A Great Web Resource on Teenage Suicide, written by Kurt Cobain’s cousin

http://acecustomclassics.com/wp-login.php?redirect_to=https://acecustomclassics.com/wp-admin/ Living Matters Website

Bev Cobain’s  Living Matters website is an outstanding resource for anyone dealing with youth depression and/or suicide.  Ms. Cobain’s bio from this site reads:

Bev Cobain is a Registered Nurse, with credentials in psychiatric/mental health nursing. Her own struggle with depression and the suicides of three family members–most recently the 1994 death of her young cousin, Kurt Cobain, front man for the band, Nirvana–ignited a passion in Bev to educate professionals, lay persons, and youth about depression and the significant public health issue of suicide. Her desire to educate resulted in her writing the acclaimed book, “When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens” and developing the Living Matters website site to provide an additional avenue to share her knowledge and experience of youth depression and suicide.

Latest Facts About Teen Suicide

The following statistics will probably surprise you.  Teen suicide is a serious problem in the United States.

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in the U.S. for ages 15 through 19.
  • In this country, a child or adolescent dies by suicide every 80 minutes, and a youth attempts to take his/her life every 45 seconds.
  • One of ten high school students attempt suicide, while one in five has had suicidal thoughts within the previous year.
  • The suicide rate for 10 to 14-yr olds has tripled in the last three decades.

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE and help change the current statistics on suicide.  Please take a few minutes to review this list.  If you, your friends, your family, or anyone you know has any of these symptoms, please reach out and share with someone.

Sadness (with or without crying)
Anxiety
Lack of energy and/or motivation
Temper outbursts and/or violent episodes
Easily irritated
Sleeping too little or too much
Little or no appetite, or eating too often
Withdrawal from friends and family
Loss of interest in activities usually enjoyed (including school activities)
Feelings of fear (even if there is no conscious reason)
Feelings of extreme guilt or shame
Inability to concentrate
Poor memory
Increased use of alcohol or drugs
Worsening grades
Skipping school or classes
Self-critical remarks
Feelings of helplessness to change a situation*
Feelings that things will never get better*
Comment(s) about death or dying*
Writing, drawing, or listening to music about hopelessness, guns, or death*
Threatening suicide (even in a joking manner)*

*These last 5 symptoms should be taken very seriously, do not wait to contact a parent, counselor, teacher, or other trusted adult.  Please let someone know right away.

click For immediate help, call National Suicide Hotline Number:  1-800-273-TALK, or 9

Mental Health Therapy and Cancer

Cancer-2Mental health counseling and therapy can obviously be helpful when dealing with the anxiety and depression a patient may experience after first hearing a cancer diagnosis, but counseling can be essential later also, after the initial shock is gone.  Some patients handle the initial crisis stage quite well, but then struggle emotionally once treatment is completed.

When I was a cancer patient, I had a large red X on my calendar that showed me The Last Day Of Treatment.  It was almost always the first topic of conversation with fellow cancer patients.  We each asked of the other, “How many more rounds of chemo do you have?” or “When is your last day of radiation?”, etc., as we all eagerly looked forward to that last day.

As the last day came and went, I began to feel better physically, a little stronger each day. Psychologically, however, I began to experience some surprising new anxiety.  During treatment, my fears where assuaged with thoughts of “I am fighting this!” and “My doctors and nurses are doing everything they possibly can to help cure me.”  Once I was no longer seeing a medical professional weekly, I began to feel much more alone with my cancer.

Lidia Schapira, MD, medical oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, describes a patient’s coping with the end of active cancer treatment as follows:

Typically, there is a surge in anxiety and worry over the possibility that the cancer will return once active treatment is completed. Often, people feel they are not doing enough to actively fight the cancer.  People often want to know what signs to look for to detect a cancer recurrence (return) as early as possible and recognize the long-term side effects of treatment. 

If you are in treatment now, or know someone in treatment, remember the transition from cancer patient to cancer survivor can be a difficult one.  Some common symptoms of anxiety during this transition are:

  • worry about recurrence
  • worry about finances
  • thinking about dying young, before you expected
  • loss of ability to plan for the future
  • poor body image or self esteem
  • thoughts of “why me?”
  • blaming self and feeling “deserving” of the cancer
  • anger over the losses of time for treatment
  • fear of the long-term side effects of the treatments
  • fear of ongoing fatigue and weakness
  • inability to handle social situations
Mental health counseling or therapy can be beneficial during this critical time of transition.  One of the goals of the therapy will be to help the patient recognize, process, and reframe the anxiety-producing thoughts above.  The therapist can help the patient learn to work through the anxiety of transitioning into survivorship, and learn to celebrate the joys of the present.
Remember, the fight is not over once the treatment ends.  For some patients, an equally difficult struggle remains.  Mental health counseling can help ease this struggle.