I find it interesting that both the Endometriosis Awareness ribbon and the Suicide Awareness ribbon are yellow ribbons…
Today while perusing Facebook, I ran across a post where a Virginia Endometriosis Awareness group had posted that there’s been 8 women who committed suicide this year due to their Endometriosis. Where they got their stats, or if it’s just in VA, or…national…or global…I don’t know. (For clarification on these statistics, see the Comments Section below). But, I do know that that’s 8 too many…and I was struck dumb, literally frozen in my chair struggling not to cry.
I must admit that I’ve been in the throes of depression, but blame it on my Lupron Depot. Depression is something new to me, and I’ve only had it since I’ve started my treatment. So I’m looking forward to it leaving my system after my last injection and getting out of this Pity Party mood.
But I have also been contemplating the endless cycle that is Endo: pain; no cure; the potential for multiple surgeries; regrowth; Western medicine, alternative medicine, natural supplements, and snake oils. I could easily see where suicide would creep into the minds and hearts of women who have just endured too much.
Which breaks my heart even further. We need to uplift ourselves, and our fellow EndoSisters. We must continue to forge and hold onto hope. Suicide is not the answer. Life is worth living, regardless of our pain…
There have been no formal studies of a link between Endometriosis and Suicide. However, the constant pain, hopelessness, and depression that many EndoSisters suffer from could easily lead to that outcome. Scouring the internet for details, stats, or studies has proven fruitless. Just endless blogs and forums of Endometriosis Sufferers contemplating suicide and reaching out for help, or discussing the past suicides or attempts of other EndoSisters. That alone tells me of the gravity of this problem.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call a Suicide Prevention Hotline in your area:
Australia : 13 11 14
Bangladesh : 01985275286
Canada : 1-888-353-2273
Cayman Islands : (345) 949-0290
Ireland (Republic) : 116 123
Ireland (Northern) : 08457 90 90 90
New Zealand (within Auckland) : 09 5222 999
New Zealand (outside Auckland) : 0800 543 354
United Kingdom : 0800 068 41 41
United States : 1-800-273-8255
San Diego, CA Suicide Hotline: 1-888-724-7240
(Updated December 28, 2020)
Kaan Pete Roi
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
~ Again, I am a layman. I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings. Or challenge them. And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always. Yours ~ Lisa
14 thoughts on “Suicide & Endometriosis”
I think the FB post you are referring to is from YellowHOPE or EndoMarch Team Virginia’s pages. We arrived at that number from being in all of the FB support groups and tallying them up when the most recent sister died.
I know that a teammate, Judy @mysexyendo, was in contact with the most recent EndoSister who killed herself.
Her years as a suicide hotline worker has trained her to notice the warning signs. This lady reached out via FB and Judy picked up on it and reached out.
It is heartbreaking to know this is happening and even more so when this disease is so misunderstood and so many women are falling through the cracks. I met with a pain management doctor the other day, I was referred to him by my current pain management doc, and I asked if I could send other endo patients his way. He said the line on whether endo itself is actually causing the pain or if it’s the surgeries, is blurry, so prescribing opiates to treat pain has not been considered the best way to treat this disease.
My jaw dropped to the floor when I heard this.
Something MUST be done and it needs, no, it HAS to be done by a team of doctors who are willing to challenge the people who dictate what is and what isn’t a medical problem. (I’m so tired and my brain is turning off, I can’t think of the name. Is it the FDA? The DEA? The surgeon general?)
I’m enjoying your blog and I hope to keep chatting but this tired mama is going to bed!
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I don’t know if I ever said thank you for your comment. THANK YOU! Hoping to do *something* this year on this subject. Something must be done.
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Thanks for this post and also to Michelle for the comment on the stats. I have only fairly recently realized through reading blogs and social media posts about how prolific suicide in endo sufferers is. This just breaks my heart. I have my bad days of course, and sometimes being in chronic pain just makes you feel like “ok, enough already!” but I am hopeful right now because I have a surgery date with an endo specialist. For the women who are told it’s in their head, are not taken seriously, who have had to endure countless surgeries and rounds of treatment that ultimately do not alleviate their pain, and in some cases, make it worse, I can see how suicide may seem like a way out. But please, endo sisters, do not give up hope! Educate yourself, connect with other endo sufferers, and use your suffering as a tool to help you fight harder. Although they are few, here are some really wonderful, highly experienced and knowledgeable endo specialists out there who can help you get on a treatment path that is holistic and tailored to your needs. Stay strong, ladies *hugs*
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Thank you so much for your comment and support. I am working on doing *something* this year on this topic. I have to!!
There were many times I wish I would just die, or I’ve thought if it weren’t for my 2 kids, I’d have done it by now. .. thanks for putting this out there, I’m not alone!
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You most assuredly are not alone.
I would recommend joining a FB support group, but so many are very difficult to tolerate with the drama. However, YellowHOPEsupport and EndoMarchTeamVirginia are pretty good 😉
Please reach out to us if you need to, we are in your shoes and can help!
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Thank you, Michelle!
I had my suicidal period as well. The pain and fatigue obviously played a big part in that, but what made me fall into a deep depression were the abuses of my ex, which kept insulting me because I had to interrupt my studies and I couldn’t keep a job because of the pain. He ultimately also physically abused me when I was in too much pain to keep having sex and I begged him to stop, and he didn’t, and then he blamed it on me for “being so weak”. Many Endo sufferers already start thinking of ending it all even if they have a very supportive partner and family, so imagine what a nightmare it has been for me. I had a bad case of major depression with some PTSD symptoms, I had nightmares every night, panic attacks and breathing problems, I stopped eating and I couldn’t talk nor get up from bed, I had to be dragged around. At a certain point I was so weak and skinny I started thinking I was disappearing. I went to therapy and I pulled myself together eventually, and I am thankful for the loving people that helped me get through this. Now I have another boyfriend, a stable and loving one, and we go to couple counseling because I’m afraid my chronic illness could slowly make him hate me, and I want to keep my relationship “in check” so my past doesn’t keep repeating itself. I still feel too blocked to have sex, but I’m sure that will change with time. I hope sharing my story can help others.
It is very important that we surround ourselves with supporting and understanding people, people that love us and that would never hurt us because of our health problems. This is obviously important for healthy people too, but for chronically ill people it could really make the difference between life and death.
If you see any signs of impatience, lack of respect or aggressiveness in people around you, please immediately ask for help from someone external to the relationship, and consider interrupting the relationship itself. Remember that just because you’re sick, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve something better.
Beatrice, first of all I am so glad he’s your Ex and you’re no longer involved with that man. I’m also glad to hear you sought professional help for your depression and have pulled through, moving on with your life. You will rebuild, with he at your side. You’re doing it right. 🙂
And you are right : surround yourself with love and support. Find online groups that offer the same. And, if you can, find women in your neighborhood, your city, around you physically. Being able to relate in person makes such a difference.
Thank you, so much, for opening up in your comment and spreading this good news to others. I encourage you to put it all down and share your story at this link, which I will publish on the blog and share on Facebook. https://bloominuterus.com/share-your-story/
And, again, thank you. You brave and strong woman.