It’s Okay, You Can Talk About It

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Suicide is an often stigmatized topic to discuss, and most tend to avoid the subject. This month is a time to shift public perception, raise awareness, spread important information, and give hope to everyone affected by suicide. Were you aware that more women attempt suicide, but 78% of all people who die by suicide are male? Another fun statistic…twenty-five to fifty percent of those who have Bipolar attempt, while fifteen percent die by suicide. When a Mental Health condition goes by untreated, the risk for suicide gets greater. No one should ever feel shame coming forward and talking about what is going on inside. I apologize for anything I may say in this post that may trigger unwanted feelings and emotions. But, I have to talk about this. The world has to talk about this.

I want to start by providing you with two numbers that have helped so many people.

If you are struggling or know someone who’s struggling, here are two safe places for you to reach out to.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
And if you are not comfortable speaking on the phone, text “NAMI” to 741-741.

Although there are some at higher risk, everyone is susceptible to suicidal thoughts or actions. The suicide rate in the United States has increased thirty-five percent since 1999, and we lost more than 48,000 people in 2018. Forty-six percent of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed condition. This is the second leading cause of death of people ten to thirty-four years of age, and the tenth leading cause in the United States alone. Our country is lacking in proper and affordable Mental Health Care, something needs to change.

Someone told me not that long ago that my blog could be used against me, and I don’t doubt it. But does that mean I should delete it? Stop being open and honest? End this thing that has helped me and all of those who have visited? I can’t do that, and I won’t. Manic Mama will continue to be a safe space for me and anyone who is struggling. I began self-harming in seventh grade, and I first attempted suicide my freshman year of high school at just fourteen years old. I swallowed a bunch of pills and waited. My friend had a different idea, so she shoved her finger down my throat until I couldn’t throw up anymore. I never spoke about it, and I never told my family. I was ashamed of what I had done, and I didn’t want people to think it was for attention. Being a self-harmer, I’ve heard it all. I know some people view self-harm and suicide as attention-seeking actions. I didn’t need the gossip then, and I don’t need it now.

My scars from before the tattoo cover up

If you aren’t really sure what this month is about, please look into the NAMI. They work to ensure that everyone has access to the resources and help they need when dealing with Mental Health. I hope the rest of this post is beneficial to you all and helps bring more to light on this subject. I encourage everyone to come together and use their voice to advocate for Mental Health. I want to put some lists down about the warning signs of suicide, the risk factors, and what to include in your Crisis Plan. A Crisis Plan is something you create to share with your friends and family. This will help them know how best to help you in the case of an emergency. Thank you for coming to Manic Mama, you all have no idea how much it means to me to see people visiting. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Risk Factors:

  • Family history of suicide
  • Substance use (drugs worsen the highs and the lows)
  • Intoxication (more than one in three of every suicide was under the influence)
  • Access to a firearm
  • Serious illness’s
  • Gender
  • History of trauma and abuse
  • Prolonged stress
  • Tragedy or loss
  • Mental Health problems
  • Having attempted suicide before
  • Family members or friends who have committed suicide

Warning Signs:

  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Aggression
  • Withdrawal from family, friends, community
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Reckless or impulsive behavior
  • Hoarding pills
  • Buying a gun
  • Tying up loose ends (a will, saying goodbyes)
  • Giving things away
  • Talking about dying
  • Suggesting they feel hopeless, worthless, or helpless
  • Saying things such as, “It would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want to get out”
  • Depression worsening
  • Losing interest in things they once loved
  • No sleep
  • Aggitated

What to include in your Crisis Plan:

  • #’s of Psychiatrist, Therapist, and any other healthcare provider
  • #’s of family or friends who could be helpful
  • Local Crisis #
  • Addresses to Crisis Centers that take walk-in’s
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline
  • Your personal address and #
  • The diagnosis
  • All medications you take
  • Previous relapses or suicide attempts
  • History of drug and alcohol use
  • Triggers
  • Things that have helped in the past
  • Mobile Crisis Unit #

Ninety percent of people who have died by suicide have experienced Mental Health Condition symptoms. There’s so much you can do in order to help those suffering. I will always preach that the best way to learn, is to DO YOUR RESEARCH. You can make a difference, even if you think you can’t. Volunteer in your community, and find ways to help those around you. If you are the one struggling, please know that you are NEVER alone. There are ways to get help, and I encourage everyone to seek help when needed. Please don’t ever feel shame for needing help! Seeking it makes you STRONG. If anyone is need of a friend or a ear, please make your way to my “Get in Touch” page. I would love to hear from you guys, and help in any way that I can.

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