Trigger warning: Suicide. If you know anyone that is suffering from depression or other mental illnesses, you can call the National Center for Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 0966-351-4518.
The past two years have been difficult for every one of us. Admit it or not, the pandemic has taken a toll on our day-to-day lives to the point wherein there had been major changes. One of the worst problems that you can have today is mental health problems. Unfortunately, some people lose the battle against depression.
On January 30, Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Corrine Kryst was found lifeless after jumping from a 60-story high-rise building in New York. Aside from being a former beauty queen, Kryst was also a licensed attorney and a correspondent for the entertainment news show Extra. She was also nominated for two Emmy Awards.
According to April Simpkins, Kryst’s mother, the beauty queen was battling depression on her own to the point where this was not disclosed with her family and friends. Simpkins also told that even if she’s one of the closest people in Kryst’s life, her daughter never told her about what she’s going through. The sad fact is that this can happen to anyone.
Kryst should not be remembered as someone who took her own life. Instead, we should remember her endeavors and sweet personality. Your home should be a safe space for your family members to the point where they can tell you that they are depressed. Fortunately, there are actions that you can do to help a loved one suffering from depression.
How to Help a Suicidal Person
Never Invalidate Someone’s Feelings
Invalidation of feelings is one of the main reasons why people don’t tell anything about their suicidal thoughts. Stop saying statements such as “it’s all in your head”, “just stay positive”, or “I’ve had it worse”. You should understand that suicidal people want to be alive, they are just struggling with their problems and the last thing they need is someone who tells them to “stay positive.”
Ask them Questions
Instead of giving unsolicited advice, what you can do is listen to what they have to say and ask them questions. Asking sensitive but direct questions can help them know that there is someone out there who is willing to listen. You can ask about how the person copes in their life and if they feel like giving up. Asking if they thought of hurting themself comes to mind can help too.
Once the person pours their emotion on you, listen and be sensitive to the advice you’ll give them. Once they tell you that they think of suicide, never leave the person alone. Try to identify if the person is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol then call immediate help. Warning a friend or other family members of what’s going on should be a must as well.
Look for Warning Signs
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Sometimes, suicidal people do not want to talk not because they have a hard time expressing their feelings. If a person does not come to talk to you about these thoughts, you can look for warning signs. The easiest sign to spot a suicidal person is when they are talking or even joking about suicide, death, and wishing that they shouldn’t have been born.
You should also watch what they are purchasing. If you think that the person is buying items that might potentially be used to hurt themselves. Pills, razor blades, guns, ropes, knives, and poisonous materials. Another red flag that you should watch out for is having mood swings and withdrawing social contact from everyone.
If a person is saying goodbye to you and every one as if they won’t see them again, you should start asking questions. The same goes when that person starts giving away their important belongings without any explanation.
Encourage them to Communicate with you
A suicidal person might not tell you their feelings because they might feel guilty or embarrassed. This might be Kryst’s case but no one will ever know. If you know that someone is thinking of hurting themselves, encourage them to vent and as a listener, do not give any unsolicited advice. One of the only things you should say in this situation is reassurance that everything will be better.
The other thing that you should encourage is for them to go to a therapist so they can have the help you need. Make them understand that going to a therapist is not shameful and can make them better in the long run. Communicating with a suicidal person can be draining sometimes but it’s better to listen to carry the burden of someone’s suicidal thoughts than the burden from their loss.
Make your Home Suicide-proof
There are items at your house that can be used for suicide. If you know that someone in your family is suicidal, keep harmful objects away from them. Make sure that these items are away from their reach to the point where they should not even eat with ceramic plates. Or much better, put them in a psychiatric ward if the case gets worse.
You should not think that only mentally insane people go to psych wards. This place can also be home for suicidal individuals as it is specially designed with rooms without dangerous objects. If a person takes medication, the psych ward will make sure that they serve the right dosage on time. Getting a suicidal person is a must if they attempted suicide before.
What you Should do if you Feel Suicidal
The best thing to do when having these kinds of thoughts is to reach out to family and friends. They will surely help you on your path to recovery. Sharing your thoughts with someone is one of the ways you can cope with depression. Alcohol and drugs won’t help you cope but instead, make your thoughts worse so don’t try taking these substances as a means to get these thoughts away.
Exercise, having a safety plan, writing your schedule, and even getting some sunlight can help you avoid having harmful thoughts. As much as possible, do things that you love and spend time with people you consider as home. Remember, things will get better and there are people out there who understand and love you to the fullest.
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