Substance abuse and suicide

We know that there are many reasons behind suicide, but there is a strong link between substance abuse and suicide, the risk of suicide is as much as eight times greater when someone is abusing alcohol or drugs. These substances can lower a person’s inhibitions enough for them to act on suicidal thoughts. They can also affect someone’s mood and deepen depression.

Evidence suggests that men, who are at higher risk of suicide, are more likely than women to turn to alcohol or drugs when they’re in distress. People living in the poorest communities are often the most affected.

We need better investment in mental health services as well as a complete overhaul of the system itself. People in need should not be waiting weeks and sometimes months to see a mental health team, nor should people be signed off from those services within a short period of time, especially if these people are suicidal.

I feel the solution to the mental health crisis lies in prevention. As it stands today, the mental health service here in the UK is completely inadequate nationwide.


Cults: My thoughts

Having recently posted about Jonestown, Heaven’s Gate and the Waco Tragedy I thought I’d share my thoughts.


First of all I will never refer to the events at Jonestown as a “mass suicide” because in my honest opinion I don’t believe it was. It it well known that some of his followers ended their lives willingly when the order went out but even then I do not think that this is strictly true. I believe that these people were coerced and brainwashed by Jim Jones. Others who had children at the encampment and administered the cyanide to their own children I believe lost the will to live after watching the pain that they had inflicted. It is also well known that some followers were forcibly injected. Jim Jones murdered 918 people. I also believe Jim Jones was an addict, he was often heard slurring his words on recordings and was known to stockpile prescribed medication that belonged to his followers. I think he also had some type of undiagnosed mental illness, not that this excuses any of his actions whatsoever, he knew what he was doing.

Heaven’s Gate:

In all honesty I’m not sure how I feel about Heaven’s Gate. The members left exit videos behind stating that ending their lives was what they wanted. But then I find myself asking: but was it truly what they wanted? I feel as though Marshall Applewhite, in a similar fashion to Jim Jones, brainwashed his followers into ending their lives. It is just incredibly sad to me that these people ended their lives when unlike Jonestown, the Heaven’s Gate followers actually had the ability to leave the organisation and go on to live a normal life. Why didn’t they leave? That is a question we won’t ever have an answer to. I believe Marshall Applewhite had some sort of addiction as in one of his videos he appears to be under the influence.

The Waco Tragedy:

Where do I begin with Waco? I suppose first off I should mention that David Koresh disgusts me. His relationships with underage girls is just disgusting to me. I don’t for one second believe that David Koresh was mentally ill, he was just an egomaniac and incredibly delusional. I believe if the adults really wanted to follow him and end their own lives that’s entirely their right but refusing to allow the children to have a chance at life is unbelievably selfish. I am aware that some children were spared and allowed to leave the compound but I believe they all should have been spared. David Koresh in my opinion was a selfish, arrogant, sick individual.

The Waco Tragedy

The town of Waco, Texas has become synonymous with tragedy since the 51-day stand off in 1993 between the federal government and an extremist religious sect called the Branch Davidians ended in a catastrophic fire. Though the dominant narrative at the time of the siege was that Koresh was a cult leader, there has never been consensus about whether the group was a legitimate cult. Because in reality, no one knew much about the Branch Davidians except for the group members themselves, the media didn’t get much information about who they were, what they believed or how they lived until it was too late. All of the negative conclusions were already widely reported and commonplace by then.

The group, led by controversial self-proclaimed prophet David Koresh, was a splinter of another group called Shepherd’s Rod, which was connected to the Seventh-day Adventists. David Koresh was born Vernon Wayne Howell in Houston, Texas in 1959. His mother was 15 when she gave birth to him, and Koresh’s grandparents ended up raising him.

On February 28, 1993, in response to reports that the Davidians had been amassing illegal weapons at their compound, the Mount Carmel Center, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms raided the property. Their goal was to search the premises and arrest Koresh for unlawful weapons possession. But the plan backfired horribly, with four FBI agents and six Branch Davidians dying in a chaotic shootout. It’s still to this day unclear who fired the first shot.

The FBI then became embroiled in a standoff with Koresh at the compound. During this time, negotiators arranged for the release of 35 Branch Davidians, including 21 children. But on April 19, 1993, in an attempt to lure Koresh and his followers out, agents took decisive action that critics later called extreme or unwarranted: They rammed the building with tanks and launched a tear-gas assault. The structure then erupted in flames, the cause is still debated today, and 76 Branch Davidians, which tragically included 28 children, perished in the flames.

Sometime during the fire, Koresh, then 33, died from a gunshot wound to the head. It remains unknown whether he killed himself or was shot by someone else.

What can you learn from anxiety?

The anxiety you are experiencing could be your body’s way of trying to make you listen.


Sit down somewhere quiet, take a few deep breaths and close your eyes. When you feel relaxed, ask yourself the following questions.

What is my anxiety trying to teach me?

What does it want me to do?

What could it want me to change?

Does it need me to learn something?

Some examples could be:

To love yourself more

To slow down

To take better care of yourself

To walk away from bad situations

Listen carefully to what comes to mind and make a note of it.

Suicide is not a crime

Ending your own life has not been a crime in the UK since 1961 when The Suicide Act was passed meaning that those who attempted but failed to take their own life would no longer be prosecuted. The term “committing suicide” has remained however and I believe that this is part of the problem. The connotation of this term implies that the person ending their life is doing something illegal or shameful and in the normal use of the word would also warrant punishment for their actions.

Would you really want to punish someone who is mentally ill?

People choose to end their life because they are in an unimaginable amount of pain and do not see an end to their suffering.

The continued use of an out of date term, in my honest opinion, is holding the mental health community back as we strive for more understanding. If we shifted our speech and instead used words such as “completed suicide” or “ended their own life” it could pave the way for the beginning of a more informed public attitude towards suicide and mental health as well as encouraging the bereaved families to seek the help they so desperately need.

The 27 club

The 27 club is a list mostly of musicians, artists, or actors who died at age 27.Their deaths are often attributed to drug and/or alcohol abuse, or violent means such as homicide, suicide, or transportation-related accidents.

Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, as well as Jim Morrison died at the age of 27 between 1969 and 1971. At the time, this coincidence gave rise to some comment, it was not until Kurt Cobain’s 1994 death however, that the idea of a “27 Club” began to catch on in the public’s perception.Blues musician Robert Johnson, who died in 1938, is the earliest popular musician who has been included in the 27 Club.

Then in 2011, seventeen years after Cobain’s death, Amy Winehouse died at the age of 27, prompting a renewed swell of media interest devoted to the club once again.Three years earlier, she had eerily expressed a fear of dying at that age.

An person doesn’t necessarily have to be a musician to qualify as a member of the 27 Club. Rolling Stone included television actor Jonathan Brandis, who died by suicide in 2003, in a list of “members” of the 27 Club.

Personally I don’t agree with the 27 club being a thing. I just find it disrespectful to those who have passed and their families

Body dysmorphic disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder or body dysmorphia, is a mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance. These flaws are often unnoticeable to other people. Having Body dysmorphia does not mean you are self-obsessed. It can be very upsetting and can greatly impact on someone’s life. It affects people of all ages, but it is most common in teenagers and young adults. It also affects both men and women.

Body dysmorphic disorder can seriously affect your everyday life, including work, your social life and relationships. It can also lead to depression, self harm and even thoughts of suicide


You might have Body dysmorphic disorder if you:

• worry a lot about a specific area of your body (particularly your face)

• spend a lot of time comparing your looks with other people’s.

• look at yourself in mirrors a lot or avoid mirrors altogether.

• go to a lot of effort to conceal flaws for example, by spending a long time on your hair, applying make up or choosing clothes.

• pick at your skin to make it “smoother”.

Getting help for Body dysmorphic disorder

You should visit your doctor if you think you might have BDD.

They will probably ask a number of questions about your symptoms and how they affect you. They may also ask if you have had any thoughts about harming yourself.

Your doctor may refer you to a mental health specialist for further assessment and treatment, or you may be treated through your doctor.

It can be very difficult to seek help for BDD, but it’s important to remember that you have nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. Seeking help is important because your symptoms probably won’t go away without treatment and could even get worse.

Treatments for Body dysmorphic disorder

The symptoms of BDD can get better with treatment.

• if you have relatively mild symptoms of BDD you should be referred for a type of talking therapy called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which you have either on your own or in a group.

• if you have moderate symptoms of BDD you should be offered either CBT or a type of antidepressant medication called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

• if you have severe symptoms of BDD, or other treatments don’t work, you should be offered CBT together with an SSRI