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  • John Freedom

Killing Ourselves

Many of us were shocked last week by the news that Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain had committed suicide. They were two “Beautiful People,” very glamorous, jet-setters, at the top of their careers. They seemed to “have it all.’ But if two very successful intelligent people felt desperate enough to take their lives, what about the rest of us, who may not be living such Beautiful Lives…….?

Suicide Rates Rising

Rates of suicide have been increasing dramatically here in the US, rising by 28% from 1999 to 2016. While it is most common in older and middle-aged adults, rates among children ---- especially girls ---- has risen by 70% from 2010 – 2016. This is in addition to the rising rates of violence and shootings in our schools.

So, a question arises:

Why Are We Killing Ourselves???

We don’t know why Spade and Bourdain did what they did; nor do we know very much about their childhoods. But we do know from the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) studies that people with high ACE scores have a much greater risk of alcoholism, substance abuse and suicide. We also know that people with high ACE scores are at much higher risk for obesity, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, diabetes, COPD and 11 other medical conditions.

The seeds of our Lives are sown in childhood. Habits and behaviors developed in childhood last for the rest of our lives, for good or ill. We can make a difference in the lives of our children, by educating parents about the effects of ACEs, and how we can prevent early childhood trauma NOW ------ rather than attempting to treat its effects years later. And we can practice pro-active self-care ---- including emotional self-regulation skills.

Helping Ourselves and Others Through Emotional First Aid

We live what we learn. If we want others, especially the ones we love ----- our partners, parents and children ---- to take care of themselves, it begins with us.

Try this simple technique for emotional first aid:

You'll find more videos of easy to apply emotional first aid techniques on FREA's video page at

If you would like to reach John Freedom or have questions about FREA, visit our "Contact Us" page at

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