Today’s topic of discussion for this blog may be uncomfortable for some, and is often an avoided discussion, yet it weighs heavily occurring at the hands of depression. Suicide is a reality and more common than you may think. In 2009, suicide was the ninth leading cause of death in Canada and it is the second leading cause of death for those between 15 and 34 years old1. Being a college or university student can lead to a lot of stress. It is a transitioning phase from adolescence to adulthood, and for some, there is more pressure than ever to make something of yourself and be successful. It can cause one to come face to face with many challenges leading to feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and desperation when things just are not falling into place. Rather, everything seems to be spiraling out of control leaving one to have severely depressed feelings that life is unbearable. At times, it can become difficult in this age bracket to distinguish between behaviours of feeling stressed versus the signs that can lead to suicide.
Here are some behaviour changes to watch out for if you suspect someone you know is battling with depression and suicidal thoughts2:
- Withdrawal from family and peers
- Loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities
- Difficulty concentrating on schoolwork
- Neglect of personal appearance
- Obvious changes in personality
- Sadness and hopelessness
- Changes in eating patterns, such as sudden weight loss or gain
- Changes in sleep patterns
- General lethargy or lack of energy
- Violent actions, rebellion, or running away
- Drug and alcohol use
- Loss of ability to tolerate praise or rewards
If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, you may be able to help him/her find better ways to cope. Remember that help for their/your problems is available. Here are a few places to seek help2.
- Visit your local emergency department or call 911
- Contact a nurse at Telehealth Ontario by dialing 1-866-797-000
- Call the Good2Talk support line at 1-866-925-5454 (for post-secondary students in Ontario aged 17-25)
- Ontario Mental Health Helpline (open 24/7 for treatment anywhere in Ontario) 1-866-531-2600
~Joti, Humans of Depression Representative
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