“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
September is suicide prevention month, and I want to shout this from the rooftops.
Suicidal thoughts, much like any other mental condition can affect anyone. They don’t pick and choose based on age, gender, wealth status, or anything else. People often find it surprising how common suicidal thoughts are, in particular fleeting suicidal thoughts, but although they’re common they shouldn’t be treated like they’re normal. These thoughts often mean there’s a more serious issue going on that needs attention.
Suicide is a very stigmatized and taboo subject, mental health in general in but suicide specifically is treated with extreme caution. It’s time to spread awareness and hope, suicide is preventable think about all the lives that could still be around.
- We lose over 800,000 people per year to suicide
- It’s the 10th biggest cause of death worldwide, coming above liver diseases and right below influenza and pneumonia. This means there’s an average of 123 suicides each day in the U.S.
- Two of the leading contributing factors are isolation and feeling like a burden
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause for death among 10-34-year-olds
- Those part of the LGBTQAI+ community are four times more likely to attempt suicide
- Transgender adults are twelve times more likely to attempt suicide
- The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 35% since 1999
Reading these facts it’s more obvious than ever before that we have a problem. The good news is that there’s a solution. Suicide is one of the most preventable types of death. The issue is most people with depression or suicidal thoughts either cover them up quite well or joke about them. They often fear they’ll be a burden or seeking attention if they speak up and are honest about this taboo subject. Not speaking up leads to a feeling of hopelessness and isolation, it also creates a feeling of weakness and that you’re less than. All of which isn’t true.
If you’re struggling don’t be scared to reach out. Needing help isn’t being weak and asking for help takes a tremendous amount of courage. Be brave and don’t be another statistic. Life is worth living.
- The Depression Project on Instagram
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
- Crisis Text Line – Text TALK to 741-741
- The Jason Foundation
- The Jed Foundation
- National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
- National Organization for People of Color Against Suicide
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide
- The Trevor Project
- The Tyler Clementi Foundation
I’ve dealt with suicidal thoughts for years now, they’ve ebbed and flowed but I always kept them a secret until about a year ago. It was a defining moment in my life. I wrote down all of my thoughts and what was going through my mind and I gave it to my mom. Another thing that helped me was having one friend that I did tell a lot of stuff to, the issue was she lived in Texas so she couldn’t really help me in Kansas. I asked her if she thought my mom knew the extent of my depression and she said that she probably barely knew any of it. I was such a good actor and so good at playing the part that everything was great that I even had people that were around me all the time and had known me for my entire life fooled.
You never know what people are going through, even if you do spend a tremendous amount of time with them. Be kind, but also be brave. Reach out to those you think are struggling, make sure your friends are okay and don’t neglect yourself in the process.
Me telling my mom changed everything. She understood what was going on in my mind and that I needed help. I’ve since been put on depression medication and started therapy. I’m taking steps towards a better me and I want everyone else to do the same thing.
Become the best you that you can be.