Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Health Care and Suicide

Suicide is the end result of someone who has seen no end in sight for a particular problem. Taking your life because you seemingly feel there is no way out of an issue is not an answer—coldly, it’s an excuse. It may be a solution to your crisis that in your mind is the only way to escape; but to end your life can be tragic not only for you, but for those who know and love you. Suicide is not an acceptable answer to a question you anticipate has no other resolution.

If you are in intense emotional and/or physical pain, remember that your judgment is being clouded by that pain. If you are considering suicide, you are trying to end that pain. Please do not confuse ending your pain with ending your life. The two are very different, according to www.suicide.org, a prevention organization.

If you are suicidal, you probably are suffering from clinical depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, postpartum depression, PTSD, or something similar. And if you have something along these lines, you actually have a chemical imbalance in your brain -- and you cannot possibly think straight because of it. That is beyond your control. You are not weak. You just need some treatment. This imbalance can occur for several reasons, from genetics to a traumatic life experience, and it is extremely common for people to have this imbalance, so do not feel like you are alone. You are not.

This imbalance may be rectified in several ways, but first you need to be assessed so that the cause may be understood. I would request that you please go to a medical doctor. The doctor can determine if there is a secondary problem (such as a thyroid problem) that is causing the imbalance. If so, an appropriate medication may be prescribed to you. Next, you should visit a therapist. This will allow another assessment to occur and will also allow you to begin talking about your feelings. If the therapist determines that you need a prescription, he or she may refer you to someone who may assist you in that area. More information can be found at this website:
http://www.suicide.org/ .

According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, also it can be scary when a friend or loved one is thinking about suicide. If someone you know has any warning signs you should encourage them to call 1-800-255-TALK (8255) so that the individual can find out what resources are available in his or her area. The call is routed to the Lifeline center closest to the caller’s area code. The local crisis center may have resources such as counseling or in-patient treatment centers for your friend or family member.  The Lifeline offers tips to you to help with someone who is threatening suicide:

o   Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.
o   Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.
o   Be non-judgmental. Don't debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don't lecture on the value of life.
o   Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
o   Don't dare him or her to do it.
o   Don't act shocked. This will put distance between you.
o   Don't be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.
o   Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
o   Take action. Remove means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.
o   Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.
Many people at some time in their lives think about suicide, according to the American Association of Suicidology. Most decide to live because they eventually come to realize that the crisis is temporary and death is permanent. On the other hand, people having a crisis sometimes perceive their dilemma as inescapable and feel an utter loss of control. These are some of the feelings and thoughts they experience:

o   Can't stop the pain
o   Can't think clearly
o   Can't make decisions
o   Can't see any way out
o   Can't sleep, eat or work
o   Can't get out of depression
o   Can't make the sadness go away
o   Can't see a future without pain
o   Can't see themselves as worthwhile
o   Can't get someone's attention
o   Can't seem to get control
Get more material about this topic at this website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ .

Many times, people who are considering suicide have conflicting thoughts about how their spiritual life may be affected, especially if they are members of a certain faith. Christians can feel depressed and have suicidal thoughts also. It can happen for all of the same reasons mentioned above. The trials of life touch everyone, including Believers.  If the situation you are in is something you can't change, know that God can intervene miraculously. As hard as it may be to do, continue praying for God's help. Don't stop.

Professional help in the form of a qualified Christian counselor is one of the best ways to fight depression and thoughts of suicide. Look in the phone book and make some calls. Ask for references. A good counselor can help you get a new perspective on your problems. Get a medical check-up. Sometimes depression can be caused by a chemical imbalance or other biological factor.

Seek out a support group (starting with your church) that ministers to the area of difficulty in your life. Interacting with others who are facing similar challenges in their lives will help you feel less isolated. Force yourself to do something the next time you feel down. Inactivity only makes depression worse. Here are some things to try:

·         Talk to someone. Call a friend and share your feelings.
·         Take a walk. Exercise causes your blood and oxygen to circulate faster, which makes you feel invigorated. Your brain produces chemicals called endorphins that fight depression.
·         Do something to help someone else. As you focus your attention on another's needs, your own cares may become less burdensome.
·         Listen to music. Choose your favorite songs and sing along.
If you need ongoing support, you are encouraged to contact the pastor of your local church. With the guidance of a minister, you might also consider seeking professional Christian counseling. Here is an example of one of many national ministries that has resources to help:  The American Association of Christian Counselors, and you can call them at 1-866-611-HELP (1-866-611-4357). Much more information on this topic can be found at this website: http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/cbnteachingsheets/suicide.aspx .

Regardless of your situation, suicide is fatal. If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts to end life, seek help as soon as possible. Most people who contemplate suicide really don’t want to die; they are calling out for attention or help due to some personal crisis. If you recognize the symptoms, don’t wait to do something about preventing the taking of life into your own hands. Act sooner rather than later. In this type of case, time is only your friend when you take advantage of it.

Until next time.

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