We joke about suicide a lot in our day to day lives. We joke a lot if we had a long week or a lot to do or something bad happens. We just want to “kill ourselves,” right? Some common phrases including “I just want to jump off a bridge” or “Shoot me now.” We are all guilty, college is stressful! Papers, deadlines, work, friends, LOVE! The thing is suicide is a real thing that happens on college campuses across the nation; the second leading cause of death in college students is suicide. The rate of suicide on campus is .5- 7.5 per 100,000 college students with about 1000 college students committing the act per year. While it may seem like something that is okay to joke about because we may not know anyone personally you has died from suicide, suicide is much more common than we think.
There are a lot of misconceptions that people believe when they hear about a suicide. People think that those who commit suicide are selfish or on drugs. They believe that they were weird anyways or just lose respect for the victim as a whole. Most people who turn to suicide are struggling with debilitating depression and needed much more help than they may have lead others to believe. Could you imagine ever feeling that low? Being in so much pain that the thought of another day alive is unbearable? Most of us do not understand what this feels like but there are so many out there who are more than familiar with this feeling.
As a teenager and a young adult I struggled with these feelings a little too often. My head would just not shut off no matter what I did and I could not shut off the negative thoughts infiltrating my brain. I would tell myself I was stupid, that I disappointed everyone around me, that I didn’t deserve to live. I was convinced that some of the things that I have done in my past made me a despicable person and that did not deserve any sort of love. I pushed everyone away from me and left myself to marinate in my pain. There were times that I was scared for my life because I knew that I could not control my thinking for much longer. I would go back and forth and back and forth with a knife, a bottle of Advil, even playing in traffic. This was when I knew that I needed to get help. Most stories do not end like this and it is too late to help. There are many warning signs that we can look for in our friends and loved ones and even in ourselves that will lead us to get help before it is too late. We will discuss these in detail in our next discussion.
Today, I have almost completely overcome my depression. If you are reading this blog and are disturbed by its content please know that I am okay and have gotten the help that I needed. I just wanted to share my own story for the sake of others who are not ready to share their story or get help.
If you feel comfortable I would love to hear other reader’s stories or experiences in the comments so please feel free to share! Spread the love.