Suicide: To Get Out or To Get Healthy

Last night I found out a new friend had killed herself. We didn’t know each other that well, but well enough to have had coffee once and know we had common interests. Not well enough to find this out until two weeks after it happened.

The shock that comes with news like that hit first. Next, my anger at how our culture has  stigmatized mental health so much that people who are hurting and feeling hopeless feel better about checking out than checking in to a hospital for help. Or admitting to a friend how they are really feeling.

Mind, body, and spirit. These are all connected and all part of our health. If one area is off, the others follow. We are a check and balance system with flashing indicator lights that we must pay attention to–to tune in to with every ounce of intuition we possess and address, for ourselves and for those around us.

The holiday season brings clouds for people. Many people have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and aren’t even aware of that. They just feel very down. There are light boxes which have proven to be very effective and non-invasive. Individuals living with mental illnesses (depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, OCD, schizophrenia, etc.) struggle more during this period. When I teach NAMI classes, I consistently hear family members report that their mentally ill relatives take a dive in November. They often then get a cold on top of other symptoms, exacerbating their overall sense of being. This makes the ads with happy people drinking champagne and eating turkey while they laugh all the more painful for people who feel unbalanced, disconnected, and alone.

This makes staying on top of your mental health the highest priority during these months. There are many tools available. In a recent Bailor University study, weight resistance training has been shown to have a strong antidepressant effect in women. Other forms of movement work as well. What you eat is key, as are counseling and medications which can save lives. But the absolute best thing I have ever found for myself or my children is to help someone else weaker or more in need.

Suicide hangs over us like a cloud. It happens more than it should, we talk about it less than we should…as if talking about it will cause us to catch it or something. A friend who lost her teen daughter to suicide about 10 years ago relentlessly pursued educating teens on this subject. She would go to high school classes across Southern California and ask this question: “How many people in here have either thought about suicide, attempted suicide, or know somebody who has?” All hands went up every time.

I don’t know what was happening with my friend or why she felt getting out was a better option than getting healthy. I do know this: you are loved and you have a completely unique purpose on this earth that nobody else can replicate. There are people who need you and are depending on you to keep yourself healthy all the way through. If you are feeling like your mental health is less than it should be for you or someone you know, here are a few great resources.

NAMI – National Alliance for the Mentally Ill    www.nami.org – local affiliates, grassroots organization that excels in free educational classes, legislative voice, and support

The Balanced Mind Foundation: www.thebalancedmindfoundation.org (great online support groups made up of parents with kids showing signs of mental illness)

Choose health. You’re needed more than you know and the part that you are here to do, you are here to do. Make sense?

Go shine.

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About jamieweilhealthcoach

I'm on a mind-body-spirit journey. At first, I thought health was about the physical body, but I'm discovering it's so much more than that. I've learned that it's more about serving and connecting with others than anything else. It's about being in the world in a blissful way. Before I blog, I meditate on what my readers need to hear--what will inspire them. Then, I write it. (www.getstrongblog.com)
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2 Responses to Suicide: To Get Out or To Get Healthy

  1. charliepriceauthor says:

    Too true. Great message.

    ________________________________

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