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How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me: One Person's Guide to Suicide Prevention
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How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me: One Person's Guide to Suicide Prevention

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  341 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews

The statistics on suicide are staggering. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 1997 in the USA more teenagers and young adults died from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza and chronic lung disease combined. It is also an international epidemic.

Susan Blauner is the perfect emissary for a m

Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 8th 2003 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 2002)
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I got approximately 5 pages into this book when I realized that the author has no idea what depression is, and got tired of being patronizingly called a "child of God."

If you are clinically depressed and/or an atheist, probably skip this one.
Christina Wilder
This book saved my life. Review to come.
Lynn Tolson
Aug 25, 2010 Lynn Tolson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: counselors and their clients
Review of How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me: One Person’s Guide to Suicide Prevention by Susan Rose Blauner

On the jacket of the hardcover, Susan Rose Blauner writes, “I searched for a book like this, but found none, so I wrote one.” The first edition was printed in 2002, when there were few books about suicide. What was available lacked a story of recovery, and Ms. Blauner filled that void. Making oneself vulnerable by writing about one’s own suicidal thinking takes courage.
Jan 30, 2015 Melody rated it liked it
There are several good suggestions in this book. I believe it will help me. It reminds me of some of the mindfulness exercises I have done in intensive outpatient programs. That being said, this book really gets on my nerves. The first reason is because the author asserts from "evidence" based in various suicide attempts that suicidal people don't really wish to die, when the conclusion I would come to is that if you are going to take your life, you ought to do it in a way that is sure to kill y ...more
Nov 29, 2012 Arlene rated it it was amazing
I keep this book close by and reread it frequently. A must-have for anyone who suffers from severe depression.
Songs and Sonnets
Oct 08, 2011 Songs and Sonnets rated it really liked it
I wish I'd had a copy of this book when I was suicidal. It's full of simple, practical ideas for keeping yourself safe and beginning to feel better. The crisis plan is especially good, and easy to follow even when you find it hard to think straight. The only reason I gave this book four stars rather than five is that I came across it after I'd recovered, and haven't tried out all of its techniques myself - but from my experience of what did help me, they're all excellent.
"How I Stayed Alive..."
Apr 29, 2016 Anne rated it really liked it
Those who read this book to support loved ones with suicidal ideation may be alarmed at the significant emotional turmoil of the author. Her history of sexual abuse as a child and her diagnosis of borderline personality disorder set her apart somewhat from other people struggling with suicidal ideation. Loved ones often struggle to understand the "why" of someone's suicidal ideation, questioning "can it really be that bad," particularly when presented with someone's story like Blauner's where th ...more
Chloé Mannix
Jul 26, 2013 Chloé Mannix rated it it was amazing
I found this book very helpful. It is weird though that I actually did read it when I was in a stable place after a major period of depression.

I actually think that this worked better for me as there is a lot to take in with the book. I think that the title is fantastic because for me that is exactly how I felt, kinda stuck in a place where I was in a lot of emotional pain but didn't really want to die but because I couldn't see a way out it became my only option.
It was nice to see that someone
Oct 04, 2011 Selby rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I work in a residential setting with clients that manage severe and persistent mental illness.

When I ran across the title of this book it struck me and I thought there would be some valuable information I could use professionally while working with clients during volatile moments.


I'm on the fence.

The author does outline many good coping strategies and there is valuable tools here really for anyone and everyone.

On the other hand, the author is marketing this to people fighting suicidal ideati
Jul 26, 2014 Lex rated it really liked it
I read this book as someone who has worked in the suicide prevention field (in fact, at one of the call centers listed in the book), not as someone in need of these techniques myself. This book would be more useful to people who are in crisis, but this recommended many of the things well researched as good tools for suicide prevention. The author is down to earth, and the act that she has experienced these feelings herself is made evident. I'd recommend this book to clients more than professiona ...more
Apr 07, 2015 Melody rated it it was amazing
Although this book was triggering sometimes, Susan Blauner is a godsend. She had a great idea and she brought it to life with this book and I'm very grateful to have discovered it. It took a long time to work through it, but I'm glad I had it when I needed it. I already know I'm going to read it again in the future - multiple times - and I hope to keep it for the rest of my life. It's a resource that, as a depressed person who's thought about suicide (then and now), I need very much. I didn't kn ...more
I lost my grandfather to sucide and I work in crisis situations so I thought the book would be helpful. wrong! though I loved the safety plans I hated the patronizing way the writer wrote almost as if she were babying the reader and offering false comfort. There were a few times I found myself questioning the authors viewpoint like do you know what it's like to be depressed or struggle with sucide ideation for 10 years? I would only reread for the coping skills and plans.
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
okay this lady suggests taking a carton of eggs out into the woods and hitting them with a baseball bat (labelling the eggs with ur sadnesses optional) and i thought that was hilarious and awesome.

how many suicidal people are willing to pick up a book tho? not many i would hazard. there's valuable advice in here regarding making crisis plans and how to communicate your feels but it's not like you can just give this book to someone.
Apr 03, 2014 E rated it it was amazing
I'd be willing to bet that everyone has been touched by suicide in one way or another. This book not only gives insight into suicidal thinking, but gives practical tips for general stress management, and ways to be more effective to someone trying to be well. Many of the strategies in this book apply to other mental health difficulties. Very thoughtful and informative.
Jan 29, 2008 Bethany rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, psych
I found many of the things in this book quite helpful, particularly given that there are no other books for suicidal thinkers explicitly by suicidal thinkers. The resources section is extensive and helpful as well.
Feb 28, 2012 Molly rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Really well done. Would recommend it for providers and patients.
Amanda Jones
Jun 04, 2013 Amanda Jones rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mental-health
This book is a MUST READ for people with chronic suicidal thoughts. It's really helped me.
Misty Dawn
May 07, 2008 Misty Dawn rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one.
Recommended to Misty by: Random library borrow.
Shelves: non-fiction
I learned absolutely nothing from this book. What little valuable information it contained I'd already crossed in real books. It's rather a feel-good piece o' crap. In my opinion.
May 17, 2008 Erica rated it liked it
Recommends it for: suicidal individuals and those who love them
So far it seems helpful. Reminds me of The Courage to Heal, or The Feel Good Handbook, in that it has lots and lots of exercises and lists to do, and it recommends that you work through it slowly.
May 19, 2017 Arjen rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
It has some useful insights and isn't written like some dull drab.
Jennifer Arndt
Feb 18, 2017 Jennifer Arndt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book on suicide.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever thought of suicide. I have been troubled by my own suicide ideation and always felt confused about why it keeps happening. This book explains everything that I needed to know about my problem. It gives advice on how to communicate with a suicidal person. It also provides a lot of suicide preventing resources.
Jun 02, 2010 Raffy rated it liked it
I know little of suicide and wish not to offend anyone. I will tread carefully while reviewing this book.

Susan Rose Blauner gives a simple step by step guide of suicide prevention. where i compare it to a book of learning how to play an instrument. you just need practice. being that Susan was also attempting suicide was the fact that this book was very well built on the main idea and what the book was trying to achieve. Blauner succeeds in rescuing the reader with exercise that makes them reali
Jul 05, 2007 stephanie rated it liked it
this just didn't resonate with me. i would never give this to someone contemplating suicide - i think in part because if you are contemplating suicide, you have to be a position to want to read it. however, this book was almost too simple and too dumbed-down. it didn't seem real to me, at all. it almost felt like a novel with a made up happy ending - which i suppose it did have - she's still alive.
Stephanie Ricker
I'm reading this to better understand a friend who is going through a tough time. The situation is so foreign to me that I'm finding this book helpful as a translator, putting my friend's circumstances in terms to which I can relate. I don't agree or understand everything she says, but the author's perspective is definitely a valuable one.
I didn't end up finishing this book (had to return to library), but I think it is one worth buying for anyone who is/has contemplated suicide, or is close to someone in that situation.
It offers supportive, empathetic, and helpful tools for dealing with your suicidal feelings (or for helping someone experiencing them).
Christine White
Although I think the author was little self absorbed and focused on her own remedies for overcoming depression and suicidal thinking which was sometimes odd and infantile; the statistics and methods for helping family members better empathize were important and valuable and something I haven't read much of in other books on the subject.
Kirk Stewart
Dec 30, 2016 Kirk Stewart rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-awareness
I needed to know a precise, step-by-step walkthrough of what to do when I felt oppressed by self-harming and suicidal thoughts at 2am and I had no one to call or talk to, and this book provided that.
May 22, 2014 Marty rated it did not like it
Ugh. Not my cup of tea.
Jan 09, 2016 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My therapist, family, friends and this book helped save my life.
Jan 08, 2017 Garry rated it really liked it
I read the book. I think the author has written some great insight and a lot of great resources for professionals, clients, and friends/family to utilize.
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“Take it slow, little by little. Remember, every small step you take now is adding to bigger change later. Change builds exponentially, with increasing momentum, multiplying on itself.” 1 likes
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