Nina Bingham is an Author, Life Coach, and Clinical Hypnotherapist. Inspiring, sincere and whole-hearted, she educates not only from her academic knowledge, but shares from her own hard-won life experience in a new and profound way. In private practice since 2003, she has treated individuals and couples with a wide variety of mental health issues. She is the author of three books of poetry and one recovery workbook, Never Enough. Her fifth book, “Once The Storm Is Over: From Grieving to Healing After The Suicide of My Daughter”, came out last month, February 2015.
It’s the autobiographical confession of a counselor who lost her teen daughter to suicide. Once the Storm is Over chronicles Nina’s descent into grief after the suicide of her daughter. For a year she tormented herself, wondering how she had missed the signs. Finally she came to understand that her daughter, like many, many teens, was adept at hiding her deepest emotions – fear of seeming weak or “crazy” kept her daughter from sharing her distress. Nina says that releasing her guilt was a huge part of her healing process.
Nina’s goal is to get copies of the book not only to teens in crisis, but to parents dealing with the depression and guilt that follows the suicide of a child. As most of us know, teen suicide is becoming epidemic. Every 13.3 minutes someone in the U.S. commits suicide, making it the #1 cause of accidental death for Americans, surpassing car accidents for the first time in 2012. We’ve all had books that influenced us, or changed us entirely. Nina would like Once the Storm is Over to be that book for the people who need it most.
And now from the author herself:
Nina’s Grief Recovery Journey:
I’m an author, but I’ve been a Life Coach and Clinical Hypnotherapist for 12 years. I have two degrees in Psychology, and completed an academic program for my Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. I also happen to suffer from clinical depression, but I hid that from my university professors and clients. In 2013 my 15-year old daughter who’d inherited the family depressive gene committed suicide. I decided then to “come out” of the mental health closet. Once The Storm Is Over was written for suicide survivors and for young adults and teens struggling with depression.
What is the book’s message?
This is a book about how to survive grief, how to reclaim your life, and get moving forward again. It discusses how to grow from pain, and definitely how to understand depression and suicide. It’s an autobiographical confession of my struggle to come to terms with being unable to save my daughter, and learning to love myself again.
What impact did your daughter’s suicide have on you?
Even though I’d been a mental healthcare professional for twelve years, nothing prepared me for the suicide of my daughter. Beautiful, smart and loving, she’d inherited my family’s depressive gene, and hid her unhappiness from me. Five days before her death, she stopped taking her anti-depressant, and committed suicide in the next room as I slept. The guilt and grief left me shattered and devastated. After her death I suffered from post-traumatic stress symptoms, and had to take a leave of absence from my Life Coaching business. Suicide leaves a trail of destruction that can be very difficult to overcome.
What are some factors that have helped you overcome the grief, and were key to your healing?
I believe it can get easier over time, but only if you get enough support. One thing I’d do differently today is allow myself get more support than I did. My self-imposed shame over being a mental healthcare professional whose daughter committed suicide caused me to withdraw instead of reach out. Fortunately, I’m a “wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve” kinda gal, and since I’m a writer, I decided to journal about my journey through grief. The journal turned into this book, which was the biggest healing factor for me. Externalizing my grief by journaling about it was the catalyst for my healing. Being able to finally tell the truth about how mental illness had overshadowed my whole life was the key which freed me from the guilt and shame.
If our listeners have a friend or family member who is struggling with mental illness, or if they are, what should they do?
Just remember it doesn’t matter who you are: mental illness is no respecter of persons. Young and old, rich and poor, male and female, all ethnicities and cultures and even healthcare professionals experience depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. The important thing is not to ignore it. Don’t let somebody else’s hang-ups and outdated ideas about mental illness keep you from being compassionate towards yourself or someone you know. Tell somebody you trust and ask them to come along as you see your doctor. Or make an appointment to see a counselor. When my daughter committed suicide, I realized I couldn’t handle it alone, I needed some professional help. I saw a psychologist who encouraged me to write about the pain I was in, and that was the beginning of my healing. Don’t make mental illness mean that you’re not good enough, or that you’re broken or not deserving of as much respect as the next person. See it for what it is: a medical condition that can be worked through. You don’t have to suffer in silence.
You can find more about Nina and her writing via…
- Her website: oncethestormisover.com for a book preview, and a book trailer, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk;
- Nina is kindly also running a Goodreads Giveaway (US & Canada): https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7434239.Nina_Bingham;
- Nina’s mental health blog: ninabingham.blogspot.com; and you can find her on
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