Monday, September 10th, marked the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Week. I recently blogged about my own struggles with depression and thoughts of suicide. I’m lucky that I received the help I needed just in time. Some people aren’t so lucky.
From a study published in the Journal of Women’s Health:
Jean Ko, PhD and coauthors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, found that more than 1 in 10 women ages 18-44 years had a major depressive event during the previous year—representing about 1.2 million U.S. women—but more than half of those women did not receive a diagnosis of depression and nearly half did not receive any mental health treatment.
121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. 121 million. That number astounds me. And you know what’s even more staggering? 2 out of 3 people that suffer depression never seek treatment for it.
Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide, and suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers. Source
So, what can we do? Well, talking about it is one thing. So many people suffer in silence because there’s a sense of shame that tends to come with a diagnosis of mental illness. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, though. Some people just need a little more help than others. When will we, as a society, realize that?
Another solution? Love. A simple, four letter word that can make all the difference. Love each other. Care for each other. Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you see someone is struggling, help them.
Depression is a disease in which most people suffer in terrifying silence. In that silence, the brain has a chance to go into overdrive with feelings of guilt, of hate, of sadness. And if given enough time, those feelings can manifest into, “What can I do to make this go away?”
Remember that statistic? Untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide.
A little bit of understanding, of love, of hope, goes a long way. If you can even spark the tiniest bit of hope in a person’s life, do it. The bullying has got to stop. The shaming of people with mental illnesses has got to stop.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing depression or thoughts of suicide, here are a few links that will hopefully help a little. To Write Love on Her Arms is a mission that I adore. I’d say the world can use a little more love, yes?
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
To Write Love on Her Arms: To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.
The Trevor Project: The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.