I am going to start this post by sharing some very news… I HAVE JUST TAKEN MY LAST CRAZY PILL (or as normal people call them ,anti-depressant).
Yep, after 2 and a half years I am finally in a good enough place to feel confident enough to come off of them. It is a bit scary because, you know, part of me feels that they are the only reason I got over my depression this time, but mostly I’m proud. I’m proud I’ve got to a place that I feel strong enough to come off them and try life on my own for a while.
Depression can be a debilitating illness and it can be a hard thing for those that haven’t experienced to understand. When I went on to my anti-depressants a couple of years ago I was very lucky that my boss (wassup, Dennis) was someone I could be completely truthful with and we had a very honest conversation about how I was feeling after my diagnosis. In that conversation Den was also honest in that, having never suffered herself, it wasn’t something she understood and she did (and does) her best to ask questions to try and at least sympathise with what I was going through even if she couldn’t empathise. I was very lucky to have such an understanding boss and friend in her. I know friends that have not been so lucky with their line managers.
One of the more known commonly known symptoms of depression is having suicidal feelings / thoughts. Suicidal thoughts can completely consume you and it can feel like you have no control over anything. You get into the black hole and it can be hard to climb back out, especially without the right help. Suicide is something that has affected my family and my friends so Suicide Prevention is something that has always been close to my heart.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month.
September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day.
The latest statistics from The Samaritans show that suicide is still a very big problem in the UK. Female suicides are at their highest rate in the UK since 2011, in England since 2005. Female suicides have increased (by 8.3%) whilst Male suicides have decreased (by 5.6%). Having said that the highest suicide rate was still found in Men – those aged between 45 and 49.
These latest figures published are figures from 2014. It shows that, in the UK alone, 6581 people committed suicide. In my opinion, that is 6581 too many.
There is no overnight cure for depression and suicidal thoughts will not disappear overnight. It is important for anyone suffering to get help, there are various places you can get help, it can be anonymously too if that is what you’d rather.
There are various factors that will contribute to someone having these types of thoughts and, as I say, they won’t disappear overnight but we can all make small differences to people without realising, often through the little things.
This month I have pledged to actively do one ‘nice’ thing a day, to make a strangers day a little brighter and my contribution to the world a little better.
I would like to suggest you do the same, below are my suggestions for a doily dose of niceness. One thing for each day of September.
- Smile at a stranger
- Hold the door open for someone
- Help someone carrying a lot of things
- Pay for the person behind you at the drive thru
- Buy a suspended coffee
- Pay someone a compliment
- Give away clothes that you don’t need
- Donate items to a homeless shelter
- Tell someone why you love them
- Take some treats into work for your colleagues to share
- Let someone go in front of you in a queue
- Let someone overtake you in traffic
- Offer someone your seat on the tube/bus/train
- Leave an encouraging note for a stranger to find
- Call your best friend/ family member just to chat
- Buy someone flowers, just ‘cause
- Leave a used book in a café for someone else to enjoy
- Put £1 in the next charity pot you see
- Make someone a tea / coffee
- Feedback when you receive GOOD customer service
- Mail someone a letter – we all like post that isn’t bills, don’t we?
- Share an inspiring ‘thought of the day’
- Listen to someone going through a hard time
- Exercise patience
- Buy a homeless person lunch
- Leave behind a coupon that you are not going to use next to the product that it is for
- Donate your time/ money to a local cause
- Pick up some litter – it can just be one piece!
- Give someone a hug.
- Be the first to apologise
I am going to try to do these! One a day for September – as it is now the 6th clearly I have some catching up to do!
You can also show your support for Suicide Prevention by wearing something orange on 10th September and/or donate to a charity that works to provide support to those suffering suicidal thoughts and to survivors too. The work they do is so important in making sure that these people get well again.
Let me know your suggestions for your acts of niceness!
These two charities provide support in the UK if you need it, or if you want to donate you can do so by clicking the links and following the instructions.
Other useful websites
www.twloha.com (featured image from their WSD campaign)