Wednesday, September 10, 2014

World Suicide Prevention Day

"Scars remind us of where we've been, they don't have to dictate where we're going." -Agent Rossi, Criminal Minds.

Ever since I was little, I knew I was different. I saw the world differently than others. My world was often dark and I often felt alone.

It wasn't until I was sixteen that I was diagnosed. Bipolar 1. I thought, they had to be mistaken, there's no way I have Bipolar disorder. But all of a sudden, all the dots started to connect...

All those school nights that I ended up pulling all nighters and I didn't know why, it just felt like a good idea and that I was invincible, no sleep would make me think better and be better in class(ideas that didn't make sense). The days were my mind would race, and I couldn't stay still, or when I would talk and suddenly jump into a whole other conversation without taking a breath or realizing I was changing the conversation. Not being able to stay friends with people because all of a sudden, they became the most annoying person to me and I didn't need them, even though they did nothing to me. Anger coming and going quicker than I could blink.

And the crash...
The depression. The moment when things stopped making sense. When I felt this cloud of pure darkness come over me. I didn't want to leave my room. I didn't want to talk to people. I constantly felt like crying and I didn't know why. These were the moments when I felt like hurting myself, whether that be self-harm or suicidal ideations.

People always tell me, "Rebeca, you don't seem like the person who would be depressed. That's not who you are."
I think most of high school, I was able to cover it up real good. I think a lot of people are good at hiding their disease, that's why it comes such a shock to us when someone commits suicide.

The thing you have to know about Bipolar disorder is that we don't always get these "episodes." As I've gotten older and gotten help, these episodes became less and less, and I'm happier. I'm glad I got help three years ago.

Today is Suicide Awareness Day. The reason I wanted to tell my story is because mental illness and suicide go hand in hand.

  • A significant number of those with mental illnesses who die by suicide do not contact health or social services near the time of their death. In many instances, there are insufficient services available to assist those in need at times of crisis. (IASP)
  • Unless stigma is confronted and challenged, it will continue to be a major barrier to the treatment of mental illnesses and to the prevention of suicide.
  • Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the world, especially among young people.
  • Suicide accounts for one death every 40 seconds.
Suicides happen every day. They affect us all. We lose the people we love and cherish, and it kills us inside because we constantly think about what we could have done to help.

Here are some signs from that someone you know and love may be thinking about suicide:

Warning Signs of Suicide

These signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss or change.
  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawn or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

Additional Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Preoccupation with death.
  • Suddenly happier, calmer.
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about.
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
  • Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order.
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions.

This is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US)-  1-800-273-TALK (8255)

To Write Love On Her Arms has a wonderful campaign going on right now, and I highly support them. It's called No One Else Can Play Your Part. 
You can watch the video they did here.

The reason I wrote this blogpost is because I want people to know they're not alone, and it's never too late to get help and recover. You are in this world for a reason.

Live and love you guys.