Today's blog post is taking a somber turn. A childhood friend of my husband's took her own life this weekend. We just found out yesterday. Everyone we know, everyone who knew her, is in a tailspin. It's so hard to believe that someone so full of life could be gone...just like that.
Though I don't know the ins and outs or the whys of her situation, the SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) research states that depression is the strongest risk factor for suicide and although we don't hear about it much, suicide takes the lives of nearly 30,000 Americans every year. Many who attempt suicide never seek professional care, yet 80% of people who actually seek treatment for depression are treated successfully.
Now more than ever it's important to know the symptoms and danger signs of someone who is contemplating suicide. Please educate yourself so you can possibly save a loved ones life.
Warning Signs of Suicide
•Ideation (thinking, talking or wishing about suicide)
•Substance use or abuse (increased use or change in substance)
•Purposelessness (no sense of purpose or belonging)
•Trapped (feeling like there is no way out)
•Hopelessness (there is nothing to live for, no hope or optimism)
•Withdrawal (from family, friends, work, school, activities, hobbies)
•Anxiety (restlessness, irritability, agitation)
•Recklessness (high risk-taking behavior)
•Mood disturbance (dramatic changes in mood)
Additional Warning Signs of Suicide
•Talking about suicide.
•Looking for ways to die (internet searches for how to commit suicide, looking for guns, pills, etc.)
•Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness.
•Preoccupation with death.
•Suddenly happier, calmer.
•Loss of interest in things one cares about.
•Visiting or calling people one cares about.
•Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order.
•Giving things away, such as prized possessions.
Remember, what you see on the outside is much different from what a suicidal person sees and feels on the inside. Don't brush off their feelings. Listen. Console. Give them another way to resolve their feelings by seeking professional help. And if you are someone who is having these feelings, try to remember that suicide doesn't just affect you...it affects everyone who ever knew you. Reach out to one of those loved ones now. You are not alone.
I've listed some resources below that are extremely helpful.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255): Suicide hotline, 24/ 7 free and confidential
SAVE: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education aims to prevent suicide through public awareness and education and features information, news and resources.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide.
*Edited to add: Here's the quote from today's "Love" widget on the right sidebar...
"I like not only to be loved, but to be told I am loved."--George Eliot
Tell the people in your life that you love them every single day...starting today.