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Jada Pinkett Smith, the wife of the famous actor and singer Will Smith, opened up about her struggles with suicide and other mental issues following the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade.
The 46-year-old mother of two posted a lengthy, powerful note to Instagram with pictures of the late chef (Anthony Bourdain) and fashion designer (Kate Spade).
She wrote that the deaths of Bourdain and Spade “brought up feelings of when I was in such despair and had considered the same demise…often.” She added, “In the years I spent towards my healing, many moons ago, I realized the mind and heart can be extremely delicate without the foundation of a formidable spirit.” She further wrote “What I eat, what I watch on TV, what music I listen to, how I care for my body, my spiritual practice, what people I surround myself with, the amount of stress I allow and so on…either contribute to or deteriorate my mental health,” she wrote. “Mental health is a daily practice for me. It’s a practice of deep self-love. May Kate and Anthony Rest in Peace,” she concluded in the post. “Many may not understand…but I do, and this morning I have the deepest gratitude that I pulled through.”
How to Know If Someone You Love is Suicidal
Suicide is real. It causes immeasurable pain, suffering, and loss to individuals, families, and communities nationwide. It is the second leading cause of death among adolescents and early adults.
Suicide is preventable. But that starts with knowing what to look for and what to do. However, some outward warning signs that a person may be contemplating suicide include:
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself. They are not restrained about wanting to die or commit suicide. They spend their energy dwelling on death and researching means of taking their own lives such as buying a gun, knife or pills
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no sense of purpose;
- Talking about trapped feelings or being in unbearable pain;
- Talking about being a burden to others;
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs;
- Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless;
- Sleeping too little or too much;
- Withdrawing from friends and families or feeling isolated. Avoids social events, loses interest in activities that make them happy.
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge; and
- Displaying extreme mood swings such as rage and anger. They may be sad, anxious, irritable, moody, or aggressive. But they can suddenly remain calm once the thought of suicide crosses their mind
Signs and Symptoms of Suicidal Depression
Many people confuse being unhappy the same as being depressed. As emotional beings, feeling down from time to time is a normal part of our daily life. But when these emotions such as feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and despair take control of our life, you may be experiencing depression
Depression manifests differently from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. The more symptoms you have, the longer their duration and the stronger they are, the higher the chances you are dealing with depression
Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression Include
- Loss of interest in daily activities: People with depression don’t care about former hobbies, social activities, or past times. They withdraw from events that give them joy and pleasure. Another area they may lose interest is in sex. They experience decreased sex drive (libido) and even impotence.
- Loss of energy: You feel as though you are physically drained, tired and sluggish to do anything. You find menial tasks physically demanding and takes you a long time to get it done
- Self-loathing: You constantly and harshly blame yourself for any misfortune and mistakes. You go around with a strong feeling of guilt and worthlessness.
- They find it difficult remembering things, focusing or making decisions
- It is very common in men with depression to engage in extreme or risky behaviors, compulsive gambling, substance abuse and reckless driving
- Sleep problems such as waking in the early hours of the morning, finding it difficult to sleep or oversleeping
- People with depression also experience fluctuations in weight and appetite. Some people might experience weight loss and anorexia while others will have an increased appetite and weight gain.
- People with depression can also experience symptoms of anxiety such as rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, nervousness, restlessness or feeling tense.
Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Suicide hotlines provide a 24-hour toll-free number, online chat, email and text messaging hotline service to anyone in suicidal crisis. If you or have a friend or loved ones, going through one crisis or the other, or perhaps having suicidal thoughts, it is critical you reach out to a resource such as a suicide hotline. Suicide hotlines are typically equipped with trained personnel, but it depends on the specific hotline as to how they’re trained. Some are staffed by volunteers with little training while others are skilled and trained counsellors and professionals in specific areas of crises management. They include experts in the concerns of veterans or of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or queer individuals. There is always someone trained in the main issues facing those group.
Depending on the suicide hotline, your call may be transferred to a central location or, as in the case of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, your call may be answered by the lifeline closest to you. When you call, you’ll typically hear an automated message confirming the number you have reached and then on-hold music until someone can respond to your call.
Once your call is answered, a caring and trained personnel will listen to you, learn about your situation, ask questions and will then generally tell you about mental health services in your area. Services in your area can range from a mobile response team to a suicide prevention center staffed with counselors where you can be accommodated overnight.
If you’re in a crisis now, do not hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
To chat online with a counselor,
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
For the hearing impaired, contact the Lifeline by TTY at 1-800-799-4889
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Bettes, B., & Walker, E. (1986). Symptoms associated with suicidal behavior in childhood and adolescence. Journal Of Abnormal Child Psychology, 14(4), 591-604. doi: 10.1007/bf01260526
Coentre, R., Talina, M., Góis, C., & Figueira, M. (2017). Depressive symptoms and suicidal behavior after first-episode psychosis: A comprehensive systematic review. Psychiatry Research, 253, 240-248. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.04.010
Depressive symptoms and suicidal behavior in adolescents. (1985). American Journal Of Psychiatry, 142(5), 588-592. doi: 10.1176/ajp.142.5.588
Sun, F. (2011). A Concept Analysis of Suicidal Behavior. Public Health Nursing, no-no. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2011.00939.x