Thursday, February 3, 2011

National Suicide Prevention Week

It's very difficult to begin to write about anything dealing with suicide and depression. It's not an uncommon problem.

According to the World Health Organization:

-Every year, almost one million people die from suicide; a "global" mortality rate of 16 per 100,000, or one death every 40 seconds.

So why is it so difficult to talk about?

I'm writing this because it needs to be talked about. Around us, at this very moment, there are people struggling, hurting, thinking that life has no real point to it...

See for those who don't stuggle with depression or suicidal thoughts, they cannot understand the feelings of sheer hopelessness one human has the capacity to feel. A friend of mine even dubbed those that suffer from this mental state as "mental midgets", which hurt. Real bad.

The point is this...

Those who have depression are not weird. They are not "emo". They are not crazy. True, they are far from well, but those who don't have to suffer from this need to become more perceptive to fellow humans who are walking in this dark place; and not only should they be perceptive, but they should also be compassionate!

We must educate ourselves about this issue so that we can help those who can't help themselves...

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

-Nelson Mandela


Fact v. Fiction:


Speak up! (Join To Write Love On Her Arms as we seek to bring light to these issues)


A good friend of mine lost her father to suicide several years ago. I will never forget attending that funeral...

From the balcony I could see their tears, the sheer pain in their eyes as they tried to piece together why their father would do something like this. The now single mother racked with pain and sobs as the reality of losing someone whom she had been with for many years, and had children with, sank in. The high school daughter and her middle school brother (who would never get to have his father there for him in high school)... can you imagine?

Their father was such a cool guy. He didn't fit the label of depressed. He wasn't a "crazy" or "emo" guy... as far as anyone knew, things were going great in his life. Now he's gone.

His is the story of countless thousands of people who live, as Thoroeau would say, "in quiet desperation." They put on a cheerful face, yet are full of pain on the inside. The truth is that they feel alone and worst of all, they feel as if this will never get better.

But it does.

A couple years after that, I found myself in an ambulance on the way to a facility where they put me on suicide watch for the next three days. At that point I didn't care, didn't think life was worth's too much pain, too much hurt, there is far too much injustice in this world. Why even try?

It was in that place I realized that this wasn't me. This depression.

I'm getting better now. Are there days when it comes back? Yes. But I am actively taking the steps to recovery. I am transparent and honest with those who care. I seek treatment actively and take medication when necessary.

More importantly however, I understand that God loves me unconditionally and that He is willing to reach even into the darkest places to which we fall and rescue us. I understand a little more about depression now and I want to share this with those who are hurting right now.

There is hope. It gets better. You are loved more than you could ever dream of, not only by God, but those around you who care so deeply for you...

This blog is titled National Suicide Prevention Week in honor of the annual event on September 6-12 but it is my hope that through education of those without depression, and the active pursuit of those who do have it and are going through a rough time, that we can make every single week National Suicide Prevention Week.

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