Do you know someone whose life has been affected by suicide? Have you ever felt those kinds of thoughts yourself? If you have, you are NOT alone.
Suicide rates in the united states are the highest they’ve been in 30 years. See New York Times article https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/22/health/us-suicide-rate-surges-to-a-30-year-high.html?_r=0. According to suicideology.org the United States experiences 1 suicide every 11.9 minutes, and 1 attempted suicide every 29 seconds. Each year there are more than 250,000 loss survivors. (Loss survivors are those whose lives were significantly impacted because of this type of loss.)
The statistics are easy to find but I’ve added them here hoping to capture your attention.
Some take-aways from this post:
- Confidential Help is available at 1-800-273-8255.
- Depression and anxiety are debilitating and anyone dealing with these deserve our compassion and not our judgement. Suicide should not be the elephant in the room and we need to start talking about it. Although preventable it is still the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
- If you are thinking about or have ever thought about suicide, it’s important to know that everything WILL get better. Whatever your situation may be, it is only temporary. Think of it as a learning experience along your life’s journey. You were meant to become a better stronger human being because of life’s hardships. Don’t be ashamed to talk about how you are feeling with someone you trust.
I have my own story and it is just one of millions and millions of stories out there.
My own narrative began in 2002 after initiating a divorce from my first husband. The experience was painful and one sided. The ordeal was the catalyst for my own anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until years later that I’d reached the low point in my life and decided to seek help. That help came in the form of an appointment with my regular family physician. The telephone call that I made was extremely uncomfortable. I had no idea how to even articulate my feelings and frankly was ashamed to do so. It turned out to be one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made.
My doctor was an old-school family physician and I’ll never forget how kind-hearted he was. He listened very carefully to everything I’d had to say. He wanted to know why I was being so hard on myself and shared his own story of feeling the same years earlier during medical school. Most importantly he let me know I wasn’t alone. He made an appointment on my behalf with another doctor for the next day. I made that next appointment and since have followed the road to recovery. I have overcome depression and can honestly say that I am now excited for what each new day holds.
Have you ever felt hopeless? Everyone has at one point or another. The important thing is to know how to keep from letting those feelings get the best of you.
How can you keep yourself from falling victim to depression? Start with good daily practices. One habit that works for me is to continually educate myself through self-help blogs, books, pod casts and conferences. Through self-education I’ve learned how to be in control of my own thought patterns and emotions.
7 Practices to help you recover:
- Seek counseling – Find a counselor who fits your needs. If you don’t feel like the first counselor you visit is a fit, then find another. You will find the right one, don’t give up.
- Hire a health coach – Hire a coach who will hold you accountable for good daily eating habits. Learning to stay in control of what you put in your body is discipline and discipline is POWER.
- Read every day – There are wonderful books to help us better understand ourselves and help us to comprehend how we can feel better. Start reading books by authors such as Brenee Brown, Eckart Tolle and Michael Singer.
- Exercise – Cardio vascular exercise is extremely effective in alleviating depression. In fact, it is critical. Be patient, keep going and don’t give up. If you give up, start over. Life is not a sprint, it is a marathon.
- Quit drinking alcohol – Alcohol is a depressant and will only increase your pain. A good health coach will keep you on the right track.
- Meditate – Be present, be centered. Clearing your mind will open channels to creative thinking, positivity and a sense of well-being. My go to for meditation is an iPhone app called “Headspace”. You can download it from the App Store and the first 10 sessions are free.
- Positive Affirmations – This is self-talk used to rewire your mind and reverse unhealthy thought patterns. Repeat your affirmations every morning and every evening. Add them to your daily commute or during your morning shower.
It is important that you communicate your thoughts and feelings especially if you are feeling low enough to have thoughts of suicide. Call your doctor, a family member, or trusted friend. If you look for kindness and compassion, you will find it. Keep going, you will make it out of this tunnel, and you will not only survive but thrive!
Won’t you help me help others who may be suffering and possibly contemplating suicide? Please select the “Follow” button which appears as you scroll to the top of this article. Share by tweeting, copying or posting, you never know whose life could depend on it.
Thank you for reading.