Suicide, depression important topics

Published 11:19 am Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dear Editor,

Why is it we can all talk about things like sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes, cancer and so many other things but we can’t talk about depression, suicide attempts and suicide? Did you know suicide rates are higher than homicides, suicide is the second highest cause of death among college students and there is a suicide attempt every 15 minutes in the United States?

Did you know depression is the number one cause of suicide attempts and suicide?

If we are honest with ourselves, most of us have suffered from depression at some point in our life and many of us have thought about suicide or have attempted suicide.

Depression is a disease, one that can be treated, but people are afraid to get help because of the stigma attached to the mere mention of depression.

If everyone would try to understand, get educated about depression and try reaching out to those who suffer from depression, suicide rates just might start dropping.

It’s important, also, to reach out to the families of those who commit suicide. It’s the families that are often wrongfully shunned.

Do you have any idea how hurtful it is to watch people turn away and go the other direction to avoid you? Do you know how bad it hurts to sit at home and no one comes to visit, wishing someone would come by and just sit with you?

Do you have any idea how lonely we feel, how scared we are, how sad we are? Everyone is different and deals with things differently. You never get over it, but you learn to move forward.

If you know someone going through a loss after a suicide, be there for that person. Let that person know he or she is not alone. Let that person know he or she has support. Don’t judge; you never know when you might be walking in those same shoes. Educate yourself on depression and suicide.

Encourage the person you know to consider support groups, counseling or visiting a doctor. Learn the signs of depression. Learn the signs of suicidal thoughts.

If you are a family member or a friend, be true to your loved ones suffering from depression. Love them and be there for them — their lives just might depend on it.

Joyce Sherrer