The recent high profile suicides have left many of us with our heads spinning. Why? How? I don’t get it? In today’s world of Instagram posts and Facebook likes we have become accustomed to seeing a very curated image of other’s lives. We share and post the good images, the fun outings, and the exciting moments. Wealth, beauty, success become ever present standards by which we believe we “should” be living. And this can easily lead to the false belief that those things will bring us peace, happiness, and joy. What goes on behind the scenes, well, stays there. I’m reminded of when I posted a Christmas photo of my kids. Everyone liked and commented on how cute they all looked. I was thrilled. No one asked or talked about the 51 takes, bribing, crying, whining, and begging that it took to get that one shot. All they saw were the “perfect kids” having a “perfect Christmas,” when in fact it was far from perfect. So when we hear about someone who on the surface appears to have the things that many of us desire, it shocks us into remembrance that there is so much more going on under the surface of the public image we all carefully curate.
So what do I do?
You are not going to recognize the signs of depression and suicidal thoughts in your loved ones through a text message, tweet, emoji, or social media post. All the reading and googling in the world about the signs of suicide is no substitute for actual in person interaction with those we love. So what do I do? 1) Connect in person, 2) Listen, just listen, and 3) Don’t be afraid to talk about suicide.
1) Connect in Person
The only way to genuinely peak underneath the surface of the public image we all share is to connect in person with our friends and loved ones. A text, comment, like, or repost, is no substitute for a phone call, or better yet, a visit. …read more