So many young people are taking their own lives before their life even truly begins.
Why is that? Maybe it’s a home situation, maybe it’s a result of being bullied, or maybe it’s just a side effect of a chemical flaw. Whatever the cause is, the end result is still the same. We are facing an epidemic of premature deaths because so many young people feel alone, ashamed, and like an overall misfit. Let’s take into consideration two situations:
Case 1: A student shows up to school with cuts on their wrist. People notice, but instead of seeking help, they seek gossip points. That same student is ostracized for demonstrating suicidal tendencies but is not taken seriously. They seem genuinely uneasy inbetween the masquerade of happiness, but instead of another student befriending them, they begin to avoid them.
Case 2: A student does not show up to school on Monday morning because they have taken their own life. Immediately there are tears, social media posts, prayer circles, and tons of support. Here is the catch: In those two situations, it is the same student.
So what is the difference? Suicidal people are mocked and avoided while those who successfully commit suicide are suddenly deeply missed, cherished, and loved by all. Maybe if we treated and spoke about others the same way we do after they are dead, the number of suicides in students would decrease. If we could look up from our phones for five minutes and genuinely ask people how they are doing, maybe the plague of loneliness would shrink.
Suicide is completely preventable. No one is ever completely alone, not even at 3 a.m. when the darkest thoughts bind their hearts and minds. Depression is not something to be ashamed of, and it is certainly not something to be gossiped about. If your thoughts scare you, get help. It sucks and is scary for sure, but even after you die, the world is still going to turn.
Don’t you want to see beautiful tomorrows? Although your life may seem gloomy now, I promise you, better days are ahead. Surround yourself with those who care deeply about you, and attempt to ignore the voices of those who only want to tear you down. Taking your life does not give you victory over the haters. Let every single negative comment or doubt that anyone has to say about you fuel your soul to defy all the odds against you.
If you are approached by someone who is depressed, suicidal, injuring themselves, or you have the inclination that they are in danger, it is your job to seek the correct help and to get the sufferer into a safe place. it’s as simple as treating one another with respect. Do not share the information over coffee with a friend because the person trusted you with their darkest thoughts and you owe it to them to keep it private.
Carry on, my friends. Speak kindly to and of each other. Mind your own business while seeking out those who are hurting.
MaKenzie Free is 18 years old and studies psychology at Williams Baptist College. People are her passion. In her free time she loves to goof off with friends or play with her dog, Eloise. MaKenzie is an active member at her church and writes to an audience of one.