So, let's talk about a
tough subject - suicide. The word itself elicits a shudder and evokes
many emotions. A stigma to people who have attempted and not
"succeeded" and to families who have been affected directly.
Here are the facts - according to the website www.sos-walk.org:
- The latest statistics reported
an all time high with 36,909 suicides making suicide the 10th leading
cause of death in America.
- There are almost twice as many
suicides as homicides.
- Every 17 minutes, a person
takes their own life.
- Suicide is the 3rd leading
cause of death of 15-24 year olds.
- In Virginia one out of every four
individuals eighteen years or older who dies by suicide is a veteran.
- Survivors of suicide are five
times more at risk for suicide themselves.
- Approximately 18.8 million
people suffer from depression. There are over 900,000 suicide
attempts each year.
- Over ninety percent of all
people who die by suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the
time of their death; thirty-three percent of suicides have a substance
- The number one cause of
suicide is untreated depression. Depression is a disease, a disease that
I always wondered how people could ever get so sad or depressed
that they would want to end their life. It seemed incomprehensible to me.
But then one day IT happened to me. Just like most
things in life, it doesn't happen overnight. Like slow moving lava it
covered me before I could crawl away. As the "lava" covered me,
my body, in all four forms -physical, mental, emotional and spiritual - were
mummified to the extent that I was but a skeleton of my former self. For
most people it is the accumulation of anxiety and depression which then becomes
something called "major depressive disorder." For those of you
who know me but may not know this story, may think, "no way, this happened
to her?" But, that's the point. If it could happen to me, it
could happen to anyone. We need to take away the shame and stigma that
goes with depression and hopelessness. It is a real illness AND IT CAN be
healed! That's the beauty of learning from other people's experiences.
There is always hope.
know the signs. What should you be looking for in yourself or someone you
love? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of
depression may include the following:
- Difficulty concentrating,
remembering details, and making decisions
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt,
worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Insomnia, early-morning
wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities
or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Persistent aches or
pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive
problems that do not ease even with treatment
- Persistent sad, anxious, or
above signs are not addressed, a person can become so sick, helpless, hopeless
and lost they may think about suicide. According to www.lifeline-gallery.org, the following are
signs to look for when suicidal tendencies develop:
- Talking about wanting to die
or to kill themselves.
- Looking for a way to kill
themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless
or having no reason to live.
- Talking about feeling trapped
or in unbearable pain.
- Talking about being a burden
- Increasing the use of alcohol
- Acting anxious or agitated;
- Sleeping too little or too
- Withdrawing or isolating
- Showing rage or talking about
- Displaying extreme mood
Again, if you read my earlier blogs from June 2011, you will see
how my life reached this pinnacle. As I look back on this event now, the
worst time in my life became the best time in a skewed sort of way. It
allowed me to get the help I needed, to educate myself on what really happened
to me, to realize that the body always tells you what you need to know.
Illness is a form of communication begging you to make some sort of
change. Where is your life not working? Remember, it always starts
out subtly but, if you don't listen, the symptoms grow and grow. Let me
assure you that our bodies are incredible and capable of healing anything.
Please know that if we understand the signs and listen, we can heal
ourselves naturally before having to turn to medication. However, I
encourage you to seek medical help if you are too far down the path as there is
never shame in having to get medical help or therapy. Ask your doctor to get a
24-hour urine study done to get the reading of your cortisol level.
Cortisol is produced in the human body by the adrenal gland and is
controlled by the hypothalamus. Under constant stress, cortisol levels
rise and basically wreak havoc in the body. If only one doctor checked my
cortisol, perhaps I would never have ended up so sick and my body would never
have broken down as it did. You MUST be your own doctor. Be more
educated than the doctors are.
If you or someone you know are exhibiting any of the above signs
but is still in the early stages, then perhaps natural treatments are the way
to go first. Try acupuncture (which is very effective), exercise,
nutritional changes as nutrition plays a huge role in how the body functions,
therapy, meditation, nutritional supplements such as fish oil and Vitamin D,
and learn about the mind/body connection as thoughts play a huge role in our
health as well. A great book to read is Louise Hay's, You Can Heal
Your Life. This book truly helped changed the way I viewed myself and
I have since given it out to many people.
I am living testimony that anything is possible. From hopeless
to living an empowered life where I choose my thoughts and how I interact with
the world, I know that anything IS possible. Remember, a
"disadvantage is an advantage" as there is always a life lesson in
the disadvantage. Don't be a victim to yourself or anyone else, take
control of your own health. Be educated. I invite you to connect
with me if you have any questions, comments or thoughts. Communication is
key to better education and healthy living.
You have the power to
heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are
helpless, but we're not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and
consciously use your power.
- Louise Hay
Labels: cella's chat, cortisol, depression, life, mental, mental health, suicidal tendencies, suicide