Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Tragic Death of Robin Williams: Warning Signs of Suicide

Gentle Readers, I am sure I am not alone in my shock at the news of the death of Robin Williams. His publicist's succinct statement - "He has been battling severe depression of late" - sparks more questions in lieu of an explanation because something so seemingly random to outsiders and to those who have never struggled with depression defies comprehension. We will never know his personal demons or the "black dog" that haunted him.

I ran a series of blog posts on the topic of depression last year in conjunction with Depression Awareness Month and "came out of the closet," as it were, about my own personal battle. Today I am re-posting in part 10 Signs You Should Know of the 10th Leading Cause of Death.

It's possible that there was nothing anyone could have done to prevent Robin Williams' death, but knowing the warning signs might help someone you know.

From October 20, 2013

Gentle Readers, Throughout the month of October, we have focused on Depression Awareness. In addition to the special 99¢ Book Sale Benefit of "Alicia Embracing the Dark" intended to widen understanding of depression as well as support the non-profit organization To Write Love on Her Arms, earlier this month in my post When It's Almost Impossible to Appear Tolerably Cheerful, I disclosed my own personal, on-going battle with Major Depressive Disorder. For National Depression Screening Day, I had a special post detailing the symptoms of depression and how to find help or take an anonymous evaluation, as well as how depression feels to me personally when I cannot hold the darkness at bay.

With about ten days remaining in Depression Awareness Month, I want to share the warning signs of suicide. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and 90% of those who commit suicide have clinical depression or another mental illness. More than a million Americans attempt suicide every year, and half of people who commit suicide have attempted it before.

Would you recognize the warning signs in time?

 1.   Excessive sadness or moodiness. Long-lasting sadness, mood swings, and unexpected rage. Trouble sleeping or eating.
2.    Losing interest in things one used to care about.
3.    Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless. Saying things like "it would be better if I wasn't here" or "I want out."
4.    Always talking or thinking about death.
5.   Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy or suddenly becoming calm after a period of depression or moodiness can be a sign that the person has made a decision to end his or her life.
6.    Social withdrawal. Choosing to be alone and avoiding friends or social activities.
7.    Changes in personality and/or appearance: A person who is considering suicide might exhibit a change in attitude or behavior, such as speaking or moving with unusual speed or slowness. In addition, the person might suddenly become less concerned about his or her personal appearance.
8.    Having a "death wish," tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving fast or running red lights. Dangerous or self-harmful behavior, such as reckless driving, engaging in unsafe sex, and increased use of drugs and/or alcohol might indicate that the person no longer values his or her life.
9.    Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will. Often, a person considering suicide will begin to put his or her personal business in order. This might include visiting friends and family members, giving away personal possessions, making a will, and cleaning up his or her room or home.
10.    Talking about suicide or killing one's self.

According to WebMD: From 50% to 75% of those considering suicide will give someone -- a friend or relative -- a warning sign; however, not everyone who is considering suicide will say so, and not everyone who threatens suicide will follow through with it.

Every threat of suicide should be taken seriously. If someone you know appears to be depressed and talks about suicide, makes a suicidal gesture, or attempts suicide, take it as a serious emergency. Listen to the person, but don't try to argue with him or her. Seek immediate help from a health care professional.

Listen to what he or she is saying. Take the initiative to ask that person what he or she is planning. But don't attempt to argue him or her out of committing suicide. Rather, let the person know that you care and understand and are listening. Avoid statements like: "You have so much to live for."

Please: Tweet and post links to this blog or to the WebMD articles on suicide

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Five Random Things About Me

Greetings, dear readers!             

http://colettesaucier.blogspot.com/2012/12/thursday-thirteen-recipe-13-ingredients.htmlI know I have been neglecting my blog miserably for the past few months, but I have been devoting as much time as I have away from my soul-sucking day job to WRITING! As in new novels!

So when Jo Lynne Valerie suggested that the featured authors for Authors After Dark (eeek! Only 3 days away!) share 5 random things about themselves, I figured even I could handle that (even though I should be packing for Charlotte!).

To that end, here are five random things your might not know about me:

#1:   I grew up as an only child (I found out I had a half-brother when I was 14) and - since we only had 4 TV channels and video games and VCRs didn't exist, I had to find innovative ways to entertain myself. I learned to read at an early age, and then I would play school with my collection of stuffed animals as my students. They never did very well on the tests. I would also have little wars with pennies, heads vs. tails. That last bit actually sounds rather pathetic.

#2:   I only completed the 9th grade. (I stayed for half of 10th grade because I was in marching band, so I had to finish out the football season.) Then I got my GED. I lied about my age and worked a couple of jobs before taking the ACT, and I started college the summer I turned 17.

#3:   I found two husbands in college! The first class I took was English, where I met my ex-husband. Of course, he happened to be the one teaching the class! I actually ended up marrying him twice before getting a clue and divorcing him for good, and eventually I married the man who had been the TA in two of my history classes. We have now been married for twenty years.

#4:   I once tried to trade one of my daughters for a camel. Just kidding. The photo above was taken by my daughter when we went to Tunisia. We were fortunate to visit when we did because the next year they had a coup, and the country is not so welcoming to Westerners anymore. I always wanted to visit all the continents before I died, and I only have Australia and Antarctica to go! (Here's a recipe for Tunisian Couscous in case you'd like to give it a try.)

#5:   I am a minister of the Universal Life Church and have performed a handful of weddings. I am also a Civil Law Notary Public here in Louisiana, which means I can perform almost all the duties of an attorney short of appearing in court. That means I can draw up your Prenuptial Agreement, perform your wedding ceremony, and then notarize you divorce papers - one stop shopping!

So now you know more about me than most of my friends!

If you want to know a few random things about other featured authors at Authors After Dark, here's a place to start:

Jo Lynne Valerie

Julie Morgan

Candace Blevins
Kerry Adrienne
Susana Ellis

Bethany Lopez

Mina Khan

Hope to see you in Charlotte!        

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Exclusive Excerpt from (ONCE) AGAIN by Theresa Paolo on Coffee With Colette

Good morning, dear readers! 

Coffee with ColetteYes, I know. I have been a really crappy blogger. I've been so neglectful, I'm surprised social services hasn't come and taken my blog away! As I mentioned the last time you joined me for Coffee, I finished writing my new novel, The Widow, and now I have waited the requisite 30 days so I can work on the second draft. It is a rather daunting task since we're talking 115,000 words! In the interim, I wrote an experimental novella (read: unpublishable),  proofed the audiobook for Alicia's Possession, went to the RT Booklovers Conference, and took care of my daughter's dog!  All this while still working my soul-sucking day job. 
PLUS I have to get ready for the big party we're having this Saturday, June 28th, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the cheese sandwich that forever altered human history. For those of you who don't follow me on Facebook, you should know I use my page as a mini-blog with the occasional rant. So since I don't foresee my blogging efforts here to improve anytime soon, I would invite you to follow me there.

This morning, however, I want to focus on my very special guest. That's right - I made a new friend! Theresa Paolo is an extremely talented fellow author represented by the Booker Albert Literary Agency, and she is here this morning to introduce her new release (Once) Again - the follow-up to her amazing novel (Never) Again. I have to say, as an OLD adult, I had no idea that New Adult could be so hot! This is one you won't want to miss!


http://www.amazon.com/Once-Again-Theresa-Paolo-ebook/dp/B00I8RB0PG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403489616&sr=8-1&keywords=theresa+paoloThanks, Colette, for having me on your blog today! I'm here to share a little bit about my newest book (Once) Again. It is a companion novel to my first book (Never) Again and is the story of Josh and Kat.

Josh will have to reconcile his past…

In order to make Kat his future.

After surviving a real-life nightmare, Josh Wagner is sent home from his dream college on crutches.

Bedridden and tormented by flashbacks, he’s just seen his world shattered and his baseball scholarship go up in smoke. Josh’s family hires a health aide to help take care of him, but when he opens the door, the last person he expects to see is his biggest regret…

Katherine Singleton is the only girl Josh has ever loved. Now, even though she’s only taking care of him because it’s her job, Josh is determined to win her back. But Kat had to move on after their breakup two years ago, and despite her feelings for Josh, a lot has happened since he left…

When Kat’s past comes back to haunt her, Josh decides it’s his turn to take care of her. But protecting her—and redeeming himself—will put Josh in the line of fire again. Will he survive this time?

When writing (Never) Again Josh's voice was so strong I knew I had to write his story. He may just be one of my favorite characters I have written. Shhh don't tell my other characters that!

Now for an exclusive excerpt:

I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. Katherine Singleton was in my living room. For months after I left, she played on constant rotation in my mind. She was all I thought about. All I dreamed about. Even after two years, she still popped in and out of my thoughts. How do you forget your first love? Your only love?

Kat was the only girl who actually listened when I talked. Not because of some ulterior motive of getting me to finally settle down, but because she was interested in what I had to say. We spent so many nights in the bed of my pickup, talking about life and our futures. I didn’t need to filter my thoughts with Kat. She never judged me, and because of that we never ran out of things to say.