Suicide is Often the Result of Mental Illness That Has Been Untreated or Minimized

2222367956_66fc2934dd_zHaving had periods of thinking about suicide, I have learned to stop the thoughts when they begin. Nothing good ever comes from dwelling on negative thoughts because they lead to negative feelings. I believe suicide to be the ultimate selfish act. I also believe that for many suicides, if the person had waited five minutes, strength would have come to overcome the thoughts. For me, an antidepressant and working each day to stay in hope and joy is the best medicine. My heart goes out to all who have not searched for ways out of their depression. Depression kills many people who could be saved by reaching out for hope. Reach out–there is help everywhere!

1. From Vicki Larson:”Should You Divorce Someone Who’s Suicidal?”:

“A sobering fact is that more than 90 percent of those who kill themselves have a diagnosable mental disorder, accounting for the tens of thousands of suicides each year (34,300 in 2007 alone). And many of them are men. In fact, four times as many men commit suicide than women, although women attempt suicide more often — two to three times as often as men. One of the reasons listed is divorce.”

“It’s no surprise that divorce plays a factor in suicide. Your life feels like it’s been slipped out from under you like a rug. For some, divorce is so devastating that they believe they have nothing to live for. Divorced people are three times more likely to commit suicide than those who are married. Again, it is men who are more at risk; one study found that divorced men have twice the risk of suicide than married men.”

“Not only can divorce spur depression, but depression can, evidently, spur divorce.”

“Marriages in which one spouse is depressed are nine times more likely to end up in divorce, according to Laura Epstein Rosen and Xavier Francisco Amador, authors of When Someone You Love is Depressed: How to Help Your Loved One Without Losing Yourself. That’s a pretty depressing number. It isn’t depression itself that sends a couple to divorce attorneys, however, but the consequences of not addressing the depression, experts say. And most of us aren’t very good at that.”

“Our loved ones see our illness far differently than we do,” writes John McManamy, an award-winning mental health journalist and author who has bipolar disorder and blogs at McMan’s Depression and Bipolar Web. “We may complain that they don’t understand us, but far too many of us fail to recognize the horrible abuse we have put them through.”

“It isn’t easy living with someone who has a mental illness, nor does everyone reach such a happy ending as the story of John Forbes Nash Jr., a Princeton mathematician and schizophrenic who was the subject of 2001’s A Beautiful Mind. Often a depressed spouse withdraws or cheats. Sometimes the spouse of the depressed person feels responsible and becomes more of a caretaker than a partner. Not only is that exhausting, but it doesn’t make for a happy, healthy marriage.”

2. From Kids Health: “About Teen Suicide”:

“The reasons behind a teen’s suicide or attempted suicide can be complex. Although suicide is relatively rare among children, the rate of suicides and suicide attempts increases tremendously during adolescence. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), surpassed only by accidents and homicide.”

“The risk of suicide increases dramatically when kids and teens have access to firearms at home, and nearly 60% of all suicides in the United States are committed with a gun. That’s why any gun in your home should be unloaded, locked, and kept out of the reach of children and teens. Ammunition should be stored and locked apart from the gun, and the keys for both should be kept in a different area from where you store your household keys. Always keep the keys to any firearms out of the reach of children and adolescents. ”

“Suicide rates differ between boys and girls. Girls think about and attempt suicide about twice as often as boys, and tend to attempt suicide by overdosing on drugs or cutting themselves. Yet boys die by suicide about four times as often girls, perhaps because they tend to use more lethal methods, such as firearms, hanging, or jumping from heights.”

3. From James Ure: “Suicides Account for Majority of U.S. Military Deaths: Surpassing Battlefield Deaths”::

“For the second consecutive year, the U.S. military has lost more troops to suicide, than it has to combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. That doesn’t even include all the reservists. End the wars and improve mental health for our soldiers AND civilians. For too long, mental health has been the “dirty lil’ secret” in America–it’s time to speak out and be brave.’

“It’s really easy to slap a yellow ribbon magnet onto your gas guzzling Hummer and lull yourself into a delusion that you’re supporting the troops. Of course, everyone supports the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, but how about when they come home? All too often they fade from our memories and they are left to disappear into the shadows of loneliness, isolation and mental anguish. Our soldiers did their fighting abroad, and now that they are at home, it is up to us, the civilians they fought for, to stand up and fight for them. It is up to us, to support them, and to gain the top-notch, mental health care that they have earned and deserve.”

“I refuse to stand by and let our tormented veterans be ignored and shunned because of the battle wounds that have scarred their minds. I hate war and dislike that they have to go through war in the first place, but I love those soldiers more. We need to put our money where our mouth is on this issue–literally. Is it so hard to give of our wealth, so that these heroes will be given every bit of assistance they need, earned in blood and deserve? Or, is our support for them limited to those yellow magnets on our cars that are literally, “the least we can do” for them?”

Photo credit.

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