Thursday, September 12, 2013

Your Story is Important

This week is national suicide prevention week. To Write Love on Her Arms has made a schedule of what each day will be devoted to this week and today is "Your Story is Important"

Before I start this long post (which is 100% worth reading) I want you to know that if you would like to talk to me about this, I am here for you to talk to. My email is on the right hand side under my picture. And I will be here for you to talk to. I want to help in any way that I can.

Suicide used to be the leading cause of death among people ages 15-24 but now it has changed to the leading cause of death for people 15-49.

 “[Suicide] now takes more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined" (TWLOHA - Newsweek Covers Suicide).

Unfortunately the society we live in has come up with many lies about people who are effected by mental illness and people who are suicidal. This stigma keeps us from sharing our struggles and seeking treatment when we really need it.

   "Perhaps it is the lie that suicide only affects people who are “messed up,” the idea that depression only reaches those who are weak, or even the belief that if we share our struggles with someone, they will not understand or care.  We have to learn that issues like depression, addiction, and suicide are not partial to weak people, but are struggles any of us may walk through, simply because we are human 
   It is within our society and culture that the effects of stigma are felt. These effects range from the silence and shame surrounding mental health issues to the oppressive attitudes toward those struggling, even influencing the way treatment options such as therapy and medication are viewed. The powerful stigma attached to mental health communicates an illusion of separation between those who struggle and those who don't—a false dichotomy between the healthy and the sick." (TWLOHA- Challenging Stigma). 

This all needs to change. We need to learn to be accepting of people who have mental illness. We need to understand that it is very dangerous when people go without treatment for depression and other mental health problems. It is ok to talk about your problems. Its actually not ok when you don't talk about them.

There are a lot of excuses you can come up with as to why you don't want/shouldn't go to/don't need treatment
  •  Even if you cannot afford to go to a psychiatrist or counselor, there are other avenues. At my university they offer counseling to students, and your first session is free. And after that, if you cannot afford to pay the fee for additional counseling session, they can refer you to a counselor training program where you go and see a PhD student and you pay $20 one time and you can go to 1 session a week for an entire semester. Go to a church and ask to speak with a pastor. You don't have to "be a Christian" to go. They are they to help you. They might know someone in the church who can help you out free of charge. 
  • Your family doesn't "acknowledge mental health problems." Wanna know what I have to say about that? Who cares. You've acknowledged that something isn't right, and you need help. When peoples families don't acknowledge mental health problems (or the person thinks that their family doesn't acknowledge it/they don't care) things like school shootings happen. People are bullied and hurt and don't have anyone to confide in and then innocent people die. I'm not saying that happens in every situation, but it can happen and it will continue to happen as long as our society views depression and other things along the lines of that as taboo. 
  • You think you're problems aren't that bad and its dumb that you're sad because there are people who have it way worse than you. Its not about other people. Its about you. There is something in your brain that is off, and that is why you are depressed. Sometimes it has to do with your situation, but everyone who has depression has a chemical imbalance in their brain. You might not have anything really to complain about, yet still have depression. And guess what. Your depression is just as important as someone who has depression and is in an abusive relationship.
  •  You think that you will still be in a crappy situation even if you aren't depressed, and that will cause you to be depressed again. When you get treated for depression, you also get somebody to talk to. Someone to give you advise. When you aren't so down and out about life all the time, you can concentrate on ways to get out of your crappy situation, and go on enjoying life.
  • You think you don't deserve to be happy. And this one is the biggest lie of all. Everyone deserves happiness. Some people think they just weren't meant to be happy. When someone tells me that I laugh at them because they are so wrong. We are all made to be happy. We are all also given hardships, and depression might be one of yours. But we are given these hardships to help us grow, and so we can help others around us who are fighting the same fight. Happiness is easy to find when you want to find it. But when you are depressed, you don't want to leave your room, so you don't find anything to be happy about. Its insane how many things there are to smile about. If you cant think of anything go find a puppy and I'm sure you'll be able to find happiness there. 
  • You don't have time because you have more important things to deal with. No. Absolutely nothing is more important than this. School might be something you need to dedicate your time to so you can have a successful career in the future. Guess what. If your depression gets so bad that you are suicidal, and you end up killing yourself, then your future is gone. When you get treated for depression you are making the biggest investment in your future that you possibly can make. And school work gets easier after that. You aren't spending so much time thinking about how miserable you are, and it becomes so much easier to accomplish the things that are important to you. 

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