Last night I was talking with friends and we wondered if there was as much depression and suicide when we were in college. There were many people who were depressed. There were suicides. You heard about it. But it was not talked about as much. Also, there was not the Internet. And maybe life was simpler. Who knows.
What we do know if that Suicide rates are at an all time high. They should not be. There are so many resources out there now. People are talking about it. People are learning that it is ok to seek help, that depression and anxiety are illnesses. So, why are so many people still struggling? Why do many people still think that their only option is to end their life?
As a society, we must change this. We must strive to teach people that there are so many options out there to help make the pain stop that do not involve death. It is normal and understandable to want the pain to go away. But there are countless ways to make that pain stop. The same treatment may not work for everyone – medicine might work for some, therapy may work for others, a simple coping skill like drawing or breathing tactics might work for others. A combination of all three might be the key. Depression is a terrible way to feel, to live, to struggle. But there are treatments. If you feel physically ill, you go see your doctor. If you break your leg, you go to the ER or the orthopedist. It needs to be as simple that if you feel so down that you want to end your life, you seek help in the same way.
In order to accomplish this, we need funding, we need awareness. We need people to realize that feeling depressed, sad, anxious is ok and does not mean you are weak or a failure. It means you are human and you need help. And that is ok and normal to ask for it.
Please help me in spreading this message. Please make it ok for those struggling to know that it is ok to feel sad, to feel lost – but that by asking for help – they can be found, they can find hope and they can have a future that is fulfilling and satisfying.
If you are someone you know is in Crisis, text 741741 to reach a trained Crisis Counselor.