Archive for the ‘Assorted’ Category

Self Compassion Skills workbook: most discomfort and pain

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“The deepest meaning of self-compassion is relating to every part of ourselves with compassion.

 

We have compassion for our anxiety, for our loneliness, and even for our self-criticism.

 

It means that every thought, every feeling, and every behavior can be embraced with compassion.

 

 

In fact, when we learn how to have compassion for the parts of ourselves that give us the most discomfort and pain, we discover that growth and healing become much easier.”
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My two cents: This practice is the opposite of avoidance.

 

Instead of pushing away, denying or avoiding, we bring warmth and compassion to our vulnerabilities, then we let them fade on their own.

 

We observe without judgment, without narration, without emotion.

 

This is the road less traveled!
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My two cents: common sense

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Seems to me that having success, rivaling the lifestyles of the rich and famous, may not lead to inner peace.

 

 

Inner peace must not be linked to iconic success, stardom, power, luxury or approval.

 

The Buddhists have always said these are impermanent, ephemeral and fleeting.

 

We sure enter this world and leave it bare ass and vulnerable.

 

Why value things we do not take with us?

 

 

So where does inner peace live?

 

 

I know that inner peace cohabitates with gratitude and giving!

 

 

It thrives in the absence of ego, where desire exists in perspective (balance) and being present dominates life.

 

 

Where do you think inner peace thrives?
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Check in with those we know are at risk of depression, ptsd, self-harm or Suicide!!!

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Search out your friends who maybe at risk of self harm or suicide.

 

Visit, call, Skype, or text a friend at risk.

 

Make contact even if it is to tell them you care for them!

 

Your kindness may save their life that day.

 

Giving is such a boomerang of goodness, for us and for those we give freely to.

 

Show someone you love them unconditionally.

 

It costs nothing to save a life with kindness.

 

Reach out even if you feel it could be awkward.
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The risk of ‘contagion’ after suicides is real 6:01 AM EDT June 9, 2018

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My mindfulness group is inside a NAMI office.   They give mental health support for free.

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By Jacqueline Howard, CNN

“American fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in her Manhattan apartment in an apparent suicide on Tuesday. 

Then on Friday morning, CNN’s Anthony Bourdain, the chef and storyteller who took viewers around the world in “Parts Unknown,” was found unresponsive in his hotel room in France. The cause of death was suicide.

Mental health experts agree that several high-profile celebrity suicides could possibly cause an increased risk of what’s called suicide contagion, and that all of us should be aware of the risk factors related to suicide.

 

Suicide contagion is a process in which the suicide of one person or multiple people can contribute to a rise in suicidal behaviors among others, especially those who already have suicidal thoughts or a known risk factor for suicide.

 

“If they’re already struggling with thoughts of depression or risk of suicide, they’re already trying to get information about how other people are experiencing it,” said John Ackerman, suicide prevention coordinator in the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

 

“Especially when you’ve got high-profile people who are successful and who the world views as having a lot going for them and they die by suicide, it can generate feelings of hopelessness.”

 

There was a 9.85% increase in suicides — an additional 1,841 deaths — recorded in the United States in the four months following comedian Robin Williams’ death by suicide in 2014, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE in February.

 

That study was based on monthly suicide data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dated from 1999 to 2015. 

 

 

The researchers then analyzed that data, taking a close look at suicide rates before and after his death.

 

“In the story with Robin Williams, you saw a 10% increase in deaths especially among middle-aged men using the method that was described,” said Ackerman, who was not involved in that previous study.

 

“So we get concerned with celebrity suicides because when there’s lots of attention and lots of specific reporting about it in a sensational way people may be more likely to identify with that person,” he said.

 

Suicide contagion has also been studied within schools, military units, groups of friends, and families.

 

“Following exposure to suicide or suicidal behaviors within one’s family or peer group, suicide risk can be minimized by having family members, friends, peers, and colleagues of the victim evaluated by a mental health professional. 

 

Persons deemed at risk for suicide should then be referred for additional mental health services,” according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Risk factors for suicide

 

Globally, close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is about one person every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organization. 

 

In 2015, more than 78% of those global suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries.

 

In the US, suicide rates significantly increased in 44 states from 1999 through 2016, rising by more than 30% in 25 states, according to a new Vital Signs report published by the CDC on Thursday.

 

Nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide in 2016, according to that report. More than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known mental health condition, and various circumstances contributed to suicides among those with and without known conditions.

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The Crystallization of the “Ego”: Matthew Ricard

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Among the many aspects of our confusion, the most radically disruptive is the insistance on the concept of a personal identity: the ego.

 

Buddhism distinguishes between an innate, instinctive “I”—when we think, for instance, “I’m awake” or “I’m cold”—and a conceptual “self” shaped by the force of habit.

 

We attribute various qualities to it and posit it as the core of our being, autonomous and enduring.

 

At every moment between birth and death, the body undergoes ceaseless transformations and the mind becomes the theater of countless emotional and conceptual experiences.

 

And yet we obstinately assign qualities of permanence, uniqueness, and autonomy to the self.

 

Furthermore, as we begin to feel that this self is highly vulnerable and must be protected and satisfied, aversion and attraction soon come into play—aversion for anything that threatens the self, attraction to all that pleases it, comforts it, boosts its confidence, or puts it at ease.

 

These two basic feelings, attraction and repulsion, are the fonts of a whole sea of conflicting emotions.

 

The ego, writes Buddhist philosopher Han de Wit, “is also an affective reaction to our field of experience, a mental withdrawal based on fear.”

 

 

Out of fear of the world and of others, out of dread of suffering, out of anxiety about living and dying, we imagine that by hiding inside a bubble—the ego—we will be protected.

 

We create the illusion of being separate from the world, hoping thereby to avert suffering.

 

 

In fact, what happens is just the opposite, since ego-grasping and self-importance are the best magnets to attract suffering.

 

 

Genuine fearlessness arises with the confidence that we will be able to gather the inner resources necessary to deal with any situation that comes our way.

 

 

This is altogether different from withdrawing into self-absorption, a fearful reaction that perpetuates deep feelings of insecurity.

 

 

Each of us is indeed a unique person, and it is fine to recognize and appreciate who we are.

 

But in reinforcing the separate identity of the self, we fall out of sync with reality.

 

The truth is, we are fundamentally interdependent with other people and our environment.

 

Our experience is simply the content of the mental flow, the continuum of consciousness, and there is no justification for seeing the self as an entirely distinct entity within that flow.

 

 

Imagine a spreading wave that affects its environment and is affected by it but is not the medium of transmission for any particular entity.

 

 

We are so accustomed to affixing the “I” label to that mental flow, however, that we come to identify with it and to fear its disappearance.

 

There follows a powerful attachment to the self and thus to the notion of “mine”—my body, my name, my mind, my possessions, my friends, and so on—which leads either to the desire to possess or to the feeling of repulsion for the “other.”

 

 

This is how the concepts of the self and of the other crystallize in our minds.

 

 

The erroneous sense of duality becomes inevitable, forming the basis of all mental affliction, be it alienating desire, hatred, jealousy, pride, or selfishness.

 

 

From that point on, we see the world through the distorting mirror of our illusions.

 

 

We find ourselves in disharmony with the true nature of things, which inevitably leads to frustration and suffering.

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Anthony Bourdain, RIP

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CNN confirmed Bourdain’s death on Friday and said the cause of death was suicide.

 

 

“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” the network said in a statement Friday morning. “His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time.”

 

 

Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode of his award-winning CNN series “Parts Unknown.” His close friend Eric Ripert, the French chef, found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning.

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Defying Prevention Efforts, Suicide Rates Are Climbing Across the Nation

 

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A message board at a suicide prevention event in Cincinnati adorned with notes left for people who took their own lives. Guns are the most common method for committing suicide, health officials report.

 

CreditJohn Minchillo/Associated Press
By Benedict Carey
June 7, 2018
New York Times:

Suicide rates rose steadily in nearly every state from 1999 to 2016, increasing 25 percent nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday. In 2016, there were more than twice as many suicides as homicides.

The figures were released two days after the death of celebrity designer Kate Spade. The New York City medical examiner’s office has ruled her death a suicide.

She had struggled with depression and anxiety for years, according to a statement released by her husband, Andrew Spade. “She was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease,” he wrote.

C.D.C. officials, however, said that the national increase in suicide rates cannot be linked to a particular mental health diagnosis.

The new analysis found that nearly 45,000 Americans aged 10 or older died by their own hand in 2016. The increase varied widely by state, from a low of 6 percent in Delaware to more than 57 percent in North Dakota. The rate declined in just one state, Nevada, where it has historically been higher than average.

Social isolation, lack of mental health treatment, drug and alcohol abuse and gun ownership are among the factors that contribute to suicide.

 

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and one of three that is increasing. The other two are Alzheimer’s disease and drug overdose, in part because of the spike in opioid deaths, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the C.D.C.

 

Firearms were by far the leading method, accounting for about half of suicides. That number has remained steady over recent decades, she said.

 

Suicide rates varied from 6.9 per 100,000 residents a year in the District of Columbia to 29.2 per 100,000 in Montana.

 

The analysis found that slightly more than half of people who had committed suicide did not have any known mental health condition. But other problems — such as the loss of a relationship, financial setbacks, substance abuse and eviction — were common precursors, both among those who had a mental health diagnosis and those who did not.

 

Other studies have found much higher rates of mental health disorders among people at high risk of suicide, experts noted.

 

“The reason most suicide decedents don’t have a known mental disorder is that they were never diagnosed, not that they didn’t have one,” said Dr. David Brent, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.

 

Access to guns can make it more likely that an impulsive or intoxicated person will attempt suicide even if he or she has no clear mental health problem, Dr. Brent added.

 

“We have worked really hard to explain to the public that suicide is not simply a matter of too much stress, but that it involves the identification and treatment of mental disorders as one important component,” he said.

 

In a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Dr. Schuchat and Deborah Stone, the lead author of the C.D.C. analysis, stressed that other factors were also critical to preventing suicide.

 

Effective strategies, she said, included teaching coping and problem-solving skills to those at risk, establishing more social “connectedness,” and safe storage of pills and guns.

 

The C.D.C. found that men accounted for three-quarters of all suicides, and women one-quarter. The numbers were highest among non-Hispanic whites, and among those aged 45 to 65 years old.

 

Previous C.D.C. reports have found rate increases of 80 percent among white, middle-aged women since 1999, and of 89 percent among Native Americans. The rates declined slightly among black men and people over age 75 during that time.

 

Suicide rates have waxed and waned over the country’s history and tend to reach highs in hard times. In 1932, during the Great Depression, the rate was 22 per 100,000, among the highest in modern history. The rate in the new C.D.C. data was 15.4 per 100,000.

 

The past three decades have presented a morbid puzzle. Rates have risen steadily in most age and ethnic groups, even as rates of psychiatric treatment and diagnosis have also greatly increased.

 

The reasons are many, experts said. The biggest increases have been in states like Oklahoma, Montana and Wyoming where gun ownership, drug use and economic hardship are common. Among middle-aged people across the country, marriage rates have declined, and social isolation has increased.

Prevention has been elusive, in part because doctors have not had programs that reliably reduce suicide rates. Crisis hotlines can save lives; so can psychiatric treatment. But suicide is such an unpredictable, often impulsive act that no single intervention has proved sufficient.

“A big problem that has not yet been addressed in practice is that we continue to rely almost entirely on people themselves to proactively tell us if they are suicidal,” said Matthew Nock, a professor of psychology at Harvard University.

 

Yet research has shown that nearly 80 percent of people who die by suicide explicitly deny suicidal thoughts or intentions in their last communications, he added.

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