Megan (pictured left) shares her experiences and tips to manage depression and suicidal thoughts:
People often think they’ll know if their friend is depressed. You’d definitely know if they were suicidal, right?
According to Mind, 21% of people have experienced suicidal thoughts in their lifetime and 7 in every 100 have self-harmed. It can be very difficult to know if someone is feeling depressed or suicidal. Poor mental health makes you feel like a burden on others. You become a brilliant actor and reply with “Oh yeah, I’m fine” or “I’m just tired”. It’s like a reflex.
When I say I have depression people always seem shocked. They are surprised that you can be depressed and still function. I have depression but at the moment I am stable. I still have bad days and bad moments in good days but on the whole, I am happy.
I think it is super important for EVERYONE to talk openly about mental health so that people do not suffer alone. It can feel like you are being bullied from inside your own head, like you are completely alone and a waste of space.
Many people seem to be afraid of the word ‘suicide’ but what’s to be scared of? If you’re worried about someone, just ask! Are you feeling okay? You seem kinda low, are you safe? Have you had any suicidal thoughts?
Having suicidal thoughts does not always mean you want to die or that you have any intent of trying. For example, feeling depressed and waking up feeling like life isn’t worth living or that the pain you feel is all too much you want it to end – that’s a suicidal feeling. It’s not healthy to feel that way and so it’s a good idea to reach out and get some help.
I may have depression and be on medication but I am getting better. Do you know someone who’s depressed? Here’s a few things that helped me:
- Check in. Ask if they’re okay and if they are safe.
- Ask if you can help them out. Cook them dinner, help with shopping etc.
- Be with them. You don’t have to say anything, just having some company is comforting.
- Get clued up. Google it, read about it so you know what t
he person is going through.
- Don’t try to fix it. This will come with time.
- Remind them that it’s okay to not be okay. Things will get better. They are not a burden or a weirdo.
- Create a smaller, achievable to-do list including basic care (e.g. eating, washing).
- Self-care. Shower, eat regularly, meet people, put on day-time clothes, get fresh air etc.
- Use the 15 minute rule. If you think you can’t do something, commit to doing it for only 15 minutes and then you can reassess and either continue or stop. Either way you’ve achieved something.
- Get professional help. Go to the doctors, speak with an impartial therapist/counsellor, contact a helpline.