Suicide is a major health issue, especially among young men.
Day after day, month after month, year after year, people continue to take their own lives, often without ever letting on that they’re in trouble.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month, so now is as good a time as any to talk about it.
In recent weeks, Instagram has been flooded by survival stories, as well as debates regarding mental health and the support one can find.
A new hashtag, #thefaceofdepression presents a truth that all of us should be thinking and reflecting on.
What does a depressed person look like? Do they resemble the picture we paint in our mind when we think of someone carrying thoughts to possibly end their own life? Most of us, I’m sure, imagine a broken, wild-looking person; perhaps someone crying on a bathroom floor or no longer interested in conforming to societal norms.
And therein lies the danger. The reality is entirely different. During the #faceofdepression campaign, relatives have shown those of their families who have struggled with mental problems and done wonders to conceal it in everyday lives – often they’re people who couldn’t look any more opposite like they’re in serious danger.
One of the most moving contributions to the campaign was a video recently shared by Talinda Bentley, the widow of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington. In the clip, we can see him laughing and joking … it was filmed just 36 hours before his tragic suicide.
So don’t just look on the outside if you suspect someone might be feeling down and in need of help. If you, or indeed someone you know, is struggling with mental health, ask the questions that need to be answered before it’s too late.
“This is my boyfriend two weeks before hanging himself. Will never understand it…”
“My daughter as well. The night before she ended up in the hospital they went to the daddy daughter dance and had an amazing time. Thankfully she’s still alive today and learning to beat her illness. She was 8 at the time.”
“You can’t tell can you? You can’t tell by the look in my eyes or the sound of my voice even. You’re thinking “You’re smiling though!” Yes. Yes, I am smiling. I smiled for you. I smiled so I don’t make you feel bad. I don’t want you to feel like I do. I also don’t want you to feel like there is something you can do to make me “feel better”. There isn’t anything anyone can do. I have to work through it on my own. The worst part is that this bout snuck up on me. I recognize the familiarity of it all though. Empty Lonely Heavy Tired So tired Everything is loud Everything is annoying I have no patience I want to be left alone I want to stay in bed I don’t want to work out I want to eat everything without cooking anything The best part is that I haven’t felt like this in a very long time AND that I recognize it for what is. I’m the one who bakes and does crafts. You see that on the outside but you don’t see the darkness inside. For those that are also suffering….PLEASE SEEK HELP. Treatment is different for each person. Do what is best for you. I’m doing what works for me while I get back to Monique. So for now – I smile, and let people know I’m struggling.”
“This is depression in our home. I tried to hang myself in my attic when the board broke and I broke thru the ceiling alerting my family. I fight every day. My husband tries his best but can’t break through. I don’t understand it. I don’t know why I can’t get rid of it. I have a wonderful family. I feel selfish, lost, sick and angry at myself. My brain has always been a little scrambled and I’ve fought just to make it thru school, I can’t keep a job. I can’t stay in task long enough or I take too long. I leave before I get fired. It’s hard to feel worthless and I hate feeling like a burden to my family. I have so much pain inside. I’m in therapy I have meds. All I know is even though I feel like suicide would make life easier for my family, I also feel like if I could just get my head fixed and could be someone worthy, I really would like to stay around. I have been trying for so long I don’t know if it’s gonna happen for me. Today I am here. We will see how tomorrow goes tomorrow. I take it day for day and some times hour by hour. Sometimes i think If I can get through one more hour I’ll go to bed and I’ll sleep til tomorrow and see how it goes. Today has been ok. I’m trying to find something good today to give hope for tomorrow. Today I try.”
“My #faceofdepression and yes it is possible to be depressed with a child. Hearing, “You don’t have a reason to be depressed with her around” doesn’t do shit but make me feel worse about myself Being told, “All you need is exercise and a good diet” just makes me want to throat punch you even though you’re coming from a good place Depression keeps you from doing things you want to do because it’s literally a chemical imbalance in your brain.”
“This is how the depression appeared, shortly before we lost our beloved Luke. Depression is a serious disease. Do not turn your head away.”
For some, the process of overcoming suicide and climbing out of potentially devastating depression can take several years. For others, the whole ordeal is very short. There is no right or wrong way; only the important way. Only the way that keeps people vigilant and aware, and forces people to take the whole matter as seriously as, say, cancer, or heart disease.
Every day, suicide lines are connected to people just like you who are thinking about taking their own life.
You can reach for the organization for a friendly chat easily. Just use Google to get a number for where you are, no matter the time of day, no matter the reason for your call.
Please share this information and help us to save lives.