OUR VIEW: If you need help, please ask for it
Depression does not discriminate by age, race or occupation.
It strikes anyone and everyone. You cannot tell someone is suffering from depression based on whether they are rich or poor, single or married, parents or childless.
By the same token, if you are the one suffering – and chances are, many of you are … but it’s all right – no one can read your mind and tell as much.
Depression is a big reason why 800,000 people die by suicide in American every year. That amounts to a self-inflicted genocide.
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among ages 15-29.
It can feel like the world is closing in on you. It can feel like there is absolutely no way out. Even if you know people love you, there is a gnawing in the back of your mind that they are better off without you.
It may not make sense, but the feeling is there. No one wants to harm themselves and leave everyone in their life behind, but the pressure builds and builds if it is not relieved.
But there is nothing wrong with you. Like the ads say, it’s OK to not be OK.
While the civilian population struggles with this every day, among our active and retired military veterans, matters are even worse. Suicides among active military reached a 10-year high in 2018.
Last month, CNN reported that the commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert Neller, spoke about Marines taking their own lives and implored troubled troops to reconsider any drastic actions.
“I am personally compelled to say something about suicide and mental health,” Neller said in his message. “If you need help, please ask/speak up ... we will be there for you. Consider the lasting impact on your family, friends, and unit – none of whom will ever truly recover. Don’t choose a permanent solution to a temporary problem that can be resolved with the help of your teammates.”
Whether you are civilian or military, there is one clear message that you need to hear – it is OK to ask for help.
No one can help if you do not ask. You are not alone in this world, no matter who you are.
Someone can help.
Ask a friend, your spouse, your parent, or your counselor.
Just tell them you need someone, and hopefully, they will be that someone, or find that someone.
If you feel like you have no one to talk to, the North Carolina Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255, or you can text CONNECT to 741741 on your cell phone.
Whatever you do, don’t battle these demons alone.