Franklin James Cook

Survivor’s Experience Is Frame for Prevention Message

In Grief, Media, Prevention, Stigma on December 2, 2008 at 9:17 pm

ORIGINAL ARTICLE — In an article in the Orlando Sentinel, Medical Writer Robyn Shelton shares the story of Marie Dudek, who lost her 22-year-old daughter to suicide in 2003.

“Suicide isn’t talked about much. There is still a lot of stigma attached to it, a lot of shame, a lot of guilt,” said Dudek, chair of the Central Florida chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “But too many people are dying by suicide. We need to talk about it; we need to bring it out in the open.”

Dudek’s story about her daughter’s death is a backdrop in the article for coverage of suicide in Florida as well as information about suicide prevention.

Threats of suicide need to be taken seriously, said Dr. Carlos H. Ruiz, chairman of psychiatry at Florida Hospital …

“Suicide is the symptom of another problem, it’s the point where the person feels so much despair, they don’t know what else to do,” Ruiz said.

[Alan D. Keck, an Altamonte Springs psychologist, said,] “Depressed mood is the biggest red flag, but obviously, everyone who is depressed doesn’t try to kill themselves. There has to be something more.”

A key factor, Keck said, is the feeling of hopelessness. Even when depressed, people can have the sense that their lives will get better. As depression lingers or goes untreated, hope fades and the risk of suicide increases.

The article ends with a quote from Dudek that starkly delineates one of the most misunderstood characteristics of suicide fatalities:

“Most people who die by suicide don’t necessarily want to die. They just want to end the pain that they’re in. It’s hard to understand the depth of their pain.”

[The abridged URL for this post is]

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  1. The article linked to in the post above is accompanied by another story, “‘We thought we were doing everything right, and it still happened,'” about an Orlando couple whose son died by suicide and who “struggle with the grief of losing a child and the guilt that is unique to suicide.”

  2. […] KEY QUOTE — Marie Dudek In Quote on December 4, 2008 at 11:41 pm ORIGINAL POST […]

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