307 | Suicide and ADHD with Roberto Olivardia

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Were you aware that suicidal tendencies are more common in people with untreated ADHD? Eric Olivardia is Eric’s guest. He will explain his findings and give his insights into the research supporting these statistics. Roberto Olivardia is a Harvard Medical School clinical psychologist and lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry. He has a private practice located in Lexington, Massachusetts where he is specialized in ADHD treatment and other disorders.

Roberto talks about how he became involved in the research on ADHD and suicidality. He also shares the research that shows ADHD sufferers are more likely to commit suicide and self-harm. Roberto explains that ADHD people sometimes feel out of place, which is why it is important to find their tribe.

Suicide can be made easier by feeling like you don’t belong or are a burden on the people you love. If this resonates with you, please don’t hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 for help.

Are you thinking of harming or hurting yourself? Don’t be afraid to ask this question if you are concerned about someone. Roberto explains that asking this question can help to erase stigmas and let people know that other people have similar thoughts. It’s okay to discuss it. It is important to listen without reacting and not try to simplify their feelings. If you feel they are in imminent danger, it is time to seek help.

This conversation focuses on ADHD and suicide statistics. Roberto and Eric give advice on what to say and how to help someone who is following a dark path that will lead them to the light. Suicide is an important topic that needs to be discussed.

You’ll Learn:

[02: 57] Roberto, welcome back to the show! [03: 07] Roberto please fill us in on how you got involved with ADHD and suicidality. [04: 12] He gives us statistics on the number of people who die by suicide every year. [05: 52] Roberto shares how ADHD can impact the treatment when dealing with both issues. [07: 04] There is research that shows that individuals with ADHD have a higher risk of self-harm and suicide. [07: 24] Does that include people with ADHD but have never had depression? [09: 31] Roberto shares a study following kids with ADHD ages 4 to 6 for fourteen years showing how many of them had a plan for suicide during that time. [10: 32] Roberto describes the difference between self-harm versus suicide. [13: 02] He speaks about author Dr.Thomas Joiner a leading suicide specialist and his book ‘Why People Die by Suicide.’ [15: 57] Because people with ADHD are prone to impulsiveness, could there be a non-attempt attempt at suicide? [18: 34] Roberto tells us that many people who attempt suicide feel like they are burdens to their families and leaving will make it easier on them. [21: 06] If you feel like you are a burden or that you don’t want to be here, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 to talk to someone about what you are feeling. [27: 01] Roberto shares a story where a client had rehearsed his suicide so often in his mind that he used it to self-soothing. [29: 40] Coping mechanisms can take many different forms, but you shouldn’t be ashamed to tell someone about them. [31: 00] Roberto speaks about how he struggled in high school to find out where he fit in the world. [34: 41] How should someone respond if a loved one comes to them with thoughts of suicide? He suggests that listening is the best way to respond to someone who has thoughts of suicide. [36: 06] Praise them for being open and trusting you with these thoughts. [37: 31] Give them the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number 800-273-8255 and don’t simplify it. [39: 57] If there is an imminent risk that they will follow through, it’s time for them to get help as quickly as possible. [41: 39] Roberto shares that 50% of suicides are by firearms, 66% of gun deaths are suicides. [43: 28] What are some lessons you have learned from people who have attempted suicide? [45: 00] If you have ADHD and major executive dysfunction it can be very difficult but there are ways and strategies to get through the challenges. [47: 56] Roberto chats about how important finding your tribe or community is because you are not alone. [50: 41] Roberto shares that non-suicide contracts do not work and are not effective. [52: 32] He speaks about occasions when churches wouldn’t do funerals of people who died from suicide because of the stigma that lingers even today. [54: 22] Roberto wants listeners to know that there is help out there for anyone that has feelings of suicide. [55: 01] Thank you, Roberto, for being on the show, please come back again. [55: 47] If you’re a regular listener, consider becoming a patron and on our Patreon at www.ADHDreWired.com Find Roberto:

Email Dr. Roberto Olivardia ADDA ADDitude

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