Being devoured by the demons of severe depression or hopelessness is similar to being harrowed by a deep-rooted pounding headache, which saps away the vigor and vitality of afflicted individuals. It is a grim experience where even the faintest thought emerges as a tempestuous battle. Needless to say, under such circumstances, death to distress becomes the lone recourse to break free from the vicious cycle of agonies. Sadly, instead of seeking help to smoothen the crumpled pages of their lives, those battling severe depression or suicidal thoughts, which could be the result of numerous factors, seem to echo the sentiments of the 18th century French novelist and memoirist George Sand who once wrote, “We cannot tear out a single page of our life, but we can throw the whole book in the fire.”
“I simply cannot carry on with this goddamned life,” whined 48-year-old businessman Glen Donovan (name changed) in a melancholic tone to himself, waking up in his downtown Washington apartment with night sweats. Once again horrendous images of that fateful day began to play before his eyes as they had done for months in the wee hours of dawn. Around this time last year, he lost his wife and son in a car crash that continues to haunt him unceasingly day after day.
The macabre incident of losing his wife and child in front of his eyes to a deadly road rage left Donovan broken-hearted and lonely. Life abruptly created an immense vacuum, which could never be filled. Although glasses of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select provided some initial bouts of relief, over time, whiskey simply exacerbated his mental agony triggering suicidal thoughts. On one such dreary evening, confined in his solitary room on the fourth floor, Donovan shot himself in the temple, liberating himself from the daily woes of life.
Donovan isn’t alone in the United States, who struggled to face the daily challenges life brings with it. Suicides nationwide have reached a record-breaking high with middle-aged Americans largely affected by it. According to the findings of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) released on Sept. 7, 2017, in 2016, 4.2 million Americans aged 26 to 49 had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year. On the whole, a whopping 9.8 million people aged 18 or older, representing 4 percent of the adult population, in 2016 grappled with serious thoughts of committing suicide in the past year, which is similar to the percentages in most years between 2008 and 2015.
Though overall suicide rates seem to be consistent in the recent years, they reflect the never-ending plight of people battling mental health problems, which urge them to resort to the extreme step. This is a major public health concern, which needs to be addressed. Here are some strategies to prevent suicides in the country:
- Educating people about importance of seeking support: Spreading awareness on the warning signs and encouraging people to seek help from reliable and professional sources is the ideal way to minimize the risk of suicide considerably. Outreach campaigns and self-help tools are great options to highlight the significance of timely intervention in high-risk populations.
- Ensuring adequate responses in times of crisis: Besides emergency helplines, dispatching mobile crisis teams to assist those facing severe emotional problems is a great example of a crisis intervention. Additionally, walk-in crisis clinics, psychiatric services and peer-support programs in hospitals and health care centers will be of a great help to prevent suicide.
- Recognizing signs of vulnerability to suicidal behaviors: Determining vulnerable populations using proven approaches such as suicide screening and gatekeeper training are excellent ways to reach out to the afflicted.
- Providing access to suicide prevention treatment: Reducing monetary, sociocultural and logistical limitations is the best method to help susceptible masses avail the benefits of suicide prevention interventions, evidence-based treatments and coordinated health care systems.
- Preventing access to means of suicide: Educating people about the hazards and abuse of lethal drugs, firearms, barricades on bridges and other toxic chemicals can prevent individuals with depression from using such means as a fast escape route.
- Promoting safe care transitions: Facilitating inter-agency agreements, cross-domain training in multiple areas of specialization, follow-up contacts, and quick referral initiatives are some of the ways to guarantee seamless transition of care.
Suicidal thoughts are a sign of poor mental health
Unfortunately, many individuals are unaware that mental health disorders are treatable with timely medical intervention. Nipping them in the bud is the key to prevent numerous other maladies or else they can assume devastating proportions. Unknowingly, many individuals allow their mental problems to grow to an extent where there is no scope for recovery.
Sovereign Health of San Clemente, California, offers a variety of customized therapies for a wide range of mental health problems to treat the afflicted individuals holistically. Specialists at our mental illness treatment centers are trained to identify the underlying causes and prescribe customized individual as well as group psychotherapy based on the patient’s requirements.
If you or your loved one is battling depression, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives who are available for your queries. Our state-of-the-art residential mental health facilities spread across California are known for their effective recovery programs, which have helped many individuals to regain control of their lives.