Posted in depression, Life

World Suicide Prevention Day

The Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24/7 is 1-800-273-8255 

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day.  I have long been an advocate for Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. I was online doing some research in preparation for this post and I came across some horrifying statistics.   

Why do I support Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention?  See the statistics below and you’ll see why I feel that this is SO important.  Most of the information in the paragraph below came from the website SAVE.ORG.  This site is a wealth of information for those dealing with mental health issues and its aftermath.  Please take a few minutes to browse the site.

Every day, approximately 130 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)

There is one death every 11 minutes in the U.S. by suicide. (CDC)

Suicide takes the lives of over 48,500 Americans every year. (CDC) 

Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year, which is roughly one death every 40 seconds.   

These are just a few of the facts surrounding suicide rates.  There are many more, each, seemingly more horrific than the last.  These are the reasons I support awareness efforts.  

I’ve seen first hand what Depression and Mental illness can do to your loved ones and just how dangerous it can be if left unchecked.  Please take a look at my Mental Health Help Page HERE. There is a LOT of information there for you, your loved ones, or anyone that is simply interested in becoming more aware.  I’ve created lots of links that will take you directly to helpful websites and phone numbers that can be helpful as well.  There are also many articles that I’ve added to that page for you to browse through. 

Depression is the leading cause of suicide worldwide.  

Look at this list of names. I’m sure you’ll recognize several of them:  Kurt Cobain-Musician, Ernest Hemingway-Writer, Margaux Hemingway-Ernest’s granddaughter, Margot Kidder-Actress (played Lois Lane in the 1978 Superman movie), Edward Platt-Actor, Freddie Prinz-Actor, George Reeves-Actor (played Superman in the 1950’s), Kerry Vo Erich-Writer, Robin Williams-Actor, Mark Salling-Actor (played on the TV show Glee), Virginia Woolf-Writer, Sylvia Plath-Writer, Vincent Van Gogh-Artist. What do these names all have in common?  We lost each of these people to suicide.

I could have listed thousands and thousands of “famous” people, but I don’t have the time or the room for such an exhaustive list! I think I’ve made my point. 

If you have any information that you feel would be of benefit to be added to my Mental Health Help Page, or if you just need someone’s ear to bend, please, reach out to me using my Contact Page HERE.  

Please, let’s do what we can to END the stigma of Mental Illness and open our hearts to those that need the support of each of us.  We’re all in this together.  No one gets out alive.  

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  Penny ❤ 

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay 

Posted in depression, Life

National Suicide Prevention Week-Sept. 5-11

I am thrilled when I find such a wonderful resource as the website of The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  If you may be struggling with suicidal thoughts or if you know someone that may need help.  HERE is where you can find this site.  

This website offers ideas on Self Care, Actions you can take to Prevent Suicide, and Having that conversation with someone.  There is also information on what to do if your family Won’t talk about suicide and there are support groups that you can join if you are dealing with the aftermath of someone that has committed suicide. 

Below are excerpts taken directly from AFSP’s website.  

Did you know that @afspnational is the largest private funder of suicide prevention research? Much of what is known about suicide comes from studies that we fund. Learn more about #Science2StopSuicide at https://afsp.org/research. 

Contrary to popular belief, asking someone directly if they’re thinking about suicide won’t “put the idea in their head.” In fact, people are often relieved to have a #RealConvo about mental health. #Science2StopSuicide

No one takes their life for a single reason. It’s important to know that generally, when someone dies by suicide, it can be attributed to a combination of various risk factors. Learn about the risk factors and warning signs at https://afsp.org/signs. #Science2StopSuicide

You are not alone. If you’re struggling, reach out to @800273TALK, text TALK to 741741 at the @crisistextline, or get involved with your local AFSP chapter.

Not sure how to start a #RealConvo about mental health? Check out @afspnational’s #RealConvo Guides at https://afsp.org/realconvo!

If someone you care about doesn’t seem like themselves lately, check in and let them know you’ll be there to support them every step of the way. Want more guidance on how to have an open, honest conversation about the tough stuff? Check out https://afsp.org/realconvo! #RealConvo

There IS help out there if you need it.  If you are looking for more resources, please visit my Mental Health Help Page HERE.  

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  Penny ❤ 

Posted in depression

Depression-You’re Not Alone

Depression can make you feel very alone. While we know there are other people out there that suffer from depression, that doesn’t make it any easier. We isolate ourselves, deny that there is anything wrong, and generally cannot see a way out of it. Too often, individuals that suffer from depression do not seek the help they need. While the reasons vary, one of the main reasons for not seeking help is the Stigma associated with Depression.

People feel guilty. They’ve been told to “snap out of it”, or “get over it”, or any number of other things that dismiss what they are going thru. Those people have no idea how dangerous and debilitating depression can be.

If you suffer from depression, please know that you are Not Alone. In fact, you are in good company. After doing a little research, I found an abundance of names that most of us will recognize that suffer from depression. Here’s a partial list:

Demi Lovato, Jim Carrey, Angelina Jolie, Chrissy Teigan, Kristen Bell, Ellen DeGeneres, Prince Harry, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Lady Gaga, Jon Hamm, Bruce Springsteen, Wayne Brady, Serena Williams, Gina Rodriguez and Katy Perry.

I’m sure you will recognize at least a few names on this list. These are people that admit publicly that they do suffer from Depression. While these “beautiful people” may seem like they have the perfect life, the reality is that they are just like us. They have the same struggles and insecurities that we do.

My first advice, always, if you think you might need help getting through your depression, is to reach out to someone. Anyone. Let someone know how you feel. There is help. You don’t have to do this alone. You’re NOT alone in your struggle.

THIS is a page with a lot of different resources, different ways that you can find help. You may find something on this page that is helpful.

Copyright (C) 2020 Penny Wilson

*With the upcoming Suicide Prevention Day, I feel it is important to repeat some of my older posts on Mental Health Awareness.  Thank you for joining me on this journey. Penny ❤

Posted in depression

Depression and Denial

It’s like it’s a scar that must be hidden. Like some dirty secret.  An ugly sweater you keep in the back of the closet and only bring it out when that aunt comes to visit.  You hide it.  You deny it, even to yourself.

There are the days when you tell yourself “I’m ok”, as you look in the mirror.  You do what you have to do to to get through the next moment, the next hour, the next day.

But you’re not ok and you know it.  Your sleeping too much.  You’re avoiding any social interaction, isolating yourself.  Things that normally bring you joy, no longer do.  There is this dark cloud over everything in your life.

Why do people that are depressed deny it?  The answer is complicated.  Often, the person going through the depression is embarrassed.  They want to appear “normal”.  They don’t want people to think there is something wrong with them.  There is such a stigma attached to depression and other forms of mental illness that the person hides it from those around them and even from themselves.

Sometimes, they don’t know that they’re depressed.  They know something’s not right, but they don’t recognize it.  Depression is a sneaky thief.  It sneaks in under the radar and robs you of the joy in your life.

What can you do if you see that a loved one is depressed but they deny it?  Be there for them.  Listen, talk, check-in with them.  Take that extra minute, make that phone call, or send that text.  Get them out of their isolation.  Take them to lunch, pop in for a quick visit.

Since a depressed person will often isolate themselves, it is incredibly important to BE THERE, not just physically, but emotionally.  Be supportive, encouraging and most of all, be caring.  They won’t want your attention, at least not outwardly.  They will push you away and try to discourage you, telling you that they are fine that nothing is wrong.

Encourage that loved one to seek help.  If you are sure that they need help, don’t give up.  Don’t turn your back on them.  BE THERE for them.  You might just save a life.

The Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24/7 is 1-800-273-8255

A terrific website on this can be found HERE.

There is a site specifically to help our veterans.  Find that site HERE.

Is talking to someone too much for you?  It was for me at times.  There is a Crisis Text Line.  Text 741741 and you can text with a counselor.

Want to do an online chat?  There’s a site for that too.  Find it HERE.

You can even TWEET with a crisis counselor at @800273TALK on Twitter.

HERE is a link to many international phone #’s for Suicide Prevention.

This is a British number to help Children in crisis.  08001111

Copyright (C) 2019 Penny Wilson

I know this is a repeat. But some things are important to repeat.  This subject is one of those. Thank you for joining me on this journey. ❤ Penny

Posted in depression

The Link Between Depression & Suicide

Chain, Chain Link, Connection, Related

Although a gloomy subject, I continue to write about Depression and it’s horrifying effects, for this reason:

60% of suicides are due to a history of struggle with Depression.  Every day 121 Americans commit suicide.  One person every 40 seconds, worldwide, will commit suicide. 

These are frightening statistics, right?  Below is a partial list of some names you may recognize that committed suicide.

Robin Williams, R. Bud Dwyer, Evelyn McHale, Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, Vincent Van Gogh, Virginia Woolf, Freddie Prinze, George Reeves.

Only when the stigma ends.  Only when there is no longer any shame or guilt associated with depression will this horror end.  If you know someone that is struggling, reach out to them.  Talk to them.  Check in to see if they are alright.  Sometimes all it takes is extending a kindness, for those to see that they are not alone, that someone cares.  It can make all the difference in the world.  It may save a life.

If you are seeking help, please check out my Mental Health Help Page HERE.

 

 

 

Posted in depression, Life

What a Little Kindness Can Do

The Suicide rates are the highest they’ve been since WWII. This is a statistic that should be alarming to every one of us. It was to me when I heard it. I’ve advocated for Suicide Prevention and Awareness for a long time. In 2018, 1.5 million people attempted suicide.

Sunday mornings, I make it a habit to watch CBS Sunday Morning. There was a piece on there this Sunday, 1/19/2020, that really hit me. In the 1960s there was a study done on patients that had attempted suicide. The study discovered that a simple intervention, showing that you CARE, can prevent suicide. The suicide rates of people being released from psychiatric care in this study dropped by 50%, because of a simple act of compassion.

If you would like to see this segment, you can find it HEREThe piece is about 8 minutes long and can explain this remarkable study much better than I can.

I’ve written several posts about getting help if you need it for depression, suicide prevention, mental illness, etc., but I had not thought about the other side of the coin. What if we Reach Out and SHOW someone that we care today? Can it really make a difference?

It turns out that yes, it can.

I had an experience on Saturday, that really hit me as an unusual act by a stranger. I was at the gas pump filling my tank. It’s cold, the wind is blowing, but the sun is shining for the first time in days. I think everyone wanted to get out and soak up some of that sunshine. While I was pumping my gas, a woman pulled her car along side mine at the next pump over. She got out of her car and with a big smile on her face gave me a very cheerful “Good morning!” I instantly smiled! We exchanged a few words about the sunshine and the cold. But that whole experience left me smiling for the remainder of the day.

Why? Because a stranger took a few seconds and showed some compassion and kindness. Then on Sunday, I saw the piece about the suicide rates. These two instances, I believe, was God’s way of saying to me, “Penny, you need to take action. Pay attention to this!”

Why on earth was that woman that greeted me at the gas pump’s kindness so unusual to me?? THAT’S the real question here.

We get so tied up in our own lives, our own head, that we can’t see the world around us anymore. A few words or a smile might make all the difference in someone’s life. HERE is that link again.  Please watch it. I think it will change your prospective on how you look at those around you.

Sometime back, I pledged to do One Kind Thing every day. For the most part, I’ve stuck with that. But I challenge myself and you, to do more. I challenge us to Reach Out to someone today, and tomorrow, and the next day. Let’s give that other person a reason to smile.

Copyright (C) 2019 Penny Wilson

Thank you for joining me on this journey. ❤ Penny

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

 

 

Posted in depression, Life

It’s OK To Ask For Help

Do you know a young adult or child that is struggling with depression, abuse, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, bullying, or other painful life event?  I discovered an AMAZING website that might help!  Go to YOUR LIFE YOUR VOICE .ORG   Call 1-800-448-3000  Or text to # 20121.  

This site has a ton of information on it!  You can text, chat, call, email your question or concern to get help.  They also have an App.  If you or someone you know needs help, check out this site!  Tell your friends!

Although this site seems to be aimed to young adults or kids, it has information on it that would be helpful to someone of any age.

Getting help for depression, suicide prevention and other difficult mental health issues is a subject that is important to me.  Please check out my page on Depression & Mental Health Help.  On this page, I’ve posted a lot of different articles on getting help for Mental Health issues.  

If you have contact information that I do not have listed on my Depression & Mental Health Help page,  please either leave the information in the comments below, or use my Contact page and send me an email and I will see about getting the information added to the page.

The Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24/7 is 1-800-273-8255

A terrific website on this can be found HERE.

There is a site specifically to help our veterans.  Find that site HERE.

Is talking to someone too much for you?  It was for me at times.  There is a Crisis Text Line.  Text 741741 and you can text with a counselor.

Want to do an online chat?  There’s a site for that too.  Find it HERE.

You can even TWEET with a crisis counselor at @800273TALK on Twitter.

HERE is a link to many international phone #’s for Suicide Prevention.

This is a British number to help Children in crisis.  08001111

*Thank you, as always, for joining me on this journey.  ❤ Penny

Posted in depression, Life

Suicide Prevention

The World Health Organization has determined that there is a suicide committed worldwide every 40 seconds.  By the year 2020, that number will double to every 20 seconds. 

*Source https://www.befrienders.org/suicide-statistics

 Depression is the #1 reason behind suicides.

 THIS is why I write about depression.  It’s a lot more than just a “case of the blues”.  Much more.

Did you know that there are more than 9 different types of depression?

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Atypical Depression
  • Psychotic Depression
  • Situational Depression

These are just the ones I could find in a brief search.  There are more.  So let’s end the stigma, shall we?  Depression is an illness.  There is NO shame in having depression.  There is NO shame in talking about depression.

If you think you might be depressed, please TALK to someone.  Talk to a friend, a teacher, a priest, your doctor, SOMEONE.

If you have a friend or loved one that you think might be depressed, TALK to them.  Encourage them to seek help.  Go with them if necessary, to that doctor’s office or church, hold their hand.  BE there for them.  You may just save a life.

If you have a friend that has mentioned suicide, DON’T ignore it.  Talking about it is NOT harmless.  TALK to them.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline phone # is:  1-800-273-8255HERE is a link to many international phone #’s for Suicide Prevention. 

There IS help.  If you can’t get that friend or loved one to call, YOU call for them.  You may just save their life.

As always, thank you for joining me on this journey.  ❤ Penny

Posted in depression, Life

Event raises awareness of mental health issues with practical help

Minnesota Prairie Roots

Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo used for illustration only.

I EXPECT EVERY SINGLE ONE of you has experienced the loss of someone you know to suicide. I expect also that every single one of you has been affected by mental health issues, directly or indirectly. That is reality. A reality that today is getting more exposure as we realize the importance of mental health and of helping one another through life’s challenges.

We are not meant to deal with stuff alone. I firmly believe that. No one, no matter how strong they appear, lives free of struggles. So, yeah, that person, that family, who seem to have it all together, to live the perfect lives, well, don’t believe it for a second. Every. Single. One. Of us. Has something.

I’m especially grateful for the increased awareness of mental health issues in recent years. We mostly no longer shush talk on…

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Posted in depression, Life, Writing

New Year and Depression

As the end of the year approaches, we all tend to reflect on what has happened over the course of the year.  I want to go back a little further than that.

In May of 2017, I came out of a several-years-long depression.  I remember it so clearly.  It was like a veil had been lifted and I was seeing the world for the first time.

With this in mind, I looked back at my stats for the last couple of year here on WordPress.

You can clearly see that in 2017 there was a good-sized spike in my activity here.  That new enthusiasm to write was due to the “awakening” from my depression.

My Most Viewed post of all time has been one I titled Depression-A-Killer.  That tells me that there is still a HUGE need for enlightenment, awareness and information.  The stigma remains, but I do think that the battle to end it is making progress.

Why do I write about Depression?   EVERY DAY 121 Americans commit suicide.  50% of those people suffered from depression.  Reason enough?  I thought so too. If you need help -The Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24/7 is 1-800-273-8255  Is talking to someone too much for you?  It was for me at times.  There is a Crisis Text Line.  Text 741741 and you can text with a counselor.

The one thing in my life that I am most thankful for is the end of my depression.  Depression took so much from me, it feels amazing to have my life back.  I’m happier than I’ve ever been and my life is full and rich.  I have many, many blessings.

If you would like to see any of the other pieces I’ve written about Depression, you can find those HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

As you can see this is a subject that is important to me. 🙂 ❤

As we go into a new year, I want to thank all of you that have joined me on this up and down journey.  I hope that each of you are blessed with every happiness your heart could desire.

Penny ❤

Copyright (C) 2018 Penny Wilson