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Correlation Between Insomnia & Suicide

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Photographer: Jayne Wilkinson

It’s been almost four years since losing my youngest daughter to suicide.  I’ve had many sleepless nights to reflect upon the “what ifs”.  Since that day, I have been an avid student, wanting to learn all I can about suicide, depression, anxiety, and mental illness.  I’ve researched Psychology textbooks, read different books on the subject, watched television programs, and talked to many survivors who have gone through losing a loved one to suicide. All this, to better understand it and why they do it. 

I was and still am determined to find a common link to suicide.  Studies have shown that sleeplessness desensitizes our brain receptors of an important hormone called serotonin.  Serotonin regulates mood, learning, and memory, just to name a few.  The lack of this hormone may be detrimental to someone suffering with mental illness. 

Subsequently, insomnia is a symptom of hyperarousal.  A person is on overdrive with their thinking process, preventing them to fall asleep and/or stay asleep.  It is not a broken sleeping pattern, but simply an overactive mind.

Nightmares are another condition research has found to be associated with suicide.  Insomnia is a condition where a person has a hard time sleeping, and now you add a nightmare onto it.  They finally fall asleep and then nightmares take over.  Not only are they suffering with negative thoughts during the day, but now when they do fall asleep, they have nightmares, making their waking hours a struggle, as well as their sleeping hours.  No wonder they have a hard time sleeping, besides the fact they are now exhausted.  We have all had a sleepless night here or there, but could you imagine not being able to get a good night sleep for days, weeks, or months?  Without proper sleep we may feel anxious, overwhelmed, agitated, hopeless, or desperate, feeding into the suicidal ideations. 

It is my belief, that knowing this bit of information may be helpful to those suffering with insomnia, as well as mental health advocates, in the hopes to finding a way to conquer insomnia.  Perhaps this may be the link to help those suffering with suicidal ideations and thoughts, saving our loved ones from the destruction of completing suicide. However, it is difficult to test this theory because our test patients are no longer with us, but we will continue to strive towards a positive resolution. 

You are enough and never give up!

https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/view/correlation-between-sleep-disturbance-and-suicide

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Black Lives Matter 

Times have been tumultuous lately. Amidst the Corona Virus Pandemic, the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM) has risen up against racial injustice towards black people stemming from George Floyd’s murder by a police officer. Racism is not a new thing. The BLM movement is not a new thing either. We know as two white women, we cannot even begin to understand what it is like being a black female in the United States. But what we can do is promise you that we will not stay silent, and we will stay open-minded to learning new information and changing anything we thought previously to be true and adapt our thinking to new instances. We will stand with you against police brutality, racial injustice, and overall unfair treatment of our black communities. We will never be able to understand, but we will continuously support you. The Jewels Angels Foundation is open to any color, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age, or ethnicity and always will be a safe space for anyone struggling. 

-Paxton & Jayne Wilkinson

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Congratulations Senior Class of 2020

TO OUR SENIORS – CLASS OF 2020

Congratulations to our Seniors – Class of 2020!  We are so proud of you and all your accomplishments. You did it and now it is your time to shine.  Your possibilities are endless, especially during these uncertain times.  The world needs leadership.  We need our young people to stand up to all the wrong in this world and make it right again.  Whether you’re going away to college or starting in a trade school or heading out on your own journey, we believe in you.  We need you.  This world is in such desperate need for some peace, along with new ideas and talents.

We have had so many challenges these past four years.  We’ve lost some of our young angels to deadly car accidents, murder, terminal illnesses, accidents, and suicide.  We must not forget them, so as you accept your honor of graduation, don’t forget to remember those who should have been standing next to you, but left this earth much too soon.  Remember them by their name and give a small prayer for the impact they’ve left in your life and in our world.  They will be missed, but never forgotten.

We would also like to remember the parents and families who have raised these wonderful young people and all the sacrifices they have endured to get to this point in their journey.  No matter whether they are watching you graduate from their cars with tears in their eyes or praying at your gravesite with tears streaming down their faces; just always remember how very proud of you we are, as both a community, your family, and your parents.

We love you Jewels – Class of 2020!

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JOIN US FOR OUR WEEKLY SUPPORT GROUP ON ZOOM

WEEKLY SUPPORT GROUP

We are living in very uncertain times.  This may cause an increase in emotional struggles.

The Jewels’ Angels Foundation wants to help.  We are forming a support group for anyone who needs emotional support … a safe place where you can chat with us and other group members.

If you are interested please e-mail us so we can schedule you into our weekly support group.  We look forward to meeting you:)

Meeting time:  Every Thursday @ 8 pm Pacific Time

Where:  Zoom

Contact information to reserve your spot:

jwilkinson@jewelsangels.org

pwilkinson@jewelsangels.org

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Walmart Grant

Great news!  The Jewels’ Angels Foundation is excited to announce that we received a grant from Walmart to be used towards our funding for the Jewels’ Angels Ranch.  Our original start date was this summer, June 2020, but unfortunately it is taking a little bit longer than expected; however, we are still in the process of making Jewels’ dream come true.

We will keep you posted and updated with new information and an opening date.

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COVID – 19

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It seems that within the blink of an eye our entire world has changed.  The way of life we once knew has been challenged.  We are hoarding things we once thought of as disposable.  We are filled with fear; fear for our own health, our economy, our future, and even of each other. It seems to be as if our values have been altered.

As a community we have worked so hard to spread love and kindness to all those around us, but now we are afraid to touch, hug, and reach out to those hurting.  We have been forced to isolate ourselves from others in fear of getting sick, and therefore, we are isolating ourselves from those who need us.

Our culture is consumed with panic.  The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has already affected over a million people worldwide and I’m afraid the confirmed cases are only going to increase within the next few weeks and possibly for the next few months.

However, my biggest concern is within the groups already suffering with anxiety, depression, and suicide ideations.  When someone is already struggling with mental illness, having an added stress component of possible financial ruin can send them over the edge.  Financial security plays an important role in our culture and some of us do not have the resources or strength to overcome such a devastation, leading to an increase in their mental health symptoms.  I just heard about a father who took his wife and child’s life before taking his own, in Riverside County. This is terrifying; this added stress concerns me for our communities’ well-being.

As an advocate for suicide awareness and prevention, I am struggling with the fact that our suicide rates may increase, due to the added pressure that has been laid upon our hearts with the COVID-19.  Our country is not equipped with the resources to fully help the mentally ill in a normal world, and now we have this overwhelming issue.  Also, the majority of our population does not have the tools to be able to overcome such a devastation of not being able to work.  A lot of people have lost their jobs, businesses, and homes.

We may not be able to save the world, but little by little we can make a difference by continuing to find good in people and notice when someone is hurting, especially the people we encounter throughout the day.  This is so important.  We must continue practicing kindness and caring for humanity.  At times it may seem like an impossible task, but we are not the only ones who are going through these uncertain times, the entire world has been affected—so you are not alone.

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Finding Hope with Mental Illness

 

img_1417-1Mental illness is a chemical imbalance in the brain.  The majority of our society does not understand what it feels like to suffer with symptoms of mental illness; including not being able to think correctly.  It may seem like such a simple act, but for those of us suffering with mental illness, seemingly simple every day tasks take a toll on us and are not easy. It is difficult to maintain normalcy within a world that doesn’t understand how our brains work.

Those of us with mental illnesses are struggling every day. Always remember to treat everyone with compassion and love. We with mental illnesses are strong by nature, but also broken. It affects us very negatively when we are ignored or treated differently than anyone else.  But we can all do our part by helping each other, such as; giving someone who is struggling a hug, or offering a kind gesture. Just something to let us know that we are not alone; by leaning on people who we trust and who we can reach out to when we need them to be there for us.

Author:  RAH

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What is your biggest fear? 

We all have at least one. One thing that really makes us shake down to our core when we imagine it. These fears are generally thought of as negative concepts; however, they can be turned into something positive.

Step one is learning to conquer this fear, and eventually the feelings of fear turn into feelings of excitement. This is an extremely empowering feeling. Turning something negative into something positive is really testing yourself, because you are slowly learning how to conquer your biggest fear and then you realize how much you can truly accomplish in all other aspects of your life. Conquering something that large for yourself shows how strong you are, and how strong you can be if you set your mind to it. The power of our minds is great, and it is a skill we should truly utilize and learn to grow.

Test yourself today; take small steps to conquer that fear of yours. Everyone has the power to better themselves ❤️

 

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Happy New Year 2020!

 

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The Jewels’ Angels Foundation would like to wish you and your family a new year filled with love, peace, and joy!  We don’t walk this journey alone.

Please remember to ask for help if you need it because the ones who love us want to help us, but don’t always know we are hurting, unless we tell them.

Life can be beautiful if we let it.  It’s not about the destination, but about the journey and those we choose to allow into our lives.  Let go of the toxic relationships and thoughts, by letting in the light.  The storm will pass because where there is rain there is also a rainbow in the light.

Photo credit by RAH

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INTERNATIONAL SURVIVORS OF SUICIDE LOSS DAY

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International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is November 23rd

Before I was unfortunate enough to becoming a survivor, I thought a survivor of suicide was someone who had contemplated suicide and had failed. It wasn’t until I was a survivor that I realized it meant more than that.  It was someone left behind, someone who had lost a loved one by suicide, a person who was merely existing with the agony of destruction of losing someone who they deeply loved.

A survivor is someone who drags themselves out of bed each morning, but yet somehow finding the courage to face another day; a day that may have moments of laughter, a day that may result in shedding many more unexplained tears of sadness, but in all the aftermath, this person is one of incredible strength because those of us who are survivors of suicide are some of the strongest and most courageous people I’ve ever met.

I personally like to spend this day with people I love, while remembering the person I lost.  A suicide survivor is someone who lives with the pain and emptiness of losing a loved one to suicide.  I believe the best way to spend this day and every day is by remembering their laughter, their joys, their funny phrases, and doing the things they loved doing with you.  It’s easier said than done but I believe that staying positive is one of the most powerful actions we can do in desolate moments like these.  I think it is important to remember our good memories with them, knowing that they are happy, and in a better place. It’s a cheesy phrase that we hear a lot when we lose someone, but it holds a deep meaning for me.  My wish for you is to find peace throughout your day.