While walking down the halls of school to my classes, I would constantly hear people saying rude things about me, like I was a ‘cutter’ or that I dressed weird.
For years and years, this beat down on my self-confidence. Even when I was with a group of friends, I felt horrible. I spent a lot of classes crying silently or running out of the room. I felt best when I was at my house, without all the drama. Then, one day I had to stay home from school I felt so happy that day. I didn’t have anyone or anything to deal with. I wanted everyday to be like this, but I couldn’t think of a way to stop going to school, except for killing myself, so I overdosed on drugs.
Your classmate gets you. Your team-mate gives you a chest-bump. You get a hug from your best friend. They may not realize, but each of them are all helping you reduce stress levels and boost well-being. Research shows that when we're stressed, we look for support from our friends and family first. Makes sense, right?
Busy? Find time for fun.
Childhood is supposed to be about play, right? Our full lives can feel so busy that we sometimes don't allow time for the fun stuff. Its no mistake that health and happiness are often linked. We are healthier when we are happy!
How's Your Spirit?
Probably someone has asked you, "So, how are your spirits", right? But what does that mean? Are we only talking about your mood? What do spirits have to do with me, anyway?
Spirit can mean different things to different people. Usually it is something that we don't see or touch, its a sense of something that exists within us, maybe the "alive" part of us. For lots of people, being spiritual means observing rituals, studying religious texts and attending regular services. For others, it might be about the energy that flows in us which helps guide and motivate us.
Perhaps a simple way of defining spirituality is anything you consider meaningful and special. Whether you find it in God, in people, in nature, or in art, it can be a place of lightness and release from every day pressures and pains.
Get to know your spiritual side. It'll give you a:
reassuring belief that you don't have to know how to control everything
sense of purpose and meaning
feeling that you are part of something bigger than yourself
way to understand suffering
connection with others
reminder of the good in the world
Feeling hopeless or suicidal is a common experience. You are not alone. It is estimated that one in six people feel seriously suicidal at some point in their lives.
If you are unable to think of solutions other than suicide, it’s not that solutions don’t exist, only that you are currently unable to see them.
Find someone you trust and let them know how bad things are. If you can’t talk to your parents, find someone else, if not a friend, then a trusted adult: a relative, program leader, teacher, school nurse or guidance counselor. (For other possibilities, go to Resources in Your Community.) Asking for help does not mean that you are helpless or can’t do things on your own. Asking for help is an act of courage, not a sign of weakness.
Thoughts of ending your own life don’t necessarily mean that you want to die, only that you have more pain than you feel you can cope with right now. The crisis you are experiencing is real. Although it may seem to you that there are no solutions, why not give somebody else a chance to come up with something? Others may be thinking more clearly than you are at this time. Let someone in your life help you.
Do not keep suicidal thoughts to yourself. Tell someone you trust.
Avoid using alcohol or drugs when you are feeling desperate or in crisis. Yes, they can numb your feelings but they can also affect your judgment. Try this instead. Make a promise to yourself. Say, “I will not hurt myself for at least 24 hours." Then think of three people you know that you might want to talk to. Reach out to one of them and ask if you could talk to them if you are feeling really badly. Ask for help.
Suicidal crises are almost always temporary and once over, might never come again. Feelings change, perspectives change, life can be surprising and time can make all the difference. Although you may be feeling terrible right now, remember that you are important, that there are people who care about you, need you and would miss you if you were gone. You have a unique place in the big picture.
You can get help.
Risk factors are stressful events, situations or conditions that may increase the likelihood of suicide. Risk factors neither predict nor cause suicide, however, they can affect a person’s ability to cope or to see alternative solutions to their problems. How might the following situations affect a person's ability to cope?
Risk Factors for Suicide:
- Mental disorders (mood, anxiety, posttraumatic stress and certain personality disorders)
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- One or more prior suicide attempts
- Easy access to a firearm, pills, other lethal means
- The suicide of a peer or a suicide cluster in the community
- Family history of suicide
- Loss of a loved one or the end of a significant relationship
- History of trauma or abuse