Depression and Suicide

Depression and Suicide Awareness/Prevention

Depression checklist: Experiencing several or more of these thoughts for more than two or three weeks likely indicates the presence of depression.
• I feel sad.
• I feel like crying a lot.
• I’m bored.
• I feel alone.
• I don’t really feel sad, just “empty”.
• I don’t have confidence in myself.
• I don’t like myself.
• I often feel scared, but I don’t know why.
• I feel mad, like I could just explode!
• I feel guilty.
• I can’t concentrate.
• I have a hard time remembering things.
• I don’t want to make decisions – it’s too much work.
• I feel like I’m in a fog.
• I’m so tired, no matter how much I sleep.
• I’m frustrated with everything and everybody.
• I don’t have fun anymore.
• I feel helpless.
• I’m always getting into trouble.
• I’m restless and jittery. I can’t sit still.
• I feel nervous.
• I feel disorganized, like my head is spinning.
• I feel self-conscious.
• I can’t think straight. My brain doesn’t seem to work.
• I feel ugly.
• I don’t feel like talking anymore – I just don’t have anything to say.
• I feel my life has no direction.
• I feel life isn’t worth living.
• I consume alcohol/take drugs regularly.
• My whole body feels slowed down – my speech, my walk, and my movements.
• I don’t want to go out with friends anymore.
• I don’t feel like taking care of my appearance.
• Occasionally, my heart pounds, I can’t catch my breath, and I feel tingly.
• My vision feels strange and I feel I might pass out. The feeling passes in seconds, but I’m afraid it will happen again.
• Sometimes I feel like I’m losing it.
• I feel “different” from everyone else.
• I smile, but inside I’m miserable.
• I have difficulty falling asleep or I awaken between 1 A.M. and 5 A.M. and then I can’t get back to sleep.
• My appetite has diminished – food tastes so bland.
• My appetite has increased – I feel I could eat all the time.
• My weight has increased/decreased.
• I have headaches.
• I have stomachaches.
• My arms and legs hurt.
• I feel nauseous.
• I’m dizzy.
• Sometimes my vision seems blurred or slow.
• I’m clumsy.
• My neck hurts.

According to SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education), research has consistently shown a strong link between suicide and depression, with 90% of the people who die by suicide having an existing mental illness or substance abuse problem at the time of their death.

Warning Signs of Suicide

These signs may indicate that someone is at risk for suicide:
• Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
• Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
• Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
• Talking about being a burden to others.
• Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
• Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
• Sleeping too little or too much.
• Withdrawn or feeling isolated.
• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
• Displaying extreme mood swings.
• Preoccupation with death.
• Suddenly happier, calmer.
• Loss of interest in things one cares about.
• Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
• Making arrangements; setting one’s affairs in order.
• Giving things away, such as prized possessions.

What to do if you believe that you or someone you know may be having thoughts of suicide:
• Dial: 911
• Dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
• Check yourself into the emergency room.
• Call your local crisis agency.
• Tell someone who can help you find help immediately.
• Stay away from things that might hurt you.
• Most people can be treated with a combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1(800) 273-8255

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