Suicide Awareness & Prevention :
Learn The Signs That Can Help You Save A Life
Please note: I am creating this post for multiple reasons but the two main reasons are; To potentially help save lives by educating people on the signs to watch out for in a person who may be feeling suicidal. And two; to help a fellow mental health blogger, Beckie over at Beckies Mental Mess, raise suicide awareness on blogging sites – and beyond – after a new friend, and fellow blogger, was having thoughts about ending her life. I highly recommend reading Beckie’s post on her blog titled, “Please Share: Suicide Awareness on Blogging Sites.”
Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world every year. That is an estimate of one death every 40 seconds! That is absolutely insane. In the United States, suicide rates have risen over the past decade or so according to a report that was published mid-2018, as stated by the Washington Post. In North Dakota alone, the suicide rate skyrocketed by a whopping 57 percent!
Suicide Awareness & Prevention is something that I am passionate about. I understand how it feels to want to give up and end it all when you can’t take the pain any longer; I am a suicide attempt survivor. I shouldn’t be here today, but I am glad that I am despite the obstacles and challenges that I still face in my everyday life. I would have missed so much if I had succeeded. I understand how hard life can be sometimes. If I can pull through, so can anyone else who is going through it right now. Just know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. YOU ARE NOT A BURDEN. YOU ARE LOVED.
The Warning Signs
Contrary to the widespread belief that only people with mental illness would take their own life, in 27 of the U.S. States, more than half of the deaths had no known mental health condition at the time they left this world. If you think someone you know, love, or care about is contemplating ending their life be on the lookout for the warning signs listed below. Don’t be afraid to intervene. It is always better to err on the side of caution than risk the possible outcome.
- They give away cherished belongings that they normally would never part with.
- They express excessive sadness and/or moodiness.
- They feel hopeless.
- They are having problems sleeping; either sleeping too much, too little, or their sleep is restless and broken. Especially if the sleep complications seem new, sudden, or worse than before.
- They suddenly seem calm almost out of nowhere. (For many people who are suicidal or plan to end their life, they get a sudden calm knowing that all their problems will soon be gone)
- They withdraw from friends, family, or even activities that they used to enjoy.
- Sudden or drastic changes in their appearance.
- Drastic changes in their personality; they may not even seem like the same person anymore.
- They are suddenly participating in reckless and self-destructive behaviors. (Such as reckless driving, unsafe sex, thrill-seeking, etc…)
- They have recently suffered from a loss, trauma, or life crisis.
- They start visiting their friends and family out of the blue or all around the same time.
- They have suffered a trauma that they haven’t healed from.
- They suddenly create a will.
- They threaten or talk about suicide.
- They are bored with their favorite hobbies, work, or school.
- They seem to be preoccupied with death.
- They start to increase their drug and/or alcohol use. Or, if they weren’t using substances before but they are now.
- They feel like they are a burden to others or that everyone would be better off without them.
Facts About Suicide In The United States
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for all age groups. (CDC)
- Every day 123 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)
- There is one death by suicide every 12 minutes. (CDC)
- Depression affects 20-25 percent of Americans ages 18+ per year. (CDC)
- Suicide takes the lives of over 44,965 Americans every year. (CDC)
- The highest suicide rates in the US are among whites, Native Americans, and Alaska Natives. (CDC)
- Only 50 percent of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)
- An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors. (AAS)
If You Are Having Suicidal Thoughts Or Are Contemplating Ending Your Life…
There is no shame in asking for help when we need it the most. Everyone deals with things their own way and at their own pace. But no one should ever have to deal with the emotions that feeling suicidal can bring by themselves. Reach out to a trusted friend or loved one. I understand that it is a difficult thing to talk about for many people. I get it, I really do. But if I hadn’t reached out to my best friend on numerous occasions, I doubt I would be sitting here writing this right now. You can also reach out to any health care professional or go to the emergency room. Do what you have to do to fight for your life because YOU ARE WORTHY.
Your story isn’t over yet. Feel what your feeling, but don’t give up hope.
Hang on to something, anything, that will help keep you alive. It doesn’t matter how small or big it is. If you can find one thing worth living for, hang on to that with everything you have.
Most people don’t know this, but during one of my episodes where I felt utterly hopeless and like suicide was my only way out, I reached out to my therapist and admitted that there was one thing that kept me from going through with trying to end my life. That one thing was the fact that I was scared to fail again and have to deal with all the aftermath that comes with a suicide attempt. She told me that if that is what is keeping me alive, to keep holding on to that thought until I started to feel better. And I did. My story wasn’t over yet.
If you ever need someone to talk to, kind in mind I am not a doctor or therapist, please feel free to email me at ContactMyBipolarMind@gmail.com
Suicide Hotline Numbers…
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.