Depression is a very serious disorder and probably the most common mental health problem in today’s society. In recent years we have begun to understand depression and see it for what it really is. It is a real enemy we face. If you have suffered from depression then you know how destructive it can be. If you have witnessed a close friend or loved one suffer from depression then you have some idea of the destructive power it can have not only on the person who is depressed but on those around them. One of the greatest dangers of severe depression is suicide and that is what we will focus on here.
The Facts about Depression
Let’s put this in perspective for a moment. The following numbers will make it clear how common depression is:
In the US approximately 19 million people suffer. If you do suffer from depression this is enough to end any thoughts that you are alone. Lots of others share your problem, this may bring you a little comfort.
It is estimated that at least 80 percent of sufferers can be treated and do recover. So there is hope 🙂 and there is help available.
You can discover more statistics about depression here.
I have written a lot on this site about how depression can affect you, but here I’d like to consider the worst effect and perhaps the result of all the other many symptoms that it brings. I am talking about suicide. You probably are aware of particular groups at risk of depression and suicide such as teenagers, but in reality suicidal thoughts as a result of depression can affect all ages and all kinds of people.
It has been shown that about 80% of all suicide happens because of depression. Why is this so? Well, for one thing, depression creates a long term habit of negative thinking, so that if you suffer from it you cannot see anything but negatives. This destroys hope. In the end, and if not treated, this downward spiral into despair and hopelessness can result in the tragic decision to commit suicide.
Suicidal thoughts run against our nature which is for survival. I also believe that in this way depression is an evil enemy and destroyer of lives. Let us not forget that when someone does commit suicide and dies it does not end there. Loved ones and friends are also deeply hurt and saddened by such a tragic act.
How to Spot Suicidal Thoughts
I have to admit that I have suffered from depression and know how easily daily negativity can gradually turn into depression and loss of hope. When it goes on for some time it becomes painful to live and all enjoyment seems to be gone.
Depression eats into the very soul of a person and makes everything grey, not black. Grey because you begin not to care either way. The most dangerous effect of this is when someone begins to stop caring what happens to them.
So what kind of signs are there to spot these suicidal thoughts in others, or even in our selves?
Here is a short list of things they (or you) might say:
“What does it matter anyway, no one cares about me”
“I’m fed up with my life”
“I have nothing to live for”
“I hate waking up”
“I am bored with life”
“I don’t care any more!”
There are so many others ways of expressing this lack of hope that a depressed and suicidal person may choose but very often they will not say directly “I want to commit suicide” so the signs are very important.
Here are some things a suicidal person may do:
Lose interest in any hobbies or sports they used to be passionate about. This can even cause them to give them up altogether.
Stop seeing and talking to friends.
Become reclusive and stay at home, refusing normal social activities.
They may remain silent where they used to talk in conversations. Communication begins to shut down as they spend more time with their own negative thoughts.
They may stop smiling and become very serious – this is something to consider as a sign if it becomes a pattern and if you notice a real change in personality.
They may neglect their appearance and lose interest in how they look. Again this is important when it shows a big change in behaviour from before. For example, when I was very depressed I didn’t even want to have a shower because that was too much effort.
You may also notice a drop in energy and drive of someone who was active and enthusiastic before. This is a real sign of a lack of motivation and joy for life.
Most of the signs indicate that there has been a huge change in attitude and thinking that often shows itself in changes of behaviour, appearance and words as above.
What You Should Do If You or Someone You Know Has Suicidal Thoughts?
If you believe that someone you know is showing signs of depression and suicidal thoughts then there are a few things you should do. I can not imagine something so tragic as thinking that someone is depressed and suicidal yet doing nothing, imagine how you would feel – you can probably do something that may save a life so please read on…
Here are a few suggestions:
Talk as a friend and offer all the support and help you can.
Being a friend and sympathising may be the help your friend needs.
Suggest to your friend, (if he is suicidal and you cannot help him/ her to change how they feel), that he/ she gets professional help as soon as possible.
Make sure your friend is not alone, be a friend and organize some activity which you can enjoy together, again if you are not successful with this, seek help.
Suggest your friend takes at least one step towards changing negative thoughts. Encourage one or more of the following: watching comedy shows, reading positive quotes, listening to calming music that relaxes the spirit and inspires hope (I enjoy New Age Music for this reason)
The idea of these activities is to transform thoughts from negative to positive. You can read about a few other things activities that help here.
There are many things that help make depression weaker and the body and mind stronger and in this incredibly helpful hypnosis program you’ll learn how to destroy depression. Get it yourself or recommend this link to someone else.
I hope this page and this website has helped you to know that you can take positive action to help someone overcome suicidal thoughts that come from depression. If it has please take a moment to share this page using the sidebar on the left or below the page on mobile.