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What happens if you try to kill yourself and survive?

She got so depressed that she tried to kill herself. But when she laid down in front of a train to die, she lived.Trigger warning: Descriptions of death and dying, but no images.

People attempt suicide for many reasons. When we know someone is struggling, we try to tell them all the right things.

But what does the field of suicidology have to say about what reduces suicide?

When the World Health Organization and the Associated Press Managing Editors Association wanted to know how they should talk about newsworthy suicides, David Phillips, a suicidologist at the University of California told them this:


"Think of a suicide story as a kind of commercial. If you make the product attractive, people will want it. But if you say, 'By the way, when a person kills himself, let's say by shooting he looks terrible afterwards.' Or 'When a person poisons himself, he often fouls the bed sheets.' If you talk about the pain and the disfigurement then I thought that would make it less likely that people would be copying the suicide."

The research around negative public portrayals of suicide support this notion. When people talk about suicide in a positive light, people are more likely to attempt suicide. When people talk about suicide in a negative light, people are less like to attempt suicide.

Another suicidologist, Thomas Niederkrotenthaler, says mentioning helplines and telling stories of people who find another way out of their problems can help reduce suicidality in others.

So let's do all of those.

The CDC reports that for every completed suicide, there are 25 failed attempts.

Many of these people (487,700 of them in 2011) end up in the emergency room, seriously injured. Sometimes they recover, but often their bodies are permanently damaged — which is what happened to Helen Galsworthy.

"When I woke up in hospital, my mum was next to me and I said to her, 'I've lost my legs, haven't I?' And she said, 'Yes.'"

Helen lost her legs in her suicide attempt, but she's made a great recovery both emotionally and physically. That's wonderful, but surely it would have been better if she'd been able to get effective help before her attempt — we could have lost her forever.

But it could have been much worse.

Surviving an attempted poisoning with carbon monoxide, chemicals, or prescription medications can permanently damage the brain, heart, esophagus, stomach, intestines, or kidneys. Surviving a long fall can result in disfigurement, internal organ damage, shattered bones, or paralysis.

Surviving a shot from a firearm can result in brain damage or paralysis. Or worse, a person may survive only long enough to feel pain and regret, but not long enough to be saved.

Kevin Briggs is a retired California Highway Patrol officer whose beat included the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge, one of the most popular places in the world for suicide attempts.

In his 23 years of service, he responded to countless reports of suicidal citizens on the bridge. Here's what he has to say:

If someone you know is struggling, be a compassionate support for them and don't be afraid to show them what can happen if they try to take their lives.

If you are struggling, seek help. Suicide is messy and potentially permanent. Recovery can also be messy, but it too can be permanent.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Health

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to run their YouthLine teen crisis hotline

“Each volunteer gets more than 60 hours of training, and master’s level supervisors are constantly on standby in the room.”

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to man YouthLine teen crisis hotline

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Mental health is a top-of-mind issue for a lot of people. Thanks to social media and people being more open about their struggles, the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment appears to be diminishing. But after the social and emotional interruption of teens due the pandemic, the mental health crises among adolescents seem to have jumped to record numbers.

PBS reports that Oregon is "ranked as the worst state for youth mental illness and access to care." But they're attempting to do something about it with a program that trains teenagers to answer crisis calls from other teens. They aren't alone though, as there's a master's level supervisor at the ready to jump in if the call requires a mental health professional.

The calls coming into the Oregon YouthLine can vary drastically, anywhere from relationship problems to family struggles, all the way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Teens manning the phones are provided with 60 hours of training and are taught to recognize when the call needs to be taken over by the adult supervisor.

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Pop Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

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Family

Mom shares her brutal experience with 'hyperemesis gravidarum' and other moms can relate

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe case of morning sickness that can last up until the baby is born and might require medical attention.

@emilyboazman/TikTok

Hyperemesis gravidarum isn't as common as regular morning sickness, but it's much more severe.

Morning sickness is one of the most commonly known and most joked about pregnancy symptoms, second only to peculiar food cravings. While unpleasant, it can often be alleviated to a certain extent with plain foods, plenty of fluids, maybe some ginger—your typical nausea remedies. And usually, it clears up on its own by the 20-week mark. Usually.

But sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes moms experience stomach sickness and vomiting, right up until the baby is born, on a much more severe level.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), isn’t as widely talked about as regular morning sickness, but those who go through it are likely to never forget it. Persistent, extreme nausea and vomiting lead to other symptoms like dehydration, fainting, low blood pressure and even jaundice, to name a few.

Emily Boazman, a mom who had HG while pregnant with her third child, showed just how big of an impact it can make in a viral TikTok.

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The cast of TLC's "Sister Wives."

Dating is hard for just about anyone. But it gets harder as people age because the dating pool shrinks and older people are more selective. Plus, changes in dating trends, online etiquette and fashion can complicate things as well.

“Sister Wives” star Christine Brown is back in the dating pool after ending her “spiritual union” with polygamist Kody Brown and she needs a little help to get back in the swing of things. Christine and Kody were together for more than 25 years and she shared him with three other women, Janelle, Meri and Robyn.

Janelle and Meri have recently announced they’ve separated from Kody. Christine publicly admitted that things were over with Kody in November 2021.

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Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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