It’s odd that today’s topic was already scheduled to be about our mental health podcast episode. It’s odd because my friend and colleague just killed himself last night. The reality is, I had no idea he was depressed. Some friend right? The real reality is, I’m not the only person this has happened to. In fact, most people who have lost someone to suicide usually state afterwards that they never suspected their loved one or friend or colleague would ever do such a thing. Suicide is now a global problem.
Suicide steals the lives of more than a million people all across the world, every single year. That number is more than all homicides and all deaths from all wars across the globe. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015, the global suicide mortality rate makes up 1.4% of the premature death rates worldwide.
If there’s one thing that nearly 5 years working in in law enforcement (both sworn and non-sworn) has taught me, is that suicide can steal anyone. It does not discriminate. All different types of people take their lives everyday: sometimes teenagers, sometimes it’s doctors, or cops, or paramedics, or accountants. While older adults and those with alcohol or drug issues are more commonly victims of suicide, there is no set formula for who will kill themselves and who won’t. People take their own lives for a variety of reasons that we may never truly understand. But the face of grief, disbelief, and pain is ALWAYS the same on their loved ones faces.
Loves ones will many times attempt to blame the suicide on outside forces (their loved one’s job or boss, social media, finances, the president, I’ve heard it all). Any and all of these things could have assisted in leading up to this catastrophic event. They’re trying to find a reason. A reason why such a senseless act was committed. They’re trying to connect to their loved one’s decision.
I’ve lost several people in my life to suicide. Many were actual family members. I know all too well the gaping whole and heartache it leaves behind. I know that no matter how angry we want to be with that person for leaving us, the truth is that no matter how well we knew them, we still didn’t know what pain they were enduring. The hard truth? No matter how much pain they were enduring, the pain they leave in their wake when they leave is always ten times greater because it’s felt by so many people.
The U.S. life expectancy continues to decline as deaths resulting from drug overdoses and suicide are on the rise. According to the data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths from overdoses rose from 16,849 in 1999 to 70, 237 in 2017. Suicide Statistics from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention indicate that in 2017, 47,173 Americans died by suicide and another 1,400,000 Americans attempted suicide. Deaths caused by drug overdoses and suicide are deaths of sadness, depression, and overwhelming emptiness. This episode brings to light an issue that has been plaguing this country for a long time, mental health.
In general, most suicides are related to some sort of psychiatric disease. While the reasons behind suicide are varied and not well understood, there are risk factors that can lead to suicide. While the most relevant risk factors include: depression, substances abuse, and psychosis, other factors can contribute to suicide as well including: anxiety, personality, eating, and trauma. The most well known risk factor for suicide is the presence of a mental disorder. According to an article published in World Psychiatry, over 90% of those who committed suicide also had a psychiatric diagnosis when they died.
I think it’s important to note that just because you are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder does not mean you are broken, diseased, or that you are automatically pre-disposed to suicide. Things like smoking, High LDL cholesterol, obesity, and physical inactivity do not necessarily guarantee you will have heart disease, but they are risk factors that put you at a higher risk when combined together. A psychiatric diagnosis is just a risk factor, so don’t get freaked out just yet.
Mental health looks like so many different things. But it’s not something that ever needs to be judged. This podcast episode has something for everyone. Whether you’re struggling with negative mental health or know someone who is or you’re just trying to improve your current understanding of mental health, you will find value in this.
This topic has a negative stigma which means people typically just don’t talk about it. In this episode we talk about good mental health and bad mental health. We discuss tips, tricks, tools, and resources that have helped us with our mental health. Everything from gratitude, to discussions with loved ones, and going to therapy on a regular basis. We discuss our personal belief that every single person should attend therapy at some point in their lives.
“Emotional pain is not something that should be hidden away and never spoken about. There is truth in your pain, there is growth in your pain, but only if it’s first brought out into the open”Steven Aitchison
I’m proud of how much I’ve overcome and I know that by talking about my struggle, I’m helping others move on with theirs. I’m not perfect, I still get stressed, anxious, and sad. Today was a hard fucking day. But I made it through, because of these practices I’ve implemented over several years. I read books, LOTS of them. Everything from self help, psychology, business, finances, marketing, anthropology, criminology, fiction, and everything in between. I’ve listened to hundreds of podcasts, I meditate everyday, I use a gratitude journal, I use my mobile apps on my phone for good rather than entertainment, and these are just to name a few of the practices I’ve implemented.
There are so many resources in this episode that are going to help so many of you. Whether you believe mental health is an issue in your life, it’s your job to be pro-active in your mental health and ensure you’re actively living your best life. In order to do that we have to practice good mental health practices. This involves training your brain for the days when life isn’t so easy. For the days when shit gets hard. It’s okay to grieve, it’s okay to cry, and it’s okay to be mad as hell. But you can’t curl up in a ball and drown in these feelings.
“Your mental health is a priority. Your happiness is an essential. Your self-care is a necessity.”
In case you choose not to listen to the podcast, then there is one major thing I want you to take away from this today. Going to therapy does not mean you’re broken. Therapy can be a beautiful tool to maintain your level of function and enjoy life at your fullest extent. For me, it’s an independent party with no personal vested interest in my life. Someone I can vent to about general life stuff, and someone that can help me push past my insecurities and overwhelming anxiety at my worst times.
Download this latest episode to learn about a major topic in the world right now. You can find our podcast on any podcast platform: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Chrome, Simplecast, and Podcoin.
\Follow our podcast on Apple Podcasts here by clicking this link to access The Megan James Show – Episode 7.
If you don’t have access to these podcast platforms, fear not! We got you covered! We uploaded all of our podcast episodes to our YouTube account as well. You can find this episode below:
About the Show Host:
Megan James is the Founder of Legacy Lifestyle Coaching, a company dedicated to Lifestyle Design. She has an extensive background in life coaching, business coaching, and career coaching. Megan has designed a life she’s proud of but she’s not planning on stopping there. Now Megan intends to take her skills and knowledge gained through her personal and professional experiences and share them with you! If you like the show, please subscribe! Follow our Socials! Facebook (Podcast): https://www.facebook.com/The-Megan-James-Show-2336167713274705/
Facebook (Coaching): https://www.facebook.com/LegacyLifestyleCoaching/
Our Website: www.legacy-lifestyle.com
Our Patreon Account: https://www.patreon.com/MeganJames