When you have depression, bi-polar, PTSD, or any other issue that makes you unable to live it can be stressful and frustrating to others. No one can make the person get up and enjoy life, when it becomes a deep hole life passes you by.
This blog is to let everyone know that it isn’t them, it isn’t the things they are trying to do, it is the chemical or mental challenge that consumes the person living with the illness. They can be so very happy one minute and what ever the trigger they can turn around and become lethargic. They can be working or going to school and doing extremely well and the next minute they are calling out sick.
Anything that is going on with them needs to be viewed as an illness and that it can pass. Don’t just let the person live it alone and never peak in to see if they are okay, because sometimes these triggers can also lead to suicide. Be mindful, be caring, but don’t be irritated or frustrated.
On blurtitout.org the write talks a bit about it all We feel completely stuck. On blurtitout.org the write talks a bit about it all We feel completely stuck. There is nothing physically attaching us to our bed, but we feel completely unable to move. Our body can feel heavy and sluggish. Our limbs can ache, and no position feels comfortable but the thought of moving makes us want to cry. Our brains work incredibly slowly or stop working entirely. We can’t think. We can’t remember how to get up and get dressed. Everything feels overwhelming and impossible. The biggest thing anyone can do is let them know they are not alone and that they will not be abandoned.
It can happen to anyone; happy, sad, medicated legally or
illegally, or being bullied. Do you know what to look for? I remember the first
time I was affected by suicide; I was a freshman and a boy in our class shot
himself in his family’s barn. That was just the beginning and didn’t think I
would ever be touched by suicide. As the years pass, I found myself touched
through family, friends, co-workers, and celebrities. Why does this happen?
What are people thinking when they try or commit suicide? For me, it was depression.
I was able to pick up the phone and call my dad and then a friend. I realized I
was lucky to make the decision to call my dad. So many others are not. We want
to be mad at them, we cry and can’t wrap our heads around it. Some people leave
notes and letters, others do it through drugs and end up overdosing, thinking
drugs will make it better.
You can learn more about why people try and do commit
suicide. Alex Lickerman with Psychology Today gives 6 reasons why:
They’re depressed. This is, without question, the most
common reason people die by suicide. Severe depression is almost always
accompanied by a pervasive sense of suffering as well as the belief that escape
from it is hopeless. The pain of existence often becomes too much for severely
depressed people to bear. The state of depression warps their thinking,
allowing ideas like, “Everyone would all be better off without me” to
make rational sense. They shouldn’t be blamed for falling prey to such
distorted thoughts any more than a heart patient should be blamed for
experiencing chest pain; it’s simply the nature of their disease. Because
depression, as we all know, is almost always treatable, we should all seek to
recognize its presence in our close friends and loved ones. Often, people
suffer with it silently, planning suicide without anyone ever knowing. Despite
making both parties uncomfortable, inquiring directly about suicidal thoughts,
in my experience, almost always yields an honest response. If you suspect
someone might be depressed, don’t allow your tendency to deny the possibility
of suicidal ideation prevent you from asking about it.
2.They’re psychotic. Malevolent inner voices often
command self-destruction for unintelligible reasons. Psychosis is much harder
to mask than depression, and is arguably even more tragic. The worldwide
incidence of schizophrenia is 1 percent and often strikes otherwise healthy, high-performing
individuals, whose lives, though manageable with medication, are often derailed
from their original promise. Schizophrenics are just as likely to talk freely
about the voices commanding them to kill themselves as not, and also, in my
experience, give honest answers about thoughts of suicide when asked directly.
Psychosis, too, is treatable, and usually must be treated for a schizophrenic
to be able to function at all. Untreated or poorly treated psychosis almost
always requires hospital admission until the voices lose their commanding
3.They’re impulsive. Often related to drugs and alcohol,
some people become maudlin and impulsively attempt to end their own lives. Once
sobered and calmed, these people usually feel emphatically ashamed. The remorse
is often genuine, but whether or not they’ll ever attempt suicide again is
unpredictable. They may try it again the very next time they become drunk or
high, or never again in their lifetime. Hospital admission is, therefore, not
usually indicated. Substance abuse and the underlying reasons for it are
generally a greater concern in these people and should be addressed as
aggressively as possible.
4.They’re crying out for help, and don’t know how else to
get it. These people don’t usually want to die but do want to alert those
around them that something is seriously wrong. They often don’t believe they
will die, frequently choosing methods they don’t think can kill them in order
to call attention to their challenges, but they are sometimes tragically
misinformed. For instance, a young teenage girl suffering genuine angst because
she feels lonely or has gotten into a devastating fight with her parents, may
swallow a bottle of Tylenol—not realizing that in high enough doses, Tylenol
causes irreversible liver damage. I’ve watched more than one teenager die a
horrible death in an ICU days after such an ingestion when remorse has already
cured them of their desire to die and their true goal of alerting those close
to them of their distress has been achieved.
5.They have a philosophical desire to die. The decision
to die by suicide for some is based on a reasoned decision, often motivated by
the presence of a painful terminal illness from which little to no hope of
reprieve exists. These people aren’t depressed, psychotic, maudlin, or crying
out for help. They’re trying to take control of their destiny and alleviate
their own suffering, which usually can only be done in death. They often look
at their choice to die by suicide as a way to shorten a dying that will happen
regardless. In my personal view, if such people are evaluated by a qualified
professional who can reliably exclude the other possibilities for why suicide
is desired, these people should be allowed to die at their own hands.
A way we can help is with the “Out of Dark” suicide walks.
I have been a part of the suicide walk
where people share their stories. The walk is healing because you meet so many
people who understand what you are going through. Sharing stories that are sad
and give hope to others.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention puts on
the suicide walks through out the US. They believe that having the walks and
donating monetarily will save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.
The website will have information: https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=cms.home
Anytime someone is showing signs that they want to hurt
themselves, reach out to a professional. We might feel we are imposing but I
would rather impose than loose someone.
Being a family member or a friend of someone who has mental health issues can become overwhelming. How do we become involved in the healing, caring, or to stop enabling those who are being self-destructive? Where can I go to get help, what do I need to know, or how to I keep myself and family protected from someone with a mental health issue? Such a simple set of questions but to many answers can be found. I want to give some scenarios and then what can be done to help. All definitions come from Mayo Clinic’s website, http://www.mayclinic.org. Knowing firsthand how mental health concerns can cause distance between those you love and have family and friends that have mental health concerns guides me to continue to talk about the ways to help and watch for signs. Below are the definitions of six disorders.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): A mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Suicide: taking your own life, is a tragic reaction to stressful life situations — and even more tragic because suicide can be prevented. Whether you’re considering suicide or know someone who feels suicidal, learn suicide warning signs and how to reach out for immediate help and professional treatment. You may save a life — your own or someone else’s.
Bipolar disorder: Formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). Episodes of mood swings may occur rarely or multiple times a year. While most people will experience some emotional symptoms between episodes, some may not experience any. Although bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition, you can manage your mood swings and other symptoms by following a treatment plan. In most cases, bipolar disorder is treated with medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy).
Schizophrenia: A serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning and can be disabling. People with schizophrenia require lifelong treatment. Early treatment may help get symptoms under control before serious complications develop and may help improve the long-term outlook.
Depression: Feeling sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts to mania or hypomania (less extreme than mania), you may feel euphoric, full of energy or unusually irritable. These mood swings can affect sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior and the ability to think clearly.
Generalized anxiety disorder: Has symptoms that are like a panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other types of anxiety, but they’re all different conditions. Living with generalized anxiety disorder can be a long-term challenge. In many cases, it occurs along with other anxiety or mood disorders. In most cases, generalized anxiety disorder improves with psychotherapy or medications. Making lifestyle changes, learning coping skills and using relaxation techniques also can help.
If you or you find your friend or a family member is not being themselves, it’s best to not get upset with them. Each of us have our own issues and we need to remember this.