Do You Know the Signs of Someone Who is Suicidal?

Do You Know the Signs of Someone Who is Suicidal?

According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, over 47,000 people died by suicide in the United States in 2017. In the same year, there were an estimated 1,400,000 suicide attempts.

Knowing the signs of suicide is the primary step in preventing someone you know and love from successfully taking their own life.

The Warning Signs of Suicide

Hopelessness

Many individuals who are contemplating ending their own life experience and express feelings of hopelessness.

Other Strong Emotions

Suicidal people may also experience and express excessive anger and rage and talk about seeking some kind of revenge.

Risky Behavior

People who are thinking about ending their own life start showing signs of risky behavior. Since their lives are not valuable in their own eyes, they may engage in certain behaviors, not caring about the consequences. This can be drinking and driving, experimenting with hard drug use, and spending time in unsafe parts of town.

Isolation

Have you noticed your loved one withdrawing from friends and family and isolating themselves more?

Trouble Sleeping

Suicidal individuals often experience great anxiety that causes them to suffer from insomnia. Has your loved one been complaining of not sleeping? Are they taking medication for sleep issues?

The above are warning signs that your loved one may be experiencing a deep depression that needs attention.

The following are three signs that your loved one needs some help IMMEDIATELY:

They’ve Come Right Out and Said It

Your loved one has actually verbalized a desire to harm themselves or kill themselves.

You’ve Discovered A Plan

You have somehow come to know that your loved one is actively planning their suicide by stocking pills or getting their hands on a weapon.

They Have Become Obsessed with Death

Many suicidal people, especially teenagers, begin talking or writing more and more about death or suicide in a positive light.

How You Can Help

Talking to someone you love about suicide can feel uncomfortable. You may be worried that by merely talking about it, you will somehow inspire the act. This just isn’t so. Just opening up to someone who is supportive and non-judgmental can assist them in recognizing their need to get some help from a trained therapist.

Offer to help them make a call to schedule an appointment with a therapist.

For immediate help, please call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are confidential. The Clark County Crisis line is also available 24/7: 1-800-626-8137.

How to Practice Self-Compassion

How to Practice Self-Compassion

From a young age, most of us are taught how to be kind, considerate, and compassionate toward others. But rarely are we told to show the same consideration to ourselves. This becomes even more true for individuals brought up in hyper-critical or neglectful homes.

 

What is Self-Compassion?

Self-compassion refers to how we can relate to the self with kindness. Self-compassion or self-love is NOT to be confused with arrogance or selfishness. In actuality, arrogance and selfishness stem from the absence of self-love.

But what does it really mean to be kind with ourselves?

  • Self-compassion is a discipline (especially if it doesn’t come naturally). It requires daily efforts to mindfully notice moments when we are being overly judgmental or harsh and saying “STOP!”
  • It requires showing the self the same amount of courteous respect that we might give other people. For example, you wouldn’t call other people “a failure;” it might be too harsh to use that language on yourself.
  • Self-compassion requires the use of empathy skills. This assumes you can 1) Name what you are feeling; and 2) Describe the good and valid reason this feeling is happening.

Why is this important? Because self-compassion helps us see ourselves more clearly and neutrally. It allows us to maintain a healthy self-esteem, recognizing that though we may sometimes make bad decisions, we’re not bad people.

Research, over the past decade, has shown the parallel between self-care and psychological well-being. Those who practice self-compassion also tend to have better connections with others, are happier with their own lives, and have a higher satisfaction with life overall. Self-compassion also correlates with less shame, anxiety and depression.

Now that you know the what and why of self-compassion, let’s look at the how.

 

How to Practice Self-Compassion

Treat Yourself as You Would a Small Child

You would never harshly judge or belittle a small child the way you do yourself. You would only want to help and love that child. When you begin to treat yourself as you would a small child, you begin to show yourself the same love, gentleness and kindness.

 

Practice Mindfulness

Every minute your mind is handling millions of bits of information, though you consciously are only aware of a few of them. This is to say we all have scripts or programs running in our minds 24/7. These scripts and programs are running our lives, insisting we have certain behaviors and make certain decisions.

Some of these scripts are the ones that tell us how “bad” or “unlovable” we are. They’ve been running since we were kids. The way to quiet these scripts is to become more mindful of your own mind.

When you begin to have a feeling or reaction to something, stop and ask yourself WHO is feeling that? Is it the compassionate self or the program running? If it’s the program, thank the program for what it has done and release it.

 

Good Will vs Good Feelings

Self-compassion is a conscious act of kindness we show ourselves; it’s not a way to alleviate emotional pain. Life happens, and we can’t always avoid negative or sad feelings. Never mistake self-compassion as a tool to ignore your deep and rich emotional life.

 

These are just a few ways you can begin to cultivate self-compassion. If you’d like to explore more options or talk to someone about your feelings of self-rejection and judgement, please get in touch with us. We have therapists on our team that might be able to help.

Making New “Glory Days”: How to Stop Obsessing About Youthful Successes

Making New “Glory Days”: How to Stop Obsessing About Youthful Successes

“Ahh, the good ol’ days.” How often have we heard or uttered this familiar phrase? It can be a source of great pleasure and amusement to reminisce on a time when we were younger, remembering a special event or activity.

We tend to look at our past experiences through a filter that magnifies the positive while diminishing the negative. While there’s no harm in basking in a memory, it can be harmful if you spend so much time looking at your past, that you neglect your present and future.

If you’re someone who spends too much time thinking about the “glory days” of your youth, you might think it’s because your life has become dull and monotonous. With the carefree days of your youth behind you, you might long to be back in that time period to escape your present. But if you take a closer look and examine your life, you may be surprised to notice that you look back not because your past was so great, but rather because your present is not.

The more time you spend reminiscing, the worse your current life becomes, neglected by daydreaming of the past instead of imagining new heights to which you can aspire.

Get Rid of Unneeded Memorabilia

Sometimes a memento is a special memory of a special time, and sometimes it’s just an object that’s imprisoning you in your past. Getting rid of an excess of items associated with the past will help you stop living in days gone by, and free you to live in and enjoy the present.

Fully Appreciate Each Day

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” One way to stop living in the past is to enjoy and appreciate each day. Start keeping a journal and jot down three things you’re grateful for each day. Take a walk, or cook a special meal. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of every day.

Make Future Plans

Nothing can keep you from looking to the past quite like looking to the future. Plan a vacation or create a goal you want to reach in the near and distant future. Maybe you want to learn a new language, start playing the piano, or read all the classic novels. There’s a lot of life waiting to be lived, so make the most of it.

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with a moment of nostalgia, it’s important to live in the present, and spend your time enjoying your life as you live it. If you make the effort to create a better life for yourself today and in the future, you’ll not only bring yourself great happiness and satisfaction, but you’ll create many more memories to relish in the days to come.

If you’re struggling and looking for support and guidance to create a better, more satisfying life, a licensed professional can help. Call our office today and let’s schedule a time to talk.

4 Reasons We Judge Others and How to Break the Habit

4 Reasons We Judge Others and How to Break the Habit

One of the things most of us are taught as children is to never judge others. “Don’t judge a book by its cover!” And yet, despite our best efforts, many of us fall into the trap over and over again. Why do we do it?

Here are four common reasons that explain this particularly bad habit of judging other people.

It Lets Us Feel Superior

Tearing other people down is one way people prop themselves up. By judging others harshly, we compare ourselves to them and find ourselves superior. Compared to their life or their behavior, we look pretty good! But this kind of comparison is false and unhealthy. Instead of finding faults in others, we would do much better to focus on how we can become our best selves.

It Helps Us Recognize Our Goals

Judging is a way for us to perceive the world and figure out where exactly we fit in. When we form opinions of others, we are able to recognize what we like and aspire to be, as well as what we don’t like and want to avoid.

It Uncovers Our Own Faults

More often than not, we are bothered by the qualities in others that we choose not to see in ourselves. We rail against another’s habits, appearance or lifestyle choices because they are the very ones we dislike in ourselves.

It Makes Us Feel Part of a Group

Occasionally, judging can make us feel part of a club. Let’s say there is a work situation where one person complains about something, and then another person agrees, and then another and another. Before you know it, a group has formed around negativity. Sometimes this negativity can be funny and based around a silly situation, but often the negativity can be at the expense of another.

How to Break the Judgement Habit

If you’ve recognized your tendency toward judgement, here are a few tips to break the habit:

  • Try to take a moment to understand where other people are coming from, and why they may look or behave the way they do.

 

  • Try to recognize your own insecurities, and work on building yourself up instead of tearing others down. Does their behavior mirror your own?

 

  • Examine your friendships and associations. Are they based on positivity or demeaning others? If the latter, disassociate yourself and focus on building connections based on positivity and mutual respect.

 

If you discover you have a tendency to judge others based on your own low self-esteem, it may help to speak with a therapist who can help you uncover the reasons behind it and offer coping strategies.

If you or someone you know is interested in exploring treatment, please get in touch with us. One of our counselors would be happy to discuss how we may be able to help.

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