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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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    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.

    Reference

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    Junie Rutkevich

    Game Developer of iXL Digital

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    Last Updated on June 19, 2019

    How to Practice Positive Meditation in 2 Simple Steps

    How to Practice Positive Meditation in 2 Simple Steps

    Just by simply spending some effort and time, staying positive every day can be easily achieved. All that is required is a fraction of your time, 10-15 minutes a day to cultivate the positive you!

    But first, what is really positive thinking? Do you have to be in an upbeat, cheerful and enthusiastic mood all day to be positive minded?

    No. Positive thinking simply means the absence of negative thoughts and emotions – in other words, inner peace!

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    When you are truly at peace within yourself, you are naturally thinking positively. You don’t have to fight off negative thoughts, or search desperately for more positive thoughts. It just happens on its own. And here are 2 positive thinking meditation tips to empower you:

    1. Relax as You Meditate

    A powerful, simple yet rarely used technique is meditation. Meditation doesn’t have to take the form of static body posture. It can be as simple as sitting in a comfortable chair listening to soothing music. Or performing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises.

    Meditation is all about letting go of stressful or worrisome thoughts. That’s it! If you spend just a few minutes per day feeling relaxed and peaceful, you automatically shift your mind into a more positive place. When you FEEL more relaxed, you naturally THINK more positively!

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    Start with a short period of time, like 5 or 10 minutes a day. You can meditate first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, right before you go to bed at night, or any time. The most important thing is to consciously let go of unproductive thoughts and feelings. Just let them go for those few minutes, and you may decide not to pick them back up again at all!

    2. Practice Daily Affirmations

    Positive affirmations can be used throughout the day anywhere and at anytime you need them, the more you use them the easier positive thoughts will take over negative ones and you will see benefits happening in your life.

    What are affirmations? Affirmations are statements that are used in a positive present tense language. For example, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better, better and better” is a popular affirmation used by the late Norman Vincent Peale.

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    So how does one go about using positive affirmations in everyday life? Let’s look at some guidelines to follow when reciting your daily affirmations.

    1. Use first person pronouns in your message (I)
    2. Use present tense (I have)
    3. Use positive messages (I am happy)
    4. Repeat your affirmations on a consistent basis

    Affirmations have to be said with conviction and consistency. Start your day by saying your affirmations out loud. It wouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to repeat your affirmations; yet when done consistently, these positive affirmations will seep into the subconscious mind to cultivate the new positive you.

    Here’s an example of a “success affirmation” you can use on a daily basis:

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    I am successful in everything I do. Every venture I get into returns wealth to me. I am constantly productive. I always perform to the full potential I have and have respect for my abilities.
    My work is always given positive recognition. I augment my income constantly. I always have adequate money for everything I require. I spend my money prudently always. My work is always rewarded.

    You can find more examples here: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life

    Remember, affirmations work on the basis of conviction and consistency. Do yourself a favor and make a commitment to see this through.

    Begin practicing these positive thinking tips right now. And I wish you continued empowerment and growth on your positive thinking journey.

    More About Positive Thinking

    Featured photo credit: Jacob Townsend via unsplash.com

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