Depression is a surprisingly common condition. It can range from mild to severe, and the symptoms can vary from person to person – and even from one period of your life to another.
The most alarming symptom of depression is suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thoughts can also occur after a traumatic event or hearing tragic news. Unfortunately, suicidal thoughts can easily go unnoticed by others. This is why it is important to keep a lookout for signs in yourself, as well as in others around you.
Let’s talk about what to do if you or someone you know is considering suicide, and where you can go in Virginia for confidential behavioral health and psychiatry services to help you get back on track.
Watch for Signs of Suicidal Thoughts or Words
Whether it’s you or someone around you, suicidal thoughts should immediately be addressed with the help of a trained professional. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s vital to get in touch with someone for help right away:
- Expressing feelings of wanting to die or to kill oneself
- Searching for ways to kill oneself (such as weapons)
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness, unbearable pain, despair, or having no reason to live
- Extreme mood swings (rage, anxiousness, agitation, or reckless thoughts and behavior)
- Feeling like a burden on others
- Increased usage of alcohol or drugs
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Frequently withdrawing or isolating from others, including loved ones
- Losing interest in things that used to be enjoyed
Once you recognize signs of suicidal thoughts, it’s important to take action right away. If you are suicidal and find yourself on the brink of acting on it, immediately contact 911 and/or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at (800) 273-TALK (8255) or text “HOME” to the text number 741-741. You can also chat with them online at SuicidePreventionLifeline.org/chat if you don’t want to call.
If you are not in immediate danger of hurting yourself, contact a behavioral health facility near you. They will be glad to hear from you.
Depression and suicidal thoughts can make you feel extremely lonely, even if there are a lot of people around you. The truth is, many people experience these feelings, and it can help to know that you are not alone in the battle. The best thing you can do for someone who is suicidal is to not leave them alone. Be there to offer support, a shoulder to cry on, and help. Urge them to get the help they need from an experienced healthcare provider. You could very well save their life.
Mental Health Treatments in Richmond, Martinsville, and Danville, VA
If you notice suicidal behavior in someone around you, talk to them. Express to them that they are not alone, that their behavior and thoughts are not things to be ignored, and recommend ways to get help. Share with them the Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-TALK/8255), or they can text “HOME” to the text number 741-741, and encourage them to get in contact immediately – day or night – if they feel they may hurt themselves.
If you are looking for a local mental health facility, EPIC Health Partners is here for you. EPIC Health Partners provides mental and behavioral health assessments and services to people of all ages, including children.
At EPIC, we provide clinic-based, community-based, and telepsychiatry services, and we have three locations: Richmond at (804) 914-1392, Martinsville at (276) 336-8032, and Danville at (434) 835-4601. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you.