Tag: depression

January 21, 2015

946931_70192391PREVENTING SUICIDE

Suicide CAN be prevented and help IS available. Suicide affects both the person thinking about suicide and his or her friends and family. By recognizing the risk factors, warning signs for suicide, and knowing what to do if you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, the devastating effects of suicide can be reduced. The most important thing to remember is to GET HELP!

 

Facts about suicide

  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds
  • 1 in 25 suicide attempts succeed
  • Girls think about and attempt suicide about twice as often as boys, but boys are more likely than girls to die from suicide

 

A person is more at risk for committing suicide if he/she has these risk factors:

  • Mental disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Inclination to act on impulse
  • Having tried to commit suicide before
  • A family history of suicide
  • Having lost a loved one
  • Lack of support from family and peers
  • Physical, emotional or sexual abuse
  • Having access to weapons

 

Warning signs for suicide:

  • Talking about suicide
  • Talking about hopelessness, feeling trapped, feeling unbearable pain, anger or desire for revenge
  • Talking about having no reason to live or being a burden to others
  • Looking for ways to commit suicide
  • Preparing for death
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
  • Changes in personality
  • Increasing risky behaviors
  • Increasing use of drugs and alcohol
  • Withdrawing socially and losing interest in friends
  • Losing interest in activities
  • Giving away valued possessions

 

What to do if you suspect someone you know is thinking about suicide

  1. Talk openly and ask questions.
    Asking someone if he or she is having thoughts about suicide is not easy. You can try by saying” I have noticed that you …………….. Have you ever thought about hurting or killing yourself?”
  1. Listen to what they have to say, let them know that you care about them but do not promise to keep their suicidal thought a secret. You can suggest a suicide hotline or for them to chat with someone online. When these hotlines are called, a trained crisis worker will answer. The person in distress can share his or her problems with the worker. The worker can also talk about available mental health resources. All calls are free and confidential. A list of suicide hotlines and resources are listed below.
Program Website and Chat Phone Number
National Suicide Hotline www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org 1-800-273-TALK
(1-800-273-8255) More than 150 languages offered
Asian LifeNet Hotline www.aaspe.net 1-877-990-8585
(Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Fujianese)
San Francisco Suicide Prevention www.sfsuicide.org (415) 781-0500
National Hopeline network hopeline.com 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
1-800-442-HOPE  (1-800-442-4673)
Lifeline Crisis Chat www.crisischat.org
I’m Alive www.imalive.org
Youthline – Counseling for teens by teens www.youthline.us 1-877-968-8454
  1. Tell an adult you trust about the situation as soon as possible. They can assist you in getting the professional help that the person needs to deal with personal issues that have caused them to become suicidal.

If someone you know is at immediate risk for suicide, call 911 right away. Don’t leave the person alone. Wait with them until help arrives. Be aware that in emergency situations, hospitalization may be necessary.

 

Where can I find more information on suicide prevention?

January 21, 2015

PHOT0014.JPGWhat is depression?

Depression is a psychological condition that affects your feelings, behaviors, and thoughts. Although most of us feel sad one time or another, a clinically diagnosed depression is a mood disorder marked by persistent sadness, discouragement, and loss of interest in usual activities.

 

Who is likely to develop depression?

Depression affects men and women of all ages, and ethnic and racial backgrounds. Although the most common time of onset is between the ages of 30 and 40, teenagers can also experience depression.

 

What are the symptoms of depression?

  • Persistent sadness
  • Irritable mood
  • Feeling of worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Changes in appetite: increase or decrease
  • Loss of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

 

What are the causes of depression?

  • Social environment: Conflicts with peer groups, breakup of a relationship
  • Family environment: Unhappy family atmosphere, domestic violence
  • Life events: Death of a family member, friend, or pet; moving, changing schools, other stressful experiences
  • Medical conditions: Hormone imbalance, physical illness
  • Genetics: Certain genetic makeup can increase an individual’s susceptibility to developing depression.

 

How do I know if I am depressed or just sad?

It is normal to feel depressed or sad sometimes; most of us do. However, if you experience most of the above symptoms for several weeks, you could have depression. It may be difficult to see the changes in yourself when you are depressed, but usually people around you can notice the difference. Similarly, if you notice someone having a big change in mood and behavior, talk to that person and encourage him or her to seek professional help.

 

What should I do if I am always depressed?

If you think you have depression, it is very important that you talk to a health professional and receive proper diagnosis and treatment. Depression is more common than you may think, and it is a very treatable condition. If you have trouble finding a healthcare provider, talk to an adult you feel comfortable with first. You can talk to your parents, a teacher, coach, school counselor, or spiritual leader. It is also helpful to talk to your friends about your feelings and concerns. But for medical issues like depression, adults may be more resourceful about how to find professional help.

 

How is depression treated?

Counseling or Psychotherapy:

Counseling or psychotherapy includes talking about your feelings, thoughts, and problems with a counselor in a confidential setting. People with depression tend to see life in an unrealistic way. For example, you may feel that you are not good enough or that no one understands you. A counselor can help you feel that you are not alone. When you talk about your feelings with a counselor, you will learn to see things differently and to understand yourself better. The counselor can also help you find ways to deal with your problems.

Medication:

If you feel that counseling is not enough, there are different prescription medications available to treat depression. Many people find antidepressant medications very effective. Starting on such medicine does not mean that you have to take it for the rest of your life. When your condition improves, your doctor may decrease the dose or stop your medication. However, you should always talk with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your medicine.

 

Where can I find reliable information on depression?