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ORIGINALLY WE WERE USING A PAID PODCAST SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE, WHICH MADE THIS POST A SPECIAL “PODCAST” POST THAT WILL NOT ALLOW THE NOW-BROKEN ORIGINAL FILE TO BE REMOVED. PERHAPS IN THE FUTURE WE WILL BE ABLE TO REINSTATE THE PODCAST SERVICE IF WE MAKE MORE EPISODES, BUT FOR NOW, WE HAVE UPLOADED THE AUDIO AS A NON-PODCAST AUDIO FILE THAT CAN BE STREAMED, BUT CANNOT BE DOWNLOADED. SORRY FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE THIS MAY CAUSE!
This first episode of ReadTheSignsRadio was created on the spur of the moment on Sept 10, 2018 in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day. It begins in the middle of what originally was a private conversation that we decided to record after we’d already begun.
Adasa Ono of bAs Mythology and I discuss suicide prevention, the failing state of mental health services, the failing state of homeless and transient services, the failing state of suicide hotlines, how to help a loved one in a way that actually helps, and how to help yourself if you are struggling and can’t find help.
bAs is a decade-in to his research on transience and mental illness. He curates 23 blogs, but his main project is bAsmythology blog, where you can download a free copy of Bipolar Homeless Architect.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwrQXI4_mgo – Dar Williams, What Do You Hear In These Sounds, the song referenced at the end of the conversation.
Sorry for the audio issues. You may have to adjust the audio a little bit in the beginning, but about 3 minutes later it equalizes out due to me holding the phone in the right place
-“Why don’t you talk to someone or call the hotline?” as deflection
-how admitting ideation can result in involuntary commission, a potential cause of despair and stress
-the phrase, “can you commit to safety?”
-“putting on a good face:” inpatients quickly learn how to lie to manipulate the system that is not giving them what they need
-involuntary commission permanently institutionalizes the patient
-the institutionalization process as more stressful than the original problem
-suicide hotlines keep people on hold
-suicide hotline people not really being very helpful
-the difficulty of getting the opportunity and courage to even call the hotline
-“I know how you feel”
-low statistical of suicide hotlines
12:15 – 12:50
Adasa has to talk to someone offstage, fast forward if you must
-Many people are stuck in their circumstances and have very few options
-obstacles to calling when you don’t have a phone
-people don’t want to get involved in other people’s life or problems
-catch 22: when you don’t have an address, you can’t get a phone – even an obamaphone
Falling through the Cracks
-“It appears on paper that all of these services there for people…but the people who need it the most, their access to even the hotline is blocked.”
-15 people ignored bAs asking in a public street to call 911 during a manic episode
-in the ER, he was told his appointment was in 3 weeks. Refused to admit him, even though he knew he had to be admitted.
-the paradox of only being able to receive treatment if admitting suicidal ideation, which results in involuntary commission…and yet, sometimes, claiming suicideality can result in losing therapy through insurance…also, people being turned away from the ER when admittedly actively suicidal
-“you’re just asking for attention” – well, of course someone asks for attention if they need help!!!
-45 minute therapy intake appointment may leave a person in great distress, or at least not accomplish anything
-“what if I spent as much time meditating as I did chasing help all over town?”
-importance of believing in ability to heal oneself, but a person in a low place is incapable of that inherently
-need for psychospiritual first responders
-the “risk” of calling the hotline: will I actually receive the help I need? What if I don’t? Not wanting to risk even more disappointment or failure
-the mantra “remember something deeply personal about yourself to maintain your integrity”
-the importance of deep breathing, and an easy mental technique “oxygen monitor”
-Neuroplasticity can feel uncomfortable
-measuring visual clarity as a way to tell if oxygen levels are healthy
-presence in the moment
-silence and self-awareness as a contrast to “talk therapy”
-how “talk therapy” can put a patient under a lot of pressure
-panic attacks, bad trips, and autistic outbursts can be relieved by physical touch of the feet and hands, by self or other, and breathing techniques
-DSM5 talks about Depersonalization resulting from these neuroplastic processes
-we may want to reject neuroplasticity because of the new feelings: “the body’s response to uncertainty” & fight, flight, or freeze response
-“squiggle” as the shortest path between two points of the brain
-visceral body effects indicate being “very close” to a positive development
-delayed panic attacks, difficult for others to understand
-“why are you crying?” A pointless question that misses the point, and puts the sufferer under pressure
-feelings as pre-lingual
-various examples of visceral body responses: crying, vomiting, shaking, catatonia, ticks, tapping, restless leg syndrome: usually associated with autism spectrum, but are actually universal signs of stress/trauma effects in the brain
-what can a person do to self-remedy? beginning a healing journey with PTSD?
-“admitting that I don’t know what I don’t know”
-overcoming the fear of stage fright
-breathing exercises stimulating hyperventilation/panic response
-faith that the exercise or practice WILL help you – “belief, just for the moment”
-“surrender” to the breathing process
-hyperventilation may be beneficial – See Dr. Grof’s “Holotropic Breathwork” (NOTE: in the podcast I inaccurately named this work as “Transpersonal Breathwork”)
-my experiences with “Transformational Breathwork” (NOTE: in the recording I imply that my experiences as being with someone who was trained with Grof. They were NOT. I paid for “Transformational Breath” sessions, which are based on similar breath techniques, but are certified by a different body, and are not completely based on breath, but different modalities as well. Please research thoroughly if interested in this work.)
-facilitators failing to give aftercare, or at least a place to rest, which for me led to more stress
-How can a person seeking help deal with the sheer fact that the help offered doesn’t follow through with aftercare?
-Outsourcing of care instead of completing the process
-bAs discusses a transitional program he went through in WV that first, consisted of 4 hours a day, then changed right to a 1-hour session a month. “Drastic and difficult transition” because the patient just started forming new pathways with intense counseling, with 24 hour need-based response, then to be thrown into a “disconnected” program. There is help available in the hospital, but the transition from inpatient to outpatient is too dramatic.
-the need for more programs that fill the gap from “once a month” or “once a week” counseling to inpatient. More visits are needed. Insurance doesn’t offer enough visits for people that need regular care. What happens to these people? If people had more regular care, they perhaps would never even need an inpatient program. Restrictions on therapy, “particularly group therapy” is detrimental. There should be unlimited care – “the cost of seeking outpatient treatment is so much less expensive than even paying for a 7-day stay at inpatient. There is no comparison.” “Accessibility and provision” is necessary.
-Group therapy/engagement groups that DON’T require appointments, and are there no matter what. So beneficial. Often people who are suffering from mental illness issues have a lot of trouble making keeping appointments, which are logistically very challenging and don’t require waiting for someone else’s availability, permission, insurance coverage, etc.
-“We don’t know what state of mind we’ll be in in a week” – for better or worse.
-Advance appointments not only sometimes don’t help, but HINDER by creating a disconnect. Again, outsourcing.
-getting 2 people, one ill and one presuming to help, to pre-commit, can be very difficult
-outpatient programs cutting off people in need because they miss appointments – very harmful, and unfair – these are the people that need the help the most. For example, a bipolar person will literally not be able to make a meeting if in a severe manic or depressive episode. That is the nature of the condition!!! We need programs where there is no penalty for having to miss a meeting.
-Yet, what a group can offer is totally different than individual therapy. We need both.
-Social aspect of group therapy may lead to more benefit than 1-on-1. Egalitarian environment. No power differential.
-“I’m not alone” feeling from group therapy. “Collective nature of it changes the dynamic.” EMPATHY
-One on One therapy has the expectation of “being on the hook to speak for 45 minutes” can cause pressure, confusion, and feeding the fire of the condition
-“What Do You Hear In These Sounds” by Dar Williams
-“If you’re in that space where you need to call a hotline, perhaps putting on some music” is exactly what you need.
-Behind the scenes production can be very technically problematic without proper equipment. I explain my “MacGyver rig.”
-the “natural length” of a conversation
-“after the fact” introduction of bAs, author of Bipolar Homeless Architect, after the fact
-bAs discusses his research on transience. “The sooner we as a global society provide the means and metholodology for people to meet their basic needs while they are in transient condition, Einstein once said that we cannot consider ourselves fully civilized unless no-one is without need. There is plenty of aid money, plenty of food, but we have to get it to them when, how, and where they need it.”
-“CAMPS: a Guide to 21st-Century Space” by Charlie Hailey