In light of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice director, Zack Snyder’s announcement of his family tragedy and the rising popularity of Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why, it seems like raising awareness to suicide prevention is crucial. Many people experience pain, sorrow, suffering, and other emotional turmoil. This may play out through thoughts of self-doubt and feeling lonely and hopeless. We all feel these things, and many do not want to experience pain or anxiety at all, which may mean those who have unexpressed depression or anxiety feel it every day of their lives. Often not knowing there are ways to reduce those negative feelings or thoughts and they would not have to result in self-harm.
Take this time to gently remind yourself that having suicidal thoughts does not mean you are weak or damaged. Every person, at some point in their lives, will need some support from others. This connection with others is part of what inspires hope, and reduces feelings of loneliness. Even if you think you cannot reach out for help leave yourself cues that you are NEVER alone, and there will ALWAYS be someone to help. Developing a strong support system of friends and family is a good place to start. You may also consider a counselor or therapist to help you with these thoughts and feelings; they too can be part of your support system.
While you are already thinking about ways to remind yourself you are not alone, try to set up reminders to think about your strengths, positive or fun interactions you had with others, new things you may want to try or explore, and make a plan to try to do these things with people you care about and care about you in return. Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts can be very scary. Trying to stay connected with others can be a kind reminder to yourself that you do not have to struggle alone.
Here are some resources if you, a loved one, a friend, or anyone else you may know is experiencing depression, anxiety, and/or suicidal thoughts.
Below are the warning signs of suicide as listed by The National Alliance on Mental Illness:
- Threats or comments about killing themselves, also known as suicidal ideation, can begin with seemingly harmless thoughts like “I wish I wasn’t here” but can become more overt and dangerous
- Increased alcohol and drug use
- Aggressive behavior
- Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community
- Dramatic mood swings
- Talking, writing or thinking about death
- Impulsive or reckless behavior
If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide you may also contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Talking helps to understand your thoughts and feelings, and may reduce the thoughts of suicide and the risk of death or severe harm.
Other resources you may want to contact are:
Or, if you live in the NYC area:
You can go to this link: https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us/en/
Here you can live chat, text, or call and speak with someone about anything you are struggling to manage.
Remember, you are not alone, having suicidal thoughts is not a weakness, you can get help and not struggle alone. You have purpose, and you can live a fulfilling life when you give yourself the chance. It may not always seem that way, and even your personal circumstances may get in the way of feeling you matter, but you do! When you find the right support system, you can carry on and help others do the same! We are all in this together.