Never give up on life
This is the second time in four months, that a friends husband or partner has chosen to end their life, of their own free will, leaving behind small children who will grow up, never being able to share their happy moments or times when they just need some reassurance from their Dad.
I flew home yesterday and on arrival, I had a dreaded call from my best friend. She has been the person who I shared my inner most thoughts with, cried with, laughed with and behaved badly on more than one occasion with.
I have always been the weaker one of the two. The person who always needed her for a shoulder to cry on or just to let off steam. She has reassured me on days that I have felt helpless and given me confidence every single time I have needed her to.
She has never asked me for the same except two months ago she rung up and was upset about a disagreement with her partner. What this showed me was just how special he was to her and how much she loved him. They sorted it out in no time and were happy.
In the background, a too familiar situation. He was going through a nasty divorce. This happens and you know what - people say things they don't mean and on reflection often wished that they could take it back. I feel for his entire family and in particular, the love of his life, my friend.
He was a man that had good manners and always thought of others before himself. He never said a bad word about anyone and always did the right thing. He was intelligent, fun, grounded and had so much to offer the world - yet he decided to take his own life.
No-one will ever know why but there is many people that will miss him dearly.
I am so pleased to be there for my friend in her time of need and wish that I could do more in helping others who find that life becomes unbearable for whatever reason.
What I have realized in life is that sometimes people just need a hug. Men in particular, as much as they are taught from an early age to be "men" quite often would love to have someone that they can talk to and share their inner most thoughts. Unfortunately, most don't feel that this is possible.
While women can talk to their friends until their hearts content, men have to keep so much to themselves in case their friends think they are a "wuss" or that they are weak. There is no weakness in sharing your thoughts or your fears and sometimes putting it out there exactly how you feel.
If you know someone going through a hard time right now - male or female - please take a few hours out of your day and give them the opportunity to know that you are there if they need you. Depression or moments of insanity are realities and with the pressures of life, they are even more prevalent. Please take time to give to others that need your help.
Statistics that may shock you:
Depression in America:
- 1 in 10 U.S adults report depression (http://www.cdc.gov/)
- Depression affects nearly 10% (24 million) of American's aged 18 and over in a given year (http://www.afsp.org/)
- More than 12 million women suffer from depression each year compared to 6 million men (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml)
- 1 in 4 women will have a severe or major depression in their lifetime compared to 1 in 8 (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml)
- The median age of depression is 32 (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml)
- More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease (17 million), cancer (12 million) and HIC/AIDS (1 million) (http://www.afsp.org/)
- Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors including genetics, brain chemistry, personality and life events. (http://www.adaa.org)
- Anxiety disorders including depression cost the U.S more than $42 billion a year (http://www.adaa.org)
- Over 60% of all people who die by suicide suffer from major depression.If one of these includes alcoholics who are depressed this figure rises to over 75%(http://www.afsp.org/)
- Over 38,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year (http://www.afsp.org/)
- Almost four times as many males as females die by suicide (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml)
- Firearms, Suffocation, and poison are by far the most common methods of suicide overall with firearms being the most popular method used by males (56%) (http://www.cdc.gov/)
- Suicide rate for men are highest amoung those 75 and older. That is 36 males per 100,000 males.(http://www.cdc.gov/)
- Nearly 5 times as many males as females aged between 15 to 19 die by suicide and nearly 6 times as many males as female aged between 20 to 24 die of suicide (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml)
- A person dies by suicide about every 14 minutes in the U.S and approximately everyday 105 Americans take their own life (http://www.afsp.org/)
- 79% (30,277) of males comitted suicide in 2010 compared to 21% of females (http://www.cdc.gov/)
- There are an estimated 8 to 25 attempted suicides for every suicide death (http://www.afsp.org/)
- Men and the elderly are more likely to have fatal attempts than are women and youth (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml)