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In 2009, after the movie, Avatar by James Cameron, a lot of people experienced de-realization, they wished to leave earth to Pandora after seeing the movie. It was referred to as the “Post- Avatar Depression” and it was serious in many cases that some people expressed the desire to commit suicide with the hope that they’ll eventually wake up in their dream land, Pandora. This goes to show the strong influence of the media on the behavior and attitudes of people. Not just Avatar, people immerse themselves in movies, TV shows, games, etc. all in attempt to forget their reality and fill the emptiness in their souls. So on this national suicide prevention week, I want to shed more light on depression and offer helpful tips for those with suicidal thoughts.

Causes of depression vary and maybe difficult to identify. But the fact is that only those who have faced or now face a depressive state are able to understand what it means to experience a lot of the symptoms.
In my previous post “Help for People with Depression” I discussed depression in details. Here are a few symptoms of depression.

SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION

Depression

  • Excessive sleep (>12 hours at a time) without any desire to wake up.
  • Crying excessively with no apparent reason.
  • Being unable to enjoy what they like the most (anhedonia)
  • Feeling incapable and inept
  • Having unpleasant thoughts
  • Feelings of hopelessness and lack of willingness to live.
  • Feeling guilty about unimportant things
  • Feelings of failure, etc.

All of these feelings can result in thoughts of suicide, they eventually feel they’re not living but just merely existing.
Depression is a public health concern. It is prevalent, predominantly in psychiatric and psychology clinics. The incidence is also increasing. It is estimated to be the 2nd most common cause of morbidity in world by 2020 with cardiovascular diseases being the 1st. It can affect anyone, across all age groups, gender and social group/ class. According to the WHO, more than 100 million people are depressed in the world.

Sometimes, it is hard to not feel jealous, to not compare your life to that of others. You feel things are not where they should be, that you could do better. You worry about the next minutes, afraid of what is to come – the future.
But you should remember this: we are all on different paths, running different races just in the same world. Do not forget that you’re where you should be: the present, this moment – NOW. It is all you’ve got and you have to make the most of it.

– Angela Azinta

DIAGNOSING DEPRESSION 

×Suffering a great disappointment, being excessively worried or stressed does not mean one is depressed. However, these emotional alterations can be seen at the early stages and it is necessary to be attentive and avoid continuity of these feelings. Symptoms of depression vary and diagnosis is not confirmed until symptoms appear in a regular manner during a period of 2 weeks and at least one of the symptoms being: Persistent sadness or anhedonia.

HELP FOR DEPRESSION

national suicide prevention week

Seek sufficient social support
  • Being surrounded by good relationships (family, friends, colleagues etc.) and good environments is necessary to maintain a healthy mental status
Keep up an active life
  • Take up tasks, find something/an activity you enjoy doing. Occupy yourself with tasks that bring you satisfaction and are productive and uplifting. Exercising regularly can keep you active. Read on the benefits of exercise
Avoid negative thoughts
  • Try to see the positive sides of things, avoid fixating on the negative. Positive thinking is a habit that should be cultivated to avoid a negative outlook on life.
Do not dwell on the past
  • Avoid spending time lamenting on the past, instead cheer yourself up with thoughts of good times and joyful events. If you experienced a trauma (abuse, disasters etc.), try to seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist to help you better deal with these issues and overcome what has happened.
    READ more on depression……..

SUICIDE

According to WHO, suicide takes more than 800,000 lives per year. Every 3 seconds, a person attempts to take their own life, resulting in the death of 1 person every 40 seconds. In the US, it is estimated that 121 people take their lives every single day. The most common reason of these cases of suicide is untreated depression
• Gender Differences
– Males are more successful at committing suicide than females
– Females attempt suicide more often than males

national suicide prevention week 2018

Causes of suicide

There are several risk factors of suicide ranging from: Suicide in the Family, Alcohol Use and Abuse, Past Suicidal Behavior, Experience of a Shameful/Humiliating Stressor, Publicity about Suicide and Media Coverage. The table below summarizes the causes of suicide

national suicide prevention week 2018

MYTHS and FACTS about suicide

In order to clarify these topics, the WHO has published a list of myths and facts about suicide some of which will be listed below.

Myths

• People who talk about suicide have no intention of committing suicide
• Majority of suicides take place without warning.
• Only those with mental problems commit suicide
• Talking about suicide encourages it
• People who threaten to kill themselves just want attention and those who survive suicide attempts are out of danger
• The media should not deal with the topic of suicide as it encourages it

Facts

• People who talk about suicide are likely seeking help since they frequently suffer from depression and lack of hope
• Majority of the individuals give warnings or signs, therefore it is important to pay attention to the behaviors of those around us.
• Many people who have mental problems do not commit suicide and not all people who take their own life have mental problems.
• Talking about suicide can help the person with suicidal thoughts or tendencies analyze other options and give them time to rethink their decision and possibly change their minds
• The days following a suicide attempt require careful attention since the survivor will be especially fragile
• According to the WHO, the media should deal with this as a public health issue and approach it appropriately. Everyone should be informed regarding suicide and know where to seek help.

PREVENTION OF SUICIDE

suicide prevention

In addition to the previously listed facts,

  • It is essential to critically analyze the contents of the media. There are so many songs, movies, TV programs, even games that may incite suicide. Preteens and teenagers should receive special attention and education about suicide.
  •  According to WHO, suicide is preventable in 90% of cases. There organizations for example, in the US, there is a National Suicide Prevention lifeline – 800-273-TALK or 800-273-8255 which offers 24hours toll-free suicide prevention services.
    It is very important to communicate with our friends or loved ones. Check on your friends including those who are always happy. Always maintain a positive outlook and most especially, never forget to take care of yourself.

Success isn’t one size fits all, it is what you define it to be, from getting to work or school on a difficult day to getting a promotion.
There is a lot of pressure to rate ourselves on scales that society has created for us. We shouldn’t give into this.
First isn’t always best and Failure isn’t always bad, it is all part of the process.
Fear is only an illusion, feel the fear and face it regardless.
What is important is that we strive to do our best, to be better versions of ourselves. That to me – is success.

– Angela Azinta

Share your story about mental health and suicide by leaving your comments below…

National suicide prevention day 2018

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