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Suicide: Know the Signs

24 Aug

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On the night of November 22, 2002, Cameron (pictured above), then 23 years old, stopped by his uncle’s house, played video games with his younger cousin for a while, then drove off without telling anyone where he was going.

Hours later his other cousin found his car parked at the family’s favorite swimming spot along the Clearwater River in Idaho. For years all of the cousins had gone to this place to swim, hang out and just have fun.

This night was different though. This night Cameron would be found in his car, no longer living. He had committed suicide.

He left no note, no messages anywhere. There was never any talk of suicide, no threats, no jokes. He actually seemed happy while he was playing video games. Nobody knew why he did it, though many blamed themselves.

Cameron is obviously not the only one who has ever done this. As of 2010, suicidology.org estimates that there are about 105 suicides per day in the United States. If there is ever a time to talk about suicide, it is now. There are people who need help.

What Can We Do To Help?

Look for Warning Signs:

Save.org has listed the following as warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawn or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

While this is a good list, keep in mind that, like Cameron, not all individuals exhibit these signs.

Talk about it.

Because not all individuals talk about killing themselves before doing so, it is important to have an open dialogue about suicide even if no one is showing signs. Once your kids are old enough begin to have conversations about it with them. Be open to your teens when they talk as well. If we teach that, as the saying goes, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem,” we can teach effective ways to deal with stress, depression, anxiety, etc. long before they ever get bad enough that one would consider ending their life. If you are a youth, talk to your parents or other trusted adults. There are people who care.

What If I’m Considering Suicide?

If you are considering suicide please reach out to people around you. It may seem like you are all alone in this world but there are people who care about you. In all honesty, if someone stopped me on the street and told me they were considering it, I would drop everything I was doing and try to help them. It would be no different if you had to do something like that.

If you are considering suicide right now, please call 9-1-1 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

You can also reach out to teachers, pastors, youth leaders, friends, family, co-workers, etc.

I’m a survivor of suicide. Now what?

-Realize it is NOT your fault. It’s normal to feel like it is but you must remember that you are not responsible for anyone’s actions but your own. Furthermore, if someone you love has ended their life, rest assured that if you loved them, they loved you.

-Take it one day at a time. The first few months, even years are the hardest. It does get easier as time goes on, though. As the saying goes, “Time heals all wounds.” The wound may never heal completely but there is going to be a time where you will think about the person with fond memories instead of anguished thoughts.

-Pray. Remember that you are a child of God and that He will never forsake you. He is the closest friend one can have and is always there if you need to talk. Reach out to Him. He is there for you.

-Seek out friendships. It is imperative that you spend time with friends, family, church groups, ministers, etc. These people want to be here for you but you must reach out to them. Some days when it feels like you can’t go on, they will help you.

-Talk about it. In the first few months it may be easier to not talk about it and try and pretend it never happened but talking about it can be a huge help. Many people are curious about suicide and may not know what to say. However, if you want to talk, they will listen.

-Seek additional resources. There are numerous resources online, in libraries, at churches and at schools that can give more information on suicide and how to get help. I encourage you to seek them out.

AnCameron? I miss you, big brother. Love always, your baby sis.

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Posted by on August 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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