Gina Loudon, Ph.D., is host of "Smart Life with Dr. Gina" on Money Biz Life Network. She has appeared or been cited by the BBC, ABC, Vanity Fair, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, CNN, New York Times, Time magazine, Fox News, Fox Business, The Hill, "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart and many others. Loudon's new book, "What Women REALLY Want," co-authored with her fellow Politichicks anchors, will be released later this year.More ↓Less ↑
After leaving my vacation with my husband to travel to New York City, then Los Angeles to talk about the impact of Obamacare on mental health, I arrived home to have dinner with my family, and decided to check my social media before secluding myself to write my weekly WND column.
I couldn’t believe what I found in my feed.
One of my Facebook friends posted that he was considering taking his life. His name is Dan, and I don’t know him outside of Facebook. My only prior contact with him was when he stopped to encourage me for my work via Facebook message.
I did my internship in suicide prevention during my first master’s degree at St. Louis University. I know a credible threat when I see it. Dan’s threat was credible.
Thus, I posted his suicidal consideration on my Facebook wall, and asked friends to pray. I also privately messaged him, suggested some scripture and links to suicide resources, and asked him for some promises. He responded.
So did my friends on Facebook. Within moments, there were scores of comments for simply “Dan.” No one knew what “Dan” I was even talking about. They just wanted to help a fellow patriot in need.
Also within moments, there were dozens of others who talked about their moments of despair with our country under the worst internal threat of our lifetime – the promised “fundamental transformation” that Obama has delivered on this nation.
Dan didn’t specifically mention that he was suicidal because of Obamacare, or any other specific policy. He has posted many frustrations and fears for this country on social media. Still, I get messages almost daily from those who feel the most hopeless ever in their lives at this point, and many times it is related to the “fundamental transformation” taking place in America. I know two patriots who have taken their own lives in recent months, and both expressed hopelessness for the future for all of this administration’s attacks on freedom.
Now those who sought help are afraid to sign up for the program, ACA, that tells you up front, in the fine print, that your information will be released to other government agencies and law enforcement. Rational minds will find it unsettling to think of the same NSA, IRS, DHS, etc. that has both targeted, harassed and leaked private data, having access to their mental health and medical records. Fewer people will seek help. Of those who do seek help, they will be less likely to disclose things that embarrass them.
Soldiers will fear that a PTSD diagnosis might mean they lose their freedom to own the weapons they used to fight for freedom. People with a propensity to offend sexually might be less likely to seek help, and therefore may act out when help doesn’t intervene. Teenagers who have concerns about their futures may be less likely to seek medical or mental health advice for fear of it affecting their future career opportunity (especially with 25 percent of companies not hiring, and young people footing the bill for Obamacare).
It sounds extreme to say that lives will be lost over a government policy that hasn’t fired a shot. But I would be lying, and denying what I know as a behavioral analyst, if I overlooked the reality that these policies are pushing people to the brink.
And with military suicide a tall all-time high, mental health professionals need to take time to study what has caused the spike in suicides, as well as how to prevent it.
A certain percentage of those who really see the fundamental transformation taking place will be likely to react to the point of instability, and worse. Also Americans are learning that privacy is lost forever as Obamacare and government agencies collect and share data. Fearing leaks, targets and other forms of harassment, fewer people will seek help. Americans must learn to help their fellow man as government tries to make itself the only place to turn. Therefore, I think it is important to:
1) Be able to recognize a credible threat of suicide, and
2) Know what to do and where to find help if you, or someone you know is facing a true life crisis.
Tell the person you don’t want them to die and help them develop a plan.
The cause and effect
The fundamental policy of increased size of government and secularization of a culture lead to an anonymity that isolates people from family, friends, neighbors and God. In the free market, a person in need looks to other people, and God, for help. But in a secularized, socialized system, there is no one to look to. The government can’t care for someone hurting because the government isn’t a person. Therefore, feelings of isolation and hopelessness can escalate more quickly and leave those who trusted the government with no one. Having all the government one can imagine is still having no one. Government isn’t a person.
Further, the effect of secularization and socialization of a culture always results in chaos. Impending chaos and lack of stability further devastate an economy, and thereby impact those most vulnerable (the poor, the mentally ill, the developmentally disabled) more readily than the wealthy, stable and able.
Conservatives are often labeled “greedy” by the mainstream media and elitists in Washington. But the reality was clearly displayed on my Facebook wall last night, when hundreds of conservatives took time to pray for, encourage and offer a hand to a fellow American in need. Government can never do that. Handing those in need over to government is inherently deluded. Government doesn’t look into the eyes of the person in need and can never truly care. That is why conservatives prefer churches, family and private charity to handle these matters. Most mental health professionals would agree that if you know someone, or even have to look that person in the eye, there is greater opportunity for compassion and accountability. That is the dirty little secret Big Daddy Government doesn’t want the low-information voter to realize. Conservatives need to pound that message of compassion.
Rick Warren pointed out that we as a culture need to reject the lie that compassion requires compromise of conviction. It doesn’t. Compassion, in fact, requires conviction, and so those who subscribe to a code of principles (Bible, Torah, Constitution, Bill of Rights) are more readily capable of compassion.
As we prepare for a future we can’t know, it is important to prepare for the mental battle ahead as well. Lucky for those of us who tend to consider possibilities, rather than close our eyes and wish it would go away, we tend to fare better.
We need to fight on every front, starting in the pulpits, but we need to prepare for the worst. It is beginning to look like the toughest battles may be those of messaging, and mental health.
With military suicide at an all time high, mental health professionals need to take time to study what has caused the spike in suicides, as well as how to prevent it