Commentary, Gabriela Martinez
Suicide is more than just someone taking their own life. It’s a matter of someone thinking it is the only option to end their pain and suffering. The truth is, there are a lot of ways you can get help – and one of the things that helps the most is to talk to someone so you’re not suffering in silence.
According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, suicide rates increased in the United States by an alarming 24 percent from 1999 to 2014.
The data show that teenagers had among the highest increases in suicide rates. In particular, preteen and teen girls’ suicide rates both increased.
If you think suicide is the only option, you should try and seek help so you can get the support and love that you need.
There are a lot of resources available, from suicide hotlines to talking to a therapist or a trusted friend. If you don’t have a friend or family member to talk to, you can talk to a coworker or a teacher you trust so you can get the help you need.
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) started writing anti-suicide messages on the back of BART tickets, announcing “Suicide Is Not The Answer” and giving out a suicide prevention hotline number. Doctors try to help by prescribing antidepressants but fear of the side effects of the medication. Therapy is one resource that people of all ages can find very helpful.
But with suicide rates increasing, it’s clear that people aren’t receiving the help they need.
In the beginning of my sophomore year, I became depressed when my best friend left to go to San Diego. I felt like I had lost a part of myself and believed I would never see him again. I became depressed and it stuck to me like super glue. Depression is hard to get rid of, especially when bad things happen both in school and in the place I used to call home. Over the years my depression turned to suicidal thoughts and attempts. Soon, my depression led to anxiety that kept me from living the life I wanted to live and kept me from using my voice most of the time.
My depression and anxiety still control my life today and I try my best to get away from them.
Some people feel better by doing something creative, like painting, writing or singing. A lot of people seek help from a therapist to talk through what they are going through and try medication that might help.
I found therapy a challenge, though, because it seemed like all the person did was make me remember the thoughts and traumatizing memories that I was trying to avoid and that made me feel more depressed. I was never open to talking to a complete stranger about my past or current situations. Talking to someone I knew worked better for me because I knew that person would try their best to help me make a better decision for my future.
For me, the best way to feel better was to talk to someone I loved or trusted.
I recently won an award for special recognition in my advanced photography class and I was filled with joy. If my suicide attempts had worked, I would never have met the wonderful teachers who mean the world to me. I wouldn’t have fallen in love with and gotten the chance to meet my best friend who lives eight hours away. And I would never have had the chance to walk the stage with my senior class.
I am thankful that I was able to reach out and ask for help. If I had gone through with it, I wouldn’t be who I am today: a young artist with a bright future.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For more information, go to http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/