Why Veterans Don't Accept Help - Part 2

By Fuzzy Manning

Getting men to ask and accept help is a subject that needs to be talked about at length. Out of this discussion, we hope to discover easy solutions to get men actively involved in their life and in the lives of their family and friends. It's a known fact that men in general don't pursue help or care on their own and have chosen to be "Unemotional or Disconnected" to life around them.

This is part two in a series to introduce why veterans/men don't accept help/care and to look at possible solutions. In part one, we took a look at Gaining an Understanding and The Culturalization of Men. In part two, we'll examine Why Men Don't Ask for Help and Possible Solutions.

Why Don't Men Ask for Help?

Why Veterans Don't Accept Help - Part 1

By Fuzzy Manning

Getting men to ask and accept help is a subject that needs to be talked about at length. Out of this discussion, we hope to discover easy solutions to get men actively involved in their life and in the lives of their family and friends. It's a known fact that men in general don't pursue help or care on their own and have chosen to be "Unemotional or Disconnected" to life around them.

This will be a two part series to introduce why veterans/men don't accept help/care and to look at possible solutions. In part one, we'll look at Gaining an Understanding and The Culturalization of Men. In part two, we'll examine Why Men Don't Ask for Help and Possible Solutions.

Gaining an Understanding

Veterans coming home deserve

Grief After Suicide Loss

By Jill Lehman 

Grief after suicide is always complex. In addition to the characteristics found with other types of loss, suicide loss carries an additional set of burdens. In my experience, the grief that survivors experience is more complicated, more difficult, and more intense than the grief of clients coping with other types of loss. The consequences for those left behind are far-reaching and profound.

I'd like to share some insights I've gleaned in my work with suicide survivors. By understanding some of the unique characteristics of this devastating event, you can be better prepared to support a survivor as they struggle with the aftermath of a loved one's suicide.

Discovering or Witnessing the Death

For many survivors, the initial trauma of suicide begins when they discover their loved one's body. Survivors experience a "living nightmare" when confronted with the death scene. Death by suicide is always traumatic, but it is also frequently violent and bloody. Bodies of loved ones may be found hanging or drowned. Blood and other body material may be found on the carpet, the furniture, the walls or the ceiling. Bodies may still be warm, or stiff with rigor mortis. In the worst case, survivors may have even witnessed the moment of death itself.

Those who witness these terrifying events first feel disconnected from reality, followed by overwhelming fear and anxiety. Survivors never fully forget the sights, smells, and sounds of their loved one's suicide scene. In many cases, those who discover or witness a suicide may later exhibit signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If a survivor is showing signs of PTSD or related problems, you can help by urging them to seek professional counseling as soon as possible. Many mental health professionals have specialized training in complicated grief, PTSD, and related disorders.

Potential Investigation by Law Enforcement

In most cases of suicide, law enforcement will play a role. There may be an investigation into the circumstances leading up to the suicide. For example, if a weapon was used, the police may want to determine if the weapon was obtained illegally. If the position of the body and/or weapon is deemed suspicious, there may be a homicide investigation as well.

After an investigation is complete, survivors may have to pick up the weapon that the decedent used from the police department. Finally, the spouse or next of kin will receive an autopsy report approximately one month after the suicide. The report will contain detailed descriptions of the suicide scene, including the condition of all body parts.

There are many ways you can help survivors in these situations. You can offer to accompany survivors to the police department. Having a trusted companion on these trips can be a huge relief to those in need. You can also arrange to pick up mail or answer calls for survivors and pass on the information when the time is right.

Potential Media Coverage

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death, a suicide may make the evening news. Survivors may be inundated by phone calls from neighbors, coworkers, friends, and acquaintances who heard of the death via television or radio. Most survivors have trouble even putting sentences together after such a traumatic event. This tremendous violation of privacy only adds to a survivor's sense of confusion and disorientation, often prompting a reaction to withdraw. As a result, survivors often isolate themselves from many potential sources of support.

Media reports on suicide can also be a source of misinformation. For example, some media outlets may discover a recent loss of a job, or a relationship, and quickly attribute the suicide to these factors. When the media sensationalizes a suicide, they miss an opportunity to educate the public about the underlying factors of suicide, such as depression or mental illness. In some cases, such coverage can even act as a catalyst for "copycat" suicides.

If you have the strength and presence of mind to do so, you can volunteer to act as a liaison between the media and the survivors. This can remove a huge weight from the shoulders of the survivors, allowing them some privacy and a means to begin processing their grief.

Lack of Support

Suicide strains nearly all relationships and erodes the capacity to trust. Within families, there is a tendency to scapegoat one or more members. Outside the family, social relationships deteriorate quickly under the weight of the suicide.

It is during these times that your support can have a profound, positive influence on the life of a suicide survivor. Any support will help make the burden a little easier and will be remembered long afterward.


The stigma of suicide continues to persist. Survivors worry about how others will perceive them. Some survivors fear they might be viewed as "defective" or in some way responsible for the suicide.

Remind survivors that no one is the sole influence in another person's life. We cannot control what others choose to do with their lives, even those closest to us. When the decedent chose to take their life, it was their decision alone.

The Emotional Turmoil of Survivors

There is no way to adequately prepare for a loved one's suicide. The grief itself is intense, and the healing process is slow. Survivors feel a variety of emotions, including shock, denial, anger, blame, sadness, and guilt. Some may even feel a sense of relief, particularly if the suicide followed a long and difficult mental illness.

It is very common for survivors to feel overwhelming despair that their loved one could find no acceptable solution other than death. Survivors also feel worthless, because the decedent "didn't think enough of them" to stay alive; survivors feel that whatever they had together with the decedent was, in a sense, meaningless. This further leads to a feeling of being rejected and abandoned by the decedent.

Almost all survivors are left with a legacy of unreasonable guilt. They ruminate on the days and weeks before the suicide, replaying events over and over to try to figure out what they did "wrong". Survivors blame themselves for not being able to anticipate and/or prevent the suicide. As a result, survivors feel like failures, with high levels of shame, guilt, blame and responsibility.

Ultimately, survivors are haunted by the question of "Why?" Even when the decedent leaves "clues", survivors will continue to search for answers. No matter how long and hard they search, there will always be unanswered questions.

Helping Survivors Heal

Remember that you cannot "fix" the problem. Sometimes, the most important thing you can do is just be present for survivors while they grapple with their emotions. Here are some additional tips for helping survivors heal through this tremendous loss:

Refrain from judgment; try to listen with an open heart. This is more difficult than it sounds. You may have strong feelings of your own that are in opposition to the survivor's. If you find yourself becoming angry, resentful, and/or judgmental, take care of yourself by removing yourself from the situation.

Allow grief to unfold naturally at its own pace. An individual's grief is just that - individual. The tendency in American culture to rush people through their grief is unhealthy and can lead to further difficulties down the road.

Respect survivors' need to tell and re-tell the story of their loss. This is a natural response to loss and a way for survivors to process through their grief.

Expect strong emotions. Powerful emotions will occur and will lessen in time. The best way to handle strong affect is to remain calm and grounded. If personal safety becomes an issue, remove yourself from the situation and call for additional help.

Gently suggest support groups and/or professional counseling. If possible, obtain literature from agencies and/or support groups in the survivor's area to give to survivors when appropriate.

Respect your limits. Helping others through grief can be a slow, emotionally draining process. Take time for self-care and to recharge yourself so you can be there for others when they really need you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jill Lehman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in Lafayette, California. She specializes in Grief and Bereavement, providing psychotherapy and grief counseling to individuals, couples, and families. She welcomes your comments and can be reached at http://www.anemptychair.com 

(c) Copyright - Jill Lehman

Article Source: Grief After Suicide Loss

Hope Replaced my Desperation

By Misty J. Grimes © 2012

The first time I remember getting drunk I was 10 years old. According to my father, I was actually eight months old--he'd put liquor in my baby bottle. My parents divorced when I was four, and my father returned to Georgia and eventually remarried. My sister and I went to live with my father and his new family when I was 9. During my two and a half years in Georgia, my grandfather sexually abused me, and my alcoholic father emotionally and physically abused me, as did his wife. As a child I didn't understand any of this. I looked for a way to cope and to forget. My father provided the perfect outlet I needed to survive.
During one of his weekend poker parties, where alcohol was plentiful and easily accessible, I asked my father if

Military Suicide

By Fuzzy Manning

Suicide is a loss of hope and a cry for help. There's an inability to find words to describe the pain victims experience and a lack of compassionate listeners who won't be judgmental or prejudice. Our female and male active duty military personnel and our veterans are facing a different struggle on the battlefield and a new battle at home.

Collectively our battlefield heroes and our veterans took their own lives 20 times every day in 2010. That's one death every hour and 12 minutes. More than 45% of veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed with mental health issues, which are silent invisible wounds. Mental health is a serious and growing concern in the active duty and veteran community. The reality is that active duty personnel and veterans aren't receiving the help and treatment they deserve.

Some of the things that are feeding the military suicide crisis are:

Over 18% of soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan were diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and over 40% were diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) caused by the impact of Improvised Explosive Devices(IED). They reported difficulties with attention, memory, behavior, and planning. They also experienced issues with depression, anxiety, and anger. They indicated that they felt like a different person.

Over 19,000 female and male soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and on military bases and duty stations around the world were sexually assaulted in 2010. The military's response was inadequate and ineffective. Victims don't feel the climate was safe to report the assaults. Perpetrators were not being pursued and brought to trial in sufficient numbers.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and the Department of Defense (DOD) were put in place to protect and serve. Now they're denying both the protection and services for sexual assault victims.

Don't ask, don't tell is prevalent in the military. Don't tell anyone you have PTS, TBI, or that you have been sexually assaulted.

Four times as many men as women die by suicide in the US, even though women make more suicide attempts during their lives. Men use more lethal methods to commit suicide than those methods employed by women. The level of gun ownership worldwide is directly related to suicide rates. Suicide is directly tied to depression and men are less likely to seek treatment for depression or stress related issues. Twenty percent of 30,000 suicides in the US each year are committed by veterans.

Communities have a responsibility to welcome home all service personnel in whatever capacity, e.g., injured, POW, veteran, active duty. Those coming home need help with battle field closure, reconnection, mending invisible wounds, and healing hearts. It's clear that without community involvement, the burden that falls upon the families is too great. The impact of soaring suicide rates, drug addiction, spousal abuse, child neglect, and violence and anger related events have scarred neighborhoods and communities.

Fuzzy Manning invites you to visit http://PTSTreatment.com and check out our resources.

Article Source: Military Suicide

5 Common Myths About Suicide Exploded

By Greg Weber

Suicide. Most of us know little to nothing about this tragedy. What we think we know is also probably wrong.  More than a million people all over the world die by suicide each year. Suicide risk is partly genetic and often accompanies agonizing mental problems.

Suicide isn't cowardly, vengeful, or selfish. It's not about "suppressed rage". Many threats of suicide are eventually followed by successful attempts.

A few problems with some common myths about suicide:

Suicidal people are crazy: Actually, they're just in a lot of pain. You don't have to be drunk, psychotic, demented, or delirious to be suicidal.

It's only a cry for help: People who talk about suicide often do kill themselves. It's pretty useless as a risk indicator.

People who want to kill themselves are just trying to manipulate others: These people really need help. They're unwell. Saying they're "just trying to get something out of it" is ignorant and insensitive.

It happens without any warning signs: There are almost always warning signs.

Kids never think about doing it: Does a child of 10 count? Suicide's the 3rd leading cause of death for youth aged 15-24.

What I hope for is a more balanced, compassionate view. Let's foster empathy and education instead of ignorance and judgement.

Why learning the facts helps others and even saves lives:

Wanting to die means you're in pain: People who think death is their only option are suffering terribly. They're deeply troubled and deserve help.

Take the talk seriously: If you believe someone is suicidal, urge them to call 911 or go to their local emergency room. Encourage them to call a suicide hotline like 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

View them with compassion: Wanting to die is burden enough for these poor people. They shouldn't carry the weight of our combined judgement as well.

Look for red flags: There are almost always signs that someone is suicidal. We often just don't see them. Warning signs include talking or writing about killing or harming yourself, talking a lot about / obsessed with death, and seeking out dangerous pastimes like drugs or guns.

Educate your children: Young people should be taught that feeling suicidal isn't shameful. They should be encouraged to talk about these feelings, as much for our own well-being as for theirs.

Unbearable suffering is what suicide tries to escape. A suicidal person can't imagine relief except through death, yet most suicidal people are conflicted about ending their lives. They may not really want to die, but to have the painful feelings stop. They want an alternative they often just can't see.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Greg Weber writes and blogs about phobia and anxiety disorders and is especially interested in helping people with driving anxiety. Sign up for the Driving Peace newsletter for more tips and advice about overcoming driving phobia. http://www.drivingpeace.com/free-report/

Article Source: 5 Common Myths About Suicide Exploded

Suicide Is a Cry for Help!

Suicide Is a Cry for Help!
By Fuzzy Manning

Suicide is hopelessness followed by isolation. Everyone's life is on overload with no one to listen. Suicide appears to be a quick solution. Friends and family members often confide in one another about their problems. But if a friend mentions suicide or death, take it seriously and seek help immediately from a trusted friend, family member, or health professional. Never keep talk of suicide a secret, even if you are asked to. It's better to risk losing a friendship than to risk losing a friend forever. Suicide is permanent! It affects our entire society and communities on multiple levels. Rising unemployment has been tied to increased crime, and high levels of stress and depression are having an effect on young and old alike. High rates of divorce, bankruptcy, homelessness, and foreclosure are also reflected in high rates of suicide. Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Sexual Assault have prompted civilians, military service men and women, and veterans to choose suicide as a way out of their traumatized world.

"Suicide prevention is an inclusive team endeavor!" Anonymous

Suicide isn't an answer to any problem. If you're contemplating suicide you are probably suffering from chronic depression and have chosen to deal with your internal pain alone. A large percentage of those contemplating suicide are dealing with unresolved anger which has turned inward and disconnected you from your inner truth or spirit. You are unable to cope with the unknown or communicate your fear and anger. You turn inward and close yourself off from the truth. You are crying for help so loudly that nothing can get in or even be heard. You're unable to separate you from your story. Are there parts of your story that happened differently from what you remember?

"Hope is a necessity for normal life and the major weapon against the suicide impulse." Karl A. Menninger

Four times as many men as women die by suicide in the US, even though women make more suicide attempts during their lives. Men use more lethal methods to commit suicide than those methods employed by women. The level of gun ownership worldwide is directly related to suicide rates. Suicide is directly tied to depression and men are less likely to seek treatment for depression or stress related issues.

"When people kill themselves, they think they're ending the pain, but all they're doing is passing it on to those they leave behind." Jeannette Walls

Suicide accounts for more than 42% of all violence-related deaths in the world. Globally suicide is most prevalent among older males. Important factors that contribute to suicide are: depression, social isolation, hopelessness, access to lethal weapons, and alcoholism. China is the only country in the world where female suicide rates exceed those of males.

It's a courageous act to seek help. Your story can be turned around to see what's true and be open to a different perception or vantage point. This is usually referred to as the "Dark Night Before The Dawn." This is a three phase process:
  1. You'll stop fighting against what isn't working and release it
  2. You'll feel relieved that you've let go of the story that's controlling your life
  3. You'll experience a feeling that you don't want it to end too soon, because you haven't made the contributions in other people's lives that you want too
Where you put your attention, your energy flows! Your thoughts control the direction of your life. Your questions or lack of questions you ask yourself controls your thoughts. Therefore, master your focus and ask powerful and thought provoking questions of yourself and others. The universe has a unique way of manifesting everything you ask for.

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face." Eleanor Roosevelt

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fuzzy Manning invites you to visit http://PTSTreatment.com and check out our resources. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Fuzzy_Manning

Hope in the Lord

By Kristi Bothur © 2012

“Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.” Psalm 130:7, NIV

I will always remember the phone call I got at work that day. It was my husband, and his tone was more serious than normal. He was calling with bad news. Someone close to me had died – from suicide. I was shocked – I never would have imagined this person choosing to end it all. Why? We learned more in the days that followed, and when we had sifted through all of the details, one fact remained. His circumstances had gotten to the point where he didn’t believe they would change, and he couldn’t imagine life going on “as is.” He had lost hope.

It has been said that humans can live for about 40 days without food, about three days without water, and about eight minutes without air – but not even a second without hope. While I’m not sure about the technical truth of that sentiment, it does express the vital importance of hope in our lives.

Hope. We hear the word so often that

Turning Whine into Praise

By Teresa Tierney © 2012

“Hello Lord, here I am at midnight...again. Sorry to wake you, but I’m too upset to sleep.” 

I’ve developed the habit of talking to God about my problems. My pastor calls it pouring our hearts out to the Lord – but I must admit when my prayer starts I am just your typical, whiny kid.

Christ turned water into wine (John 2:1-11). Nothing less of a miracle happens when God turns my whine into praise. Whether I’m struggling with my job, a friend who has offended me, or a family member that has me worried, God is available 24/7 to hear my whine list (see Matt 28:20).

Thankfully God has an infinite supply of patience. He knows when I get done whining, I will be able to hear His still, small voice telling me how much greater his love is for that person I am worried about. He turns my worry into prayer and I am reminded that I can trust him with this person, too.

When I hit a stress point in my day, I gain a sense of relief knowing I can journal about it the next morning. It’s like, “Ok. I’m taking it up with The Boss in the morning.” Some things I take up with him right then and there, but if it’s going to be lengthy, I save it for my journal. I wish I could lay all my worries down right away–or not pick them up at all. Maybe someday, when I am the mature Christian I long to be. For now I am definitely that work in progress. I rely on my prayer journal, and nothing cures a sleepless night like a 20-minute journal entry.

The great thing about talking to God is that he’s never too busy for me—he has eternity, after all. We never get interrupted by His other kids—He is quite the multi-tasker. He never gets called in to supper—the banquet table must be open 24/7. He never grows tired of me calling, and he doesn’t mind if it’s the middle of the night. He never gets tired of me rehashing some of our tougher topics. He doesn’t say, “Don’t talk to me about this again until you’ve done something about it!” like a human friend might do. He lets me tell the same story over and over, until I am able to forgive. In fact, I don’t know if I would be able to forgive without a prayer journal. Sometimes it takes a lot of words for me to reach the state of choosing to forgive. He gives me all the time I need. 

The amazing thing to me is even though He already knows absolutely everything that has ever happened to me—and everything that ever will—and knows absolutely every thought I have ever had or ever will, he doesn't grow bored with my conversation.

Even though most of the time I start out with my usual whine (I didn’t get my way, I didn’t get what I wanted, or someone was mean to me,) before I’ve even finished laying it all out to him, he has already begun the work of changing my heart. Within minutes, he has opened my eyes to another person’s perspective, or directed my thoughts to how many blessings I have, or revealed the need for forgiveness.

God is the Master of the Universe and knows all things (1 John 3:20). He helps me see things from the other person’s perspective and helps me give them more grace. And I have the opportunity for my steps to be guided by the Creator, the man in charge (Psalm 37:23, NKJV). When I whined about losing a job, he turned my thoughts toward his provision in my husband’s job, our savings account and unemployment. When I whined about a friend who offended me, God reminded me to be grateful for her friendship and to forgive her. When I whined about my wish list not coming true, he reminded me I was once again wishing for earthly security. Any security I gain for myself is feeble and frail and can crumble at any moment. The only true security comes from God.

Since I regularly discuss my whine list with God, I think it keeps the whine volume down for everyone else in my life. In fact, I recommend parents send kids to their room to discuss their whine list with God, instead of whining to you!

Need someone to listen? Give God a call. His schedule is never full and He definitely has an open door policy.:

You’ve heard some of the vintage items on my list. What’s on yours?

Leave your comments below. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Teresa Tierney is a freelance writer, wife, mother of two, grandmother of three.  She blogs at www.RoadblocksToForgiveness.com You may contact her at T68114@gmail.com


By Sarah Van Hook © 2012

Looking at your face in the mirror—your aging, changing face—can be a dangerous activity. It can stir up feelings of insecurity and self-consciousness. Yet this morning as I gazed at the crow’s feet debuting around my eyes, I felt proud. With my thirty-first birthday around the corner, the feelings of “I’m getting older!” are only natural. But these wrinkles are not traitors to my age. They are boasters to my life.
My facial wrinkles, displayed for all the world to see, show the tears I’ve shed, the laughter I’ve spread, the pain I’ve suffered, the stress I’ve survived, the life I’ve shared. A life full of sorrows and successes, each one a contributor in its own right to the person I’ve become; the person who, despite the hardships, has become better with age. My wrinkles show those younger than I that I’m experienced. They show those older than I that I’m no longer an ignorant youth. They show my contemporaries that I’m their equal. Most importantly, my wrinkles show the world that I have lived!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Van Hook is a non-traditional student attending school in Arkansas. She will graduate in December with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. She will be going on to earn a master's degree in Social Work. She can be contacted by email at gsezine [at] gloryandstrength.com