Depression, Suicide, and NSSI

September is suicide awareness month. Being aware of warning signs for Depression, Suicide, and Self-Injury is one thing that can help those struggling who may not be open and ready to talk about it. Knowing these warning signs can help you better support the people you care about.

Many people suffer from depression, and for some it is not easy to talk about. Some of the key signs a person may be struggling with depression include: feeling sad, empty, and hopeless; loss of pleasure in most activities; withdrawing from people or isolating themselves; fatigue or loss of energy; and frequent crying spells. Struggling with depression is not easy, but you do not have to do it alone.

Suicide is a serious thing and should not be taken lightly. For people experiencing suicidal thoughts talking about it can be one of the hardest things to do. Some of the key things to look and listen for regarding suicidal thoughts are: talking about or feeling hopelessness, saying they want to die or talking about dying, giving away personal items, exhibiting reckless behaviors, and avoiding social interactions with others.

Some people who struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts is self-harm. There are many forms of self-injury, but the most common is cutting oneself. Other types of self-injury include: head banging, burning, pinching, scratching, pulling out hair, and picking existing wounds. Everyone engages in self-harm for different reasons, and self-harm does not always occur due to suicidality. Some of the common reasons people engage in self-injury are to get rid of the numb feeling they may have inside, to feel like they have control of a situation, or because they feel like they deserve it (self-loathing).

There are many community resources to help those who struggle with depression such as Family Service Association of Greater Elgin. Some hotlines for services are: The Suicide Hotline, (1.800.273.8255) or the Crisis Text Line: (741.741). In IL, you can also text “Talk” or “Hablar” to 552020.

Depression, suicidal thoughts, and self-injury are all prevalent and serious issues. If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out for help. Let’s do our best this month to end the stigma around depression, suicide, and self-injury by talking about these things with our friends and families. Together we can raise awareness around mental health.

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