Thursday, October 2, 2014

Welcome Tara Meissner with a Guest Post: Thoughts on the recent death of Robin Williams

Welcome Tara Meissner, author of Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis.

Thoughts on the recent death of Robin Williams

For those left behind after a suicide — people known as survivors of suicide — grief, anger, depression and guilt are common. Because of Robin Williams' fame and public adoration, his fans felt a piece of that grief, shock, disbelief. When the news started popping up in my Facebook news feed, I turned to Google to confirm it. Each news report hammered in the truth and finality of his death and its cause. For the first time, a celebrity death brought me to tears.
Every time I hear of a suicide, I cringe, knowing that statistically it could be me someday. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), an estimated three to twenty percent of persons diagnosed and hospitalized with bipolar disorder die by suicide. As a person living with bipolar, I worry that I might someday join that small percentage of people who don't make it out alive. Like most, I want to die in my sleep of natural causes after a long life well lived.
However, the speculation that Robin Williams lived with bipolar, was not confirmed and, in fact, something he denied while he was alive. Did he deny it because of stigma or did he not have the symptoms warranting a clinical diagnosis?  The only person who may be able to explain the cause of Robin Williams' suicide is dead, unable to make it clear, even if he could find the right words to do so. 
Mental illness is not the only cause of suicide. Suicide is the result of feeling unable to cope when faced with what seems to be an overwhelming life situation; death then seems the only respite to suffering. This ideation may be caused by a genetic link, social isolation, stressful life events, abuse problems, an underlying psychiatric disorder, a history of abuse, or having a chronic disease or pain. These are just the things we know, and the causes probably expand farther.  
Because the media covered his death so thoroughly, maybe stigma regarding suicide and mental illness and addiction is fading. People are curious about the mystery of suicide and willing to have conversations.
Robin Williams' death offered a beloved and respected face to frame the conversation. We are left to wonder that since he didn't survive suicidal ideation, what hope is there for the rest of people who toy with the idea of death at their own hands. Even in the place of infinite resources to access the best medical and social care, Williams died. How can we prevent suicide?
It is too late to hear Williams' story told from his point of view. Those left behind can only hypothesize and piece together a cohesive narrative.
People with mental illness often walk silently, too afraid to appear crazy. However, I am more fearful of hushed voices and secrets. The AFSP maintains that up to ninety percent of bipolar patients live well following a treatment program. I hope people talk, don't feel isolated or embarrassed, and find a treatment program that can allow them to live well.
I offer thoughts of peace to Robin Williams family, friends, and fans and hope that they may overcome their grief in the face of this impossible loss. 

Thank you Tara Meissner for stopping by All Things Audry! 
Also, special thanks to WOW! Women on Wrirting for providing this stop on Tara Meissner's blog tour!

Book Summary:

Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis is a moving and honest psychology
memoir about the things that break us and how we heal. It offers a raw view a 33-year-old wife and mother swallowed by psychosis. The psychotic episode includes meeting Jesus Christ, dancing with Ellen DeGeneres, and narrowly escaping eternity in the underworld.
Casually called a nervous breakdown, psychosis is an entrapment outside of self where hallucinations and delusions anchor. Family, doctors, and fellow patients witnessed a nonverbal, confused, distraught shell of a woman. In the security of a psychiatric care center, the week-long psychosis broke and spit out a bipolar patient in the cushioned place of middle class medicine.
Outpatient recovery consumed the better part of a year with psychiatric treatment and spiritual contemplation. Left scarred and damaged, health returned allowing her to tentatively embrace a grace and peace earned through acceptance of bipolar disorder.

Paperback: 224Pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Tara Meissner (June 23, 2014)

ASIN: B00L8G6C66

Twitter hashtag: #SFracMeissner

Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis is available as an e-book and paperback at Amazon. (hyperlink: )

About the Author: Tara Meissner is a former journalist and a lifelong creative writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and works part-time at her local library. Tara lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Mike, and their three sons. She writes longhand in composition notebooks. 
Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis is her first book.

Bog Hostess, Audry Fryer is the author of women's fiction novels:

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  1. Thank you for sharing my thoughts Audry.

    1. Tara, thank you for your guest post! I appreciate your thoughts and honesty.


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