Friday, October 17, 2014

Misty Upham's Body Has Been Found

Yesterday afternoon, searchers outside Auburn, Washington found what they later confirmed to be the body of missing actress, Misty Upham. Misty went missing several weeks ago and as she left, told her family it would be the last time they would have to worry about her. Searchers found the body at the bottom of a cliff and were in the process of recovering it. I hate when I read stories like this. About people who are taken off their meds or have their medications changed and suddenly have an entirely different perspective on life. There had been four suicide calls in the past year to her apartment. Maybe her family didn't think this would be any different. They let her walk out of their place saying what she said and I don't know if I could have let her walk away. If you think or suspect someone is going to commit suicide, talk to them and stay with them and get them through that moment. 


Its just U said...

Very sad. R.I.P.

SugarTitz said...

Rip sad

sandybrook said...

1)You know for a fact she was taking meds?
2) way to throw the guilt trip on the family. They don't have enough to deal with.

demandah said...

Blaming the grief-stricken family? Nice.

Brin said...


FlirtyChick74 said...

RIP and condolences to her family.

bellaluna said...

Well, damn. RIP.

Pink Cashmere said...

The searchers were family members and my heart goes out to them. May she RIP.

(Enty, it's not becoming to shame the family.)

WastedTime said...

Ugh, agree with those above who said not to blame the family. We have no idea what they did or didn't do to help her. Most people who are determined to commit suicide will find a way, unfortunately.

Kno Won said...

Enty, mental illness is not a spectator sport.
I've said this more than once here:
No one can do ANYTHING to change the course of an autonomous adult.
"Let her" walk out?
This is when it's clear that you're quite probably a child and definitely, absolutely not an attorney.
Once you're a grown up, your parents can't decide shit for you. Had you gone to law school, you might have picked that up along the way.
Judge not - tomorrow it could be your family. And then what will you do?
According to what you imply, you'll be arrested for unlawful restraint. Look it up.

Kno Won said...

Washington State code:
Unlawful imprisonment.
(1) A person is guilty of unlawful imprisonment if he or she knowingly restrains another person.

(2) Unlawful imprisonment is a class C felony.

[2011 c 336 § 365; 1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.40.040.]

Anothergrayhare said...

So sad. Agree with @Wasted Time. If they really are determined, they will find a way. Been through it twice with close family and friends. And don't worry about blaming the family, they will blame themselves anyway, even though they couldn't have done anything more. Rest in peace.

Gayeld said...

@Sandy, several of the stories I've read have mentioned that her father told the police she had stopped taking her bipolar medication. Of course, that's in the story because her father "called the police and told them that." Enty Jr seems to have missed that part of the whole story.

ladybaus said...

Awful---RIP Beautiful lady

Unknown said...

Don't blame her family. They're suffering enough. You cannot make your child (or adult child) comply with their medication regimen.

I hope she is at peace.

VeronicaCostello said...

I've lost enough family members to suicide to say this unequivocally: if they decide they're going to do it, there's not much you can do. We took all the guns out of the house, took the car keys, and all the sharp implements, guess what? My dad found another way. Shut up Enty.

Topper Madison said...

This is the second time you've blamed the family for this tragedy and it's completely irresponsible and malicious. Fuck off, Enty.

Its just U said...

I hate when the family gets blamed. If a grown adult wants to find a way, they will.
My cousin did. She was 32 with 4 kids. She'd recently split with her partner. Everyone knew she was struggling, but all anyone could do was try and be there for her.
She had struggled for years with depression and medication fluctuations.
Anyway, one night last summer she dropped the kids off to her mam's house. She told her mam she just needed to be alone. Her mam was happy to help.
She went home and hanged herself in the back garden. A neighbour found her.
Now, is that her mother's fault? She did 'let her' leave the house. Her ex partner? He wasn't there after all.
Maybe it's her children's fault? I mean, they didn't stop her.
No, it was her choice.
And her mother and children struggle with that every day.

Sherry said...

I can imagine her family are playing a lot of scenarios in their head that start with What if...They're in emotional hell no doubt. It's hard to save someone who doesn't want to be saved though. My heart goes out to them. Agreed they should not be blamed.

I walked away from James when he wanted to hang out with someone but I had to go home. He committed suicide later that night and was only 18. I had no idea he was going to kill himself. It certainly wasn't my fault.

msgirl said...

So glad others are companying about the family shade. In this case the family called the police who did absolutely nothing, so it was the family who started the search. This is actually big news in the Indian community because the police didn't help.

AListDiva said...

Very tragic, I feel for her family. I'm sure her family tried to get her to stay. As in Amanda Bynes case unless she harmed someone else or herself and a 51/50 was taken out there's nothing her family could do. It's very sad, but we need to take the stigma away and help these people more!

Unknown said...

this is really really sad. may she RIP

ladybaus said...

I saw her parents pleading on Entertainment Tonight a few days ago begging for any info

auntliddy said...

Too too sad. Rest in peace and good journey.

Unknown said...

Just to make it clear, not everybody who attempts suicide actually wants to die. I think Misty Upham did because of the four calls in the past year and the final successful suicide.

But take for example a study done of over 700 people who had been prevented from committing suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge over a 35 year period. At the time the study was done, in some cases decades after the suicide attempt, 94% of the people were either alive or had died of a non-suicide (disease, accident, murder).

Only 6% of people prevented from acting out the suicide impulse actually went on to kill themselves.

So please don't think "If they want to kill themselves they'll find another way." That is just not true.

o_O said...

hope enty gets sued for libel, slander and defamation of character. sending a link to Gloria Allred

Wendy said...

Did anyone see what Juliette Lewis tweeted? She doesn't think it's suicide...

Wendy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ladybaus said...

In a series of posts on, Lewis writes, "RIPMistyUpham I am in shock and greif (sic). I pray the police do a murder investigation. They're saying not 'foul play' when of course it is... Misty spoke out a lot against injustices within Native (American) community. And had known enemies. Police must do an investigation (sic)."

#RIPMistyUpham I am in shock and greif. I pray the police do a murder investigation. They're saying not "foul play" when ofcourse it is.
— Juliette Lewis (@JulietteLewis) October 17, 2014

AKM said...

TRUTH. You're NOT a psychiatrist, Enty, so STFU. I am SO TIRED of reading your idiotic proclamations regarding mental illness. EDUCATE YOURSELF.

AKM said...

Perhaps, but consider the converse. Of those who have been successful, there was almost always at least one previous attempt.

Unknown said...

@AKM if your "perhaps" refers to my post, there's no perhaps about it - that survey is based on solid fact.

The point I was implicitly making is that we shouldn't adopt this fatalistic attitude that suicidal people are just going to kill themselves anyway so intervention is just delaying the inevitable - it isn't.

Statistics on this page indicate:

- About one-third of people who try to take their own life will try again within 1 year.

- About 10% of people who make threats or try to take their own life will eventually kill themselves.

Flip these numbers:

- About two-thirds of people who try to take their own life will not try again within 1 year.

- About 90% of people who make threats or try to take their own life will not eventually kill themselves.

rolotomassi said...

thanks Prunella. :)

MissInfo said...

The death was accidental, she slipped off an embankment after running from police. The whole thing sounds sketchy to me, Juliette is right!

Unknown said...

@MissInfo - you really shouldn't state that as fact since there are NO witnesses to what happened.

And, even if you believe the death was accidentally and she slipped off the embankment - she wasn't "running from police" - her own family characterizes it as "hiding from police" which could also be interpreted as hiding from THEM since supposedly this embankment was in the woods behind her home.

Unknown said...

*accidental not accidentally. I wish CDAN allowed edits!

Unknown said...

Agree Veronica and AKM. I not only work in the mental health field, but as recently as August this year, lost someone who waited an hour, in the cold, for a delayed train to come and clean him up on the tracks. Those left behind are always left with questions and guilt. Attitudes like Enty's do not help. Eff off "Enty" and eat s**t.

AKM said...

@Prunella - I did not exactly disagree with you by saying "perhaps." "Perhaps" means "maybe," or "sometimes," and yes, you are correct that a strengths-based positive-psych outlook is great. That said, I was not incorrect, either. I have an undergrad degree in psych and an MSW, along with a personal history of severe MI. I've studied this fairly extensively, and I work with adults with MH/SA issues every day. (I really don't mean to sound arrogant, because we always have things to learn and no one is an expert, but...still, I do this AND face this myself every day. I've also put in TONS of professional research on this subject...research papers, projects, conference posters, etc.)

So, the facts ARE thus: when someone has successful completed suicide, there was almost always at least one previous attempt, and the more attempts a person has made in his/her lifetime, the more the odds go up that his/her eventual cause of death WILL be self-inflicted. I know that's not very optimistic news, but it's what we see in the field. If I work with a client who has attempted, you can be sure that I will, again, use a strengths-based, positive approach and stress recovery and "it gets better" and "there's always another day," etc. But you can also be sure that I'm going to watch for any suicidal-ideology clues like a hawk. Sadly, the clues aren't always obvious; those of us with MI are wonderful actors.

I'd like to take a deeper look at the references given on your NIH page, just as a refresher, but I'm knee-deep in suboxone research for work right now. I'd like to point out that while your stats seem solid and they came from NIH with research that includes a DSM reference, more info might be needed to explain the specific stats that you quoted. Who made up the population sample? Were these folks in general, all over the board, some of whom might have attempted suicide based on one life stressor such as loss of a loved one or bankruptcy, for example? Or were these people with a long-term psychiatric history and diagnoses? Or both? Did you know, for example, that many people who attempt are not diagnosed with, say, depression or another MI at the time of the attempt? Those of us with mood disorders, though, often have a long and extensive history of ideology, attempts, hospitalizations, etc. It seems flawed to group those people with a one-time "I-can't-get-over-this-situation" attempt with those of us with long-term, intense suicidal ideology. Does that make sense?

(Also? You can't just "flip" the stats as you did and assume that the converse -- i.e., "if 10 percent DID, then 90% WON'T" -- will be mathematically sound. There are so many research flaws, like outliers, population sample limitations, etc., that we don't see when we read a simple "ten percent of _____ will _______..." statistical statement, or whatever. You've had a stats class?)

Overall? You know what Mark Twain said about stats. We can use them all day long to form "evidence-based practice," but they really don't always tell the whole story. I've studied human behavior in a scholastic and professional sense for more than half of my life, and the stats that I feel I can trust will almost always get turned upside down by That One Client. Often, though, it's for a good reason and not the one we're talking about. :-)

AKM said...

@Bee Haven - What a terrible story. I've never lost a client, but I've heard horror stories like yours from colleagues/supervisors/professors. That's got to be a shitty day for you.

Unknown said...

@AKM thanks for your nice long informative reply. And also, thank you for being polite. Yes, grown adults can debate without resorting to insults. Who knew?

I don't have time to reply in full to your post, which deserves a careful response, but two things I want to address:

1) yes, I have taken statistics. I majored in decision analysis at a 300 year old university that is consistently ranked in the top three in the United States.

2) yes, you CAN flip the statistics. Specifically, if you accept this statistic as fact:

"About 10% of people who make threats or try to take their own life will eventually kill themselves"

...then that is EXACTLY the same statement as:

"About 90% of people who make threats or try to take their own life will NOT eventually kill themselves."

Your argument that most people who successfully commit suicide have tried before is the classic "wrong end of the telescope" flip.

If your statement is true (and I'll accept it on its face) - it is nonetheless not at all inconsistent with the statement that 90% of people who try (or threaten to try) do not go on to kill themselves later.

Think of it as a Venn diagram. You have four circles:

1) people who kill themselves

2) people who don't kill themselves

(these two don't overlap)

overlapping with each of these, but not with each other are two more circles:

3) people who attempt to kill themselves exactly once

4) people who attempt to kill themselves more than once.

These four circles cover all possibilities. You can assign numbers and percentages to each of these circles and to the sections where two or more circles overlap.

Everything you have said, and everything I have said, can be fitted into the Venn diagram without conflict.

As for whether you can generalize from the survey I cited, I don't know.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, not far from the Golden Gate Bridge, and I knew someone who committed suicide by jumping. After being repulsed by the thought that documentary film makers actually tricked the GG Bridge administration into letting them set up cameras, then spent a year filming suicides, I became curious about their film and watched it on youtube (it's since been removed, except for some foreign-language version with subtitles). It's called "The Bridge." I also read about them and their motives for making the film.

First, they always alerted the authorities when they thought someone was suicidal, and they actually helped prevent some suicides.

Second, the film was profoundly interesting and thought-provoking if also incredibly sad and disturbing.

Watching it got me thinking about the subject of suicide, particularly off the GG Bridge, so I started googling the subject and came across the survey that showed that 94% of people talked down did not then go on to commit suicide later (at least during the period of years covered by the survey which was more than 35 years but obviously, some of the people had attempted quite recently before the survey was done).

Whether you can generalize from that survey, I don't know. I mean, it's possible that bridge jumpers have a different psychological profile than other potential suicides.

But whenever I come across a conversation about suicide and I see people saying "Well, if they really want to commit suicide they'll find a way" I cite that survey.

I think that "well if they really want to..." allows people to absolve themselves of involvement when confronted with a potential suicide ... and also allows them to absolve themselves of participating in finding a solution - be it psychological counseling or other forms of support, or even a physical suicide barrier.

And yes, you don't apply statistics blindly to individual cases. But in terms of public policy, statistics should inform where you put scarce resources.

Unknown said...

OK, I just checked youtube and since I last looked for the documentary about suicides off the Golden Gate Bridge, somebody reposted a high quality English language version here.

They don't just show jumpers. They show people who are just tourists, or whatever, looking down over the railing ... so there's this eerie foreboding feeling watching it - is THIS guy a jumper? Some of them look so ordinary, so calm, and then within 10 seconds they're over the railing and gone.

AKM said...

Great posts, Prunella, and I would be very interested in watching that video, so thanks so much for the mention/link.

Overall, we're on the same basic page; I just think we -- "we" meaning anyone concerned, of course -- need consider that there is a difference in the folks with the one-time bad situations who attempt versus the people with long-term diagnoses who attempt multiple times. Like you said, there can be different ideations and issues going on depending on even just the method chosen. (Women choose passive methods, while men choose violent ones, etc.)

The 10%/90% flip? We're both right, according to the math PhD. I talked to literally just now. Again, you tend to be looking more at theory, and I'm looking more at practice. Yeah, you can assume that the flip is valid and reliable -- I shouldn't have said that it's not mathematically sound, because technically it is -- but you have to remember that it's really ONLY applicable to that sample. The whole point, of course, is to apply the findings to the population at large, but it's just not always seen in a broad sense in the field. For policy purposes, as you pointed out, though, yeah, it's assumed. I just maintain that we don't always see what the stats might have us believe day-to-day when working with humans, who like to be unpredictable. :-)

The "if they really want to" point? I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I just know what I know from MH research and working with clients. By all means, we want solutions and we want for people to get help, or we wouldn't be doing this and we'd be out of jobs! (Not to mention that, well, duh, hopefully most people in general want others to have happy, functional lives.) But some of us in the field know that some people ARE going to be "terminally MI," if you will. That sounds more harsh than it sounds, but I don't know how else to phrase it. For some people, "it gets better" honestly may not happen. (And quality of life, of course, is completely subjective. The person who has tried literally dozens of medications and combos/cocktails, all types of talk therapies, CAM, alternative therapies, social support, etc., and still can't escape The Fog? There may come a day when the fight isn't worth continuing for them. I can't say that I support that, but I also can't live in that client's head, either. Self-determination of clients is something that I have to respect and it's written flat-out in our code of ethics, but it's a double-edged sword, as situations like this show.)

I commend you for your interest. Myths abound, and some people just flat don't care either way, so education and research for "laypeople" often just doesn't happen. But advocacy and prevention education DO go a long way! I lean macro, so it's one of my favorite parts of the job.

Sorry to anyone who doesn't want to read this if I/we kind of hijacked the thread. Clearly I like debate and this is a subject near (although not really dear) to my heart. Fascinating subject, but one that is brutally painful to delve into, and even worse to experience on either side of the coin.

MeanieRhysie said...

Thanks to AKM and Prunella, I enjoyed your dialogue here. :)


Popular Posts from the last 30 days