I would like to start by posting a couple of phone numbers for everyone. These numbers are for suicide prevention lifelines. While calling 911 or seeking help at an emergency room is best, these lifelines are there when you need help and need to talk. If you are suicidal, please seek help by calling 911 or one of these lifelines:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- The Trevor Project: 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)
In the US, over 34,000 people die from suicide (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC 2007). It is also the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds, with only accidents and homicides occurring more frequently (National Adolescent Health Information 2006). This is alarming, especially since suicide is preventable.
Below is a list of warning signs for suicide:
- Increased Isolation – From family and friends
- Alcohol or Drug Use Increases
- Expression of negative attitude toward self
- Expression of hopelessness or helplessness
- Change in Regular Behavior
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Giving away valued possessions
- Expression of a lack of future orientation (i.e. “It won’t matter soon anyway”)
- Expressing Suicidal Feelings
- Signs of Depression
- Describes a Specific Plan for Suicide
- History of Suicide in the Family
- A person who has been extremely depressed in the past may be at an increased risk for suicide if the depression begins to cease, as they may now have the psychological energy to follow through on a suicidal ideation. (The Trevor Project 2010, http://www.thetrevorproject.org/suicide-resources/suicidal-signs)
I understand the thoughts, and the wanting to end the pain. I have been there myself. I had no reason to feel that way other than my head was messed up from the depression. I suffered no hardships, no tragedies had occurred, nothing that stood out besides my depression. Depression hurts, whether it’s due to a chemical imbalance or tragedy and pain. On several occasions I had thoughts of suicide. I just wanted to end the pain my depression caused mentally and physically. Whenever I would have suicidal thoughts, I would just crumble and cry. I felt ashamed for having such thoughts. I thought I was weak and pathetic. I now think I was much stronger than I gave myself credit for. It took a lot of strength and courage to not go through with it.
I am constantly thinking about one day in particular. It was just a typical day, except kiddo was a bit cranky. I had woken up feeling cranky myself, and indifferent. As the morning went on, I found myself on the verge of tears. Kiddo was fussy, and I could not handle it anymore. I sent a text message to my husband to vent. I had told him I couldn’t handle her anymore, that I was frustrated. By the time he had sent a message back (he was at work), kiddo and I had fallen asleep in our bed. Michael came rushing home when I had not responded. He found us asleep, and he went back to work. Later he came home for a late lunch, and asked me why I did not respond to him. I told him I did not hear it because we had gone down for a much-needed nap. He went on to tell me how he was worried since I had not responded, and I knew he was thinking I might had hurt myself or our daughter. When I figured that out, I got upset and defensive. I yelled at him and turned it around on him, to make him look like the bad guy for accusing me of such horrible things. I did this because I felt ashamed that he had an idea of how I was feeling. I never talked to him about my suicidal thoughts. I never told him I had thoughts of hurting our daughter. Why would I? I didn’t want him to think I was a horrible mother, or a weak person.
He figured me out. He knows me better than most people, so I am not sure why I was surprised that he knew this about me without ever hearing it from me. That was when I started to figure out how to get help. I knew I needed help before, but I was worried that if I told someone the thoughts I was having, they would commit me or take my daughter away. I would have died if that had ever happened. However, I could not let that stand in the way of me getting better. If I let it drag on any longer, who knows what would have happened.
Your life is worth saving. It may not seem like it when you have those feelings of just wanting to the pain to go away, but it is worth going through the treatment and time to make yourself better. I am not saying it will be easy, but it is worth it. I am far from being 100% myself, but I at least see the things that make my life worth saving. Please know you are not alone. Please know that there are people out there that care, even if you do not know them yet. <3