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“Understanding Why Adoptees Are At Higher Risk For Suicide”

03 Sep

Please read the full post below, then go to the full article linked, read that, then read the study (you can even open the full study instead of just reading the abstract). We can’t pretend this isn’t real, please don’t question methodologies of the study in an attempt to downplay it (all adoptees in the study were placed in the adoptive homes under the age of two, 87% of the international adoptees were adopted from Korea, the domestic adoptees also placed under the age of two)…

Light of Day Stories

Talking about suicide is hard and uncomfortable. Talking about it in connection with adoption–which often has much joy but is more complex than people realize–is challenging. And we need to talk, and keep sharing information and resources.

I am pleased to share with you my article “Understanding Why Adoptees Are At Higher Risk For Suicide,” published today by Forefront, a University of Washington collaboration of the UW School of Social Work, UW Communication, UW School of Nursing, and UW College of Education.

My three main points in the article are these:

Adoption is a trauma.

Adoptees often don’t know their medical histories, which may include depression and other illnesses.

Adoptees don’t want to upset their adoptive parents with concerns about depression or what could be seen as ingratitude.

I know people I love more than words can say who have considered. and attempted, suicide. I do not presume to…

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10 Comments

Posted by on September 3, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

10 responses to ““Understanding Why Adoptees Are At Higher Risk For Suicide”

  1. beth62

    September 3, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    I have so much to say about this, and can’t think of a word of it right now. I think I am in shock that people have begun to talk about it at all. Maybe I am tired, worn out from it, and want to see what others have to say instead. It’s been nearly 40 years since my first adoptee friend died from suicide as a teen. I shared my first kiss with him, best kiss I’ve ever had. I’ve lost many other adopted friends to suicide that I knew too, and I know many more that have tried and failed.

    Many more took off as teens to enjoy the freedom and adventure of the open road and/or trail. Some found a lifetime parties that did, or eventually did them in. All had typical loving families, none of us knew much about our origins, other than our unwed mothers loved us and wanted the best for us.
    In what-if land, I often wonder what might have happened with them if we had the internet back then…

    I’ve tried to talk about it before, and I remember saying “this” was commonly said in many of the last notes, and now I can’t remember exactly what was said! I am pretty sure I have typed it here and there, will have to go look. I know I have said “it” and things like it before myself, and I might have tried to join them if I wasn’t so mad at them for leaving me. I dunno.

    Thanks for posting this (((((TAO))))))
    One wasn’t good enough, I think you need another too 🙂 (((((TAO)))))

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    • Sally

      September 9, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      Beth 62,
      As a birth mom who lost my son, age 35, soon 4 years ago. We had been in reunion 7 years. I can read your words and understand some of what your saying. I heard them from my son also. I feel in my heart your words and would like to pass on some strong hugs and warm tears to thank you for speaking / writing also. You’ve blessed me, I miss my son soooo much. Its when we open our hearts and share, we’ve enlightened someone else. Wishing you peace to your days. You’ve honored your friends. Thank you. I’m 55, I’ve never forgotten my son, I prayed, kept in touch with the agency, visited them, saying “please don’t forget my face, I want to know him, and want him to know I’ve been here!” I know now, after many 6 hour phone calls, ( I figured out we had spent 1500 hours in 1 year) listening to each other, before he moved in with us for 7 months.) The story is long… but it was good, great actually, but it couldn’t erase what had transpired in his life over 35 years. I’m guilty, of the then unknown/unspoken parts of adoption , at 16, I was naïve enough to believe, but strong willed as a mother to remember every moment . My heart knew we would meet again if I could help it. I just couldn’t make it ” all better ” after all those years. My deepest regret, I was caught in a time storm. Damn those who had silenced birth moms. We all suffered because of that. I can’t go back and edit life. I can speak out on what I’ve lived and learned. Billy Joels song about walking by the river. The river so deep….

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      • beth62

        September 17, 2015 at 1:23 pm

        Sally,
        I am so very sorry you lost your son, especially in this way. We know we can’t go back and edit, doesn’t mean I am going to stop working on this time machine tho. I’m so glad you got time with him. Sometimes even just a moment can fill a lifetime with dear memories, I hope you can hang on to them tightly.
        I try to act tough about it, say I can talk about it, that everyone should talk about it. Sometimes I just can’t get too close to it, it sucks me right into the mud, I am not that strong sometimes. I can’t seem to find the words either. I am leery about labeling anything, pointing at something and saying “there, that’s it” “that’s what does it”. It’s not that simple. It’s not always it, and it doesn’t always do it. We do enough of that already.

        Plus I don’t keep that kind of language in me. there ain’t nuthin “fancy” about me. When it comes to the mystery and magic of Life it seems I can only speak about it in that deep way, in that beside the river way, that parable way. Like Billy Joel sang about it. Like Jesus talked about it, like so many others, I am not sure if it is possible to just come out and explain the magic and mystery in any truly intellectual language.

        I could tell you about my time at the deep river, on the mountains, in the valleys, at the bottom of the sea, crawling deep down under, flying and falling high above it all, in the breeze, at the fire – physically and mentally and about many others that have been there too. This is where I choose to live, it’s what I am, it’s where I belong. What I finally learned here is hard learned for me and for so many people, yet so simple, even ancient:
        If you want to go fast, go alone – If you want to go far, go together.

        But, as you may see, it may not make any sense to anyone but me, and maybe a few that have been to the same places I go. Sort of like this song, if you understand it you just do, if you don’t maybe you might, if it speaks to you, it just does, or it doesn’t. One day in time it may hit you plain as day and you’ll remember this and say; Oh yeah, I get it. Ya never know. So maybe for this moment we can just let Billy say it for us.

        Plus I have tried twice to respond to your post and tried to say something intelligent and thoughtful, maybe even helpful and talk about some of my lost (((friends))), and ask some questions about your (((son)))… The first time I had my hand on the mouse about to click send – my computer locked up and shut down! and I lost what I had written and didn’t have time to stay and rewrite… the second time, the very second I hit send, the POWER went out for an hour. There was no storm, no wind, nada, the neighbors had power… So I ran and hid for a while 🙂 Hoping this reply makes it.

        ((((Sally)))) Hoping you find an easy trail to a nourishing swim today.

        “The River Of Dreams”

        In the middle of the night
        I go walking in my sleep
        From the mountains of faith
        To a river so deep
        I must be looking for something
        Something sacred I lost
        But the river is wide
        And it’s too hard to cross

        And even though I know the river is wide
        I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore
        And try to cross to the opposite side
        So I can finally find out what I’ve been looking for

        In the middle of the night
        I go walking in my sleep
        Through the valley of fear
        To a river so deep
        And I’ve been searching for something
        Taken out of my soul
        Something I would never lose
        Something somebody stole

        I don’t know why I go walking at night
        But now I’m tired and I don’t want to walk anymore
        I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life
        Until I find what it is that I’ve been looking for

        In the middle of the night
        I go walking in my sleep
        Through the jungle of doubt
        To a river so deep
        I know I’m searching for something
        Something so undefined
        That it can only be seen
        By the eyes of the blind
        In the middle of the night

        I’m not sure about a life after this
        God knows I’ve never been a spiritual man
        Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river
        That runs to the promised land
        In the middle of the night
        I go walking in my sleep
        Through the desert of truth
        To the river so deep
        We all end in the ocean
        We all start in the streams
        We’re all carried along
        By the river of dreams
        In the middle of the night

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  2. Snarkurchin

    September 3, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    I’ve wondered recently if some of us aren’t depressed due to epigenetic/transgenerational trauma and/or our mothers’ stress levels while pregnant. I’m BSE-era, and I know my mother had a stressful pregnancy; her condition was considered shameful, and she was sent to an unwed mothers’ home in another state for several months.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140413135953.htm

    http://www.livescience.com/43579-poverty-stress-infant-development.html

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    • TAO

      September 4, 2015 at 3:03 am

      No idea why you went to moderation. If you search stress in the search box you will posts on this topic. Alternatively search Quebec Ice Storm+stress+cortisol on google and it will take you to a study done on pregnant mothers during the storm and the outcome of their children.

      Like

       
  3. beth62

    November 7, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    A new study out.

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/health/death-rates-rising-for-middle-aged-white-americans-study-finds.html?referer=&_r=0

    I am too curious to find out how many were separated and/or adopted. If that is even possible. I would think some sort of family history question would be part of the study? This age group would have been born during the Baby Scoop Era right?

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    • TAO

      November 7, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      If it was Sweden it would be possible because they don’t see any issue with noting adoption status of their citizens, unlike the US or Canada – almost like it is something “bad” to be adopted. No idea how they can explain the unicorns that surround adoption but believe it is something bad at the same time.

      Beth – if you are on twitter or facebook check out #becauseits2015 – Canada has a new leader who filled his cabinet 50/50 male/female, and it’s diverse, not only that, he picked each member based on qualifications for what they’d oversee (doctor for health, lawyer/prosecutor for justice etc.). When asked why he did it – he answered ‘because its 2015’…

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  4. beth62

    November 11, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Hard to argue with that answer! Makes good sense to me, because it’s 2015!
    Hope people do/can find a way to argue it when needed tho. Like anything else, it can’t be all good all the time for all!

    Sort of like hiring based on gender and/or race…age, handicap, veteran status, whatever: great if and where it’s needed!!!! wonderful if it fixes a problem, not so great at all when it’s not needed, or not needed any longer, and it’s mandatory, especially if it puts people out of business, and qualified people out of work because of their race or gender. btdt LOL, (not all successful businesses are run by evil racist sexist rich greedy white dudes:-) Yes, lots of things can change for the better, because it’s 2015!

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  5. beth62

    November 11, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    I sent a note to these smart people about their study asking if it’s possible to know if separated, adopted, or veteran, was possible to find out.
    Since the many I have seen in my tiny world attempting to, or dying from suicide were either/or, if not both.
    No response, yet.

    I have been getting to know two wounded warriors with ptsd, females.
    They talk differently about things than the guys do… imagine that!!
    Oh my, oh my, the correlations I have found with dealing with ptsd and the responses it can bring to them and little ole adopted me.
    I must find a way to explain it soon. It’s all so very primal. It’s so easy talking with them about it, like talking to other adoptees, kwim?

    Like

     
  6. beth62

    November 11, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Trying to make sense of what I said above. LOL. One of the women said something like this…
    They taught us how to adapt to the people and environment of war, and we do, to survive we must.
    But they did not teach us how to adapt when we come back, to our own lives. Our lost self is what we find, when, if, we come back home. We’ve lost who we once were and we need to learn how to heal the wounds that can come with that.

    And, yes :-), we will be sleeping in the wilderness very soon, until we find our way again.
    One day I may be able to explain that wilderness thing, hoping someone else will first! It’s too big, too deep for me to explain simply, yet. Yet it’s very simple.
    I have seen with my own eyes that it is the answer for many – finding and healing the primal.

    somebody help me!

    Oh. Replace the word “war” above with “adoption” and you will see my words.

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