All too often in these uncertain times, people are pushed to the limit mentally and are overwhelmed with stress, grief, fear, loneliness or fighting what they consider a losing battle in their lives. Most have friends they could turn too, but sometimes that may not be enough. Or they decide that this situation is too much for them and they can’t go on. They may experience depression, feelings of hopelessness (i.e. this will never get better) and despair. They may cry, drink alcohol or eat excessively to bury the pain and anguish. A good friend may spot this behavior and come to their aid. But sometimes a person’s exterior does not always show what is going inside that person’s mind. Stereotypes that have been developed often keep a person from admitting that they are depressed and/or seeking help. They may be perceived as weak, “off in the head”, “crazy” or in the case of males “less than a man”. The latter can be one of the biggest reasons for not getting help due to the “macho” label pinned on men. If we are depressed, then we are not a man. No. By being depressed or even showing emotions such as crying, we are showing that we are human and when things hurt us we show it. Just as a broken arm causes the patient pain, so too does depression, anxiety and the other accompanying feelings and conditions that can lead to suicide. Just as you would take medication to relieve the pain of a broken arm, so too are you able to get help in several forms for the conditions that can lead up to suicide. The key is early diagnosis and a strong, helpful and compassionate treatment plan. If you know or see someone dealing with more than they can handle, please take a moment out to ask them. If they don’t volunteer the information, respect their privacy. Just find another was to do it indirectly. Find some pamphlets or flyers and give them information on where to get help. Ask them if you can keep in touch or if they are going to be okay. But don’t be too pushy or intrusive as people may withdraw. Most of all, be honest, caring and sincere.
This information has been provided based upon my own personal experiences with helping people. I am a people person and always will be. A lot of people in this world make it hard to be like that, but I am determined to never give up that part of me that wants to enrich the live of others. This blog entry was inspired by reading the article in Yahoo! this morning about veteran suicides. I care about each and every one of our veterans and want to make sure they know that help is here and that we love them and are here for them.
I just want to make sure that we don’t lose anyone to suicide if we can possible help it.
Joseph R. Mays
Related Story on Yahoo! News – 07.28.2008
Suicide Prevention LifeLine
Veterans Hospital – Serving the Needs of America’s Veterans