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AWAP Wednesday: Invisible Illness Week & Suicide Awareness

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in coping, depression, featured, suicide | 20 comments

We’re in the middle of Invisible Illness Week, an annual event that educates and inspires folks about our experience. It’s also National Suicide Prevention Day… and because those of us with chronic illness experience extremely high suicide rates, I thought I’d mix things up today. Check out today’s video, with a brief, silly and love-filled message from me to you: Now it’s your turn: Share this with someone you love. Share it with someone you know needs help. And if you care to, share your story in the comments below this video’s post. We have AWESOME conversations every day at the site and I would LOVE for you to be part of the community! Did you like this video? Please “like” it on YouTube or Facebook and share it with your friends through social media. Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has more than four hours of guidance, advice, and bloopers. Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email. Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches! *AWAP = As Well As...

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AWAP Wednesday: The Suicide Edition.

Posted by on Jul 23, 2014 in caregivers, depression, featured, friends and family, suicide | 59 comments

It’s been a rough couple days here at ChronicBabe HQ. I lost a family member to suicide this week, and it’s shaken me to the core. Why did she do it? Why didn’t she accept help long before this week? Why didn’t anyone take her previous attempts seriously? Why am I so mad and sad at the same time? Why do I empathize with her and also fear that feeling? I’m all mixed up. Unfortunately, suicide is quite common among those with chronic physical and mental illnesses, as well as chronic pain. Some research has claimed that 10% of suicides are committed by people with chronic illness or pain. A study published in JAMA agrees, citing back pain as an even stronger motivator of suicidal ideation. In light of this week’s experience and these statistics, I am foregoing my usual AWAP Wednesday video and instead posting a ton of resources on suicide. I hope you can understand why. Please join me in sending light and love to all who contemplate or commit suicide, and to their friends, families and other loved ones, who are left behind with so many questions. And please, please y’all – let’s leave judgment at the door. Last but not least: I’m sure I’ve left off some amazing resources. Please add any you wish in the comments below. Resources: For those who are considering suicide, and their loved ones To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) – a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. National Suicide Prevention Hotline – a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Suicide Hotlines organized by state – just what it sounds like. – created by United Way, this site provides free and confidential resources on health care, housing, counseling and more. Veterans Crisis Line – connects Veterans in crisis (and their friends and families) with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs employees through a confidential, toll-free hotline, online chat or text. I Am Alive – an online crisis network, 100% of whose volunteers are trained and certified in crisis intervention. Thinking…About Suicide – a Christian faith-based organization offering a platform for those contemplating suicide, as well as survivors, to talk about their feelings. Kevin Briggs, Golden Gate guardian, TED Talk – a message for families of those who are contemplating suicide, from someone who has helped many. Suicide: The warning signs Suicide Awareness Voices of Education – this site offers this concise list of things to watch out for, plus a ton of other resources. WebMD – this tried-and-true healthcare site has its own take on the signs to watch...

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Listen Now: Jenni on Aches & Gains Radio Show w/ Dr. Paul Christo

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in activism, announcements, coping, featured |

Howdy, all my fellow ChronicBabes and ChronicDudes! I’m so bowled over today. This weekend the first part of my interview with Dr. Paul Christo aired on his Sirius XM radio show, Aches & Gains… but I don’t have Sirius. So I had to wait until today to listen… and I am so humbled. Dr. Christo really made me sound great—it’s like he has a magic “fibro fog” filter in his editing booth. I need one of those! Our interview covers so many things, and that’s just in part 1: support groups and their value; the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to pain and chronic illness management; suicide and its prevalence in our community (wow, did it get personal on that topic); sacrifices we make when we have illness and pain; my favorite support organizations; and much, much more. You can listen now to the recording of part 1, hosted at Dr. Christo’s excellent site (he also offers tons of other resources, celebrity interviews, and a backlog of his show episodes). And tune in next week, when part 2 airs at 5pm EST on Saturday, October 10. If you miss the live show, you can find the recording a few days later at his site, or come here; I’ll post that link, too. Most importantly, let me know what you think of the interview! I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences, so jump into the comments below and share your story. Thanks! UPDATED: Part 2! The link to part 2 of my interview with Dr. Paul Christo is now live, and I am so honored and grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with him....

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