the invisible 280

The other night, this article popped up on my FB feed, shared by someone I follow. Intrigued, I read it, and thought it was worth sharing.

Basically, it says that for every person who dies by suicide, there are about 280 people who contemplate or attempt it but do not go through with it. Abigail Jones, the article’s author, calls these the “invisible 280” because their stories are rarely talked about.

Since the article is quite long, I won’t elaborate too much on it. I just want to mention one thing: One of the people in the article “abruptly stopped taking her medication” (antidepressants) because she thought she had been “cured”. It’s kind of implied but, unless I missed it, nowhere in the article then says it is not ok to abruptly stop antidepressants if you’ve been taking them for a long time (most of them need gradual tapering, and supervision/monitoring by a healthcare professional).

Ok, one more thing: This article made me think of Anna Karenina, and that fateful day at the train station… It still fills me with sadness. Makes me wonder how many people change their mind at the last second, when it’s already too late…

4 thoughts on “the invisible 280

  1. You are totally correct about coming off antidepressants (I mean, of course you are, you’re a pharmacist). I have had depression. In fact, I’m one of those 280. It scares me how many people I talk to who do not understand how to use (or stop using) antidepressants properly.

    • It’s hard because there’s so much info to cover when starting new medication, and such limited time. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve dispensed a new medicine for someone, and they tell me the doctor has told them nothing except “take this once a day”. And a lot of pharmacists are under time pressure too. (Not so much an excuse, but an ongoing problem in the health industry…)

      I’m glad you fought through it and survived 🙂

    • It has a role to play in many cases (depending on diagnosis, severity, etc) but should ideally be used with psychological/ behavioural therapies too. There may be cases where these sorts of medicines are over-prescribed or unnecessarily prescribed, but they are proven to work for the conditions they were approved for

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