I just found out another artist I admire has passed away due to suicide. I thought about the subject of depression and suicide all day. I felt the need to make a post about depression and suicide. In the United States about 41,000 people commit suicide(NAMI, 2017). There are about 3 Million cases of depression each year(Mayo Clinic, 2017). A person must really be in a bad place mentally to want to end things. It hurts to know that there are people who feel hopeless, and only see a future of sadness and despair in their lives. It is sad that our mind, which can be a beautiful thing, can also make us suffer. This all stems from negative self-talk(being you worse critic), catastrophizing(making something seem worse than it is), and the inability to cope with life struggles. I believe it is also stems from lack of validity of their feelings and thoughts. We all want to be understood. We also like to know what we are feeling isn’t wrong, or something that should be shamed. It is always good to have someone who just gets it. That is why it is important to talk to someone who can provide that. Active listening(paying attention, and acknowledging someone’s thoughts and feelings) is such an important tool to have. If there is no relative, or friend. You can always try a therapist, and if money is an issue. There are plenty of hotlines you can use. If anyone is reading this and feels down. I am here to listen as well.
One loses all sense of logic and reasoning when they are severely depressed, and choose to commit suicide. That is why blaming the person who committed suicide is wrong. This person isn’t being selfish or being a drama queen. They truly believe they and everyone else would be better off without them. They may see themselves as a burden to others, and feel the need to take that burden off by killing themselves. It can also be exhausting for the individual to keep fighting these feelings of despair, if they can’t find a way to overcome the depression. There is no rationality when someone is mentally unstable. A person who is depressed may keep their thoughts to themselves to not burden anyone, but that only hurts the individual. Letting it out can be very therapeutic and freeing. And as I mentioned before, there may be shame. Why am I feeling this way? I shouldn’t feel this way? Get a grip? I am just a burden? Everyone’s thoughts and feelings are valid. Everyone has a right to feel the way do. Don’t be ashamed of being depressed or anxious, or having any mental illness. We have this faulty belief that it is in our control, which makes one feel guilty, but developing a mental illness is out of our control, but we do have power to stabilize it, and get our lives back.
Family and friends may blame themselves for not doing enough. This is all part of the grieving process. I should have been more? I didn’t listen enough? I didn’t see the signs? I should have tried harder to get he/she to talk? Honestly there is nothing anyone else can do for another. Getting help has to come from the individual. No one can make us do anything we don’t want to do. Just think about all the advice you gave to others, or solutions to problems you gave. Majority of the time, if not all the time, that person will do what they want to do. There have been times when I gave someone advice, and they didn’t listen, but months later they will say exactly what I said. This happened because they came to the conclusion themselves. This is why no matter what you do, it wouldn’t change how they think and feel. It has to be up to them how they will handle things. If they want to fight or let go. Sometimes life is just too hard for some people to handle. There should be no blaming on any party.
There are coping strategies out there to help. One strategy is Cognitive Behavior/REBT therapy. Albert Ellis, an important contributor to the ideas behind cognitive-behavioraltherapy and the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), discovered that people’s beliefs strongly affected their emotional functioning. In particular certain irrational beliefs made people feel depressed, anxious or angry and led to self-defeating behaviors(Jorn, 2016). This type of therapy helps one change faulty thought processes.
I also thought I add this. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.
Jorn, A. (2016). Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2017, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy/