The Truth About Suicide

The Truth About Suicide

The disease that is taking us away.
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Suicide: the act or an instance of taking one's own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. According to the CDC, 105 Americans commit suicide every day, with one happening every 12.3 minutes. About 38,000 Americans lose their life to suicide every year and around 250,000 people survive a suicide attempt. For every twenty-five suicide attempts, one loses their life. Males represent 79 percent of all suicides. Females are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and to suffer from depression. Women attempt suicide at a rate 3 times higher than men. Suicide is highest among ages 18-24, which is the second leading cause of death among this age group.

Across the globe, there are 800,000 lives that are lost to suicide. It is the third leading cause of death among ages 15-44 across the globe.

Depression is the leading cause of suicide.

* * *

It's 8:15 a.m. and the bell has just rung. The principal's voice comes through the loudspeaker to tell the school that one of their beloved classmates has lost their life. After the initial shock and horror, the responses vary.

“I don't understand."

“Why?"

“They had so much to live for."

“They were so young."

* * *

I am an 18-year-old college freshman. I am involved in Greek Life, Youth Ministries and Boy Scouts of America. I have a loving family. I have never suffered severe trauma. I have never been abused. However, I suffer from depression. I suffer from suffocating thoughts. I suffer from the demons that lurk in the night waiting to tear every shred of happiness. I suffer from a disease that cannot be seen.

I have sat awake at 3:30 a.m. staring at the wall. I have felt everything disappear from me. I have felt my eyes run out of tears. I have heard my cries go silent. I have had days when there is no hope. I have had weeks where getting out of bed is a battle. I have had to stay strong when I have nothing left.

If you don't understand why, be thankful. Because if you understand, your heart breaks even more.

Be thankful that you have never had your life seem meaningless.

Be thankful that you have never wanted to end everything.

Be thankful that your smile is genuine.

Be thankful that you can feel.

Be thankful that you do not have to remind yourself that the shaded lies of depression are not reality.

Be thankful that you are not suffering from a deadly illness.

Be thankful that you don't know why.

Sometimes the “why" is because we have no hope. Sometimes we have no reason to keep on going. We know that we are loved. We know that our lives matter. But sometimes, we forget. We forget because we are ill. We forget because our illness tells us that there is no reason to wake up. We forget because our darkness has blocked out everything. We forget. We are not selfish. We are not weak.

We are strong. We are fighters. We are the ones forgotten. We are the ones looked past. We are the ones you never knew are on the brink of death. We are the ones you never thought to save.

When our deaths are kept silent, depression wins. When our illness goes unacknowledged, another person succumbs to the demons.

We need you. We need your help, your love, your strength. We need you because sometimes, we forget that the morning after we are gone, is the one worth fighting for.

1 (800) 273-8255

State Suicide Hotlines

Suicide Text Line

Christian Counseling

Islamic Counseling

Suicide Survivors

Suicide Grief Support

Cover Image Credit: Kenny Kemp / Twitter

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semicolon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.


2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."


3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.


4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."


5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."


6. Greek symbol of Inguz: Where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."


8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya).


9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty, and artistic creativity.


10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love, and creativity or to put yourself into whatever you do.


11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from "The Hobbit." It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.


13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength and stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.


16. A glyph means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."


18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe and the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can remind us of the inconsistency of life. It also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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Advice For High Schoolers By A High Schooler

Everyone takes different paths throughout high school, just make sure you're taking a good one.

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The years of high school are the four years that everybody remembers about themselves. The memories that go along with it may be good may be bad. If you are reading this and you're about to go into high school or currently in high school, these are five basic things but you need to know before going in.

Do what makes you happy. 

I know that sounds cheesy but it's true. High School is your chance to find out what interests you and what doesn't. If you find out that you like something or you're interested in something then stick with it. As long as you're doing things in high school that you enjoy, and they don't harm you or anyone else around you, the four years you're there will be great.

Don't care about other people's opinion

I know it's hard not to be consumed with what other people think about you. Everybody wants to be popular. Everybody wants to be liked. If you are genuinely a good person and people don't like you, don't worry about it.

Throughout high school, you will learn there'll be people that love you for the same exact reasons there are people that hate you and you have to be able to learn to accept that. You can't please everybody and you cannot make everybody happy.

 Make good grades and make an effort

Good grades should be something that everybody wants to achieve. With that being said, a lot of people just don't want to put in the work to achieve good grades. Coming from somebody with a 3.87 GPA and a member of my high school's NHS, I honestly wish there were more people that cared about their academics.

Having good academics teaches you how to balance school work and outside school activities. Yes, I have also had a job since I was 16. I know how to balance my school work, sports, and my job and still be able to be involved as I am. When you're able to balance everything, it makes you proud of yourself and prepares you for college/ future work.

 Don't be the person that has a new significant other every week

In high school, the term "slut" is thrown around very loosely. I can think of ten girls off the top of my head that got called this on a daily basis just because of the boyfriends they had and how many they had in the span of a month.

This doesn't apply to just girls either. Fellas, if you go out and mess with girls all the time, eventually they'll get the message that you only want to play a game. When a girl finds out that her crush is nothing but a player, she will lose interest in him. People will not take you seriously.

If you don't take my second part advice, gossip and rumors also like to spread around the school so just be careful of who your friends with and who you're associated with.

 There will be times were you feel like you failed and you're at rock bottom, but you’ll get over it. 

No matter if you spend weeks studying for a test only to get a 50% or you got your first heartbreak, there will be multiple times where you feel like you're at your low point. If you're anything like me, you will blame yourself and get more stressed about it than anything. However, you can't do that.

You have to move past things, no matter how hard you think it is, it will be okay. Everybody in high school has the same end goal: to graduate. As soon as you feel like you're at rock bottom, you just have to remember your goals and what you're going to do to push forward.

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