In honor of suicide prevention awareness month, I wanted to share about Depression and how it affects us all. Yes, there are several people who are suffering in silence due to not wanting to burden their loved ones which their problems. But, I wanted you to know that you are not alone and together we can cope and live a better life.
Did you know that “suicide is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. among young people and the there are a variety of mental health conditions that affect people who are very vulnerable” (NAMI, 2015).
Lets review some of the warning signs of suicide
- Mood swings
- talking, writing or thinking about death
- increase in alcohol and drug use
- aggressive behavior
- isolate from friends, family and community
- impulsive behavior
Let’s review if there is an imminent danger?
- Saying goodbye to friends and family
- Mood shifts from despair to calm
- planning to borrow, steal or buy tools to commit suicide
Mental health professionals such as your primary care physician, psychiatrists,psychiatric or mental health nurse practitioners are trained to assess if you are at risk. The first step is to acknowledge that you cannot do this by yourself and give yourself permission to get the help that you need. We may believe that we can handle this, but a therapist will be able to help you understand so that you can cope with your thoughts and feelings.
This blog was inspired after reading a guest post on a blog that you can find here at this link http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/blog/ . A husband (Brandon) shared a story about his wife Naomi who had a long history of troubles. In any marriage there are good times as well as bad times and Brandon got engaged to his wife after knowing her for 3 to 4 months. The story begins with the loss of their baby boy who had down syndrome. This loss was very devastating for his wife and Brandon wanted to share the story of his wife so that it can help others. Patience is not easily acquired, but with persistence we need to encourage one another to talk to someone if they are experiencing depression. Yes, it’s easy to say, I don’t feel like they understand. But, know that you haven’t given yourselves the chance to let someone hear your story. Yes, it may be painful, but when we hold unto our thoughts this will do nothing for us but bring us downhill. My plea as Brandon mentioned in his blog post is for you to talk to someone about whatever is going on with you. If you are depressed, grieving, sad, lonely….please call someone. There is hope for you and me so ask and you shall receive it.
If you need to talk to someone please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
Here’s a link to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention where I am a field advocate in the state of Kansas.
https://www.afsp.org/. This organization has a variety of events and I will be participating in a Community walk in Kansas to raise funds for suicide prevention.
Hibbert, C. (2015). Depression, Loss & A Grieving Husband’s Plea: “Too Short a Fairy Tale, by Brandon Gerdes.” Retrieved on September 20, 2015 from http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/blog/
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).(2015). Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Retrieved on September 20, 2015 from https://www.nami.org/suicideawarenessmonth/hp