This week, just five weeks following the first anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, two students completed suicide. Grief, Survivor’s Guilt and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder have been cited as factors.
Five days following the first anniversary of the shooting at Penn State University, I was prepared to say goodbye to the world. I couldn’t understand why I was still here, and I didn’t want to still be here. I was living constantly in the moments just after the shooting. It would take a long time for me to finally put two and two together to realize that the anniversary of the shooting was what contributed to me feeling the way that I was feeling. Thankfully, friends reached out and were able to get me the help that I needed to stay here. It has been more than two decades, and I am still here.
Besides the help that I initially received when I needed it. I have learned over those two decades tools that I can utilize to maintain my wellness when I am facing stressors.
There is hope to get past the normal feelings of grief and trauma associated with these tragedies. Please, reach out to your friends, family, teachers, professors, counselors, doctors, your local crisis line, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255), or the Crisis Text Line (741741) for help.
According to the Mayo Clinic.
Suicide warning signs or suicidal thoughts include:
- Talking about suicide — for example, making statements such as “I’m going to kill myself,” “I wish I were dead” or “I wish I hadn’t been born”
- Getting the means to take your own life, such as buying a gun or stockpiling pills
- Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone
- Having mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next
- Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence
- Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation
- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
- Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns
- Doing risky or self-destructive things, such as using drugs or driving recklessly
- Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order when there’s no other logical explanation for doing this
- Saying goodbye to people as if they won’t be seen again
- Developing personality changes or being severely anxious or agitated, particularly when experiencing some of the warning signs listed above
Warning signs aren’t always obvious, and they may vary from person to person. Some people make their intentions clear, while others keep suicidal thoughts and feelings secret.