The energy of the mind is the essence of life. – Aristotle

The Social Stigma That Haunts Us All



With September being Suicide Prevention Month, I figured I would take the time to address an issue that many feel doesn’t apply to them.  If you read the statistics, they’re unreal.  Google them.

It is sad to think that so many people think the only way out from their problems is to end their life, but maybe that’s the wrong idea society has as a whole.  Maybe if we took more time out of our busy busy busy lives, we could show someone that their lives truly matter.  Part of the problem is that people don’t believe that suicide affects them.  Sadly, over 4 million people in the U.S. have been affected by suicide.  No, I’m not speaking about the people who weren’t successful in their attempt, I’m speaking about the people who have lost a friend, family member, or loved one.  Don’t believe me?  Go check the CDC website.  I am one of them.

We have this stigma that only weird people suffer from depression and that it’s only these people who have committed horrendous crimes that choose to run away from the problems they created or people that deserved to die anyway, but it’s not true.  Sometimes, all these people want is a friend, a smile, and someone to tell them just like one of my teachers used to say, “everything works out, it always does.”

We’ve all been depressed.  We’ve all been down.  We’ve all encountered a situation where we thought the outcome would be bad and that there was no way out.  Some people struggle with their weight, but some struggle to overcome that feeling of worthlessness.  It’s devastating.

As an American society, we have this thought process that we should be independent and not ask for help.  “I can handle it”, we tell ourselves.  And then we get to a point where it becomes too much.  We have to communicate with each other that it’s ok to seek help.  There’s nothing wrong with you.  Someone appreciates you, I promise.

As a journalist, I feel like this issue is kept in the dark throughout publications and media.  Sure, they talk about it, but not as much as they should.  Suicide is PREVENTABLE.  Suicide kills approximately 30,000 Americans every year.  You would think that most would be teens, but in fact over half of them are men over the age of 25.  Suicides also outnumber the number of homicides.  In otherwise, you’re more likely to commit suicide than be murdered.

Maybe the question we should be asking is why.  I enjoy reading, writing, and learning about culture so I have to throw that element in there.  What are we as a society enforcing on our people to make them think that the only way to not worry and feel that way is to end it. Is it the work load?  Is it the expectations?  Suicide attempts have more than doubled since the 50’s in the U.S.  What have we changed as a society that has impacted people for the worst?  How has our culture changed to cause this?  The statistics don’t lie.

So this week, as you go about your busy busy busy day, think about the small things you do and say.  You could be the difference someone needs to know that they’re not alone and that they’re not worthless.  Sometimes all it takes is a smile.  We live in a world of social media where videos of Miley Cyrus twerking make it on the web within seconds.  For once, spread something that actually matters and could affect the person’s life that is sitting next to you.


Prevention 2


Author: Jess

Texan by birth, Okie by current address. Journalist who caught the travel bug. I have a healthy dachshund obsession and spend endless hours reading about world history on Wikipedia.

3 thoughts on “The Social Stigma That Haunts Us All

  1. Well said sister!!!

    I think part of the issue is we have gotten to the point where we are isolated in more ways than we were even 15-20 years ago. There is Facebook, we can pay bills online, we can buy movies and music from home, and the list goes on and on. Crap we can even buy movie tickets without leaving the house. Kids don’t go out and play like they use to. We have gotten to the point where we don’t have to interact with people unless we work at a job where we have to.

    We no longer have to go out to do much……maybe I am simply rambling. It is sad that this topic isn’t talked about more and some of the stats you mentioned blew my mind

    Since people don’t have to interact or talk with people. When they need to talk about a problem, they don’t know how to do it. Some of my friends say I am stubborn and don’t want to get hip with the times, but it seems to me we are getting more and more isolated and I don’t see that as a good thing. We no longer think about others and how our actions affect others. We simply think me, me, me, and to heck with anyone else!!!.

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