There’s no way around it and no way to sugar coat it. Depression sucks. Deep dark depression is hard to understand and even harder to see in someone who carries a smile on their face. We always politely ask “How are you doing? Or How was your day?” and the smiling face always answers with a “good”, “great”, or “ Fantastic”. Never wanting the asking party to really know how they feel inside.
There is a feeling of loneliness and desperation. A life of lost hope permeates through ones soul. The happiness one wants in life seems so untouchable. The sunny skies turn into storms of black and blue. Walking through life in a sea of despair is no way to live, but when you are swimming in the sea of darkness it’s hard to imagine the life worth living.
There are many doctors, hospitals and organizations such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) who can help you with depression. Colleges even teach students suicide prevention tips through Gatekeeper training. In 2011 the Ohio Department of Health, Vital Statistics reported 1464 total suicides. The AFSP, who gathers their information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports there is no complete count kept of suicide attempts in the U.S.; however, the CDC gathers data each year from hospitals on non-fatal injuries resulting from self-harm behavior.
In 2012, the most recent year for which data is available, 483,596 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm behavior, suggesting that approximately 12 people harm themselves (not necessarily intending to take their lives) for every reported death by suicide. How can we stop the harm and start saving lives?
Help with depression and thoughts of suicide are just a phone call away, but not everyone has the strength to make the phone call. Stepping into the lives of those depressed can be scary and time consuming. And in a world of individualism those in deep depression can be easily overlooked.
Listen and take notice of ALL of those around you. Take a step back and slow down your own life to see the life of someone else. We get so caught up in our own day that the day of someone else just doesn’t seem to matter. Slow down. Be empathetic. Show compassion. Learn to LOVE.
Help those who cannot help themselves choose life. Give them Hope in the moment of darkness. Get them through today so you can celebrate tomorrow. Provide true value of a moment with them so it can become a memory. Don’t live their life, but help them live theirs. Help another person live their life and in turn you might find they help you enjoy yours. Love begins with you. How much LOVE you put into action is up to you.