Recently we have been faced with suicide of two public figures, which brought to light that mental illness impacts everyone across the globe. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States based on statistics published by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion can be impacted by mental illness. Yet, the stigma of what it means to have mental illness still exists in our society which often prevents people that are suffering from seeing help that they need. On the outside they may appear happy, content, successful, yet on the inside they could be battling their demons, fears and insecurities.
According to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) 1 in 5 adults in the United States experiences mental illness in any given year. For young adults and teens the numbers are the same, which means that we all know someone that is suffering on the inside. The difference between physical illnesses versus mental illness is that mental illness is often invisible to the outside world. As a society we need to remove to stigma and reduce if not remove the shroud of invisibility. We can only achieve that by having these honest conversations and talking about signs of mental illness as well as treatment options.
Some warning signs that someone you know can be struggling are:
- Rapid mood swings
- Inability to perform daily tasks, such as bathing, changing their clothes, brushing their teeth etc.
- Self- harm behavior, which can include substance abuse, over eating , cutting, self-mutilation and others
- Sadness most of the day
- Isolation from friends and family, pulling away
- Becoming disinterested in things that gave them joy and pleasure
- Sleeping more or less than they used to
This is only partial list of things to look for.
Some warning signs of suicide are:
- Giving away their prized possessions, often saying things like: “you may as well enjoy this now not have to wait until later “.
- Tying up loose ends or putting things in order, if that is not their norm.
- Sense of hopelessness and/or helplessness, not seeing a way out of their situation
- Sudden withdrawal and isolation
- Preoccupation with death
- Past history of attempts or self- harm
Again, keep in mind this is not an all-inclusive list, just a partial list.
What can you do if you have someone that is suffering? Start this conversation, acknowledge and talk about what you are seeing. Give that person safe place to talk about what they are experiencing without judgement, without criticism and without questioning. Provide caring, empathetic and nonjudgmental statements. You can say things like “you are not alone, I am so glad you shared this with me. There is help available”. There are many different resources available ranging from community mental health agencies, inpatient hospital based programs, partial hospitalizations programs, intense outpatient programs, support groups and individual therapy. Help is available and is just a call away.
At Core Psychotherapy Center we provide range of services which includes individual therapy, couples and family therapy. We offer different support groups and have in-house psychiatrist available for medication management. If you are interested in any of our services, please call 847-240-5080 for confidential intake.
National Suicide Hotline: 800-603-4357