Home Expert DrBev Beverly Jackson The Suicide Epidemic: Tara Lee Hoover says Face Your Fears

The Suicide Epidemic: Tara Lee Hoover says Face Your Fears

Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death; homicide ranks 17th. Social status is not an indicator that confirms if one will take their own life.

In this case, the numbers do add up. There is one death by suicide in the U.S. every 12.3 minutes. Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year. Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide.* The numbers add up to a SUICIDE EPIDEMIC!

Suicide crosses all the boundaries. Young and Old. Rich and Poor. Educated and Dropouts. Blonde and Brunette. Tall and Short. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death; homicide ranks 17th. Social status is not an indicator that confirms if one will take their own life. Social status does not discriminate.

Tara Lee Hoover
Tara Lee Hoover

On today’s show, DrBev will discuss this epidemic with a Suicide Survivor Tara Lee Hoover. They’ll talk about the Poor & Poverty, the Miserable and Middle-class, the Problem & Privileged. Tara will talk intimately on how she took hundreds of pills at age 40 – in an attempt to end her own life. Her struggles growing up, the pressures of being a teenager, failed relationships all found her on death’s doorstep. She came to realize that the answer was not in the drugs, but was much deeper than that. Her journey takes her full circle, as she not only discovers the cause and affect – but now she is on a mission to change the course for others before it is too late!

“In a surprising switch, the offspring of the affluent today are more distressed than other youth. They show disturbingly high rates of substance use, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, cheating, and stealing. It gives a whole new meaning to having it all.” Suniya S. Luthar Ph.D.

The ease of accessibility of nonprescription drugs coupled with the high-risk behaviors among teenagers add to the growing concern for harm to the adolescent population. This population is most at risk for the consequences of indiscriminate drug use.

“We have to see the signs, God has given us these children… we have to make sure they are emotionally healthy, and that they have the coping skills to deal with the pressures that come along with life,” Tara Lee Hoover.

Pharming parties may also be referred to as “Skittles parties” or “skittling” by comparing the pill-popping behavior with the small hard candies that come in multiple colors and flavors. “Robo-tripping,” referencing the cough suppressant Robitussin, is the abuse of cough medications containing dextromethorphan, in which the cough syrup, often left over from earlier illnesses, is drunk alone or in combination with other substances to obtain a high.

Facing Those Fears

Once you’ve identified exactly what you’re afraid of, the next step is facing your fears and unlearning them through fear extinction. This can be done in several ways.

  • Learn About it- One of the biggest promoters of fear is uncertainty. If you’re scared of something, learn as much as you can about it.
  • Start Small- Start taking small steps toward building familiarity with the thing you fear. Fears can sometimes seem insurmountable; by starting small, they will seem more manageable.
  • Talk About it- You can only build confidence when fear is gone. By keeping it inside, you’re giving it more power over you. Talking about it with someone you trust will make it seem less daunting.
  • Train Yourself- Conditioned fears are the result of our brains expecting a certain response when we’re placed in a situation. Take steps to retrain your brain so it develops a different response. For instance, if you want to become a veterinarian, but are afraid of dogs because one bit you as a child, retrain your brain by putting yourself in situations where dogs are present. It may seem scary and overwhelming initially, but when nothing happens, you brain will soon realize that the old response of fear isn’t needed.

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* Stats from the CDC