Let’s Talk – Suicide Prevention

I’m determined to do all that I can to spread awareness for mental health and with it being suicide prevention month I wanted to share this post. There is still so much I am learning and while I educate myself I hope to enlighten others.

Suicide Statistics

  • Over 40,000 Americans die by suicide each year
  • Every 12.3 minutes an American commits suicide
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States
  • It’s the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 44 and under
  • The 5th leading cause of death for ages 45-54
  • More than 800,000 people worldwide die from suicide each year
  • About 75 percent of people who die by suicide show some warning signs
  • On average, there are 117 suicides per day
  • For every suicide there are 25 suicide attempts
  • 90 percent of all people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death

 

Some call it selfish, committing suicide or even attempting to. Selfish because you’re leaving everyone behind. Although you’re putting an end to your pain, you are starting a lifetime of pain for others. Others. So many of us always think of others and how they would be better off if we were no longer here. We feel like a burden and sometimes no matter what is said or how many people tell us that we aren’t, no matter how many reassure us that we are loved, in our minds we’re the problem and the only way to solve anything is to take our own lives. I know from personal experience that sometimes we hide how we’re feeling because we’re so afraid of being judged. We’re so afraid of the labels that will be placed on us and so we keep these thoughts and feelings to ourselves. It’s often see as an attention seeking act because they do not realize that sometimes what we’re dealing with is more than we can handle. There are so many people searching and searching for just one little reason as to why they should hold on, why they should continue living.

I know in my other blog posts I have talked about my personal experience with mental illnesses but I haven’t taken the time to really dig deep and talk about suicide and what we can do to help not only ourselves but others.

Suicide is preventable. It’s important to pay attention. 

Warning Signs   

  • Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself; searching for ways to do so
  • Feeling hopeless; talk of having no reason to go on
  • Experiencing unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others; people being better off without them
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Feeling trapped
  • End of life preparations; writing about death or suicide
  • Losing interest in most things
  • Change in eating and/or sleeping habits
  • Saying goodbye; saying goodbye to family and friends as if they won’t see them again
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Feelings of excessive guilt or shame

If you’re not a mental health professional you may feel as though there is nothing you can do to help.

If you know someone who is struggling, be there for them. Take the time to listen with an open mind and allow for them to express their feelings. As much as you may want to panic, don’t. Take their behavior seriously and if the person is suicidal seek professional help immediately. Remember to be patient. I have been on both ends of the situation and I know that at times it can be very frustrating but be patient.

If you’re struggling don’t be afraid to reach out for help. As scary as it may seem, it’s a life changing decision that is worth making. I could write out a list of reasons on why I was afraid of getting help but I chose to do so. Not for anyone else but for myself. If you’re having a hard time remember that it is ok not to be ok. It is ok to be down but remember that when you’re ready, help is out there.

 

 

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