Choose Life/Don't Give Up On Life/By Daphne Marie McDonald
Don't Give Up On Life
First, I am a spiritual person, so I speak in the terms of spirituality. I would like to talk about suicide. Suicide to me is one of the worst things on earth that can happen to a family; Because suicide represents giving up, hopelessness, the end. Suicide leaves so many unanswered questions for the ones left behind, like why, how come, is there something I could have done, is there something I could have said, did I say or do something, why didn't they come to me or somebody for help.
When a person commits suicide, unless they left a letter behind, these questions will never be answered and still the letter may present other questions that will go unanswered. Suicide literally snatches the future that may have brought a change to that person's life and the lives around them, however, because they caved at that moment of despair, them and their families and friends will never know, what might have been or what could have been, there are no second chances, no changing of the mind, when suicide is successful, and it leaves a void in life, of the presence of that person and cancels out any possibility of them overcoming what made them feel so hopeless. Nobody wins, we are all losers when this happens.
I am a follower of Christ, I believe that suicide is a trick of the enemy. First, we are tricked into thinking that we don't have the power to make things better, they can only get worse. Second, we are tricked that there is no hope, no faith, no miracles. However, As a Christian we have learned to keep our eyes on God and not trust what we feel, think or believe. In the midst of turmoil,ones sight is distorted and they cannot see the future, that may represent a life that overcomes the moment or wake up one day and the pain that they felt at the point of desperation, has dulled.
We are tricked that there is no reprieve for something we may have said or done and we cannot see the forgiveness that was nailed to the cross. We are tricked into tunnel vision, seeing no one to the left or right, when there are people all around us that care. We are tricked to missing out on all of the days ahead that are not as bad as that moment, we don't see the laughter or joy that is just around the corner if we can hang in and hang on.
We as Christians must be alert and aware of our sisters and brothers that seem depressed and have lost their joy. The King James Version of the Bible states and teaches us that "The joy of the Lord is my strength". So, it stands to reason where there is NO joy, there is weakness. We must encourage and do what we can to assist someone in need of material or emotional support. We must ask God for guidance on what to say or do, if we see someone in despair, if we walk away, we may not get to show love to that person again. So, Keep the faith and encourage others, love when you can, help when you can, encourage when you can, and just maybe you will save the life of another.
BELOW IS INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM THE ABOVE WEBSITE:
Suicide takes the lives of nearly 30,000 Americans every year.
Many who attempt suicide never seek professional care.
There are twice as many deaths due to suicide than HIV/AIDS.
Between 1952 and 1995, suicide in young adults nearly tripled.
Over half of all suicides occur in adult men, ages 25-65.
In the month prior to their suicide, 75% of elderly persons had visited a physician.
Suicide rates in the United States are highest in the spring.
Over half of all suicides are completed with a firearm.
For young people 15-24 years old, suicide is the third leading cause of death.
Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed.
80% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully.
15% of those who are clinically depressed die by suicide.
There are an estimated 8 to 25 attempted suicides to 1 completion.
The highest suicide rate is among men over 85 years old: 65 per 100,000 persons.
1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 commit suicide each year.
Substance abuse is a risk factor for suicide.
The strongest risk factor for suicide is depression.
By 2010, depression will be the #1 disability in the world. (World Health Organization)
In 2004, 32,439 people died by suicide. (CDC)
Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S. (homicide is 15th). (CDC)
Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-old Americans. (CDC)
It is estimated that there are at least 4.5 million survivors in this country. (AAS)
An average of one person dies by suicide every 16.2 minutes. (CDC, AAS)
There are four male suicides for every female suicide. (CDC, AAS)
Research has shown medications and therapy to be effective suicide prevention.
Suicide can be prevented through education and public awareness.
Last year SAVE educated 10,618 youth & parents on depression and suicide prevention.
Last year SAVE received 810 requests for information from 72 countries.
In 2004 it is estimated there were 811,000 suicide attempts in the US. (AAS)
There are three female suicide attempts for each male attempt. (CDC, AAS)
According to the Violent Death Reporting System, in 2004 73% of suicides also tested positive for at least one substance (alcohol, cocaine, heroin or marijuana).
Symptoms and Danger Signs
Warning Signs of Suicide
•Ideation (thinking, talking or wishing about suicide)
•Substance use or abuse (increased use or change in substance)
•Puposelessness (no sense of purpose or belonging)
•Trapped (feeling like there is no way out)
•Hopelessness (there is nothing to live for, no hope or optimism)
•Withdrawal (from family, friends, work, school, activities, hobbies)
•Anxiety (restlessness, irritability, agitation)
•Recklessness (high risk-taking behavior)
•Mood disturbance (dramatic changes in mood)
Additional Warning Signs of Suicide
•Talking about suicide.
•Looking for ways to die (internet searches for how to commit suicide, looking for guns, pills, etc.)
•Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness.
•Preoccupation with death.
•Suddenly happier, calmer.
•Loss of interest in things one cares about.
•Visiting or calling people one cares about.
•Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order.
•Giving things away, such as prized possessions.
A suicidal person urgently needs to see a doctor or mental health professional.
In an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK
Responding to Suicide Survivors
SAVE's Recommendations for Responding to Suicide Survivors
Coping with death is never easy. When suicide is the cause of death, the situation can be even more uncomfortable. Although there is no one right way to grieve a death by suicide, through experience the people of SAVE have found the following recommendations useful and relevant.
Understand that brain diseases such as clinical depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar illness, and schizophrenia underly 90% of suicides.
Depression is a no-fault disease of the brain. It is not caused just by life events such as the break-up of a relationship or loss of a job.
Avoid statements like, "You're you, you'll marry again." or "At least you have other children." Although well intentioned, these statements can be upsetting. A heartfelt, "I'm sorry for your loss," is appropriate.
Understand that the survivor may be experiencing a number of intense emotions.
Shock, pain, anger, bewilderment, disbelief, yearning, anxiety, depression, and stress are emotions expressed by some suicide survivors.
Remember that grief is an intensely individualistic journey.
Although you may have experienced grief in your life, avoid statements like, "I know how you feel." Instead ask how the person is feeling.
Listening can be the most helpful thing you can do for a suicide survivor. Acknowledge the difficulty of the situation and be available if the survivor wants to talk.
Find out about suicide survivor grief/support groups in your community.
Many survivors have found it helpful to attend a suicide survivor support group. Encourage the survivor to attend at least three or four meetings.
Read books about suicide.
Check the SAVE Reading List for ideas. We recommend Suicide: Survivors - A Guide for Those Left Behind by Adina Wrobleski.