Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Depression and Suicide

I want to thank the Florida Times-Union for it's article on depression, in the wake of Robin Williams' suicide. Depression is an insidious disease, and there are many people suffer in silence. I have dealt with depression all my life, and I know there have been times where people have tried to shame me because of it. If you suffer from clinical depression (ie, you're depressed for absolutely no reason in particular, and can't seem to motivate yourself to do anything), seek assistance. Just having a counselor to talk to on a regular basis can be a big help. Getting out of the house and going for a walk, or doing something out of your ordinary routine can help too. Yes, maybe it's just a "quick fix", but sometimes we need that to get back on track with our fight. Make no mistake, fighting depression is a battle!

If your friend or family member is depressed here are some tips on how to help them. First of all, do NOT tell them any form of "get over it". Trust me. They would if they could. Listen to them, even if it doesn't make sense to you. Mirror back what they have said so they know that they have been heard. Sometimes the depressed person just needs to be heard. Talk to them about getting help, and offer to go with them. Take them out for a walk if nothing else. Ask the hard questions, like "are you thinking of killing yourself?" If their answer is yes, get them help. If you are unsure what to do, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. Also, don't be afraid of tough love. After listening to all the problems, real or imagined, ask them what are they going to do to resolve them. Do what you can to help them tackle problems, but do not tackle them for them.

The "how to help" list goes on and on and on. Find out more at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ . Remember that we all need caring and compassionate people in our lives.

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