Coping with life—Dealing with suicide feelings

A teen who is depressed.

ARE you finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the problems surrounding you?

You, too, can cope.

However, the facts show that a growing number of people feel unable to cope with life.

Worldwide the suicide rate has reached alarming proportions.

Both the wealthy and the poor are involved—and the numbers keep increasing.

Why do some choose suicide?

A teen wanting to commit suicide.

Why are so many people deciding that they can’t cope with life?

Why?

“The three H’s: haplessness, helplessness, and hopelessness,” answers Dr. Calvin J. Frederick, chief of emergency mental health and disaster assistance at the National Institute of Mental Health. 

Thus to the suicidal person one thing after another seems to go wrong.

He feels unable to cope with the present and sees nothing good happening in the future to change things. But what causes a person to sink to such depths of despair?

The reasons are varied.

Extreme poverty drives some to the point of desperation.

For many people poverty means a question of survival—a struggle to obtain enough food to feed them and their family.

And some, feeling unable to cope with watching their family suffer from want, choose the alternative—suicide.

Many others find it difficult to cope with a chronic, painful illness.

Faced with a future of living every day in pain, some plan to end their lives and thus end the misery.

In fact, to help such persons, recently a book was published that is described as “the world’s first guide on how to commit suicide effectively.”

Pointing to another factor is the comment by a spokeswoman for the Samaritans, an organization in England that specializes in helping suicidal persons.

She said:

“It seems that depression is increasing and one factor in this may be unemployment.”

To illustrate:

Young people leaving school and unable to get a job share with older persons, who have been made redundant, a common feeling of rejection.

Frustration can soon lead to acute depression.

Social welfare or unemployment payments do not solve that problem.

And, what about the man who loses the job that for a number of years has enabled him to provide well for his family?

Now he searches the want ads every day.

He goes on one job interview after another, but he can’t get a job.

Meanwhile, the family still needs to eat.

The bills are piling up.

Clearly, not an easy situation to cope with either, is it?

Loneliness is something with which many others feel unable to cope.

Perhaps one loses a mate in death after many years of happy marriage.

To some the thought of life without their mate is unbearable.

Some researchers feel that suicide among the elderly is a reaction to a series of losses: their mate dies; their children have moved away from home; they retire or are forced to retire; they must live on a fixed income while prices keep rising; their memory begins to fail; their health slowly deteriorates; self-respect is lost as they find themselves becoming more dependent on others.

Thus suicide can be viewed as a way to avoid burdening others or as an alternative to spending the rest of their days in a nursing home.

It is important to realize that how we treat those around us—our family and friends—can have a significant effect on whether they find life worth living.

As one 16-year-old girl who had thought of suicide wrote:

Maybe if parents and kids were kinder to each other, if teachers were more understanding, if we didn’t feel so much competition with one another, if our minds weren’t so open to sex and closed to true relationships, we would all be better off.” 

Where to get help?

A desperate man asking for help.

But when a person feels that life is not worth living, where can he get help?

Help for young people should logically come from their parents.

Older people who are feeling unable to cope also need to be able to turn to someone they know will care, someone who will offer sound, practical counsel.

What should you look for so as to know if a loved one is thinking about giving up on life?

Authorities list a variety of warning signals: suicidal threats; isolation from others; abrupt changes in behavior, such as an outgoing person’s becoming withdrawn; giving away “prized possessions”; severe depression.

Even loss of sleep, loss of appetite and decline in attention to schoolwork, where such changes are sudden, prolonged and uncharacteristic of the person, should not be ignored.

What can you do to help?

“Just being a friend, sitting down and letting the [person] talk it out” can help, says suicidologist Dr. Mark Solomon. 

Be sympathetic.

Don’t say, “Oh, come on, your problems can’t be that serious.”

Be willing to listen.

Offer alternatives; help him to see that things can change.

Don’t be afraid to speak frankly.

This may help him to open up and talk about his problems.

Many, unable to find a hearing ear among loved ones, turn for help to suicide-prevention and crisis-intervention centers.

A number of these are equipped with 24-hour telephone hot lines.

Such facilities not only try to save the life at the other end of the telephone line but may also provide referral information to help the person to cope with ongoing problems.

These referrals may include mental health and medical services, perhaps even assistance in obtaining child care and employment.


You can cope with life! 

A black lady in positive spirit.

Are you weighed down and depressed by one or more of the problems mentioned earlier?

Have you ever felt unable to cope, that there’s no use in going on?

True, you may have reason for a measure of sorrow.

But do not despair—you can cope! 

How?

Try to think positively.

Most problems have a solution.

If you don’t know what it could be in your case, why not try to confide in someone you know and whose advice you respect?

An older, sympathetic friend may well have faced, and overcome, a similar difficulty.

A solution can be simple.

Sometimes what is needed is a change in attitude.

For example, is unemployment the cause of your depression?

Have you been trying, without success, to get another job?

Well, what kind of job are you looking for?

One that offers the same position and salary as the job you lost?

Perhaps it would be wiser to ‘swallow your pride’ and settle for a job that pays a little less, or, if necessary, much less.

After all, something is better than nothing!

Is loneliness your problem?

Then don’t isolate yourself.

Fight against self-pity.

One of the best things to combat loneliness is doing a kindness for someone else.

‘But I need help,’ you say. ‘How can I give help?’ 

Why not try it?

You’ll find that giving to others will lift your spirits.

True, it will not remove your problem but can help you to cope with it.

Share this post with your social networks: