A tiny leak, left unnoticed or unattended, or ignored, one day leads to a sudden tire rupture, and perhaps the car crashes, leaving everyone dead. This manner of tragedy occurs too often.
A sense of perdition often starts small, and creeps slowly, like a thief…
What happens when someone you know is sliding downhill? (Or maybe it’s you?) If in doubt, then there is no doubt.
In our contemporary stressed-out society, the frequency of people cracking (mentally and emotionally) is becoming much more noticeable… so think very, very carefully. Someone close to you (check here) is likely to be close to the edge, and may simply conceal his or her distress extremely well. Maybe even a little too well…? If in doubt, then there is no doubt.
Tragedies like this never really occur completely out of the blue; there are warning signs that need to be taken extremely seriously. Aside from the normal ups and downs of modern life, the descent into the danger zone often includes:
- Expressions of extreme hopelessness
- Marked changes in behaviour (up or down), such as withdrawal, agitation
- Altered sleep (increased or decreased)
- Suicide ideation (talking about or making plans, even indirectly)
- Substance abuse (commonly alcohol)
- Seeming to make preparations to “depart” or finalising personal affairs
- Loss of interest in things once loved
No matter the circumstances, anyone whom you know that exhibits hints of these patterns of behaviour is likely in pressing need of help. Listening attentively and non-judgmentally is a key to reaching someone in a dark place, as they may deny a problem or resist receiving professional help.
I’ve been to too many funerals for people whom I had known (some, for many years), but for whom nobody noticed the warning indicators in time. And I wish dearly that I could have taken these people aside, before it was too late, even for just a few minutes, to tell them that their life was worth far, far more than they could grasp in their cave of despair…
If in doubt, then there is no doubt.
Listen to them… and I mean really listen, and don’t leave them alone.
Dr Paul 😦