Opening The Blinds To Suicide

Suicidal man sitting on a chair surrounded by people

Ending The Stigma Of Suicide

Suicide rates are continuing to increase for adolescents and young adults. Between 1994-2014, the rate has increased 24%. Because of the stigma, suicide rates may be underreported, resulting in a higher number than is currently estimated.

The highest suicide rates are in white males above the age of 65. It is believed that this age group suffers from issues such as life satisfaction v.s. despair on not having lived a productive and fulfilling life. The elderly also suffer from depression, loneliness, medical conditions, neglect and abuse! On the other hand, adolescents are committing suicide because of multiple factors: drug and alcohol abuse, strict parenting that results in too much pressure at school, bullying and peer pressure. Adolescents are a particular vulnerable group because their frontal lobe has not finished developing; the frontal lobe is responsible for judgement and decision-making, hence why adolescents tend to get into trouble. They also start identifying less with their parents and more with their peers; this is the time for them to mold their personality and fit into a group of young people that share similar interests. It is important for parents not to lose touch with their teenagers once they enter this time of their life; allowing them to swim too far off shore may cause them to never return.

We need to become open about how we feel inside. We need to become open about suicidal thoughts and feelings. The stigma of mental health is decreasing but not fast enough to keep up with the increasing death rates and mental complications. We need to come together and be honest with each other. There is nothing to be embarrassed about; sharing may save someone’s life.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Time To End Mental Health Stigma

A female leaning her head against a man's shoulder

Stigma Prevents Progress

Why is there disgrace associated with mental disorders? Because someone is suffering from depression, anxiety, personality disorders, psychosis or addiction, society attaches stigma to the symptoms the person is experiencing? This no longer can go on, if we want to help society be open about mental disorders and their corresponding treatments. Stigma halts progress; it is a barrier that stands before us and keeps many people hidden in the shadows; hidden from seeking treatment. The more we come together and share our experiences, the sooner mental health will be normalized and accepted.

There should be no shame to one experiencing depression, anxiety or even suicidal thoughts; the brain is undergoing neurochemical changes and needs help reestablishing order. Just like any sick organ in physical disorders, the same applies to mental illness. The key is coming together and sharing our experiences. Let’s learn why we feel depressed, anxious or experiencing hallucinations. All of these experiences are frightening, but imagine how much more frightening they are for someone who cannot share them due to fear of stigma? This person can commit suicide due to stigma; his or her emotions will literally bury them if they cannot live in an open society, free to share their mental health concerns. Let’s come together and put an end to stigma. I encourage everyone reading this post to share it as much as possible with your friends and family! Spread the word: we will end mental health stigma.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)