Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Suicide

Not a topic I'd planned for my blog, but something happened that made me take it much more seriously.

Here are some facts about suicide. It is the third leading cause of death in 15-24 year olds according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It is surpassed only by accidents and homicide. Nearly 60% of all suicides are with a gun. If you have a gun in your home, make sure it is unloaded and locked up. Ammunition should be stored somewhere separate from the gun.

Suicides differ between boys and girls. Girls think about and attempt suicide twice as often as boys. They usually do it by cutting or overdose. However boys die by suicide four times as often as girls. Usually because they use more lethal methods; guns, hanging or jumping from high places. (http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/suicide.html) for reference.

All that being said the number one cause of suicide is untreated depression. Yes, depression is a disease and it IS real. Both depression and suicide have symptoms, things you can watch for or be aware of. One of the number one triggers of depression is the death of a loved one, family or friend.

I live in a community that lost two young people in the space of four months. Being a small community, when a child dies everyone is impacted. Both of them died in senseless accidents. Both students a boy and a girl were popular, athletic, and good students. They were good kids. While we think our children are dealing with this loss, maybe they aren't. We need to be vigilant. Sometimes the younger children are more affected than we realize.

Look for these signs of potential suicide:
Talking about suicide, or killing oneself, even in a joking manner -
Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness
Preoccupation with death
Suddenly happier, calmer
Loss of interest in things one used to care about
Visiting or calling people one cares about
Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order
Giving things away
(http://www.jaredstory.com/teen_epidemic.html) for reference.

I'm putting this out there because someone I know is in trouble. Look at your friends, family, children, others you see at school. Do they exhibit these signs? Be aware of the people around you. Your actions might save a life.

TTFN

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