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You are the only you. That’s not something we often consider, especially in the throes of depression; but if you are suicidal, please consider that thought and ask for help before your loved ones have nothing more than memories of your unique personality.
In 2020, nearly 46,000 people died of suicide in the United States, according to the CDC, and each and every one of them was a unique loss. To help fight this tragic epidemic, here are some additional tips, courtesy of SS Therapy and Consulting, Ltd.
Get the Help You Need and Deserve
If you need to talk to someone urgently, there are plenty of resources like SS Therapy and Consulting, Ltd. that are ready and able to assist you! Additionally, utilizing the services of a professional counselor or psychologist will give you a springboard off which to bounce your feelings and emotions. This individual can help guide you through the roughest waters and offer a host of resources for support. Therapy also addresses the most common conditions associated with suicidal ideation including eating disorders, bipolar disorder, body dysmorphia, substance abuse, posttraumatic stress syndrome, gender dysphoria, borderline personality disorder, and social anxiety.
Suicide is a nondiscriminatory cause of death. It affects people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. It attacks the rich, the poor, and the in between. While there is no definitive cause of suicide, primary risk factors include: depression, substance abuse disorders, chronic pain, family history of mental illness, having been physically or sexually abused, recent release from extended incarceration, and having access to firearms.
If you are depressed or suicidal, know that these feelings will pass. Remember that each morning when the sun comes up, it sheds light on a new day and brightens the path for tomorrow. It is not easy to recover from a depression great enough to trigger a suicide attempt, but certain lifestyle changes may help. If you feel unappreciated at home or at work, try to make changes to help. Some people experience less stress and anxiety from working at home. Be careful about isolating yourself though. It’s a delicate balance that only you can figure out.
Often when we’re struggling with depression, lost in our own racing thoughts, we forget that a more physical response might be just what we need. You don’t need to train for a marathon, but just doing a small amount of exercise greatly increases endorphins and can give you a reprieve from racing thoughts. There are plenty of free fitness apps available for your smartwatch or fitness tracker, a big help when it comes to tracking your progress and feeling proud of your efforts!
Even just getting out into nature can help your mental health. Research shows that not only can time in nature calm a racing mind, it can actually increase your cognitive abilities. The sights and smells benefit our senses, and it all combines to reduce anxiety and depression. Not to mention that you may be getting exercise at the same time.
Watch Your Diet
It’s no secret that the food we consume fuels our bodies. The same is true, too, for the mind. The foods we eat and the nutrients we take in directly affect our brain, and thus affect our mental health, notes Brook Lane. Complex carbohydrates are essential for brain function as are plant-based fats. Eating a diverse diet rich with colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and unprocessed carbohydrates can help alleviate stress.
Surround Yourself With Things You Love
Many people consider suicide due to feelings of isolation. Being alone can easily trigger depression, so it’s important to surround yourself with the people and places that mean the most to you. Take some time each day to do something you enjoy, such as jogging, painting, singing, dancing, or gardening, the latter of which will also help you get a boost of vitamins from the sun.
It may sound silly, but simplifying and reducing the amount of clutter can actually help you feel better. A cluttered, disorganized home can greatly ramp up feelings of anxiety and stress, as well as trap “negative energy” that can affect you and everyone else in your household. So, go through your possessions, pare down what you don’t need, and keep what makes you happy. Through this process, try to make your surroundings as simple, cozy, and comfortable as possible. The difference will amaze you.
Let Go of Bad Habits
Substance abuse -- whether alcohol or drug -related -- is a key trigger in many suicide attempts. In fact, research shows a high correlation between the two. As difficult as it can be to let go of dangerous vices, it is possible to trade out harmful behaviors for helpful ones. Exercise is a common behavioral exchange. It even has the double benefit of being good for your body and mind.
If you are struggling to stay warm, find shelter, or put food on the table, please reach out to someone. Many organizations help individuals meet their basic needs and get resources that will help them improve their quality of life. Even if it does not feel like it, there are people who will miss you if you were not around. Your life is valuable, and you never know the positive impact you have on those around you. If you are considering suicide, please seek help. There can never be another you.
Article Credit: Mary Shannon of Seniorsmeet.org
Image Credit: Pexels
I write articles based on my experience as a therapist or a training or conference attendee. Many of these articles are written by others who are experts in their field and I share their information as resources for others.