Several years ago this month, a good friend of mine put a pistol to his head and took his own life.
I couldn’t see it from the outside. I couldn’t see that his view of the world left no more room for hope. No joy in the future. To him, it was all bleak.
And according to social services in Kane, Kendall, DuPage and Will counties, there are thousands of others like him right now in the "dark days" of January.
I don’t mean to be depressing… but more people take their own life in January than any other month. And the rate of suicide attempts in suburban Chicago has taken a DRAMATIC upturn since the holidays.
Blame the constant droning of the media about our economy. Blame job loss, an ongoing war, or an unparalleled sense of pessimism that seems to pervade our culture of late.
But do something about it. Look for signs in the people in your life… people you see or even just bump into everyday. Here are some of the many signs to look for:
- Sudden change in personality (a happy person is suddenly listless)
- Sudden change in behavior
- Complaints of sleep disruptions that are new/unusual
- Fear of losing control
- Escapist fantasies
- Expression of no hope in the future
- Giving away favorite things unexpectedly
There are many more. January is a tough month, and we are living in a tough time right now. Intervene… talk to someone about your concerns. Just DO something.
I’ll go back to being funny and/or entertaining tomorrow.