TTU Home Student Counseling CenterDepression/Suicide Pamphlet

Depression/Suicide Pamphlet

By: Chris Smith, M.A.

Print This Print This Page

 

Depression

 

At some point in everyone’s life they will feel “blue” or “down in the dumps”. We are dynamic beings and our emotions can change and be influenced by what is going on in our lives. A poor test grade, an argument with a good friend, or the loss of a job can all make us feel sad and these feelings may go away after a short period of time. Depression on the other hand can be long lasting, more intense, and have potentially deadly consequences.

If a person feels down most days for a long period of time (weeks or months) they might be depressed. People who are depressed often:

Although we all might feel one of these symptoms at any given moment, when we are depressed we are more likely to feel a number of these and aspects of our lives may suffer. We might pull away from friends and do poorly in school.  

 

Getting help

When you are depressed it is hard to think that things will get better or that anything you do will help. It is important to seek out professional help if you think you might be depressed. Mental health professionals can help you with your depression using talk therapies, medication, or a combination of both.

 

Helping a Friend

When someone you care about is depressed it is hard to sit by and watch them as they feel worse about themselves. If you think someone is depressed: offer to talk with them and help them seek out appropriate help.

 

Suicide

 

Sometimes when things are bad in our lives or we feel out of control we might think about dying and suicide. Almost all people at one point or another think about suicide, but most realize that suicide is not a solution to their problems.  However, when someone is feeling overwhelmed and out of control they may have difficulty thinking clearly and making rational decisions. They will experience difficulties with sleep, work, and relationships. Often they feel that they cannot get out of their depression and that there situation is ultimately hopeless. When people feel like this they are more likely to think about ending their life and may attempt suicide.

How to Help a Friend

Suicide Warning Signs

 

Suicide Myths and Facts (from NHCHC.ORG)

Myth: Suicide happens without warning.
Fact: There are almost always warning signs, but others are often unaware of the significance of the warnings or unsure about what to do.

Myth: People who talk about suicide do not commit suicide.
Fact: Most people who commit suicide have talked about or given definite warning signs of their suicidal intentions.

Myth: Improvement in a suicidal person means the danger is over.
Fact: Many suicides occur several months after the beginning of improvement, when a person has energy to act on suicidal thoughts.

Myth: Suicide is more common in lower socio-economic groups.
Fact: Suicide cuts across social and economic boundaries.

Myth: All suicidal individuals are depressed.
Fact: Depression is often associated with suicidal feelings but not all persons who attempt or commit suicide are depressed. A number of other emotional factors may be involved.

Myth: Asking “Are you thinking about committing suicide?” may trigger a person to make a
suicide attempt.
Fact: Asking direct, caring questions about suicide will often minimize a person’s
anxiety and act as a deterrent to suicidal behavior.

 

Resources

Center for Disease Control - http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/suicide/index.html
American Association of Suicidology  - www.suicidology.org

 

Top of Page