:

    i don't buy that depressed people are as "mentally ill" as we make them out to be. We are so quick as a society to say when someone says they are "depressed" to judge them with a mental illness. Next thing you know we are putting them on prozac and paxil to "cure" their poor self image.....they get their psyche numbed and all is well until the meds don't work, and they fall back into a whirlwind of self pity...i don't want to detract from people who have serious mental problems, they do exist, and your friend may be one of them. I am jsut kinda speaking generally.

By The Dinner Lady on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 02:54 pm:

    I do think she needs meds. And I do think that meds are a big step. Who wants to be on drugs just to feel ok? Just to deal with your life? She told me she doesn't want to go on meds because of 'the side effects' I said 'The side effect of you being without meds is you want to kill yourself'. As a friend of mine who is 'on the zac' sez: "when I'm off meds I worry - am I really the guy I am when I'm on meds or the guy I am when I'm off meds? And when I'm on I feel so much better I don't care'. Lots of people are medicated for the human condition - everyone will always have crappy days, difficult things to deal with. But say for instance, when she told me that she was going to send mail to everyone who posts her e-chain letters saying something to the effect of "Stop sending these to me. Chain letters are an evil way of undermining people's right to live happy lives. I would never send you an chain letter because I consider you a friend and because chains prey on people's weaknesses and reinforce that knowledge that bad things will happen to them. If you were really my friend you wouldn't do this but obviously you don't care what happens to me..." I was like whoa girl - it's just a chain letter! Then she told me that they were driving her over the edge and that she would be punished for not doing the right thing.... da da da. Yes I'm sorry I love her but she is full of crazy delusions that she is evil and needs to be punished for her evil when she's just a goofy punk rock chick at heart.

By J on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 02:58 pm:

    God no I didn,t get any help in detention,I was treated like I tried to kill someone else.I had to go to court over it.My mother and Aunt wanted me to go to the state hospital and brought up to the judge my many runaways.(I was given an out of state release from Good Shepard,a girls reform school in AZ or I couldn,t go back to WV when my Dad found out he had cancer)I managed to talk my way out of.I told the judge that I felt like a dog that couldn,t be housebroken,so they just wanted to put me in the pound,he let me go home.Mom was still trying to have my put away,so I took off back to AZ.I didn,t see her till she moved back out to AZ two years later.

By fuck this on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 03:15 pm:

    i have known three people who have killed themselves - only one of which i was very close to. i can remember the last year of the one who was my friend, how agitated and confused he was. we all just thought it was a phase; he'd always been like that, more or less, and, besides, he seemed to be trying so hard. he never said anything about depression or wanting to kill himself.

    after he did kill himself his mother let me read through his journals to see if i could make any sense of them. i suppose a psychologist could put a name to it, but i just know that he'd been losing control of his life. there was a stretch of about 2 months where there was nothing but conversations with himself - things like "i can't do this tomorrow - why not? - i don't know. - yes you do...", which seemed to help, to "do you love me? - i don't know."

    the last month of his life was nothing but lists - either things like "to do" lists or just justs fairly banal lists of what he'd accomplished that day - like taking out the garbage or washing the car.

    the suicide note was basically a note apologizing for having burdened everybody for so long.

    the shit patrick is spewing bothers me. i feel sure now that my friend was so convinced that, once he had exhausted his own resources, the only thing to do was die. i remember he used to disappear from everybody's lives for weeks at a time or longer. i think he must've been trying to regroup on his own.

    i wanted to slap his sister when she said things like "didn't he realize how selfish that was? what he put me through?" i can understand how she felt now. i think she can understand what her brother was going through.

By Czarina on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 03:43 pm:

    J, which email address are you using? I've sent a bunch of stuff to your new computer address, but I haven't tried your web-tv one.

    And Dinner Lady-----you have my sympathy with your dilema.It is very hard to deal with mental illness.And there is no sure way of knowing whether they will act out or not.One thing to be on the look-out for is if they start giving away their possesions,this can be indicative that they are truely intending to harm themselves.Speaking as a medical professional,it is VERY hard to get someone hospitalized,and even harder to keep them in a hospt.With a court order, they can be hospitalized for three days,[if there are beds available],for evaluation,but after those 3 days they can walk out if they want.This is a real problem to the families of the mentally ill,because in those 3 days we can regulate their meds, but then when they are discharged,there is no way to monitor whether or not they are compliant in continuing to take their meds as prescribed.Unfortunately,I have seen this scenario many times in the years I have worked in psych. hospitals.These patients become a major burden to their families both mentally and financially.But I can tell you this.We are each the captian of our own ship. Your friend is reasponsible for her own actions.You are not responsible for them for her.It is impossible to help someone if they are not willing to try and help themselves.You are doing the right thing in being concerned for your friend.She does need medical attention,you need to continue to urge her to continue her therapy,because mental illness often is a chemical imbalance in the brain,and can be regulated with the proper meds.How sad that she is so unhappy all the time,because there are some great aspects to life,if you are in the right frame of mind to enjoy them.Good luck.

By Patrick on Friday, February 18, 2000 - 04:59 pm:

    in which case, droop, i say let em kill seems pointless to run ourselves into the ground, make emotional wrecks of ourselves trying to help these people. If they don't want the help, let em go.......who are we to say they can't take their lives?

    some people are genuinely better off, and thats father was one of them. he was suffering from more serious mental illnesses. My father had reached the point where he didn't want anyone's help and he stopped asking for it. He too didn't want to burden anyone any longer. He was a able to recognise the years of agony he had caused his family, and yes that burden in itself was one of the 5 fingers that put that liquor/pill combo in his stomach.

    your friend had a different situation than dinner lady's. You friend seem to go about it with some diginity, taking care of other's around him. It's a sad situation no matter which way you look at it. At the same time some folks like to string their loved ones for the attention issue. I got that impression in dinner lady's case.

By JusMiceElf on Saturday, February 19, 2000 - 12:28 am:

    Hrrmm....A lot of thoughts on this one.

    First off, Dinner Lady, does she have a plan for how she'd kill herself? That's a good indicator to divide those folks who are serious from the ones who merely feel really really shitty about their lives. Besides depression, she could be borderline. A lot of borderline individuals make repeated suicide threats.

    Rhiannon, the system is in serious need of reform, no doubt about it. At the residential program where I work, we have kids who should have moved on months ago, but no one will take them. Because of how their histories look, a lot of the less restrictive programs (we're clincally intensive, one step down from a hospital ward) will pass on our kids in favor of someone who is a lesser risk. Additionally, our clients' treatment is paid for by the state Department of Mental Health. When they're in state custody, the Department of Social Services will stall on transferring kids for as long as they can, so they don't have to pick up the payment, which happens if they're shown to no longer need DMH care.

    Add to that, there are kids in acute hospital wards, staying there far too long because they have nowhere to go, and pressure on us to take those kids, whether we can help them or not, because as expensive as we are (over $100k per kid, per year), the psych hospitals are more expensive, and insurance often only pays for a limited stay.

    Because the state closed most of the state run mental hospitals, there is a severe shortage of treament options for children with mental illness.

    I could go on ranting for quite a while...this is hot issue for me.

    Finally, Patrick, I disagree with your positions on mental illness and suicide, but I'm not going to engage in a great debate. The one thing I will say is that the best use of meds in my experience is to stabilize and allow a person to make use of therapy and other supports.

By Dragon Lady i.e. R.C. on Saturday, February 19, 2000 - 03:21 am:

    Dinner Lady : PLEASE don't contact yr friend's EAP again. Most employers don't take kindly to staff members who are suicidal/& they'll terminate her 1st chance they get. Which will only send her spiraling into an even deeper depression. Even those who are suicidally depressed have the right to keep that info. away from their employers. Esp. when the same people you work for generally think nothing of downsizing YOU w/out a moment's notice or consideration for the impact that losing yr job will have on yr life & mental state.

    If she has a private shrink that is NOT part of her EAP/then call her psychiatrist & let her doctor know abt yr concerns. But you cannot do that unless you're willing to go all the way & support having her Baker Acted (i.e. institutionalized against her will becuz she is a danger to herself.) In my experience/the fact that she's talking abt it but not acting on it is a warning sign that she wants help & is reaching out for it. People who are deeply depressed & determined to let go of life don't send up flares like that.

    My remarks won't dovetail very well w/most of the previously-posted comments/but this place is not abt a populatiry contest for me/so I'm gonna say my piece. As as a suicide survivor (who is only here today becuz I was found by a roommate who came home a day earlier than planned) I can tell you from experience that No One Can Stop Another Person From Killing Themself/short of putting them in a straight jacket. And even then/ swallowing one's toungue & suffocating is still an option. It is up to each of us to look within ourselves/or outward to family or God or friends/& decide that our life is worth holding onto for one more day. And sometimes/it's just that bare & basic. Just as the alcoholic decides not to drink today/or the crackhead decides not to hit the pipe today/the suicidal person has to decide not to take their life/just for today.

    The best thing you can do for yr friend is be there for her/listen to her/& let her know how much you value her presence in yr life & this world. And if she choses to end her life in spite of yr support/know that YOU are not to blame for her actions. People like to think that only cowards take their own life/that suicide is some sort of cosmic cop out. But it takes a tremendous amount of courage to be willing to let go of a life that is filled w/nothing but pain & emptiness/& step out into that great unknown void. It is not for those of us who are left behind to judge/becuz none of us can get inside someone else's skin & live their pain in the way that they live it every day.

By Antigone on Saturday, February 19, 2000 - 03:56 am:

    Damn, Patrick. Sometimes you can be such a fuck.

    Have you been so scarred by your father's suicide that you would let a friend die? I wouldn't want to be a friend of yours if that was the case. God forbid I ever needed any support! Sure, you can't prevent someone else from snuffing themselves. That's not the point! The point is to open yourself. If the person in pain can open themselves as well, then maybe you can both connect, maybe you can both be a bit less seperated, maybe you both can abate the unbearable lightness of being for a while. But they can't connect unless there's someone to connect to. In closing off you diminish yourself.

By Gee on Saturday, February 19, 2000 - 04:38 am:

    I understand why you're angry, Antigone, some of the things said here made me angry too. But I think what you're saying might be a bit simplistic.

    sometimes there's just Nothing you can do. Sometimes opening yourself up, being there for support, even just listening can be too much to handle when you've been doing it for so long. It's a noble idea, but after such a long period of time, having to be responsible for someone else's choice over life and death can eat away at you until you're so tired you don't even care anymore.

    I'm not saying you should just snub the person. I'm just saying that sometimes there's no right answer. I really have no advice.

By Fetidbeaver on Saturday, February 19, 2000 - 06:31 am:

    I think if you walked a mile in Patrick's shoes you would understand his anger and hurt. I've worked with these people and the system also doesn't help. Most of these patient's are emotional black holes that suck you dry and then destruct anyway. I feel bad for them but refuse to go down with them.

By crimson on Saturday, February 19, 2000 - 02:04 pm:

    when confronted w/ chronic suicide threats, one's sympathy can eventually run thin. i've been bled dry by suicide-threatening psychic vampires & i've watched these people completely derail the lives of my friends, too. such people are starved for attention. they insist upon being the center of the universe. if they're not, then god help you--you'll be promptly treated to a barrage of late-night calls demanding that you drop everything & come hold their hand while they make weird noises about slashing their wrists. the chances that they'll go ahead & actually kill themselves are (thankfully) pretty damn slim--just like the chances were equally slim every other time they played you for a sucker.

    the suicide cases in my life weren't people who talked about it constantly. they just DID it.

    my ex-husband used to threaten suicide a lot. he said he'd kill himself if i ever left him. that threat alone kept me hanging around for a couple of extra years, even after it was obvious that the marriage itself had descended into acute pointlessness. i was terribly worried about his threats. what if he really killed himself? then his blood would be on my hands forever, just the same as if i'd pulled the trigger myself. i eventually mentioned his threats to a family member, who promptly went berserk on me. he yelled at me. he told me i was a complete dumbshit to have ever fallen for a line like that. he also added (this comment really freaked me out) that my husband wasn't worth the gunpowder it'd take to blow his fucking brains out. when i calmed down from the initial shock, i was told that it wouldn't be my fault if the man killed himself...that he was using me. that he was taking advantage of my sympathy. that no real man would use threats to keep another person hanging around against their will. a few weeks later, i finally got up the nerve to leave. not only did the joker not kill himself, but he had a new live-in lover within days of my departure.

    i've had 2 different people trap me in my home & threaten to kill themselves in front of me. one of these men literally held me hostage during a suicide threat. these were extended, harrowing episodes in which intense emotional burdens were unjustly placed on me (i didn't really know either of these people intimately; they were just acquaintances). both of these guys are still very much alive today. of course.

    a buddy of mine is the continual target of suicide talk. she's got this whole network of weirdos who phone her up every damn time they feel "depressed". she'll drop whatever she's doing & run to their side. she ends up engaging in all-night suicide watches for people who have zero intent to commit suicide, but sure like to talk about it a lot. trying to have a nice, quiet lunch date w/ this friend is impossible, because some jackass will inevitably phone up w/ a "crisis" & derail everything. a walk in the park? nope. she's gotta stay near the phone in case somebody calls w/ an oh-so-urgent cry for help--the nineteenth one this week. a creative project? oh, how could i even think of such things, when some acquaintance is out there suddenly recalling hazy memories of past abuse? oddly enough, these people often don't start acting up until they find out that she's either going to be hanging out w/ other people, or doing something important that's career-related. god forbid that she pay attention to anyone or anything else aside from them. when i asked my friend how she could stand it, she told me that those of us who don't have a crisis every day simply aren't as "interesting". she needs to be a messiah & we give her nothing to save. what fun is that? no, she merely gets our love &'s not quite the same thrill.

    but despite all the suicidal poseurs of the world, people DO kill themselves. it's a crushing & terrible situation. such people truly do need help (while they're still in a position to get it). i definitely understand what it means to have sympathy & concern. ironically, i also understand the lack of it. i want to be a sympathetic, caring person. but there's such a thing as self-preservation. sometimes, drowning people will grab their rescuers & drag them right to the bottom. i'm torn between intense compassion & a desperate need to shut off that same compassion before it ends up killing me.

    i hope that this situation--& all similar situations--turns out for the best. i wish that everyone could be healed...including the healers themselves, who are usually the last people on earth to ever be offered help.

By Isolde on Saturday, February 19, 2000 - 03:12 pm:

    Suicide is a sticky issue. I think that some people really would be better off on the other side, although since I've never been, I don't know. The problem with most people who commit suicide is that they don't think it through throughly. Granted, it can be difficult for someone whose mind is not working precisely right, but I think many do regret taking the plunge.
    Many people have said this, but I'll say it again--the talkers really are less likely to commit suicide. They want attention--they crave it, and so they ise it as a gimmick to raise your head. One shouldn't drop everything to run to them, although attempting to arrage some sort of meeting with them in the future isn't a bad idea. When someone is like that, usually they feel lonely and distressed for whatever reason (at least when I was that way, that was my mindset), and having someone tell them they want to see them, setting up a lunch dae or something with them, can sometimes make a big difference.
    My experiences with State Health left me severely scarred. I'm glad I was never really a ward of the state, since I think that would have done me in altogether. I have admiration and so forth for the people who work in State Health trying to make a difference, but--it isn't fur for the patients in the least.
    It's when she _stops_ talking about it that you should worry. That's what I did.

By droopy on Saturday, February 19, 2000 - 04:49 pm:

    i did accept, respect even, my friend's suicide. what i was reacting to was what i saw as a blanket statement that anybody who commits suicide is specifically trying to hurt other people or get attention. i tend not to see things in terms of "all people" but in one indivudual, so it seemed like an attack on him.

By semillama on Saturday, February 19, 2000 - 06:22 pm:

    I can only think of one person I know who committed suicide, and it was a total surprise. She seemed like a strong person, and pretty stable. Not the type to blow their head off in the bathtub.

By _____ on Monday, February 21, 2000 - 01:57 am:

By J on Monday, February 21, 2000 - 10:52 am:

    When I tried to kill myself I never mentioned it to anyone,but I planned it,waited till a weekend when they showed these trippy short experimental films at the midnight movies.My dad had a slew of pain medicine left after he died,took a bunch before I went in,brought some more just in case.I sat in the back away from everyone,the last thing I remember was watching a film where all these white horses were running through the fire.Next thing I knew I woke up in a hospital room with two cops asking me questions.When they put me in detention,I was seriously fucked up for days,could barely walk.

By The Dinner Lady on Tuesday, February 22, 2000 - 12:01 pm:

    Thanks all for your various imputs. I was away for the weekend but I sure enjoyed reading them all and I think there is truth in what everyone says no matter how conflicting. It is a sticky subject.

    R.C. - Don't worry about the EAP. I know that their info is totally confidential (I know people in ours and it's severely against the rules for them to "tell" on you). But really, if this girl's job fired her it would be the best thing that ever happened to her. She is one of the only competent people in a company of nincompoops. She hates going there, is underpaid, has no friends there, and it's been going on for 10 years! I think her job is one of the main things that makes her life unbearable. She has fat cash in the bank so it wouldn't be an issue if she lost the job. She could probably live for like 2 years without income right now. Your perspectives tho as someone who has attempted to kill themself are very helpful. I know I can't stop her but it's hard. I'm that 'gotta be a savior type' but also I find myself getting resentful when people don't respond in a certain amount of time to advice, shoulder, etc.

    The thing is that this girl - I mean her life is not great, but it's not bad. She owns her own home, she has friends, she doesn't live in want. True she doesn't have a beau (and hasn't for years because 1) she only likes men who treat her like absolute shit and 2) she's so depressed she doesn't even attract them), and she has few outside pursuits/big dream beside watching TV, reading magazines, and collecting toys, but she's a very worthwhile person, funny, kind, goofy, smart,... In many ways I just get so irritated with these friends of mine with no self esteem because it's like saying 'well you like me but who are you? I know I'm a loser' - grrrrr.

    I don't know if she needs to be hospitalized or not. I think she might go willingly if it were an option really, she is not happy and says she would like to be. In her more lucid times she knows that her problems just need to be taken care of. She does now take an elaborate regimen of St. John's Wort and other vitamins which are supposed to fend off depression but obviously it doesn't work enough. Still, she's reluctant to go on meds despite her feelings. I think she's been low so long now she's forgotten what it was like to not be sad. Or she's afraid of what lies ahead if she wasn't miserable. I just don't know what to do to convince her to get on the friggin' meds or tell her shrink (whose name I don't know) that she's a lot more sad than she pretends. My shoulder is soaked from her and everyone else's crying and I can't take a lot more. Then I feel guilty for not being friggin' Christ

By J on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 11:22 am:

    She needs to get on medication,if she,d just try it,she needs to stop dumping on you all the time Dinner Lady,do you have caller I.D.?

By The Dinner Lady on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 02:51 pm:

    Oh ya. I avoided her calls last week 'cuz she called and hung up about 2-4 times a day. Worse, I've just planned a swinging London vacation without her (we went to the same destination together twice before but last time she nearly ruined it with her super compulsive behavior and sobbing in the middle of the street) and I'd been trying to figure out how I would tell her 'um I'm going and you're not invited' but now I don't know what to do since I'd sort of whooped myself up into a 'this is silly, I have every right to go on vaca without her it's no big deal' but since the bomb was dropped I feel like I can't just say 'I'm going on vacation, sorry you want to kill yourself (not that I'm gonna take her with me)'.

    Actually, the more I type this the more I think - wow she really is controlling me. This is crazy. I think she was being less manic in the past and now it's back again and I just want to escape. Guilty as that may make me feel.

By patrick on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 02:57 pm:

    what part of London are you staying in? I stayed in the Queensway district just north of Hyde Park. If you have never been, i recommend the London Dungeon, especially after lunchtime drafts.

By Rhiannon on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 03:57 pm:

    Traits of the Borderline Personality Disorder:

    1. Shifts in mood lasting only a few hours.

    2. Anger that is inappropriate, intense or uncontrollable.

    3. Self-destructive acts, such as self-mutilation or suicidal threats and gestures that happen more than once

    4. Two potentially self-damaging impulsive behaviors. These could include alcohol and other drug abuse, compulsive spending, gambling, eating disorders, shoplifting, reckless driving, compulsive sexual behavior.

    5. Marked, persistent identity disturbance shown by uncertainty in at least two areas. These areas can include self-image, sexual orientation, career choice or other long-term goals, friendships, values.

    6. Chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom.

    7. Unstable, chaotic intense relationships characterized by splitting (see below).

    8. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

    Splitting: the self and others are viewed as "all good" or "all bad." Someone with BPD said, "One day I would think my doctor was the best and I loved her, but if she challenged me in any way I hated her. There was no middle ground as in like. In my world, people were either the best or the worst. I couldn't understand the concept of middle ground."

    9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

    This means feeling "out of it," or not being able to remember what you said or did. This mostly happens in times of severe stress.

    Miscellaneous attributes of people with BPD:
    People with BPD are often bright, witty, funny, life of the party. They may have problems with object constancy. When a person leaves (even temporarily), they may have a problem recreating or remembering feelings of love that were present between themselves and the other. Often, BPD patients want to keep something belonging to the loved one around during separations. They frequently have difficulty tolerating aloneness, even for short periods of time. Their lives may be a chaotic landscape of job losses, interrupted educational pursuits, broken engagements, hospitalizations. Many have a background of childhood physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or physical/emotional neglect.


By Nate on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 04:25 pm:


By Rhiannon on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 05:06 pm:

    Excuse me...instead of "traits" of BPD, that should read "diagnostic criteria." If five of them describe her, she meets for the disorder.

By Patrick on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 05:09 pm:

    oh god! i need help.

By Patrick on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 05:10 pm:

    why bother with the labels? she is just fucked up thats all. What happens if she meets 4 of the criteria? She's ok?

By Nate on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 05:11 pm:



    i'll trade you analyizing for analizing.

By The Dinner Lady on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 05:26 pm:

    I love this stuff

    > 1. Shifts in mood lasting only a few hours.

    Well everyone could be guilty of that sometimes

    > 2. Anger that is inappropriate, intense or uncontrollable.


    > 3. Self-destructive acts, such as self-
    > mutilation or suicidal threats and gestures
    > that happen more than once

    tears apart hands, chewing on cuticles until they bleed, suicidal threats sporadic over a period of years - check

    > 4. Two potentially self-damaging impulsive
    > behaviors. These could include alcohol and
    > other drug abuse, compulsive spending,
    > gambling, eating disorders, shoplifting,
    > reckless driving, compulsive sexual behavior.

    Compulsive eater, shopper, is sugar abuse real because sometimes all she eats is candy.

    > 5. Marked, persistent identity disturbance
    > shown by uncertainty in at least two areas.
    > These areas can include self-image, sexual
    > orientation, career choice or other long-term
    > goals, friendships, values.

    Self image, career, friendships all have disturbance

    > 6. Chronic feelings of emptiness or boredom.


    > 7. Unstable, chaotic intense relationships
    > characterized by splitting (see below).

    All men she has ever dated were Gods (those who treated her like shit or just didn't adore her) or losers (those who treated her with any kind of respect). Friends are held onto for too long even when they turn abusive.

    > 8. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined
    > abandonment

    Becomes insane in relationships (well hey but...) indulges in bizarre fantasy world where erratic behavior from the partner is the norm (well hay but...) then is perplexed when they do not act as crazy as she's thinking.

    > 9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation
    > or severe dissociative symptoms

    no, not to my knowledge

    > Miscellaneous attributes of people with BPD:

    Well this is not much like her since she's reclusive and anti-social but I sure have enjoyed the test. Does she get points for only being half crazy? I have another friend (who I ceased interacting with because she was too crazy) who fit this to a T.

    Got any more?

By The Dinner Lady on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 05:33 pm:

    As for London I'm staying at some crazy hotel I found on the web and couldn't get out of my head.

    It's overpriced but looks like endless fun. At least I can say I stayed there! Hurrah!

    I've never been to the Dungeon - is it scary? Madame Tussaud's horror part was REALLY scary last time I was there. I can't get enough of that place. I near smooched the Bob Geldof when I was there last.

By Patrick on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 06:20 pm:

    oh cool, it says Hyde Park. Hyde PArk is beautiful Park and that area is rather cool. I recommend you check out Club Wag, oh wait, we had this conversation before didn't we?

    Wow, i am jealous. I want to go back. We had such fun there.

    there is a possibility we might move to Japan in June/July for a year or two, god damn that excites me. To be totally submerged in aculture where i can't read or speak a damn thing. At least in western European countries, you can sorta spell some things out in due to the similarities of the word arrangements, but damn if reading Japanese doesn't seem like the impossible to me.

By Markus on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 06:27 pm:

    Well, I'm insane.

    1. Shifts in mood lasting only a few hours? Sure, who doesn't?

    2. Intense anger? Happens occasionally.

    4. Compulsive spending on books, bad driver - I'm self-destructive.

    5. No solid career choice; in fact I go out of my way not to have a career. Friendships that come and go....I'm on thin ice here.

    6. Chronic feelings of boredom. Oh, yeah.

    Four and a half. I wanna be sedated.

By Patrick on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 06:31 pm:

    put me in the wheelchair and take me to the show.
    hurry hurry hurry

By droopy on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 06:37 pm:

    before i go loco

By Patrick on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 07:18 pm:

    by the way dinner lady. i was looking up fudge to see if they had any pages on the band ( i recalled a few more bits of our previous sconversations) and all i found right away were two bands. One of them in the UK, the other mentions 3 members, none of which i recall and one of them being a drum machine.

    this isn't right is it? are they still around?

By Rhiannon on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 07:24 pm:

    You've actually brought up a very important question in terms of classification. What about the people who only meet 4 criteria? What if they have 4 things really really bad, and someone else has 5 things but not so bad...should the 5-thing guy get the diagnosis and not the 4-thing guy?

    Ah, but no one has a better system. Because insurance companies have to pay for treatment, so someone has to decide who's really messed up and who's only kind of messed up.

    Just keep in mind: unless you can't function (i.e., can't get up in the morning, can't hold a job, can't go anywhere by yourself, etc.) or you're very unhappy (i.e., have crying spells, are very disturbed by your compulsion to count the syllables of every word you say, etc.) you don't have much to worry about.

By Rhiannon on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 07:30 pm:

    PS. What criterion 1 is talking about -- "shifts in mood lasting only a few hours" -- is what's known as lability. Think of little kids. A little kid can be laughing and having a great time, but if he sees something that startles him, in seconds he'll be crying. The opposite is true: kid's crying, misses his mom, has a stomach ache...but tell him a goofy joke and he's laughing in delight. Normal adults don't do that. Their mood swings are slower. So the first criterion is looking for abnormally rapid shifts in mood. Most people do not experience this.

    This illustrates why you need a clinician to determine whether you meet a criterion or not. Untrained people (including, of course, me) don't know what they're doing.

By cyst on Wednesday, February 23, 2000 - 09:20 pm:

    2. anger.

    I'm considering putting a sign on the door saying, "DO NOT ASK FOR MONEY."

    every FUCKING day. some kid wanting to go to college, some environmentalist wanting $50-100 to put a stop to clear-cutting in oregon, someone wanting me to subscribe to the boregonian.

    I hang up on telemarketers. but I'm not so misanthropic that I can shut the door on someone's face.

    I signed her petition. she kept talking about how pretty the stupid loathsome cats are.

    "last time the timber industry outspent us 10 to 1."

    yeah, well, no shit, little miss pink hair.

    "I don't have any money."

    "I can take a check."

    "I don't have any money."

    "really, anything would help."

    "really, I don't have any money."

By The Dinner Lady on Thursday, February 24, 2000 - 10:24 am:

    I am way psyched for the UK trip. It will be my 7th time to London in 11 years. Plus I even have peculiar friends of friends to hook up with when I get there and someone's spare room to sleep in for part of the trip - yay! I'd pack you in my bag Patrick but you'd have to get to Boston first. Would you fit under the seat in front of me? Then I could carry you on. Why are you maybe moving to Japan? That would rule!! I have Japanese TV shows on tape and they are bizarre. My uncle lived there for a while. You can buy women's soiled panties out of vending machines but oddly women are pretty damn safe on the streets of Tokyo. Bee-zaarre.

    As for Fudge - I followed the link which had nothing to do with them - how do these engines work anyway? As far as I know the drummer and bassist are in a band here in Boston called Cherry 2000 who have a record out on Catapult. Of course I'm biased but it's about 50/50 - the music is pretty good but some of the vocals (by the other 2 members of the band, one x-Orangutang) are painfully terrible and it's not that dreamy trip-indie thing that Fudge did. Guitarist Tony was in the band The Seymores for a while but he had a baby a few years ago - this for a guy who could barely hold himself together - ooh. And the other guitarist Dave... God what is he up to? I can't remember except I know he has a girlfriend that is way younger than him but apparently a good person. Dave and Tony still live in Richmond to the best of my knowledge.

    As for our diagnostic test on line - it's like when they say 'you can tell your kid is on drugs if...' and then the symptoms are also the symptoms of being a teenager: having a group of friends your parents don't know, being secretive, being self-involved,....

    I try not to take out my anger on telephone solicitors since I know they have a shitty job. The canvasers are worse though since they usually have a deep misguided beleif in what they're doing. The only thing you can say is 'I don't give money to door to door people because if I do I'll encourage more of you to come here. If you want to mail me info I'll decide on my own'. Or of course you can do what I did to my ex: he answered my door and got trapped by Jehovah's Witnesses so I screamed at the top of my lungs from the other room "GET IN HERE NOW!" and he bowed out. He said it was hysterical to see their faces when the yelling commenced. Hee hee!

By Nate on Thursday, February 24, 2000 - 10:27 am:


    that's what i'd say.

    so howabout that fish and game slaughtering salmon to keep them endangered?

    fucking environmentalists. fucking al gore.

    "hey we're running out of salmon so lets take the damns off the columbia/snake river system and ruin a whole mess of clean electricity"


    whew. excuse me.

    better double up on the lith this morning.

By The Dinner Lady on Thursday, February 24, 2000 - 10:34 am:

    Pat Buchannan is that you?

By mistaswine on Thursday, February 24, 2000 - 10:55 am:

    nah, it's just his illegitimate hate-child.

By J on Thursday, February 24, 2000 - 11:51 am:

    I,m sueing those japaneese with the vending machines,those tricky little bastards.

By Patrick on Thursday, February 24, 2000 - 11:53 am:

    some dolphin boy came to my door the other day. i had just took a BH and was in no mood. I offered him a BH, he declined, though i was sure he wanted to. I said, i agree with e principle that the dolphins should be protected from lower environmental standards that could be imposed from the WTO blah blah blah blah blah blah.....i like cyst I said i have no money. i even clarified to make him understand i don't give money away to strangers atr my door. He offered a cute cuddly calendar and newsletter. I said i didn't ask for things in return if i donated. he said he would ower the price, i said i didn't care. he left. I got a beer.
    close your ass nate

By Nate on Thursday, February 24, 2000 - 12:28 pm:


By Markus on Thursday, February 24, 2000 - 12:38 pm:

    The WTO doesn't impose environmental standards; that was the point of the protesters - they wanted to have environmental (and labor) standards added to a trade compact. And feel self-righteous and loot a new TV.

By Patrick on Thursday, February 24, 2000 - 12:55 pm:

    I understand that. I was paraphrasing the dolphin boys rhetoric.

By BLAKESNAKE on Tuesday, April 11, 2000 - 05:32 am:

    I'm screwed- I'm BPD all the way

By Skitzo on Thursday, September 7, 2000 - 10:57 pm:

    Is anyone else reminded of Hendrix's "Manic Depression"? Or is it just me?

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