Suicide is always a shock, especially when it happens to someone who seemed to have it at all. It’s sudden, unexpected and never seems to add up. It seems inconsistent with everything we expect.
A celebrity with money, power and a lifestyle we envy…how can they take their own life?
We still just don’t get it
With all the research, all the advocacy, the #hashtags, videos, trends and campaigns…
We, as a society, just can’t wrap our minds around this depression thing. It doesn’t make any sense to us that something inside us, can be SO agonizing, that death becomes a better alternative.
It’s part of the reason that the suicide rate nationally rose steadily in nearly every state from 1999 to 2016, increasing 25 percent nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday. In 2016, there were more than twice as many suicides as homicides.
No matter how lethal this is- we continue to invent our own treatment. You’re not depressed, you just need to change your diet. You’re not depressed, you just need to just pray more. You’re not depressed, you need to just exercise and volunteer and listen to happy music.
Yeah- OR MAYBE do all those things…while getting ACTUAL TREATMENT!
All of those things above are very important (especially prayer and clinging to the person of Christ.) All of those things can be very helpful when we deal with ANY illness. Diabetes? Do all those things. Hypertension? Do all those things- but guess what- trying to control your blood sugar with JUST prayer or JUST positive thinking is a sure-fire way to meet God way more personally than you intend to. The same goes for this.
Let’s begin to GET it
When we start to understand that a person has several “parts” to them. We have a body. In that body, things can go wrong and make us feel a certain way. Hormones or little chemical messengers (fancy name, neurotransmitters) can get wacky and not do their thing. We then feel the impact. The BEST treatment for a BODILY problem- is a BODILY solution ie, medication.
We’re also social beings. Our relationships and interactions have a large impact on us. That is when, friendship, connection, community, fellowship…etc. ALL of those things help.
There’s also our mind, our psyche. Our thoughts determine our behaviors and that determines our lives. If the way we think is unhealthy, therapy and counseling are there to help guide us think in a healthy way, and then LIVE in a healthy way.
so what should we do?
If you’re reading this, you likely fit into one of two categories. You have either dealt with this personally or know someone who has. If you are currently dealing with this, let me take this moment to encourage you with the following- THERE IS HOPE. Things can get better. But they will not get better on their own. Your goal right now is just to take that tough first step and go see a professional. Make that very first appointment and go from there.
If you know someone who was dealt with this or is currently dealing with this, can you do your part to decrease the shame that is coming with this.
As I was finishing this post, I came across a wonderful series from Fr. Anthony Messeh that expands on the same topic and explains things very very well. Check it out!
To learn more about depression and it’s treatment:
Posted 10th June 2018 by Mena Mirhom, MD