Article written, edited, and designed by Christy Zigweid
Photo created using @WordSwagApp
Photo by ElasticComputeFarm via Pixabay CC
It’s a nasty word we like to push under the rug and ignore. It’s an ugly stepsister and a relative we’d like to forget. But I assure you it is very real. And it’s time to start talking about it.
I’d like to share with you some statistics about suicide (http://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/):
Those are some staggering statistics, don’t you think?
I’ve never been personally affected by someone’s suicide before, but I have lived on the other side of suicide. It’s a horrible place to be. It tears at your soul and convinces you there is no other way and your loved ones are better off without you. You swear you are a burden to them.
I’m here to tell you…nothing could be further from the truth. Our minds, when living with mental illness, are different. We aren’t martyrs or looking for attention. We are looking for a way out of the constant struggle and pain of living with mental illness. And in our minds, suicide is usually the only way out. When we get to this point, we can no longer make logical choices, especially when faced with strong emotions and thinking. When we get to this point, we are no longer in charge of ourselves.
What to Do When the Emotions are Too Strong and You Want to Give Up
Take yourself in a quiet room and allow yourself to feel the awful emotions. Too often we medicate them or ignore them until they get so big we can’t ignore them. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION to FEEL those emotions. Release them in whatever way necessary, but do not punish yourself, harm yourself, or harm others. Do not let suicide win. Stay strong and know there is help.
Here are a Few Things you Need to Have
Photo by OpenClipartVectors via Pixabay CC
The first, and BEST thing you can do is have a supportive network. Sometimes this doesn’t come in the form of family, but in friends and those who have shared the journey.
Getting medical care is also a top priority. While medication and therapy may not be for everyone, the option is there.
Taking care of yourself should be a priority as well. Eating right, exercising, and being kind to yourself should be part of your daily life.
If you fear for your safety, have someone lock up things which may be harmful to you; pills, guns, anything you can get away from your reach which you would use to harm yourself. This is not a sign of weakness or that you are a horrible person. It’s just that right now, you can’t be trusted with those things. And you have to allow yourself to let others protect you when you cannot protect yourself.
Lastly, it’s important to have a safety plan (you can find a copy of one HERE), because the truth is, suicide may likely come up, and you need to have a plan for combating it, especially when you can’t think clearly for your self. Take some time, when you are feeling well to sit down with your support system and get your plan ready. Post it where you can see it and when you feel yourself falling into that hole, pull it out and use it as a resource. Let it do the thinking for you when you cannot do it for yourself.
Living with mental illness is a struggle. But it CAN be managed. Thank you for staying here, even when it is hard to do so.
If you have thought about or attempted suicide in the past year, the past month, the past day, or the past hour, HOLD ON. Tell someone. Call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 911 immediately if you are in danger.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christy Zigweid is a writer, household CEO, wife of a musician, and mother to two great kids. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education and has been a stay-at-home mom since 2007. A fighter of depression and anxiety, she uses her words to inspire and offer hope. She is an advocate for mental health and suicide awareness. "A New Beginning," her first published short story is featured in Mosaic: a Compilation of Creative Writing, which was published March 2015. She also has a short story featured on Short Fiction Break titled "1,862 Days." If you don’t see her nose stuck in a book, you will likely find her behind a computer screen or spending time with her family.
Visit her website: www.christyzigweid.com
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This article originally appeared on www.christyzigweid.com
#YOUNGMINDSMATTER (Guest Post)
Article by Richard Morley
Edited by Maureene Danielle
Blog post design by Christy Zigweid
Photo by laterjay via Pixabay CC
Photo made using @WordSwagApp
I know I have not posted recently – but I’ll give myself a bit of a break because we had a new arrival – the birth of our (second) son Carter. So it seemed apt to start writing again following this post from The Duchess of Cambridge about the mental health of young children.
I definitely won’t claim to have had a bad or traumatic childhood – I am lucky to have grown up with two loving parents.
Thinking of the future, I would like to make sure that I prioritize the mental health of my sons more than I prioritized my own. I want to make sure they are supported, listened to (without me worrying that I’m not doing enough as a parent) and encouraged to talk about their feelings. I want them to be equipped to deal with the things that life has to throw at them, because I’m already learning that as parents we can’t always change what happens to our children in life (as much as we might want to). Most importantly I want them to be able to be there for each other.
Our children will deal with more pressure and stress than we ever thought possible as children. Social media and our now ‘always connected’ environment through mobile devices simply didn’t exist when we were growing up – but now it’s a part of normal life.
A life that as parents we won’t understand – to put it into context; I didn’t have a mobile phone until I was 17 (and I think I was an early adopter) I know children as young as 11 who have iPhones – and its estimated that smartphones are now in the hands of up to 80% of secondary school children. We are with our children in the evenings, at the weekends, when we do things as a family – but they are often on their own when they are using their smartphones, in the digital world.
How do we start to reduce the stigma around mental health issues? Talking about our own mental health and feelings (appropriately of course) as parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, guardians, the list goes on; has to be the best example to set – to create an environment where our children can be open, no matter what the problem – by simply making it a normal part of family life
We’ve got to get started, if this survey by the DfE on twitter is anything to by…
So to steal the hashtags from two brilliant campaigns around mental health it’s #timetotalk because #youngmindsmatter
About the Author
Richard Morley is an advocate for mental illness. You can find out more by visiting: http://worrymuch.co.uk/about/
You can also find Richard on Twitter
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