With the recent death of fashion designer Kate Spade by suicide, the topic of mental health and suicide has been rampant across the news and social media. In the United States suicide rates have increased by nearly 30% since 1999. This includes children as young as 10 years old, not that younger children haven’t fallen victim to this serious issue. I’m not here to write a history paper, I want to share some of how suicide has affected me personally.
When I was 21 years old I tried to take my own life by overdose. This came after a downward spiral of depression and severe ptsd. I want to share how I felt at the time and what these suicidal feelings were like. I look back now and some of it makes sense, other parts not at all. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. I think it’s very difficult for people who have never had these feelings to understand how someone could not only feel this way but act on it.
The thoughts going through my mind were feelings of worthlessness And hopelessness. I felt like nobody cared about me or would understand how I felt. I felt utterly done with life and like things could literally never get better. And even if the help was available I wasn’t worth the effort. Looking back now I know these things aren’t true. I had people in my life who cared about me and if they had known these thoughts I was having they would’ve helped me get the help I needed before it was too late. People who are suicidal are not selfish even if they appear so. It looks like a selfish act. However, speaking from experience I don’t think at that time I even had the capacity to understand how serious my actions were.
I want to encourage anyone who is feeling hopeless or suicidal to GET HELP. Don’t stop trying to get it until you get the right help. That’s what I had to do. Don’t give up. There are national and local hotlines to call for help, or you can always call 911. It’s not as scary as it seems. Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you think someone you know is struggling reach out to them. It’s better to be wrong than to have not helped someone who really needed it. The national suicide prevention lifeline phone number is: 1-800-273-8255 and the crisis text line number is:741-741.