Pecan Plantation EMS responded to 67 calls for service in June, and currently have responded to 21 in July.
This month I really want to share some insight regarding a very real concern, often untreated due to the very nature of it’s stigma and complexity…. depression. A change in normal interaction and interests may be the first sign. It is alarming when it lasts beyond a normal reaction to a usual event in daily life that we all experience as human beings from time to time. Bad depression is a type of “emergency.” Thus, we are called to care for emergencies of the “mood or soul” at times, instead of emergencies of the physical nature. There may be an attempted suicide threat associated with the incident.
Depression itself may be short lived with a direct cause and effect traceable to one event such as a recent diagnosis of life threatening illness, or of a loss in job, family, or finances. Alternatively, it may be a lifelong, wearying mood which is in and of itself a daunting stumbling block to successful interaction with others and positive productivity.
I think of depression as a “deepening darkness of mood resulting in a lonely seclusion of the soul.” Signs may include a short-lived lack of interest in participating with others, to complete isolation. Persons often don’t eat, sleep, or keep up with daily activities; their health and grooming may slip to a dangerous state of neglect. Friends and family are usually unable to persuade a truly, deeply depressed person to engage in happy activities; offering to stay with a depressed person may actually cause them to withdraw even further. It is no one’s fault, however, but simply a sign of the depressed individual’s inability to cope in a moment when normal interaction is asking just too much. Incapacitating depression may be so dangerous as to cause the patient to entertain thoughts of and to make plans for suicide.
Suicide is reported to be attempted at least 883,000 times a year around the globe; it seems easier to read a report about “others far, far away”, but our own Hood County reports at least two to three attempts on average each week. Thankfully, they are not always successful, and EMS, law enforcement, ER staff and counselors are mobilized in appropriate succession as soon as the call comes in to 911.
According to NBC’s Tony Dokoupil on NBCNews.com Health News, “Suicide is not selfish,” (as is the common observance by outsiders,) in fact they often …”feel loved ones will be better off.” It is NOT easy…”2.2 million in the United States alone make plans each year.” In the light of feeling failure in preventing life’s dire, irreversible events and catastrophes, leaders and often admired pillars of the community feel they should have been be able to be prevent or foresee these events. Thus, highly educated and intelligent people, soldiers, doctors and athletes among others, have a high propensity to plan and sometimes to carry out plans of suicide;”
Signs of depression are often manifested as the depressed individual battles hopeless feelings while alternately making lonely, despairing escape plans as a hopeless emotional wall is built up around them.
Just know this, however…suicide can be stopped. Treatment is available and is better than it has ever been. Friends and family are the best observers and can initiate prevention by calling 911 for help. Immediate counseling is key and then requires dedicated follow-up. However, sadly there are times when a suicidal person is successful in ending his own life often after a recent exhibit of a sudden lucid, happy interaction and mood. This may be a telltale sign that this person has made plans and is “in control” of their own destiny. Loved ones and friends, as well as co-workers should never feel that a successful suicide attempt is their fault due to lack of being at the right place at the right time.
Remember, Call 911 for any emergency. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!