It’s Time to Break the Stigma of Depression and Suicide:
In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th, 2018, I’d like to ask a question: Do you recognize suicide signs?
In recognizing the signs, we can help break the stigma of suicide.
How you ask? It’s simple! Don’t bury your head in the sand and pretend that it isn’t real, true, or just a play for attention. Far too many beautiful people suffer daily with depression and suicidal thoughts. They cry out for help but many of the signs go unnoticed or they are noticed, and no one believes them. How sad is that?!
We are in a crisis here.
Almost 20 years ago the then-Surgeon General David Satcher issued a report on the state of mental health in the country and called suicide “a significant public health problem.”
The only thing that has changed since then is the increased number of deaths from suicide. SAD!
Here are some of the signs of depression and suicide that you can look for in your loved ones:
- General Discontent.
- Loss of Interest.
- Excess Sleepiness.
- Loss of Appetite.
- Excessive Crying.
- Social Isolation.
- Talking about Wanting to Die.
- Talking about Being a Burden to Others.
If anyone you love shows three or more of these signs, you need to step in and find out what you can do to help them. Sometimes, it might just be as easy as letting someone know they are NOT alone, other times it may take an intervention to get this person the help they so desperately need.
The statistics are staggering and quite frankly, unacceptable…
- In 2015, 505,507 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm.
- In 2016, there were 44,965 recorded suicides.
- Suicide rates have sharply increased since 1999 by almost 40%.
- Opioid users have a 40 – 60% increased rate of suicide.
- More than half of suicides have no known mental condition.
- Suicide rates among our children are getting higher and higher and the age is getting lower.
There are entirely too many people who suffer in silence for fear of being judged.
Most of the times suicidal and depressed people are stereotyped and when people are stereotyped they can be made to feel ashamed, afraid and guilty, it can also remove them from feeling empathy and shy away from human connection and interaction. Depression can be caused by many factors, none of them are by a person’s own free-will. Read that again…. It is NOT of their own free-will. You cannot just expect a depressed person to just snap out of it! You cannot tell them to just get over it! That is like telling someone who just suffered a broken leg to ‘just get up and walk’.
Once we understand that people are not ‘just’ depressed and that there are many contributing factors, we can then begin to remove the stereotyping and stigma of depression and suicide.
We need to stop burying our heads in the sand and stop pretending this isn’t a crisis! WE ARE LOSING OUR LOVED ONES! That is a huge problem. These are the people that we love! Shouldn’t we love them more by reaching out and offering them assistance and support?
If you think but aren’t sure if your loved one is suicidal, ask them. They may be completely upfront may not be. But, you will never truly know if you don’t ask or try to understand them.
I leave you with this thought:
Until you are able to walk in another’s shoes, never pretend to know how they should think or feel. Allow them what they need and just be loving and supportive.
Stand with me today and help save a Life! Make a promise to yourself and to your loved ones that you will not allow another beautiful light to be extinguished to suicide.
Hand-in-Hand and Heart-to-Heart we can do this.
If you are suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit www.AFSP.org to get helpful resources.