The Risks Of Depression

Depression carries a high risk of suicide. Anybody who expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions should be taken very seriously. Do not hesitate to call your local suicide hotline immediately. Call 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) or 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) or the deaf hotline at 800-799-4889.

Recently we were all heartbroken to learn about the tragic death of Robin Williams, the beloved, iconic star of stage and screen known for his lovable characters, quick-fire style of comedy and charitable nature behind the camera, who was found dead from an apparent suicide by hanging, in his California home he shared with his third wife of less than a year.

Once the news broke, the only thing that most people could think of was how someone so full of life, who lived to make others laugh and feel good, could choose to end his life in such a tragic way.  Out of everyone that one would think would commit suicide, surely Robin Williams was the furthest person from anyone’s mind.  The questions remain.

Suicide, itself, leaves a lot of unanswered questions behind, which at Advanced Bio Treatment, we have first hand experience in witnessing the devastation these unknown factors can reap on the family members or loved ones left to try to make sense out of the senseless. Dealing with the aftermath of such a terrible event is likely one of the hardest things that a family must cope with. There are, however, lessons to be learned from the Robin Williams case, as with every suicide we have personally dealt with, that can help save lives in the future.

Advanced Bio Treatment, the professional, knowledgable crime scene clean up company, believes that the best way to minimize the risk of suicide is to know the risk factors and to recognize the warning signs of suicide. Take these signs seriously and know how to respond to them. Like we said, it could save someone’s life.

First, how prevalent is suicide?

Suicide is a potentially preventable public health problem. In 2009, the last year for which statistics are available, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. That year, there were nearly 37,000 suicides, and 1 million people attempted suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control, with men taking their lives nearly four times the rate of women, accounting for 79% of suicides in the U.S.

Risk factors for suicide vary by age, gender, and ethnic group, often occurring in combinations.

Over 90% of people who die by suicide have clinical depression or another diagnosable mental disorder. Many times, people who die by suicide have a substance abuse problem. Often they have that problem in combination with other mental disorders. Robin Williams was included in those ranks, unfortunately, and suffered from not only depression, but was also very open about his struggles with sobriety.  In fact, in the last few years of his life, after a 20 year stretch of time without the influence of drugs or alcohol, Williams fell into a phase of relapsing and entered a rehab facility no fewer than 4 times in the last 5 years.

Adverse or traumatic life events, in combination with other risk factors, such as clinical depression, may lead to suicide. This again underscores the pattern of mixing risk factors, as Williams had also recently undergone a very complicated, open heart surgery, which doctors are beginning to mark a correlation between the two, chest cavity operations and suicide. However, suicide and suicidal behavior are never normal responses to stress.

Other risk factors for suicide include:

  • One or more prior suicide attempts
  • Family history of mental disorder or substance abuse
  • Family history of suicide
  • Family violence
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Keeping firearms in the home
  • Chronic physical illness, including chronic pain
  • Incarceration
  • Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others

Are There Warning Signs of Suicide? Yes there are. Advanced Biotreatment wants you to know the Warning signs that someone may be thinking about or planning to commit suicide, which include:

  • Always talking or thinking about death
  • Clinical depression — deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating — that gets worse
  • Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving fast or running red lights
  • Losing interest in things one used to care about
  • Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
  • Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
  • Saying things like “it would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
  • Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
  • Talking about suicide or killing one’s self
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

Be especially concerned if a person is exhibiting any of these warning signs and has attempted suicide in the past. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, between 20% and 50% of people who commit suicide have had a previous attempt.

If you or someone you know is thinking or talking about hurting themselves, don’t wait, get help.  Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the National Hopeline Network at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433). These toll-free crisis hotlines offer 24-hour suicide prevention and support. Your call is free and confidential.

If you have recently lost someone that you love through suicide, and you don’t know who to turn to, Advanced Bio Treatment, specializing in death scene cleanups, is here to help you put the pieces of your life back together, even though we know that things will never be the same again…

Of all the questions that you have to deal with, one of them should not what to do about the cleaning of the affected area. We are a caring and compassionate suicide scene cleanup services company that has been serving families and business across the country since 2003.

The scene of a suicide will not only be visually and emotionally disturbing but it also has inherent dangers that most people do not think about. There are many fluids and biohazards that you can not see with the naked eye.  Our professional suicide and crime scene cleaning technicians are chosen for their empathy and attention to detail, and they will work as quickly as possible to remove all blood, tissue, bodily fluids, and odors from the affected area.

Advanced Bio Treatment offers a Suicide Support Resources with Suicide Clean Up Services  guidance or advice. Additionally if you have questions about payment options, clean up procedures from your homeowners policy or need suicide cleanup services immediately, don’t hesitate to give Advanced Bio Treatment a call 800-295-1684.

You don’t want to try and attempt to clean up a crime scene or accident scene. Blood and other bodily fluids can contain dangerous pathogens which pose a significant risk to human health. Our scene cleanup technicians will decontaminate and remove any blood, tissue or bodily fluids a crime and trauma scene has left behind. Advanced Bio Treatment is a professional scene cleaning company.

Regardless of whether the scene is at your home and personal property, a commercial business, or industrial site, we’ll strictly adhere to OSHA regulations and API Worksafe guidelines in our cleanup efforts. We only deploy EPA registered hospital grade cleansers and disinfectants.

If you need trauma or accidental death cleanup  guidance, have questions about your payment options or current insurance policy covers don’t hesitate to give Advanced Bio Treatment a call 24/7.


Dealing With Your Demons

The worst calls we get, in my professional opinion, are the ones that involve shotguns. The devastation caused by one of these firearms is unlike any other.

Often these scenes are the most technical in terms of clean up because, particularly in a small space like a bathroom or bedroom, the gore tends to be quite widespread. These cases really illustrate how vital it can be to hire highly trained bio-hazard specialists like the ones at ABT for two reasons: no family should have to put themselves through the trauma of of seeing the aftermath of a crime, suicide or accident and the pathogens that are found in bodily fluids such as blood, urine or feces, as well as the strong chemicals used in the decontamination process, make for a high risk situation appropriate for experts only.

A recent call we received and the subsequent clean up will likely live in my memory for a long time to come. We were told, on the way to the working class neighborhood outside of Jacksonville, Florida, that the scene involved a suicide… committed using a shotgun… and that we should steel ourselves for what awaited. It was good advice.

When we arrived at the address listed on the work order, two detectives met our van at the curb, allowing us to pass beneath the yellow police table which was the only indication, other than the coroner’s vehicle and a few unmarked detective vehicles, that anything was amiss inside. I’ll never forget when the officer closest to me said, ‘I hope you have a strong stomach,’… and I do, thankfully.

The bedroom was were John Doe chose to end it all. I often wonder what the last thing to go through his mind was just before he pulled the trigger. But I’ve learned not to voice that question out loud anymore because someone always has to joke, ‘The bullet,’… I never feel much like laughing.

From the looks of things, John was a very simple man… his meager possessions were neatly put into their places around the small room, but now they were covered with tiny pieces of their former owner. John had decided to use his shotgun to do “the deed”.

Blood, brain matter and pieces of John D.’s skull were all over the space, from the ceiling to the walls, even behind furniture. Having professional like those at Advanced Bio-Treatment treat the scene is crucial to properly decontaminating after a suicide, crime or accident in your home or business. We are EPA and OSHA certified and we will work with you to find the right cleanup process covered by your insurance. We will meet not only their approval, but most importantly, yours as well.

This cleanup was a very intensive one to say the least. When a shotgun is used, there is little left of the victim’s head and this was no different. We are used to seeing grisly jobs, but this one was particularly bad. I couldn’t imagine a family member or loved one finding him like this, let alone try to clean up afterwards. You don’t have to go at it alone, we are here for you and we have been trained to be sensitive during these difficult times in you or your lived ones life.

It was only after we had finished packing up our equipment for the day, having finally restored the property, that we learned what had sent John over the edge. He had apparently developed a addiction to dope in his twenties and his life spiraled out of control from there. He lost his job and his family and everything he owned before finally attempting to get clean. He was living in the halfway house he finally ended his in, when he had relapsed. He was just about to find himself on the streets, when I guess he gave up and took his own life. Tragic. Sometimes we forget that the people we pass everyday are fighting their own battles. John lost his battle but hopefully he’s at peace now.

Advanced Bio-Treatment has experience in the decontamination and remediation of crime scenes, accident scenes, suicides and other unattended deaths. We will work with your insurance company to ensure that our biohazard cleanup services meets both your standards and theirs.


Our 24/7 Cleanup Service Areas Include: Florida, Georgia, Washington DC, New York , Kentucky and other crime scene states.


If you need scene clean-up and decontamination guidance, have questions about your payment options, which clean up and decon procedures your current insurance policy covers or require our scene cleanup services immediately, don’t hesitate to give Advanced Bio Treatment a call at: 800-295-1684


Revenge Of The Renters

Foreclosure forces families out of their homes, usually in a last minute rush and under extreme duress with very tense emotions.

As a result, most foreclosure properties are not left in sanitary condition, and some are downright dangerous. Not only may furniture and personal items be left behind, but items in the home like cabinetry or fixtures might be broken and rooms vandalized. Often houses will be soiled with urine and feces, or other unpleasant surprises, in an attempt to strike back at the financial institutions that may be seen as the problem.  We tend to agree with them.

Foreclosed homes or evictions can be a nightmare for banks, realtors, investors and your everyday homeowner. These topsy turvy scenes of carnage and devastation present many unforeseen hazards to the uninitiated, as many times there are dangerous pathogens contained within the decomposing trash, bodily fluids, even dead pets that can be left behind at one of these homes, suitable for only those who are knowledgeable about the proper removal and decontamination techniques that will ensure the safety of future inhabitants.

Advanced Bio Treatment is a highly trained, professional scene cleanup service with extensive experience handling such difficult cleaning. Our foreclosure cleanup teams also handle hoarding, gross filth, death scenes, and crime scene cleanup jobs. Advanced Bio Treatment has the experience and training to properly handle foreclosure cleaning and biohazard removal services. From the removal of biohazards to the complete sanitation of damaged properties, our teams can restore foreclosed homes to a habitable condition.

One home that we had been called out to restore was located in a particularly steamy part of the deep south: Pensacola, Florida.  The call had originally come into our Atlanta office, but was transferred to the Sunshine state’s regional teams.

The house was an older home in a well established neighborhood along the bay, but after extensive remodeling, the property had been transformed into a very charming, Florida abode. Unfortunately, after the couple who had been leasing the home had gotten through with it, it was no longer a cozy, coastal retreat.  It was more like a scene out of Amityville horror or Dawn of the Living Dead.

According to our client, the relationship between the couple and the homeowner had gone south after an argument over, what else, money.  The homeowner had promised to pay for half the cost of a pool, and would guarantee to extend the rental lease agreement for two years with no increase in the amount of rent.  After they had ponied up all the cash, and the pool had been installed, the homeowner had pulled a quick one, and had not only refused to reimburse them for her half, but also claimed that she had never signed any lease with them and that they were on a month to month basis only.

When the woman who owned the property had called to inform the scorned pair that she had decided to sell the home, and that they would need to repaint the walls of their new nursery to white in case the house sold quickly, it was the straw that broke the camel’s proverbial back.

Just before they disappeared in the middle of the night (moved into nearby community supposedly), taking with them most of their property with them, they decided to get a little revenge.  They loaded the home with bags of trash, fish carcasses and rotting meat that had been pulled out of the freezer and left to sit in the sweltering heat inside the house with the air conditioning off.

Toilets had been backed up intentionally, and loaded up with at least a few weeks worth of urine and feces.  They had used hot cooking grease down every drain in the property it seemed, clogging and melting plastic PVC piping.

In the attic, they had taken slices of bologna and tossed them like pizza dough through the air until they stuck to the overhead beams and insulation.  You can imagine what that smelled like.  Not. Good. I still won’t touch a bologna sandwich to this day.

The home was full of horrors, and we slowly, methodically, made our way through it, cleaning and sanitizing as we did.  Floors had to be scrubbed, and toilets snaked, as well as a fair number of pipes, some of which had to be replaced altogether.

Carpet was steam cleaned, and the walls were patched and repainted.  Which helped with the odor of decaying meat somewhat.

The problem was the flies.  They were everywhere, and before we could really decontaminate the home, they had to go.  We had to set up bug bombs, then air out the toxic fumes, before heading back in to vaccuum up thousands of the hairy black bugs and their wriggling maggots, all of which had been attracted to the smell of the rotting trash. Finally, after the home had been scrubbed until it shone, and every surface had been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, we brought in the Ozone Machine to filter the air on a molecular level.  That effectively kicked the last of the smell out of the house.

In the end, I had mixed feelings about returning the keys to the woman who introduced herself as the owner of the property.  She had done some shady things, and I for one, believe in karma but it’s not my job to pass judgment. My job is to restore a home and someone’s peace of mind.

Regardless of whether the scene is at your home and personal property, a commercial business, or industrial site, we’ll strictly adhere to OSHA regulations and API Worksafe guidelines in our cleanup efforts. We only deploy EPA registered hospital grade cleansers and disinfectants.

If you need trauma or accidental death cleanup  guidance, have questions about your payment options or current insurance policy covers don’t hesitate to give Advanced Bio Treatment a call at: 800-295-1684.