We have been looking, over the last few blogs, at our melting pot of emotions and how when we get anxious, we can respond in lots of different ways. Our unique blend of feelings means we can sometimes not fully connect to where this is coming from, which in turn can make it harder to change those negative behaviours that can stem from this. When we get anxious it’s such a range of responses that we can have at that moment, but also when we suffer from extended or long-term anxiety it then gets more complicated. We can all feel depressed from time to time and that is quite normal, our mood can get quite blue and low as well at times. But sometimes that melting pot of emotions can lead us into some dark and even black places. This can be a very dangerous place for us and lead us into life-threatening situations for ourselves. At times when we feel very black and bleak inside and just can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, we have to see that we just can’t do this on our own, and this is the time if you haven’t already, to ask for help. Because at times like this we can think nothing or no one can help us or that we have to just keep on like this, and one extra push or negative trigger in life can just push us over the edge.
In these worse cases of dark moods, this can lead to suicide, and it is just so important if we are feeling this way or someone in our lives is withdrawing and becoming harder to reach, that we seek help. Suicide in some groups of the population has grown much more than others and one of the highest levels is among men between 45-49 years old in 2022, this rose to a staggering 23.8 per 100,000. Also, another sad figure is that young men aged 15-24 are three times more likely to take their lives than young women. The average overall suicide rate in the UK among men and women in 2022 is 10 per 100,000, so the difference in these age groups is pretty staggering. Also, overall the male suicide rate is 15.3 compared to the female suicide rate of 4.9 per 100,000. This is all such a sad thing to hear and in other parts of the world, these figures are much higher with countries like Russia, Japan and South Korea being at the top of those lists.
Suicide can be linked to many factors including things like mental health issues, social isolation, bullying, bereavement, childhood trauma, financial issues, substance misuse, family, and environmental and health issues that can also contribute to the risks. This is something that is impacting us and our society, and it is just so important to ask for help. Understanding our mental health and finding ways to better support ourselves is the key to changing this. What is essential is when we hit a bump in the road or drop to a point of crisis, is that we look for support strategies to help us find a way out of this. With isolation being one of the contributing factors, then carrying these issues within us is only going to make matters worse. Talking and seeking help is the key to this, I think we can all admit that women are more open with their feelings and this might be one of the things that is negatively impacting how this is much more of a male issue in our society. Both men and women have been brought up through the generations as not being able to show feelings, and that it’s seen in some way as a sign of weakness. This might have been true in the 18th century and beyond, as life was more brutal and violent than our society now. But in our 21st century, we need to embrace our feelings and not feel that we have to carry the burdens within us and on our own.
Expressing ourselves and being emotional is, I think, a show of strength, not weakness. It is time for us to be open to who we are and how we feel and know that it is not something we need to carry on our own. Today there is lots more support than ever before, from doctors, to lots of charitable organisations for different ages and groups in our society. Plus, we are seeing so much more openness to this is on the fly on the wall programs and documentaries being shown on TV. Some of these are very interesting in the way they are looking at our dark mental health moods and show that talking and seeking help is the key.
Just like our emotional responses are very different, then of course the solutions for each of us will be very different too. Finding a plan is the key and remember that it’s time to be kinder to ourselves and others. If we beat ourselves up then we aren’t going to help the situation, we are going to make things worse. Also, with bullying being a contributing factor, being kinder to others is something we should all strive to do. Being supportive and offering support to ourselves and others by looking after our mental health and wellbeing is something that should be seen as an essential part of life. Just like servicing our cars or boilers, everything in life needs care and support and making our mental health one of these should be one of our top priorities in life. Sara x