WE STAND UP FOR LIFE

Regardless of what my next post was intended to be, in light of the recent news events I think it's only right we have the conversation no one want's to have; the talk about the "S" word.

-No, not sex. No one has trouble talking about that anymore it's an open talk of discussion. No the "S" word I'm talking about is suicide.

black and white black and white depressed depression
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

No one talks about it, no one knows how to talk about it and no one knows how to handle someone who feels suicide is a very real option; Why?

Now, if you are like me, these celebrity deaths are blows to an already substantial list of people you personally know that have attempted or succeeded in taking their own lives.

With suicide numbers on the rise, I think it's only important to point out that your addiction already puts you at risk for these severe depressive thoughts to take hold.

In the United States, 25% of all suicides involve alcohol. A study done by MCES in Pennsylvania suggests that number be around 7500 people a year.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts please don't hesitate to reach out.
1 800-273-8255  <----Suicide Prevention Hotline
For more information, you can go to their website, Lifeline for tips to help you, including #Bethe1tohelp
1 800-662-HELP (4357) <---Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration

Since roughly 17 million people worldwide struggle with alcoholism,  and since alcohol is a depressant, it is a very real probability that yourself or someone you love has had, or is at risk for these severe depression symptoms. In fact, 30-50% of those aforementioned people will develop long-term depression.

Most people drink under the guise that it loosens you up a bit, makes you more gregarious but the physical effects on alcohol to your brain are more like a sedative, that after longterm use slows the mind and eventually leads to later mental and physical issues along with emotional distress.

Some of the symptoms of long-term depression include (and surely aren't limited to)

  • chronic fatigue/ lack of energy
  • difficulty concentrating
  • feeling helpless/hopeless
  • difficulty making decisions
  • lower serotonin levels decreasing happy emotions
  • increased irritability
  • decrease folic acid ---> leading to liver failure ( that's my exit,), anemia, and leading to birth defects as the cleft pallet.

SAMHSA reports that every thirteen minutes a person dies from suicide, exceeding the rate of homicide and AIDS combined.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts please don't hesitate to reach out.
1 800-273-8255  <----Suicide Prevention Hotline
For more information, you can go to their website, Lifeline for tips to help you, including #Bethe1tohelp
1 800-662-HELP (4357) <---Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration

 

So how do you approach someone you believe might be contemplating suicide? Today, CNN released an article about the "do's and don'ts" when approaching the situation.

I have had my own experiences with suicide, losing many people I love, including one I had planned on spending my life with. Initially, when we had separated it was with the intention to get sober and continue planning and saving for our wedding. Quickly, that changed when he moved out of state, I had begun a new relationship and eventually, he too went on to marry a beautiful bride and conceive a handsome little boy. We remained friends through it all and while things were less than ideal in both of our lives, things seemed to be moving along at a normal pace.

At the time I had no idea he had a good number of the stressors that contribute to suicide when alcohol is involved. According to MCES these stressors include

  • Personal loss (divorce, separation, loss  of love on)
  • job/ financial loss
  • history of abuse/ trauma
  • past suicide attempts
  • legal/criminal problems
  • early onset of drinking
  • a family history of alcoholism
  • access to firearms

Have a serious, open conversation with your loved one and don't do the usual, "think of all you have to live for" because that is like telling someone angry to calm down -zero times has that actually worked as intended.

Tell your loved one, "Look, I don't know what to do or say, but I'm here for you."

Or ask, "I don't know what to do, how can I help?"

Because usually, the answer is 'i don't know' but at least they know you are there for them.

The ugly truth of it is, we are so terrified to even talk about it, that when the conversation comes up, NO ONE has a clue how to proceed. I have found that admitting that, is often a great first step.

man s hand in shallow focus and grayscale photography
Photo by lalesh aldarwish on Pexels.com

"I don't know what that's like, help me understand."

That is a powerful statement to someone who feels alone. I know for me it changed the way I even thought about the situation because that statement told me, 'WOW, this person doesn't understand how horrible I feel and instead of talking me out of FEELING it, they want to come to see my point of view for a second....maybe I am really NOT alone in this...and maybe it's not as bad as I thought if someone else can sit with me in this darkness for a minute.'

It's worth it to have these conversations because sweeping it under the rug being afraid to say the word, is doing everyone a disservice. The sheer mention of suicide isn't going to propel someone to commit the act, but NOT talking about it, just might.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts please don't hesitate to reach out.
1 800-273-8255  <----Suicide Prevention Hotline
For more information, you can go to their website, Lifeline for tips to help you, including #Bethe1tohelp
1 800-662-HELP (4357) <---Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration

 

 

 

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