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What are YOU waiting on?

I am a known Nickelback fan. The song, What Are You Waiting For? spoke to me. A good friend sent it to me during a trying time in my life. I find I refer this song to many of my clients and friends. Here are the powerful lyrics:

What are you waiting for?
What are you Waiting for?

Are you waiting on a lightning strike?
Are you waiting for the perfect night?
Are you waiting ’til the time is right?
What are you waiting for?
Don’t you wanna learn to deal with fear?
Don’t you wanna take the wheel and steer?
Don’t you wait another minute here.
What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

You gotta go and reach for the top
Believe in every dream that you got
You’re only living once so tell me
What are you, what are you waiting for?
You know you gotta give it your all
And don’t you be afraid if you fall
You’re only living once so tell me
What are you, what are you waiting for?

Are you waiting for the right excuse?
Are you waiting for a sign to choose?
While you’re waiting it’s the time you lose.
What are you waiting for?
Don’t you really wanna live your life?
Don’t you wanna love before you die?
What are you waiting for?

….

Everybody’s gonna make mistakes
But everybody’s got a chance to make
Everybody needs a leap of faith
When are you taking yours?

What are you waiting for?

For the complete lyrics, please check various favorite sites and download a copy of this inspiring song. I listen to each morning to inspire me to not drag my feet to get stuff done.  I am in the business of creating and living dreams. Once I found myself in a very dark place unable to believe dreams could come true. Life likes to toss you in dungeons or oubliettesfacebook_july-7 with the false notion we can never find our way out. We find ourselves waiting with thousands of excuses. But why? False realities and excuses leave us in a dark place. Life can change if you ask yourself, what am I waiting on? What am I waiting for? The answer… you are waiting on you to decide to move forward on the path to your dreams. Make them happen, only YOU can. 

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Do You Hear What I Hear?

“Don’t be so sensitive.”

“Well, life isn’t fair, get over it.”

“You should feel lucky…”broken-Christmas-tree-ornament1

“Let’s stick to the facts.”

“You’ve got it all wrong.”

“I never said that.”

“You can’t do anything right.”

“Can’t take a joke, can you.”

“You owe me.”

“What did I ever see in you?”

“You will never amount to anything.”

“You just want all the attention.”

 

Fatso, lazy, good for nothing, stupid, idiot, worthless, loser, dummy, ugly….

Do you hear what I hear? Are these phrases and words heard everyday in your life? Is someone who is supposed to love you use these words daily?

We might have used one of these phrases a time or two in our lives when we were angry or upset. It happens. Abusers and narcissists use them daily and repeatedly against those they abuse and try to control. These phrases and words over time become like strikes against the mind and heart of the one being abused. These words are absorbed, cataloged and filed into the memory of the abused to be replayed over and over. The abuser tries to demean, insult, criticize, break down, pick apart, by use words instead of physical means to destroy any means of self-worth and self-esteem their victim has. The abused then also becomes their own worst nightmare with the replaying of these insults anytime they attempt to do something. Abusers want to make sure the abused does not stand up for him or herself. The abuser wants the abused to believe he or she is the true problem. The abuser wants to control as well as be worshiped.

The abuser wants the abused to beg for their love. They want the abused to be so controlled the abused thinks of nothing but the abuser, as in how to please, how to honor and cherish to prevent from hearing such hurtful words. The abuser wants to control all thoughts so the abused will only trust the abuser.  The abuser may show love and compassion from time to time, they will make it conditional in such a way the abused feel he or she must earn the love.

Emotional abusers do not leave bruises, they leave deep scars. A victim may only reach out for help once. Please listen and respond.

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy, “do you hear what I hear, ringing through the sky, shepherd boy, do you hear what I hear?”

December is Emotional Abuse Awareness Month for Creative Tidal Wave. Please catch the wave next week for more information.

 

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The Silent Killer

The month of December will focus on understanding and identifying emotional abuse. Many suicides and preventable health issues are manifested from people being abused. I see everyday, people who struggle with ADHD/ADD and/or dyslexia, being victims of emotional abuse.  Such challenges seem to be magnets for emotional abusers. I am not certain why but there is definitely a trend, or at least in my neck of the woods.

Some of the ways abusers use are guilt trips, shaming, and bullying. The main focus is to belittle and strip the abused of their empowerment and self worth. Many dyslexics and ADHD/ADD sorts are pleasers. They enjoy helping others out and keeping a balance in the world. This also keeps balance in their world of chaos. Emotional abusers take advantage of the opportunity for their own personal follies and gain.

Each week I will hopefully enlighten you on emotional abuse. Hopefully, you are not a victim. If so, I hope to offer information on how to get help. If you know of an emotional abuser, my wish is that you will learn ways to avoid being a victim as well as ways to rise above. Over the years I have witnessed many talented and brilliant people who’s spirit and self worth were devalued and crushed due to emotional abuse. Some took their relief seeking to an extreme while others are almost nonfunctional. This is preventable. We need to educate ourselves on recognizing and preventing this silent killer.

It just takes one person to stand up and fight. It takes just one person to save a life. Every life is valuable, none should suffer in silence. Be that one voice to speak out. Be that survivor. Be the one to come to someone’s rescue. Make a difference.

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Surviving Blonde Moments

Disclaimer on the topic: I can say this because back in the day before grey hair and this weird dark shade that crept in around the age of 40, I was legally blonde. Some folks who knew me might totally agree on multiple levels about my blonde behavior as well. No insult to those who are blonde but we all know the altar meaning I am referring to.

It wasn’t a pretty morning. Actually, outside it was the most beautiful fall morning ever, but inside life was not so much fun. The dog, bless her cute little heart, needed a bio break at 4AM. Somehow between the back door and her “favorite spot,” she lost her collar. I swear I was watching her the entire time, still cannot figure how it disappeared.  Ever put clothes in the wash the night before that you needed in the morning and forget to put them in the dryer? Yep, change of plans on the outfit of the day. My breakfast of champions, morning PB & J (peanut butter and jelly sandwich) was not to be, no bread. I forgot to get it on the list the night before that I lost on the way to the store. Keys? Where are my keys? I was certain I put them… oh, heck. On the way to work I made a stop at Wally World. Walked inside to totally forget why I was there. Took the tour to trigger what it was I needed which took way too long. Got to work. Unloaded my techie stuff to find I left all the power plugs at home. Right now, I am feeling a few of those grey hairs sprouting. My brain totally shut down from about 9PM last night until about 11AM this morning. At 10:50, I decided I had had enough.

How to  survived those ditsy, brain fog days? Well, I should have applied these things at first notice of the blonde invasion but I am only normal and let those days sometimes get the best of me far too long.

Blonde Invasion Defense:

  1. MUSIC!! Turn on your favorite upbeat tunes to get your brain moving out of slow elevator music mode. Today’s menu for me: Pompeii by Bad Blood, Breathe of Life by Florence + the Machine, Dark Horse by Katy Perry, for starters.
  2. Hand Fidgets: Stress balls and flying frogs! Squeezing those squishy stress releasers really helps. Flying frogs, well, those are these rubbery creatures which are for shooting like rubber bands but do not go as far. I wrap them around my finger and sometimes shoot them at various things in the office when no one is looking.
  3. Fiber optics lamp toy. Best $1 find ever! This small lamp has hundreds of tiny fibers with green lights shining out. It is fun to twirl it to see if I can make it look like shapes. With my office fan going it dances about my desk which makes me happy.

These were my choices today but I have quite the list to choose from. Within about 10 minutes my mind was back out of the fog zone. I was busy cranking out meaningful work with fewer mistakes and mishaps due to the black hole of nothingness that had invaded earlier. Sometimes, it is just that simple. Playing with odd things and music helps kick-start the brain. If you bosses out there are reading this, please know employees need access to such things when stressed and out-of-sorts. You will find employees far more productive if they have go-to things to help gather their senses back. Parents, kids need these things while doing homework, too. And for anyone out there having a blonde zone day, put that phone to good use, crank up some tunes! Find a paperclip or anything you can move around in your hands until you can raid the store for hand fidgets. Oh by the way, the birthday party trinket kits are the best. Small plastic Slinkys are wonderful! Check out that section for a huge wonderland of hand fidgets.

Find your focus, get out of the fog, and get your creative productive groove back on!

 

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Uh, You Really Do Not Understand ADHD

A teacher would not make a deaf student listen to Mozart with out their hearing aids or assign a blind student to read the daily newspaper without accommodations. So why is it that teachers, parents, and school administrators believe ADHD/ADD students should be super organized once diagnosis?  DUH, disorganization is the a HUGE problem for ADHD/ADD students and adults. Yes, you can give them agendas like you do all your students. Yes, you can write assignments on the board for them to copy like everyone else. Yes, you tell them twice like you do the rest of the class but you know what? They are not like the rest of the class.

Invisible disabilities cause more anxiety and depression issues because the visual clues are not there. ADHD/ADD and Dyslexia folks look just like everyone else. People with invisible challenges try harder than all the rest to hide their disabilities because folks just have a hard time believing they have such struggles. It might be easier if all such folks had a star on their right hand.

“Oh, okay. I see you have a star on your hand. Let me write these directions down for you so you can have a copy. I will also give you an outline of the chapter along with the assignments. Sue, who sits next to you, will be your study buddy to make sure you are writing down the facts you need. If you feel I rushed through a topic, please let me know so I can schedule a study review time for you.” That is what would happen if teachers saw a visual of ADHD/ADD or Dyslexia. But reality is, this will not happen in most schools or situations. If students heard this, the anxiety would reduce and I am willing to bet so would the teacher’s come time for assignments due and testing.

ADHD/ADD has the following characteristics:

  • Highly distracted
  • Disorganized
  • Excessive body movement
  • Talkative
  • Social interaction issues
  • Impulsive
  • Difficulty in settling down to focus

There are many classroom modifications which can reduce these often disruptive behaviors. First, everyone needs to understand these are not all horrible traits. Some of these traits can be gifts. Highly distracted people notice details others often miss. I do believe I would want a crime investigator with such skills. Disorganized students often make discoveries in the chaos OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) people do not. Many artist are inspired by what I call organized chaos. As a saying I love goes, a clean desk is often an unproductive desk. Allow students to find an app on their smart phone to remind them of assignments, track timelines and alert for events. Assistive technology works so much better for these students. Excessive movement can be reduced by using hand fidgets and sensory integration techniques. The brain needs outward movement to keep it focused. Yoga balls are great for such. Lots of research has been done of the use of yoga balls in school settings instead of chairs. By the way, yoga balls as seating help improve hand writing. Go research that. Talkative students can actually relay understanding and help other students who struggle. Be creative, put that kid’s motor mouth to good use. Social awkward students need social skill classes. With all the excessive technology and lack of face-to-face interaction, all students might need social skills training. It was actually a part of the kindergarten curriculum years ago. Also, recess was a huge classroom experience on social skill but that is not pretty much gone. Fight to get recess back in school. Impulsive behaviors can benefit from sensory integration and by making a student aware of the behavior in positive ways. It isn’t happening to bug you, it is part of the disability or challenge. You would not punish a blind child who accidentally grabs you trying to find his way around the classroom. You should not enforce excessive punishments for impulsive behavior of an ADHD child either.  Focusing is another difficult task for ADHD folks. Preferred classroom seating can make a difference. Use of aromas therapy or essential oils can help. Sensory integration tools such as hand fidgets can redirect the mind. Also soft lighting and low playing calming music.

Seek creative solutions or a person such as a life coach who specializes in working with people with ADHD. Not all school personnel understanding the options or know how to implement them. It all looks good on the IEP but is it being done effectively in the classroom? Some solutions might sound weird but the ADHD/ADD and dyslexic brain functions weird. Do not balk it until you have tried it. Have a sensory diet plan, have many options to chose from because not everything works all the time.

Please check out ADHD/ADD blogs on Creative Tidal Wave about Shark Like Focus and other neat tips for helping reduce the frustrations.

 

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PTSD : Parent /Teacher/Student Disorder, let the school bells ring terror

Ok, so I know that PTSD  official stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Actually. many students, including myself before I even knew what PTSD was might say that the first day of school brought on many symptoms of PTSD. Some of those might include: flashbacks from trauma of being bullied in the hallways, test  and performance phobias, the day you fell in the lunch room sending your food everywhere and all laughing at you, on the bus, the mind goes wild anticipating what could happen this year. Or, during home room when asked a simple question, the fear overcomes you, you become speechless frozen in that deer-in-headlights position or worse, triggers an anxiety attack.  Yes, I do believe some students, especially those with labels do develop PTSD.

Working with challenged students over the years, and being one myself, I realized there was another PTSD issue: The Parent Teacher Student Disorder.  When parents place too much pressure on their child along with teachers who do not believe in ADHD, LD, or other invisible challenges, and other students who constantly joke about the stupid things we, unique sorts, do, creates its own disorder of such. It is hard being a “double coded” kid. You are intelligent yet you do some of the stupidest things which brings negative attention. Folks forget about those brilliant moments but remind you daily of your oops ones. Teachers say you are lazy when it is really a mass of action in your brain going through the files looking for the connections and facts you know are there but have gotten shuffled in the vast files. And, the dreaded test time when everyone has finished but you. The whole class is glaring at you because you are holding them up from the fun.

The Parent Teacher Student Disorder creates a false reality which over time creates a learned helplessness in some and a rebellion in others. The message is “I am not good enough.” Some figuratively  crawl under a rock or become wallflowers. Others feel they must fight the system earning worst labels to add to their collection. Too much negative causes mass destruction to the ego and soul of a child who cannot help but be a bit different. Not the child’s fault processing works on DSL speed and everyone else is on  Wi-Fi.  And, we all know too well that sometimes brilliant dyslexic have autocorrect issues in regard to word choice, spelling, and pronunciation. I refer to it as the “Archie Bunker Disorder” because the words just come out are not what you intended though close but enough to cause massive hysterics and embarrassing moments. I think autocorrect oops are to give others a moment in my life at times. Though I think Siri and the other text gremlins are far worse than some of my moments.

Solutions to the Parent Teacher Student Disorder issues:

  1. Empower your child. Build confidence in him/her by remembering and reminding him/her of the brilliant moments more so than the negative ones. Discuss positive traits. Doing their best is good enough. Never stop trying.
  2. Enroll your child in a great theater program. This might take some investigating because some programs can have witchy directors. Theater can teach your child how to rebound via Improv. Your child will develop confidence via  role play. Theater can help build reading, speaking, and social skills.
  3. Make teachers aware of your child’s unique abilities, not so much his/her disabilities. Dyslexics are blessed with gifts to be discovered. Help your child’s teacher to develop an understanding of the unique qualities. Give the teacher a list of gifted challenged famous individuals. Google it, the list is ever growing. He or she maybe teaching the next Tom Cruise or  Walt Disney, both gifted and challenged
  4. For those who do not have “double coded ” kids, teach your children and those around you not to bully. Just because someone is different doesn’t mean they are stupid or less of a person.
  5. Encouragement, a listening ear, a pat on the shoulder, and a hug can mean more than you know. Be mindful, present in the moment, and find the positive amongst the negative. Help be that person who makes someone’s day not tear it down.

Share your oops moments from school or even at work. Let your kids know we all have such moments. Teaching to recover and move on. As a parent, intervene at school if you suspect teacher or student bullying.  Yes, even administrators and other staff bully students as well so be alert to negative folks in your child’s life. Help your child learn who is a good  friend and those who are not. Let’s turn PTSD into Positive Time Spent Discovering instead of a negative disorder.

Let the bells ring and bring on smiles instead of terror.

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To INFINITY and beyond!!

Got to love Buzz Lightyear. But this time I am not talking Toy Story, I am talking focus. I know your mind races on an infinite journey to nowhere yet everywhere. Tapping back into my Shark Like Focus work again to give solutions for those moments when you cannot find your focus. Here is a simple solution to help you get your thoughts collected from the vast chaos flowing in your mind. It can be done in a variety of ways. You can even get creative after a while developing your own personal methods, the possibilities are endless or should I say… infinite. So, what is this magic which can help you focus?

Infinity sign      Yes, it is just that simple lazy 8 looking symbol. Ok, so I see puzzled faces. Drawing the infinity sign or a lazy 8 helps trigger balance in the brain by engaging both the left and right brain. There actually is a lot of information and scientific stuff on this but you can “Google that” if you want to know the in-depth details. You can air draw this sign. You can be extra creative and get your whole body in motion to do figure 8s. The best is when you are in a boring meeting and need a focus brain boost. You can use your fingers to draw it on the table top or you can get your pen and paper out and doodle them everywhere. Retracing the sign over and over has a meditative like effect on the brain. It is rather magic.

There is a certain path you need to follow to enhance the power of the 8. in the diagram below you see an X, that is the starting point. Move your pen, finger or whatever you choice to use, up towards the left to complete the first loop. Follow the arrow pattern to complete your first ….TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!!!

infinity how to

 

 

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Sunny In Seattle and Definitely Not Sleepless

WOW, just WOW! My first visit to Seattle was one of the most amazing ever. First off, it is hilly, looking a bit like San Francisco. I’ve never been there but movies gave me a good idea about street cars and monster hills. And stairs, and more stairs, and more stairs and some I was certain were leading me to a heaven visit after 48 hours of stairs. OH, there is this awesome place called Pike’s Place Market. Was it named after Pike’s Peak? I was thinking after all the stairs on all the levels I had reached Pike’s Peak but discovered even more stairs and more market venders. I truly believe there is no peak to Pike Place Market. What a wondrous goldmine of a place!  There is nothing you cannot find in the market except the mammoth cashew nuts I heard legend of. I must have come at the wrong season. But there are miles of fruits, veggies, fish, places to eat, superhero everything one can imagine a super hero to be on, and stuff, lots and lots of stuff. In speaking of the market, there is one across from Pike’s, the Sanitary Public Market. Not sure I want to know the reason for the naming of that market.

I am a huge fan of The Fish! Philosophy and guess who I found in the market place? The home of this incredible book and way of doing business and life style. YES, huge fish fly across the place as well as smaller ones. It was an amazing site to see folks practicing what they preach. A bonus was that the workers take the time to talk with you all the while they are throwing fish orders and shouting out fun stuff. I felt I was apart of their business sans tossing grouper. I had all but forgotten this was their home place. I am a firm believer and practitioner of The Fish! A SHOUT OUT TO THE PIKE PLACE FISH MARKET guys!! A special hoorah to the guy from Kentucky!

Another great place was the Biscuit Bitch. Yes, I spelled it right. Those folks serve up the best biscuits ever. Don’t avoid it because of the name. Brave it and walk in to a true biscuit wonderland of YUM!! Not the traditional southern type I’m use to but, OMG!! delicious. It is a must go to!

My roots run southern to the core of the earth. Good old southern hospitality runs in the family. My Granny, her sisters and cousins were and are the essences of the old south southern belles. Sugar flowed from their mouths and actions towards others; so not talking about the, “Bless your heart,” negative sort. These ladies were the sweetest of sweet, like their tea. I must admit to y’all that the south has been replaced as the most hospitable place in the USA by Seattle, Washington. Those folks, no matter where we were or situation, those folks are friendly to the core. I hate my home state of Georgia has lost its southern charm. I do whole heartedly believe Seattle has sucked it all up and is truly living it. People were honestly just nice folk.

Ok, now for something else I wasn’t sure about and would not have believed it if I hadn’t experienced it. It was sunny while we were there. Twilight followers, it was certainly a time the Cullens would be nowhere to be found sort of sunny. I understand that was a rare time we experienced as well as the heat wave of high 80s to 90 temps. Was not too bad on us southern folk who were in heaven with the temperature range without the humidity. We even survived without out air conditioning during our stay, though the fan was a nice welcome. Back to my unbelievable part, the sun doesn’t set in Seattle. I was up at 11:45pm and it was just twilight. Yeah, even our long summer nights in the south are not that long. But guess what? I swear the sun was back up at 4am!! (Or there close in time.) I was shocked. Yes, blackout curtains are nice. I could see why people are sleepless in Seattle, there is very little official night-time in the summer.

Flying into Seattle I was gazing out the window to look at the clouds when I spied this unusual site of a mountain rising above the clouds. No, I didn’t drink those mini bottles of fun on the plane but I did a double-check on my cola. My first thought was it was Mount Olympus and Zeus would appear shortly walking among the clouds. My gosh, Mount Saint Helen is larger than huge. I was in awe of this mythical volcano sighting I had only seen in National Geographic. The pictures do not doMidnight in Seatlle this place justice in the massive formation which rises above the clouds. Someday I hope to venture to the foot of this marvel. It was in view everywhere in Seattle. I felt like it was watching over me. Glad it was pleased with my presence in Washington. I would hate to witness it grumble or blow.

Touring the city I felt I was viewing a place designed around IKEA. The buildings, interiors, and even street décor was an IKEA explosion of style. I think the locals were IKEA models if there are such. I now am thinking my southern abode needs a more modern touch.

I could write a novel on Seattle. It was a creative’s paradise of visual delights, unique street musicians, aromas from a market of more variety of eats and treats than imaginable, and wonderful textures. All I can say is if someone needs a creative restorative coach in Seattle, Washington, please give me a call. I think I found my soul’s home.

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The Sound of Happiness

While staying with my 91-year-old cousin, I noticed she hummed when she was moving about rearranging her pretties around the house. This reminded me of my Granny, when she was happy she whistled. Giving the topic more thought, I realized all the women of that era on my mother’s side of the family made a noise when they were happy. Several aunts would hum, another had a very low sing-song like sounds she would make while another older cousin would whistle tunes I am certain I heard sung on the Andy Griffin Show by the Darling Family. Sadly, no one in my generation does this. Not sure why we didn’t pick up on the happy sounds. Maybe it is due to the constant noise that surrounds our lives. Have you ever stopped to just listen to all the sounds? Over head lights buzzing, monitors from computers and flat screens humming, clocks ticking, air blowing from cooling fans on electronics, outside traffic noises, cell phone sounds, hand-held gaming sounds, microwave beeps, ice maker cubes dropping… the list is endless. We are bombarded with sounds every second even in our sleep. We barely notice them. I wonder if our brains are effected by all of constant sounds it is subconsciously interpreting? Wonder if anyone has ever thought of researching the effects of constant low-level sounds? Could this be a reason in our inability to concentrate? I realized how much I missed the soft sounds of my Granny’s whistling. Listening to my cousin’s humming as she went about her day was such a comforting sound. Her house doesn’t have all the gadgets and gizmos mine does. The sounds about her home are happy sounds as she goes about her routine. I wonder, if I turned off all the electronics in my house would I hum, or whistle?

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Warning, suicide is contagious

Yes, it is true. Scary thought but I have personally witnessed this in a residential school. One student attempts suicide and then there is an outbreak of attempts. Check the research, plenty out there but few speak of it. Yes, suicide is contagious.

Robin Williams’ suicide has brought on massive media attention. From a television special to constant flows on Facebook and Twitter, the suicide theme cannot be escaped. A few will seek out the attention factor. Some will identify with the torment experienced justifying if it worked for such a famous person then it must be my solution as well. Some… well, it is an endless list of reasons why this event might lead to others in a copy cat situation.

If you know someone who is depressed or is dealing with a crisis and their behavior has changed, don’t wait, react. The behavior change might seem to be a positive swing from the usual down mood. People, that can be a warning sign. Sometimes if suicide is well planned the person will have a false state of comfort. Often they will exhibit overly nice behaviors such as giving treasured things away, calling to mend relationships, or send letters. Then again, others might become very withdrawn and isolate themselves. It is different for everyone.

Depression is not extreme sadness. Depression is an altered state of irrational thinking based upon perceived ideas or extreme torment which is constantly replaying in the person’s mind. This is one of the reasons I stand up for extreme bullying. Bullying can bring on depression. I read a good humorous explanation. ‘Depression cannot be cured by chocolate or a pint of ice cream like sadness can.’ Very true! Do not try to understand another’s depression. It is deep-rooted based upon experiences you may not be aware of. Also, depression can be physically painful. It affects the body at times. If you have constant pain, relief is your primary focus. Some think there is only one way to relieve it. The pain is so intense the thoughts of how the decision to stop it becomes stronger than the reality of how it will affect others. Yes, it is a self-inflicted selfish act but in the mind of the tormented personal relief is all-consuming.

Limit media exposure during a celebrity suicide media frenzy. Keep the positive flowing. If you know someone suffering from depression, keep tabs on them. Visit, call, and try to keep a positive dialogue flowing. Let them know you are available to talk or just hang out. Help prevent a copy cat moment. Extra time spent now might prevent a loss of life later and stop the cycle of others thinking about this ultimate escape.

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