September is Suicide Prevention Month
In between the person and the tool are feelings & emotions, signs & symptoms...Are we seeing? Asking? Listening?...Do we even know? Want to know? Ask yourself, "What is I AM to those who feel hopeless?" What lies after the "..."? Where does it lead?
I've never tried to commit suicide. I have however, known people who have tried and also succeeded in the act. In retrospect, I think of things I heard them say and do and realize they were crying out and on the verge. It also made me question if I have ever been on the verge.
I am not a doctor or licensed therapist or counselor, but I do feel that anyone who has dealt with depression has had suicidal thoughts. As a mental health advocate, I read a lot about signs & symptoms and a lot of the suicide signs & symptoms line up with the signs & symptoms of depression.
Have I been on the verge? I don't believe I have, but according to the signs & symptoms and possibly to a professional, I may have. I have felt hopeless or having no purpose countless times. I have said, "I wanted to give up." I have thought about not being here anymore. I have felt like I was burden to others. I have wanted to sleep my life away. I have isolated myself from others for a good portion of my life. I have been very angry in the past. Now to signs & symptoms...
*Taken from Save.org
The warning signs of suicide are indicators that a person may be in acute danger and may urgently need help.
Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself;
Looking for a way to kill oneself;
Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose;
Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain;
Talking about being a burden to others;
Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs;
Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless;
Sleeping too little or too much;
Withdrawing or feeling isolated;
Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge; and
Displaying extreme mood swings.
According to the signs & symptoms of suicide, I was on the verge. Although I have had these signs & symptoms I have never thought about actually committing suicide. I never made a plan of how I would do it. I definitely remember all the times I felt hopeless and wanted to give up and how real those feelings were to me. I can definitely understand how in the midst of those feelings a person would want to end their life. When I was younger and dealing with depression, I definitely thought about if I wasn't here and how people would feel. When I would have those thoughts, I was having feelings of not being loved by those around me.
A lot of what I was saying and feeling was exactly the same as the people that I know who were also on the verge and tried, or committed suicide.
Suicide is very sensitive subject, I see how it makes people cringe and think of weakness. The stigma is very real around suicide despite people knowing it's real. More focus needs to be on prevention and awareness because it affects us all in some way any given day as the statistics below show. Now ask yourself what comes after "I AM..." with you and those around you.
*Statistics taken from Save.org
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)*
Every day, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)*
There is one death by suicide in the US every 12 minutes. (CDC)*
Suicide takes the lives of over 44,965 Americans every year. (CDC)*
Suicide among males is 4x’s higher than among females. Male deaths represent 79% of all US suicides. (CDC)*
Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide among males (51%). (CDC)*
Females are more likely than males to have had suicidal thoughts. (CDC)*