I’ve been getting a lot, and I mean A LOT, of emails, and submitted comments, about what suggestions I might have that would help a person’s particular situation. After reading these, and I do read every single one, I really do wish that I could just type out a paragraph that would give you all the info you’d need to “fix” things. I wish I could simply list the exact steps you need to take to make things better.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet, or a quick fix available. There’s nothing that I could really say that would give you the insight needed to make everything go away. It would actually be a huge disservice to you if I did try and conduct psychotherapy via email.
From my viewpoint, it simply wouldn’t work. There’s so much that goes into conducting a session that taking away my ability to see nonverbal cues, affect, mood, intonation, reactions, read tones, etc hampers my ability to properly diagnose and suggest treatment options.
Trust me, I do want to help. This is the main objective of the site. I noticed several themes with the various clients I’ve seen on a daily basis and thought I would write my articles to address these commonalities. They’re mainly behavioral and cognitive changes that I felt could empower the individual to make small progressive changes to their lives that would not only help improve their mental health symptoms, but also improve mood, energy levels, motivation, physical health and meaning as well.
The articles are not meant as a “cure” either. They’re merely a series of stepping stones to lead you to your ultimate objective. Part of this does entail seeking help from a mental health clinician in your community. Talk therapy, and medication from a psychiatrist in some cases, incorporated into the articles I’ve written is going to be the most effective solution towards your goals.
This site is simply a tool for you to create a solid foundation upon which to build on. Just as only building the foundation of a house is not going to give you adequate shelter, relying only on my articles is not going to provide you with a complete solution to your symptoms. What I can do however, is suggest the following:
Firstly, if you do feel as though you are going to harm yourself – don’t do anything without first calling a qualified individual to assess your situation. For this I would urge you to call (in the U.S.) the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255. In the U.K., please call the Samaritan’s Hotline 08457 90 90 90. Both are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Crisis lines are available in many other countries as well and I would urge you to visit http://www.befrienders.org/ to find the particular one that applies to you.
If you do think you are in imminent danger of harming yourself, or you believe someone you know is about to harm themselves, then call the emergency telephone number for your country. In the U.S. it’s 911, in the U.K. it’s 999 or 112. From here, responders will come to your location and assess you and help you get to the nearest hospital where you can get the immediate help you need. Alternatively, have yourself, or even better a friend/relative, drive you to the nearest hospital and tell them you are going to harm yourself.
I cannot stress the above points enough. When you are in the middle of a severe crisis any solution seems like a good one. You cannot, WILL NOT, be able to think objectively about your situation. This is why you need an outside perspective to intervene and assess things rationally.
Trust me, I’ve worked with suicidal clients before. Those who were so deep in a pit of despair that they could not see any other alternative other than just ending it all. Some that actually had attempted. Some whose lives were so bad and out of control that even I had my doubts. However, over time, and once they sought out some help, they did get better. In some cases, the results were truly amazing and changed into someone who was unrecognizable from their earlier self. It CAN get better no matter how horrible your situation. It will take time, and sometimes, progress is slow, but I have never ran across a client that I thought I couldn’t help. I’ve seen the changes with my own eyes and believe you can too.