Over the years we have heard that suicides for CRPS/RSD (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) patients is the highest of all suicide rates.
This may not be as necessarily true as it seemed. This also does not entirely mean it’s false.
The following is an excerpt by the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association (RSDSA) -
Suicide and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
On June 23, 2012, Jill Harkany-Friedman, PhD, spoke to the RSDSA Board of Directors and invited guests on the topic of CRPS and Suicide Prevention. Dr. Harkany-Friedman is the Senior Director of Research and Prevention for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). RSDSA asked Dr. Harkany-Friedman to speak because of recent suicides in the CRPS community. She assured us that although most individuals have fleeting thoughts of ending one’s life, suicide is relatively rare (12 out of 100,000). Furthermore, 90% of those who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder, i.e. depression, anxiety, alcohol or substance abuse, and a potentially treatable mental disorder. We are posting her PowerPoint® presentation for your information.
I respectfully give all credit to the RSDSA for the above information.
While I respect the educated view of Dr. Harkany-Friedman the thought presents itself that she seems to be stating that nearly all those CRPS related suicides indeed had and underlying mental disorder therefore was the reason they took their own lives. I am not certain though. The estimates were on an over all amount of suicide percentages rather than CRPS specific.
I do apologize in advance for any misunderstandings.
I have rarely ever used offensive language in my posts, but in order for the general masses to understand what I mean in a blunt manner, I will come right out and say it, “Chronic severe pain is a mind and head fuck”. It becomes mental. We all know, at least most of us do, in order for us to feel pain, our brain has to feel it first.
That’s why coping strategies, meditation, relaxation, bio feedback, breathing exercises, guided imagery, aroma therapy and so many other techniques are necessary tools for the management of pain.
I have a hard time believing each of the CRPS suicides also had a mental disorder. Of course we’re mental. That doesn’t mean we have a mental disease, also.
It’s not all in our heads it’s in our bodies!
This also bring up another thought and that is if those suicides were CRPS misdiagnosis’. I hate to bring this up but there are some people who desire to be sick, who seek attention, who thrive on pity, who watch and listen to others for their symptoms so they can take what they learn to their own doctors and claim the same illness. Those people would have mental disorders.
In these cases I would hope the doctor’s were watching the objective findings rather than only listening to the subjective.
A little example,
30 people on a plane
Someone starts coughing and gagging suddenly, itching themselves all over. Making a scene for all to notice.
The person gets out of his seat and stumbles into another passengers and coughs all over him.
That person begins to worry he is catching something. He starts to itch himself.
Suddenly others are doing the same.
Next thing you know every one is hacking, coughing, itching and going nuts.
They all think they’ve contracted some illness, epidemic..
The problem is no one has it’s all in their heads. They only believe it to be true.
The first person never had anything at all. It was just a test.
This only goes to show the power of suggestion.
For some reason I tend to think that if deaths were related to CRPS/RSD we wouldn’t know that it was. Somehow some way it would be found and reported that that there was a psychiatric condition present or un diagnosed and that was the reason behind the suicide. Since nearly all CRPS/RSD patients have been diagnosed with depression secondary their illness, I have a feeling the depression would be used as the cause and not the horrible pain itself.
Suicidal ideations would be almost natural for anyone going through a painful hardship. The mind tries to free itself from ongoing pain and turmoil. It may plan and think of ways out, do things it wouldn’t normally do when more at ease, may even harm, cause bodily injury and so much more.
Self harming, cutting and causing bodily injury isn’t always a sign of suicide or suicidal ideations, sometimes it’s just a diversion to the original pain one is constantly feeling.
I think most CRPS/RSD’rs who have suicidal thoughts don’t really want to die at all, on the contrary they want to live.
They just need help managing their pain and most of them aren’t getting it.