“It’s not like I actually did anything” isn’t an excuse.
If cheating is so awful, why do so many of us do it?
You don’t have to just lay there and take it.
I’m sure I’m not the only one this happens to.
“I’m scum and deserve to be abandoned.”
Moving on is not neglect.
The journey to accepting myself was harder than I could have ever imagined.
Suicide rates boom over the festive season and it seems to be a trigger for many people with mental illnesses like depression or personality disorders. It’s mainly because they feel alone, hopeless, strained, useless, purposeless or utterly miserable. It’s difficult for them to watch the rest of society enjoying the festivities and celebrations, particularly when they feel like running away and hiding until its all over. Worse still, they may feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is too far away for them to reach.
Being a loved one watching someone close to them cope with this can be exceptionally difficult. Some will threaten suicide, while others withdraw as the thought continually crosses their mind. People with mental illness like Borderline Personality Disorder threaten suicide on a regular basis. Some do end up achieving their goal and many others have made unsuccessful attempts.
The seriousness of suicide is that no one ever really knows when it’s going to happen. So when loved ones do threaten to end their lives or begin to slide into the ibis, those closest to them often feel compelled to intervene. The main problem is, most of us are unsure of what to do or how to help. The following list are recommendations from Lifeline about how to help loved ones in the prevention of suicide.
1. Ask them if they have been thinking about suicide. Be direct stating, “Are you thinking about suicide?” Chances are, if they have been having thoughts about ending their lives, they will want to discuss it with someone they can be honest with.
2. Listen to them. You know the old saying a problem shared is a problem halved? Simply taking the time and effort to listen to someone in need can make a big difference. Avoid getting distracted by others, technology and allow time for them to be heard and appreciated.
3. Check their safety. Being alone at a time when suicide is becoming a viable option, isn’t ideal. If you need to, offer to stay with them or have them come with you. If you can’t do it, organise someone who can.
4. Ask for a promise or get a written contract that they won’t commit suicide. If they have been feeling like they have let people down, they will want to stick to the agreement.
5. Don’t lecture them about how they should feel or what they should do. Many people equate suicide with selfishness and a first response is about this. When someone is considering suicide, they may feel that life would be better for others if they weren’t around. Telling them that they are being selfish is counterproductive.
6. No-one should support a suicidal individual on their own. It can be mentally, emotionally and physically draining. To look after yourself engage the help of others, which may include family, friends and professionals like GP’s, counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists.
Lastly, the most important thing you need to do to support them is looking after your needs first. They may want to lean on you for a prolonged period of time and this will be exhausting. They also need to learn skills to cope on their own. Therefore, it’s imperative you let others know the situation and seek help immediately.
If someone you know is in need of help, the following contacts are available.
- Emergency 000
- Lifeline crisis 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
- Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Image via usarmy.vo.llnwd.net
There has been a lot of talk about depression of late, particularly due to the tragic passing of Robin Williams. Blogs have exploded with personal accounts of this disease and I can’t recall a time when people were more comfortable sharing their own experiences.
This is the only way others who are unfamiliar with the disease, can get a glimpse of what it’s actually like to live with depression and begin to understand it. So, what is it actually like to live with depression?
Well, imagine for a moment that you have no energy. Sleep is the only escape. Unlike everyone around you, who can get up and go to work, look after the kids, play sport, attend social events; all this is completely overwhelming.
Then there is the hopelessness which plagues your thoughts. You worry that you don’t have the energy to perform your role in society. You worry about how you are going to get everything done in your life, which is expected of you. You have heard countless times to just get on with things and have tried so fiercely to do so; but continue to fail. Then you worry because you are failing. You don’t feel like you are worth much because, in all honesty, you just want to sleep. You are emotionally drained by the excessive worry in your head.
The hopeless thoughts never stop either. You feel you are letting down your loved ones. You should be able to function, but there is like an invisible force stopping you. No one else can see it or feel it, but you know all to well, that it’s there. Every bit of your strength is used to push forward, against the invisible force, the thoughts in your head and your physical exhaustion.
Some people head to the doctor to seek medical assistance. Although doctors still don’t understand why you feel so bad about everything and why all your energy has vanished; they can offer various medications, which may or may not help.
Rather than basing the type of medication they prescribe you, on any exact science; they will offer you an antidepressant to see if it works. Long-term sufferers will have tried so many different types of meds that they would have lost count. Initially, the medication makes you feel sick. For the first two-six weeks you feel like vomiting. After that, if the meds actually “work”, a numbness comes over you. You don’t worry as much, but you don’t care as much in generally either. It’s a bit like being an emotional zombie.
This is the medical professions “cure”. Mind you, once on a medication for a period of time; coming off of it, is much like withdrawing from illicit drugs. You will experience sweats, nausea, vomiting and extreme emotional highs and lows. This is why many people with depression turn to self medication. At least with a preferred substance in your system, the exhaustion is temporarily relieved and you might be able to get up and achieve some things. Plus, your emotions remain in tact.
Either way, your fight with depression leads to addiction. Whether is be illegal or legal drugs, is the choice of the sufferer. There is no “cure”. There is no idea of the root cause and for many people, the thought of living with such despair is too great. They see suicide as their only option.
This is the reality of living with depression.
By Kim Chartres
As the world mourns the loss of comedic genius, charismatic actor Robin Williams who tragically took his own life at the age of 63 on August 11, SHESAID turns its attention to the difficult and emotional topic of suicide.
When a much-loved celebrity takes their own life – it sends shock waves throughout the community. But suicide, celebrity or otherwise, is far from an isolated incident – it’s a leading cause of death in the West.
It’s incredibly difficult to cope with the shock, grief and loss when a loved one passes away, let alone commits suicide. And, sadly, suicide is so prevalent, many people have personally experienced losing a loved one this way. And when a celebrity such as Williams, whom we so adored, we felt like we knew the essence of him, takes their own life – it’s truly distressing. Of course, anything we feel pales into insignificance compared to the grief his loved ones must be experiencing.
Many of us grew up watching Williams’s many incredible films – Dead Poets Society is still one of my all-time faves – and it’s hard to comprehend that such an amazingly talented, generous and lovely man (by all accounts) could feel so much pain, he had to commit suicide.
Other famous faces who’ve caused widespread outpouring of grief in the community when they too have died by their own hands include Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain; INXS singer, the captivating Michael Hutchence; uber-talented British fashion designer Alexander McQueen and beautiful, but tormented TV personality Charlotte Dawson.
For me and my family, it was seeing a beautiful, wild, untamed spirit – a young woman my age, with whom I grew up with – commit suicide after a lengthy battle with depression. My friend was bright, funny, smart and gorgeous – I spent many wonderful school holidays with her and her family as a teen. I owe her so many happy memories, such as this one: sunning ourselves by the sea as teens, only to get in trouble later for naughtily sunbaking topless, we sang every memorised word to Madonna’s 1986 True Blue album at the top of our lungs, annoying all those around us.
Her death and subsequent funeral were truly devastating for everyone who was lucky enough to have known her. And, since then, I have asked many questions about suicide and read much about the topic in the hope of developing a better understanding of what drove my poor friend to take her own life.
I’m no expert, but what I do know is that while we all experience suffering, for some poor souls the suffering is unbearable.
And this is echoed by leading clinical psychologists – one of whom, who wishes to remain anonymous, I’ve talked to at length (see below) on the topic of suicide.
What coping strategies would you recommend for people who’ve lost a loved
one to suicide?
Every person’s situation is unique. Seek counselling to talk about how you are feeling as you would most likely be experiencing a range of emotions especially grief, but also possibly confusion, distress and/or anger and would most likely benefit from help to resolve these feelings.
Do people who suicide always mean to kill themselves?
Sometimes, people especially young people, make a suicidal gesture as a way of seeking help. Having said that, anyone who self-harms in any way is clearly experiencing a great deal of pain and distress and they need help urgently.
How should society view celebrity suicides? Is there a tendency to glamorise it?
There is evidence to suggest that suicide can be “contagious”, especially among young people. So when people hear about a celebrity taking this pathway, there is a chance that it may seem like a legitimate, even glamorous, option.
Why do people suicide? Are they being selfish, as many people claim?
In general, people kill themselves because they are experiencing a great deal of emotional pain and cannot see any other way of ending the pain. They often genuinely believe that the world will be better off without them.
If you need help, phone Lifeline Australia’s 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services on 13 11 14, or Beyond Blue’s 24/7 service on 1300 22 4636.
Main image via sydneyland.au.timeout.com and secondary image via www.pixabay.com.