Behind The Happy Face: A Few Hidden Truths And Facts About Depression And Suicide

Behind The Happy Face: A Few Hidden Truths And Facts About Depression And Suicide

Perhaps, you can still remember the day when your sister called you to tell you the bad news. Her best friend and colleague at work decided to call it quits and ended her life. She was found hanging on a beam of her dormitory room. Nobody knew this was coming. Just the week before, she was with you at the beach. You invited her for a short summer break and she showed no signs of any depression. In fact, she appeared happy and cheerful. Now, she was as dead and gone, with no clear explanation of why. So what could have happened to her? How could this have happened to an otherwise cheery girl like her?

The act of intentionally carrying out the mission to cause his or her own death is generally known as suicide. There are many causes or reasons that lead to a person committing suicide, some of which include, depression, mental disorders, and drug or alcohol alcohol addiction. Aside from these, excessive social pressure, economical failure, grief, emotional imbalance, and interpersonal relationships also tend to encourage a person to commit suicide.

So how come your cheerful friend decided to end her life?

She never appeared to be gloomy at all. Depression can be very hidden. A depressed person can appear normal and happy on the outside but can be breaking down on the inside. You have asked her friends at the dormitory where she resided and they said that she was often in her room, often looking spaced out and lonely. Turned out, she had horrible problems at home that she can’t escape from.


People who have suicidal thoughts are confused. They don’t know where to turn to for help and who to ask for help. For them, ending their life is moving forward to a better one. This false promise gives them hope that when they finally end their life, they won’t feel depressed, lonely, or empty anymore. Studies show that suicidal thoughts have a lot of causes. Aside from genetics and an undiagnosed mental illness, people who were exposed to a negative experience in life are prone to depression and sometimes succumb to suicide because of it.

There might be several life-changing experiences that can cause depression, like a death of a loved one, a divorce, a breakup, losing your job, financial problems, issues with your house or your car, physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and at times, bullying in teenagers. Depression can have physical signs, like weight loss or weight gain, loss of concentration, feeling weary or lethargic, neglect of personal appearance, or withdrawal from the company of others.

The method implemented by people for committing suicide differs from culture to culture and from place to place. In the underdeveloped and developing countries, use of pesticide and hanging has become widely used methods for committing suicide while in developed countries, the use of a firearm has evolved as a common method. In the United States, almost half of suicides are committed with the use of a firearm. Other common methods of suicide in US are asphyxiation and poisoning, which results in about 40% of suicide cases. But the most common method in which one commits suicide is through the use of pesticides, which accounts for almost 30% of suicide deaths worldwide.


Other general methods used for committing suicide are hanging, diving from a big height, like from a building, bridge, or cliff, smoke inhalation, exsanguination, self-drowning, electrocution, and coming in front of a moving train or traffic, are the most widely used methods for committing suicide.

It is estimated that around the world, roughly about one million people commit suicide yearly and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. It is found that men are more prone to committing suicide than their counterparts and the most common age group of people committing suicide are between 15 and 35. The age between 15 and 35 is the prime time when people begin to realize the actual meaning of life and come across many hurdles and challenges.


It is not that suicide cases are “the new-world” phenomenon because incidences of suicides go way back to our ancient times. We must have heard about a Hindu practice known as “Sati”, where the widower has to immolate herself on her husband’s pyre whether willingly or with force from the society and family.[1] This practice is still carried out in some of the remote villages of India. Also in the samurai era in Japan, suicide was a form of punishment given for failure.

Suicide cases are not limited to death of single person, but it can also be a mass suicide where a large number of people commit suicide. These types of suicides are generally done for some religious beliefs or as a form of protest. A 1978 incident of a mass suicide by members of Peoples Temple in Guyana acts as an example of this kind of case.[2]

So what could we do to prevent this?


    Experts say that people who are suffering from depression should go to a specialist if the blues do not go away after two weeks. Psychiatrists can prescribe consultations depending on the degree of depression that the person is feeling instead of anabolic steriods[3] and prednisone and all other forms of so-called anti-depressant synthetic medicines.[4]

    When mild depression is diagnosed, the patient can go on consultations or counseling groups, a common ground of support people that can understand him or her better and help each other in the process. If major depression is diagnosed however, he/she is prescribed antidepressants or, at times, when the patient cannot help themselves and poses danger to him or herself and to others, they are confined and given electro-shock therapy. These are all meant to save them from themselves and the life-threatening effects of depression.

    In the present scenario, suicide is generally committed when the person lacks the will to continue in today’s cutthroat competitive world. People have considered suicide as an easy resolution to any problems, difficulties, or failures that one faces in their lives and don’t have the courage to fight back against. It is often seen that the most common reason for anyone to commit suicide nowadays is either failure. This can translate to failure in studies, failure in business, and failure in meeting the expectation of the society, family members, and stressors in the home or between the partners. But whatever the problem may be, committing suicide has not and will never be the solution. One must have a positive attitude towards life and must have the courage to fight back whatever the situation might be.

    The most important thing is the support that depressed people get from their family and their friends. Let them know that they are not alone. They can turn to you for help if they really need it. Suicide does not have to be the only answer.


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    Junie Rutkevich

    Game Developer of iXL Digital

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.


    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.


    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.


    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.


    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via

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