Those who suffer from a chronic illness may also suffer from a mental illness. Being in constant pain takes a toll on your quality of life. Pain has a way of slowly pulling you away from everyone and everything. You want to go to that party but, your body just wants that little relief it gets by takings meds and curling into a ball. You want to talk to your friends but, when they ask “what’s new?,” all you can think about is the new symptom your chronic illness decided to give you.
Doing this day in and day out, staying to yourself because you just don’t physically have it in you to do anything, it really screws with you mentally. Anxiety and depression shows up. A lot of the times they show up hand in hand, other times they show up alone. Both can cause a suicidal mindset.
We’re 15 days into September. 15 days into National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month (World Suicide Prevention Day was September 10th). According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 44,193 people die by suicide each year and for every suicide, 25 attempt.
Those who attempt and commit suicide feel like there is no other way. They’re battling things mentally and physically that many may not or cannot see. This is why we need to talk to about suicide. Those living with an invisible and/or chronic illness at times may feel alone or that no one understands. Please believe them when they say they are in pain, even when they look physically fine. Please reassure them that they are not a burden. If they seem to be distancing themselves, stay in contact with them so they don’t feel alone.
If you are concerned that someone is suicidal, don’t leave them alone, and remember ACE.
A – Ask – “Are you thinking about hurting or killing yourself”
C – Care – Remove any means that could cause harm. Listen. Let them speak. Voice your concern.
E – Escort them to receive professional help. (An emergency room if they are in immediate danger or a counselor to talk to)
If you or someone you know needs assistance, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day at 1-800- 273- TALK (8255). Or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Additional Note: I’m all about helping others. I always make sure to tell people that it doesn’t matter if you need someone to just listen, I’m here. I’m opening that up to you as well. Yes, you, the person reading this blog. You don’t need to be having suicidal thoughts in order to feel like you need to talk to someone. Talking builds a healthy relationship with yourself and those around you. I am not a professional but, if you ever need someone to talk to or just listen I’m here for you. You can send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Everything will remain private unless I feel you or those around you are in potential danger.