I am sad this morning. A dear friend of mine just called and I spoke with her for hours about depression and reasons why she SHOULD NOT kill herself. She is a bright and loving person. She has a great family that loves her and children who adore her. She is a very successful business women and travels all over. But yet and still she is depressed. She hates her life. And she can’t manage to find anyone to listen or who cares about her issues.
1 in 17 people in the US suffer from depression.
It is estimated that 850,000 people are hospitalized for suicide attempts in the US.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death of those 15-24.
Women are more likely to ATTEMPT suicide than men (do to the manner is which women go about it)
Men are more likely to COMMIT suicide than women ( Men are more likely to use a weapon)
I work with many who suffer from depression and can’t function without their medication. I have seen first hand how a person can change dramatically with depression. A person who is normally organized, full of life, energetic, and playful can become someone who stays in the house, pulls away from things they once loved, and becomes anti-social. Without help, they continue to fall.
It’s really important to notice the signs. Many times those suffering from depression will reach out, but in very subtle ways. It’s hard to reach out when you feel no one cares about you. But if someone does reach out, be ready to be a friend-even if you don’t know them that well. You may save their life. Offer to meet for tea or lunch. But don’t take on all their problems. Guide them to the right help. Sometimes all it takes is for that one person to have that needed compassion to pull them out.
Warning signs of suicide include:
- Observable signs of serious depression:
Unrelenting low mood
Anxiety, psychic pain and inner tension
- Increased alcohol and/or other drug use
- Recent impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks
- Threatening suicide or expressing a strong wish to die
- Making a plan:
Giving away prized possessions
Sudden or impulsive purchase of a firearm
Obtaining other means of killing oneself such as poisons or medications
- Unexpected rage or anger
Although most depressed people are not suicidal, most suicidal people are depressed.
Offer to give them resources for help. You don’t have to be their rock, but turning your back on them could be the worse thing you could do. Even simple emails/texts/calls saying, “Just thinking about you, hope all is ok.”, can make that person feel like there is someone who cares.
That’s what it comes down to. Feelings of hopelessness and uselessness. Feeling like there is no one in the world that would miss them if they were gone. Feeling like they are a bother to all and just feels it would be better if they went away. That simple contact can make them feel like there is someone who cares. Inviting them over for a social gathering can be good to.