“Suicide is not a blot on anyone’s name; it is a tragedy ” ― Kay Redfield Jamison (American psychologist)
A week back, a young lady in my hometown (Chitwan, Nepal) hanged herself in her room leaving two small kids in despair. She was our tenant years back so I knew her. We got to know that she was a victim of domestic violence for years and couldn’t bear the physical and mental abuse from her so-called husband, anymore.
Three days after this, I was shattered by the news of famous Indian actor Sushant Singh Rajpoot, one of the public figures I have adored the most. He was suffering from clinical depression (as per reports) and was found dead in his room in Mumbai, India.
These two instances gave me a hard time dealing with the thoughts of why, why giving up.
World Health Organization WHO has an estimation of eight million people committing suicide every year. That means every forty seconds, one person is giving up on their life. There is one death on every twenty-five suicidal attempts.
Did you really want to die? No one commits suicide because they want to die. Then why do they do it? Because they want to stop the pain. ― Tiffanie DeBartolo (American novelist)
While there are several reasons that lead a person to take this unpleasant decision, the most common ones are traumatic stress and severe depression.
Sexual abuse, domestic violence, financial crisis, study/career failure, death of loved one, relationship breakup, rejection, loneliness, critical illness, drug/alcohol addiction, etc. are some of the top reasons that trigger stress and depression. When this feeling of helplessness goes to a great length, there are chances that a person wants to end their life. Dealing with the situation alone and not seeking help make things worse.
According to statistics, 30% to 70% of suicide victims suffer from severe depression.
So, the main concern is, how to win at life despite the adverse situations that come our way unexpected and uninvited.
All it needs is a little more effort and commitment to it.
Negative emotions affect our mind and body, way quicker and deeper than positive emotions. We believe whatever good or bad happens around us, that decides the quality of emotions in our minds. This is the one belief system that creates problems.
The truth is, we are the sole in charge of our mind and body. We choose our course of emotions.
Once in his speech, senior psychotherapist doctor Girish Patel had said, there are several stages a person experiences in their life:
a) The highest stage – There’s a spark in life, every day, every hour is a happy moment. (this is the rarest)
b) The second stage – Life is going good, everything seems okay. (this is also a rare one)
c) The third stage – Major aspects of life are going good, family, work/business are fine, you are okay with life but you may not be happy every hour.
d) The fourth stage – You are doing everything in life you are supposed to do but you are not excited. Depression starts here.
e) The fifth stage – There are a couple of times in a day when you don’t feel good.
f) The sixth stage – You start feeling, “it’s not going well, God, I want to get rid of it.”
g) The seventh stage – You really feel depressed.
h) The eighth stage – *plans to end life*
Doctor Girish says, the ultimate aim of life should be the highest stage but we have built a belief system that life is a journey of joys and sorrows. That means we have downgraded our goal and we think the third stage is the maximum we could achieve.
There’s nothing that stops us from attaining the highest stage but we are unaware of it.
There comes the need for change. Change starts at awareness which is the first step towards recovery. Awareness of the emotional battle that is going inside. Awareness about the feeling of the need to improve. The awareness also includes the realization of the fact that I am accountable for my state of mind, and not what’s going on around. It is not easy to change everything overnight, but a little more effort and commitment towards it really works.
A depressed person is not WEAK. Most of us hesitate to seek help because we feel that we would be termed as a weak person.
It is very important to determine the stage you are currently at. Except for clinical depression where you need medical assistance, you can defeat all other levels of stress and depression on your own.
Famous spiritual mentor Sister Shivani says, self-counseling is one of the most influential techniques to win over depression. This is because no one can understand the way we understand ourselves. It is always appreciated to seek help from family, friends, and experts but equally, we need to accept that self companionship is what we need the most in each step of healing.
You might have heard about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which was founded by American psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck. This is basically a conversation therapy that includes identifying the issue, being aware of it, and working towards the cure. In the medical world, CBT is conducted with a therapist. In spirituality, as Sister Shivani said, a person can become her/his own counselor, which is a form of meditation. But in both of the cases, the result comes 100% positive only when the person has a strong commitment to come out of depression.
Unfortunately, if someone is experiencing the eighth stage, there are a number of ways to positively deal with it.
First, don’t stay alone. Just get in touch with someone or some people and be with them. Or call a helpline asap.
Monitor your breath and slow it down. Practice a few deep inhale and exhale.
Try to shift your attention. Visualize yourself with the loved one. Cherish the moment where you two are spending good times together somewhere in a beautiful place.
Practice some relaxation movements. Relax your muscles from top to bottom.
Stay away from alcohol and drugs.
Be kind to yourself. Remember, this is the time you need yourself the most. Take a piece of paper, list out your strengths, list out the name of people who love you selflessly.
Have faith in yourself, you’ve bravely crossed difficulties in the past as well and this time, you are going to make yourself proud once again.
Don’t be ashamed to share your story. Because your story makes you unique and a lot of people are waiting to hear it.