On the eve of one of the hardest days ever recorded in history: 9/11; today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Today (and always), we remember all of them and think about how mental illness and suicide is causing quite the epidemic.
This is a subject that is very hard to talk about and is something that I’ve encountered a lot in my life. (Not myself personally) My mother has attempted many times and this something that she won’t talk about at all. Stubborn, I guess. But this is too much of a large global epidemic to not to talk about.
Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, Robin Williams, DJ Avicii and so many countless others have lost their lives because of suicide. All of these people had careers, families, friends, and fans. They also had pain and darkness in their lives.
Suicide is a very touchy subject for most people to talk about. It shouldn’t be. Everyone experiences dark times such as diagnosed/undiagnosed mental illness, loss of loved ones, loss of employment, physical illness, bullying, usage of drugs and alcohol and etc. So many factors play into this and can cause suicide.
My first encounter was when I was young and my mother attempted. She overdosed on her medications and had to be placed in a hospital (first to recover from the overdose) and then to the mental hospital for a long time. She’s overdosed on her medications several times throughout my life and her last attempt was 5 years ago. My encounter was during high school when a fellow classmate took a gun to her head and pulled the trigger.
Let me give you a breakdown of what the warning signs are:
- Increased sadness and withdrawal from society
- A significant change in mood and behavior
- A significant change in school work and/or professional work
- Increased usage of drugs and alcohol
- Talking about death and attempting suicide
- Self harming along such as cutting and other forms
- Constant assaults of bullying or threats (especially for children, teens and adults)
These are just some of the red flags of suicide. And it’s important to recognize those in yourself and in others. Regardless of what happens in your life, there’s always help available when you need it. Educating others and reaching out for help is the one of the ways to help solve this epidemic.
If you or someone you love such as a friend, a child, a spouse, or parent or concerned citizen is going through a rough time, then get some help. Schools are getting more educated in mental health, but there’s more work to be done on that. Same goes with the workforce and as a society, we all need more education and need to be more alert on this.
Some myths of suicide include:
- He or she just snapped (Never say that someone just snapped. Understand what mental illness is and what going on their lives by communication.)
- Foolish (Don’t call anyone a derogatory name when you don’t understand the battle that one endures and ultimately ends their lives. Sometimes, others can’t take the pain anymore and end the battle.)
- This happened overnight (Mental illness and any kind of trauma doesn’t happen overnight. This is something that has been brewing for a long time. People don’t just snap in or out of it that fast.)
- I don’t believe that _______ did this? (No one is immune to death and never assume that anyone isn’t capable of suicide. Everyone is capable of just about anything. Period.)
Since the birth of the Digital Era, suicides are on the rise partly due to: online bullying from peers and other trolls, traumatic events, dysfunctional home life and other environmental factors, too.
Sit your loved one down for a serious heart to heart talk about mental illness, suicide, and all the resources of help that are available at your dispense. Talk about what mental illness is and how it affects you and society, too. Talk about coping strategies, seek help from therapists, and check out various websites that are devoted to the prevention of suicide. Talk about your day. Talk about how your feeling. If you’re not feeling well at all, don’t let it bottle up inside you. Reach out for help.
Check out the following websites for more information:
I’ve experienced the pain of losing someone to suicide and almost losing someone to suicide. This is one of the hardest things to endure and to understand. It breaks you into two when you see someone suffering in so much pain and they resort to suicide to relief their darkness and pain.
Everybody can play a role in the prevention of suicide. Educate yourself. Support us. Reach out to your fellow neighbor and communicate. Don’t judge or criticize anyone living with this. Instead, put yourself into their shoes and see what it’s like living like this.
Everyone has a story. Tell it! Help change the world. “Be the Change, NOT the problem.” In short, take care of yourself. Be safe.