Monday, March 17, 2014

On Suicide

Earlier today, visionary designer and longtime girlfriend of Mick Jagger, L’Wren Scott, was found dead in her apartment of an apparent suicide. She was 47 years old. 

At this point, the reason she ended her life is only speculation, but the most likely cause is depression. Anyone who has ever been severely depressed has probably heard one or more (or even all) of the following: “you don’t have any reason to be depressed,” “you need to adjust your attitude,” and there’s always my personal favorite, “get over it.” 

People suffer depression for different reasons. Sometimes it’s situational, and a change of scenery or spending time doing things you enjoy is all that’s needed to turn over a new leaf. Sometimes it’s chemical; a prescription anti-depressant or even over-the-counter St. John’s Wort can work wonders.

But what happens when you no longer enjoy doing anything? What happens to those who don’t have the emotional support or financial resources necessary to find help?

In the past, many of those people fell by the wayside, but today we have more options. 

If you feel despondent, if you believe life isn’t worth living anymore, please go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. There’s a phone number you can call, or if you don’t want to talk on the phone, there’s a chat feature. It’s free, and these people are not there to judge you — they’re there to help.

Those of you reading this who have depressed friends or family, telling them to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” will not help. “Tough love” won’t make it better. All it does is send the message that you don’t care what happens to them. “In my generation, people just drank” is not sage advice from days gone by. Just stop and think, “If I felt worthless, what would I want someone to say to me?”

And if you wouldn’t want to hear it? Don’t say it. Please click here and read this page for guidance. 

Every single day, roughly two thousand people end their lives for one reason or another. One of those reasons is that they feel they have no one to talk to. Everyone deserves to have someone to talk to, so to anyone reading this: if you need someone to talk to and don't want to use the helpline, my e-mail address is listed in my bio. And if anonymity is more to your taste, leave a comment below. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone. Be safe.

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