I just saw on the news that Marie Osmonds nineteen year old son has committed suicide by jumping from the balcony of his apartment building. It is just so completely sad to me that this young man could see no other solution to the way he was feeling, other than to end his life. Evidently he had suffered with depression for many years, and had been under treatment. It’s a well known fact that Marie has also suffered with depression. It seems to me that people who suffer with depression or other emotional issues are so ashamed of it, that they either refuse to seek help or fail to follow through with treatment.
Why is it, that in today’s society, people must feel ashamed to say that they suffer with a mental illness? It’s not their fault…it is a medical disorder. Unfortunately it is often times slow to be recognized, especially in teens and young adults. We blow off the symptoms as “just part of growing up” or the people themselves just hide their feelings, for fear of being “labled” as defective.
Even when they do go for help, it usually takes several attempts with different medications to find the right prescription that will work for that individual, and sometimes they just give up, thinking that they can’t “be fixed.” Then too, the medications themselves often have such awful side effects, or atleast the reputation as having awful side effects that they do not want to take them. There are so many mental diseases out there, depression, anxiety, ptsd, bipolar, schizophrenia…many others. The brain is still a bit of a mystery even to the scientists that have devoted their lives to figuring it out…so, of course how could a teen or young adult figure out their feelings? Even with a very supportive family, people can frequently feel isolated and alone. They won’t share their feelings or fears with their loved ones. They suffer in silence. And often, unfortunately and tragically…they end up like Marie Osmonds son.
My thoughts and prayers are with that family tonight…and all the other families who have or are dealing with mental illness. I am pasting below the symptoms of depression as written by the Mayo Clinic. Please, if you or anyone you know have these symptoms…don’t be afraid or ashamed. Call your family doctor or go to the hospital. There is help. Life can be better.
Depression symptoms include:
- Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
- Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
- Reduced sex drive
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Changes in appetite — depression often causes decreased appetite and weight loss, but in some people it causes increased cravings for food and weight gain
- Agitation or restlessness — for example, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
- Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy — even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren’t going right
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
- Crying spells for no apparent reason
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
For some people, depression symptoms are so severe that it’s obvious something isn’t right. Others people feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.
Depression affects each person in different ways, so depression symptoms vary from person to person. Inherited traits, age, gender and cultural background all play a role in how depression may affect you.
Depression symptoms in children and teens
Common symptoms of depression can be a little different in children and teens than they are in adults.
- In younger children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, irritability, hopelessness and worry.
- Symptoms in adolescents and teens may include anxiety, anger and avoidance of social interaction.
- Changes in thinking and sleep are common signs of depression in adolescents and adults, but are not as common in younger children.
- In children and teens, depression often occurs along with behavior problems and other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Depression symptoms in older adults
Depression is not a normal part of growing older, and most seniors feel satisfied with their lives. However, depression can and does occur in older adults. Unfortunately it often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Many adults with depression feel reluctant to seek help when they’re feeling down.
- In older adults, depression may go undiagnosed because symptoms — for example, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems or loss of interest in sex — may seem to be caused by other illnesses
- Older adults with depression may say they feel dissatisfied with life in general, bored, helpless or worthless. They may always want to stay at home, rather than going out to socialize or doing new things.
- Suicidal thinking or feelings in older adults is a sign of serious depression that should never be taken lightly, especially in men. Of all people with depression, older adult men are at the highest risk of suicide.
When to see a doctor
If you feel depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can. Depression symptoms may not get better on their own — and depression may get worse if it isn’t treated. Untreated depression can lead to other mental and physical health problems or problems in other areas of your life. Feelings of depression can also lead to suicide.
If you’re reluctant to seek treatment, talk to a friend or loved one, a health care professional, a faith leader, or someone else you trust.
If you have suicidal thoughts
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help right away. Here are some steps you can take:
- Contact a family member or friend.
- Seek help from your doctor, a mental health provider or other health care professional.
- Call a suicide hot line number — in the United States, you can reach the toll-free, 24-hour hot line of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to talk to a trained counselor.
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone in your faith community.
When to get emergency help
If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. If you have a loved one who has harmed himself or herself, or is seriously considering doing so, make sure someone stays with that person. Take him or her to the hospital or call for emergency help.
Of course the other illnesses have their own symptoms, if you have any feelings of suicide, anxiety, depression, worry or stress that seems out of control or is affecting how you live…please call your doctor.
Thank you for reading my blog.
Never give up hope…Life can be better.