13 Reasons Why and Teen Suicide

What is it about our society that makes so many people want to kill themselves including our children? Could it be that America is a very cruel and unforgiving place where people are too busy with surviving at work or too invested in protecting their careers to give a shit about our children? That we’re a cruel nation in that many people now actually encourage bullying to ‘toughen kids up’ for the ‘real world?’ A society that gleefully goes about destroying the ability to sustain life on Earth for fun and profit? The kids who march and write on the…
Read More

When Rage Eclipses Hope

As a suicide attempt survivor working in suicidology and crisis support, I frequently find myself in positions where I am “supposed” to talk about hope. Good suicide attempt survivors are hopeful; hope is what saves us. When I reflect on my experience, hope isn’t really part of the equation. Hopefulness is a façade that helps non-suicidal people feel better about their suicidal loved ones. It removes all the cultural nuances that define a world that drives people to suicide. It eliminates the dialectics of justice and gives us something that feels more innocuous to pursue. No one mentions the fact…
Read More

Personality, Identity, and Pathology

Figuring out how to write this has been incredibly difficult for me. I felt like I was on the cusp of a breakthrough but sorting through how to talk about this requires sifting through mountains of traumatic experiences and mistakes I have made. See, I’m someone who is active in neurodivergent activist communities but I have severe trauma related to the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. As in the concept of it is a trigger for me. I get sent into a panic when the idea of its diagnosis gets brought up. If someone even insinuated I have it I would…
Read More

We Have Viable Alternatives to Psychiatric Force and Coercion

I was getting burned out as a patient representative visiting the Brattleboro Retreat last winter. I found my conversations with patients to be mostly rewarding and mutually beneficial, but all of my attempts to seek accountability and positive change on the units were met with steep resistance, excuses, paternalism and so much sanist rhetoric.
Read More