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How I Stayed Alive When
My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me:

One Person's Guide to Suicide Prevention

Have you asked yourself: 

Can I stay safe, alive, and avoid personal injury when my brain demands suicide?

Can I better understand and help a person challenged by depression and suicidal thoughts? Can I strengthen my clinical practice, deepen  rapport, and better use best practices to help clients reach goals and objectives? The answer is YES.

How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me: One Person's Guide to Suicide Prevention offers practical guidance, life-saving strategies, and hope to people throughout the world.

Reviews and praise

"With neither hollow platitudes nor medical doublespeak ... Blauner provides an extremely valuable and much-needed tool for both suicidal thinkers and their loved ones."

Publisher's Weekly

"... This vital resource is recommended for all public libraries."

Library Journal

"Each word written with thoughtful intent; each story told with the deepest of honesty and humility, and in doing so Blauner puts forward a life-saving book."

Daniel J. Reidenberg, Psy.D. 

Executive Director, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education

"Had Susan Blauner envisioned sooner the influence that she would eventually have on so many lives, her will to live may have grown stronger years earlier. Perhaps the most crucial message of this work, then, is that it is worth going on if only to discover our capacity for bringing light into other lives."

Rick Moskovitz, M.D.

Harvard-educated psychiatrist

author of Lost in the Mirror: An Inside Look at Borderline Personality Disorder

"Part memoir and part survival guide, How I Stayed Alive ... provide[s] practical and immediate advice for those who are contemplating suicide ..."

Michael J. Cholbi, Ph.D

Professor of Philosophy of Death and Dying

University of Edinburgh, Scotland

"The best suicide prevention manual for the suicidal thinker, suicide attempter, layperson, or professional."

Iris Bolton, MSW

Founder and Director Emeritus, The Link Counseling Center

 National Resource Center for Suicide Prevention and Aftercare

"How I Stayed Alive is vulnerable and resilient, deeply personal and profoundly practical. ... an important resource for those suffering from suicidal ideation and mental illness ..."

Patrick J. Kennedy

Former U.S. Representative, Founder of The Kennedy Forum

"Blauner knows her topic is serious, but approaches it honestly and openly. [How I Stayed Alive] ... takes us out of the dark ages where we feel shame over depression and suicidality.

David L. Weene

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal

"[How I Stayed Alive] made me realize that I wasn’t alone, but I wish I had realized it as a 16-year-old instead of now. ... I encourage young adults and adults to read this book."

Maelia Salcines

Mental Health Monarchs

"Like a Fodor's Guide that gets you from the depths of the hell of depression to the paradise of  a balanced life."

Reese Butler II

President and founder of the Kristin Brooks Hope Center


"A beacon of hope ... I am convinced that if my sister had read this book, our family history would have been changed."

Anne D. LeClaire

Best-selling author of Listening Below the Noise: The Transformative Power of Silence

"For many of my clients, this book is their first go-to resource when they are ready to help themselves feel just a little bit better."

Dialectical Behavior Therapist

"I strongly recommended [How I Stayed Alive] for families and friends of those who struggle with depression and suicidal ideation. ... She gives you a look into the struggle the individual has and has concrete ideas for helping friends and family.

Registered Nurse

"I am a Counseling grad student currently in my internship. ... the author does a great job of writing in a way that is completely relatable and inspiring."

Graduate Student

"This book was absolutely remarkable. ...  has an excellent "graphic" that shows easily and quickly, what someone can do if they are depressed. ... The graphic alone is so valuable, I wish it was a poster I could hang in my office!"

Licensed Psychotherapist

"... this important, timely book has now been updated with a revised resources section, and a new chapter on the author's experiences since the book's initial publication."

Angus & Robertson booksellers


Online Reviews

"[How I Stayed Alive] saved my life today. Here, as I write this review. Without the words and comfort offered by the author of this book, I would have been dead on this day at about 11:00 a.m. from a shotgun blast to the head."

"Despite great attempts at seeking help, no professional had ever encouraged me to take control through a Crisis Plan."


"This book is the first to truly give me insight into my daughter's condition."


"[How I Stayed Alive] seemed like a condensation of most of the things we learned in ... a twelve-week course sponsored by the [The National Alliance on Mental Illness]."


"I think this book should be required reading for all therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and students studying in those fields."


"My therapist agrees with me that [How I Stayed Alive] is a must-have for anyone searching for tools and coping mechanisms to deal with constant suicidal and self-injurious thoughts."


"Written in a layman's prose, the book stands out in making complicated concepts such as neuron and electrochemical transmission more understandable ..."


"[How I Stayed Alive] ... helped me through some really DARK days. It's written in a down to earth style ... in a way that you can identify with."


"[Susan Blauner] makes you feel that you are not alone in your sufferings."


"A life saver."


"[How I Stayed Alive] tells me how to talk to a person who expresses the wish to die."


"I wish I had found this book for my husband when he first told me he was suicidal. I don't know if it could have saved him, but this is a must read for anyone touched by suicide."


"... [How I Stayed Alive] helped me heal the loss of [my] daughter-in-law. She was 33 years old and has 3 boys, the youngest 5 yrs old."


"[How I Stayed Alive] is insightful, supportive and even humorous."


"This book totally saved my friend's life."


"[How I Stayed Alive] spoke to me, as if I was the only person in the world."


"... was the first time I ... [read] that suicidal thoughts and fantasies weren't 'bad' per say and I could still try and live a good life as long as I didn't act on those thoughts."


"2002. I hated my job, my life, and everything. I wanted to die. ... fresh out of the hospital for my latest suicide attempt ... I found this book. I read it immediately from cover to cover and knew I had to make changes in my life. Now, here, in 2021, I am finally happy and successful and glad to be alive. ... This book is what saved me."


"Well I'm definitely still alive."


"[How I Stayed Alive] gave me a clearer picture into the mind of suicide! Now, I'm able to understand and be there for a friend, how she need me to be."


"When I had depression, what helped me the most ... was ... [How I Stayed Alive] and doing the exercises."


"[How I Stayed Alive] is tough, funny, frightening, eye-opening, honest, harrowing--and ultimately, inspiring."


"I love this book. I sleep with it next to my bed ... I feel very much at ease [in the author's] 'presence,' even when the matter discussed is of a frightening and disturbing nature."


"How I Stayed Alive would also be a useful self-help book for people who self-injure."


"When I need help and won't ask for it [How I Stayed Alive] has been my life saver."


"... Blauner gives you hope that times can get better but it's up to you ... and I could have a future to look forward to with less (or at least manageable) suicidal thoughts."

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