10 Signs You Should Know of the 10th Leading Cause of Death

Gentle Readers, Throughout the month of October, we have focused on Depression Awareness. In addition to the special 99¢ Book Sale Benefit of "Alicia Embracing the Dark" intended to widen understanding of depression as well as support the non-profit organization To Write Love on Her Arms, earlier this month in my post When It's Almost Impossible to Appear Tolerably Cheerful, I disclosed my own personal, on-going battle with Major Depressive Disorder. For National Depression Screening Day, I had a special post detailing the symptoms of depression and how to find help or take an anonymous evaluation, as well as how depression feels to me personally when I cannot hold the darkness at bay.

With about ten days remaining in Depression Awareness Month, I want to share the warning signs of suicide. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and 90% of those who commit suicide have clinical depression or another mental illness. More than a million Americans attempt suicide every year, and half of people who commit suicide have attempted it before.

Would you recognize the warning signs in time?

 1.   Excessive sadness or moodiness. Long-lasting sadness, mood swings, and unexpected rage. Trouble sleeping or eating.
2.    Losing interest in things one used to care about.
3.    Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless. Saying things like "it would be better if I wasn't here" or "I want out."
4.    Always talking or thinking about death.
5.   Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy or suddenly becoming calm after a period of depression or moodiness can be a sign that the person has made a decision to end his or her life.
6.    Social withdrawal. Choosing to be alone and avoiding friends or social activities.
7.    Changes in personality and/or appearance: A person who is considering suicide might exhibit a change in attitude or behavior, such as speaking or moving with unusual speed or slowness. In addition, the person might suddenly become less concerned about his or her personal appearance.
8.    Having a "death wish," tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving fast or running red lights. Dangerous or self-harmful behavior, such as reckless driving, engaging in unsafe sex, and increased use of drugs and/or alcohol might indicate that the person no longer values his or her life.
9.    Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will. Often, a person considering suicide will begin to put his or her personal business in order. This might include visiting friends and family members, giving away personal possessions, making a will, and cleaning up his or her room or home.
10.    Talking about suicide or killing one's self.

According to WebMD: From 50% to 75% of those considering suicide will give someone -- a friend or relative -- a warning sign; however, not everyone who is considering suicide will say so, and not everyone who threatens suicide will follow through with it.

Every threat of suicide should be taken seriously. If someone you know appears to be depressed and talks about suicide, makes a suicidal gesture, or attempts suicide, take it as a serious emergency. Listen to the person, but don't try to argue with him or her. Seek immediate help from a health care professional.

Listen to what he or she is saying. Take the initiative to ask that person what he or she is planning. But don't attempt to argue him or her out of committing suicide. Rather, let the person know that you care and understand and are listening. Avoid statements like: "You have so much to live for."

Please: Tweet and post links to this blog or to the WebMD articles on suicide

Southern Girl Press and To Write Love on Her Arms have collaborated on a book sale benefit in an effort to help those who have never had to deal with depression understand.

Throughout the month of October, all royalties from a trio of vignettes entitled Alicia Embracing the Dark will be donated to TWLOHA, a non-profit organization that focuses on hope and relationships, in order to raise awareness, benefit the organization, and highlight National Depression Screening Day

A Special Edition of this short collection is  now available only from Amazon for 99¢ for Kindle or Kindle apps for any device.

Alicia Embracing the Dark expresses some aspect of depression as experienced by each author at some point in her life. It is published collectively under the name of a fictional character suffering from major depressive disorder and suicidal thoughts in the wake of her collapsing marriage in her own story, in which depression is a primary motif.

Please repost and retweet, get the word out, help others learn about mental illness, bipolar, and major depressive disorder. Encourage others to make the 99¢ contribution in support of TWLOHA. Let everyone know that there is help and there is hope.

You were created to love and be loved.
You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known.
You need to know your story is important, and you're part of a bigger story.
You need to know your life matters.
Beyond treatment, we believe community is essential. People need other people. We were never meant to do life alone.

The vision is that community, hope, and help would replace secrets and silence.

The vision is people putting down guns, and blades, and bottles.

The vision is that we can reduce the suicide rate in America and around the world.

The vision is that we would learn what it means to love our friends, and we would love ourselves enough to get the help we need.

The vision is better endings. The vision is the restoration of broken families and broken relationships. The vision is people finding life, finding freedom, finding love. The vision is graduation, a Super Bowl, a wedding, a child, a sunrise. The vision is people becoming incredible parents, breaking cycles, making changes.

The vision is the possibility that your best days are ahead.

The vision is the possibility that we're more loved than we'll ever know.

The vision is hope, and hope is real.

You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.

—Jamie Tworkowski
TWLOHA Founder


  1. hi what you said is based on research and facts. Nice post


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