National Suicide Prevention Month Did you know, September is National Suicide Prevention Month? According to the American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide, when people and communities take action, lives can be saved. In recognition of National Suicide Prevention Month (September) and National Suicide Prevention Week (September 10-16), the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a public-private partnership working to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization – along with hundreds of other local and national organizations – are joining together to inform the public of how simple actions, such as waiting by someone’s side until first responders arrive, can save a person’s life and generate community-wide, system-level impact. Throughout the month of September, AFSP and the Action Alliance will help spur action by changing the conversation about suicide from one of despair and inevitability to one of hope, health, and resilience. No special training is required to be there for someone in crisis, to promote stories of hope, and to change the national narrative. Combined with systems such as emergency communications, law enforcement, crisis services, and health care systems, simple actions of compassion can help to get people who are struggling or in crisis get to a place of recovery and wellness. If you, or a loved one are at risk of suicide, please call the national suicide prevention hotline immediately at 1-800-273-8255. Not suicidal, but feeling pretty down and need help, make an appointment with your doctor. We’re here to help!
Anxiety disorders are extremely common. An anxiety disorder is a medical condition that interferes with your life. It can make it difficult for you to handle your job or school responsibilities, do daily tasks, concentrate, and establish and maintain personal relationships. It might even make it difficult for you to leave your home or get out of bed. Untreated, anxiety disorders can lead to even more severe, even life-threatening conditions, including: Depression Anxiety disorder and depression often occur together. They have similar symptoms and can be difficult to tell apart. Both can cause agitation, insomnia, the inability to concentrate, and feelings of anxiety. Substance abuse If you have anxiety disorder, you are at increased risk for addiction to many substances. These include alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs. If you have depression along with anxiety disorder, your risk increases. Often, people with anxiety use alcohol and other substances to relieve their symptoms. There is no evidence that alcohol actually relieves anxiety, but the belief that it does can bring some relief. Some people report temporary relief from anxiety while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. However, long-term alcohol use can cause biological changes that may actually produce anxiety. People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and social phobia are especially at risk for alcohol and drug abuse. Smoking and substance abuse are also common in cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Adolescents with PTSD also have an increased risk of eating disorders. Physical illness Anxiety disorder increases your risk of developing certain illnesses. Chronic stress, which may be associated with anxiety, can compromise your immune system. This makes you more susceptible to infections, such as colds, the flu, and other viral and bacterial diseases. Stress management will probably be an ongoing concern, and symptoms may get worse during periods of acute stress. But with a combination of medication and psychotherapy, most people with anxiety disorder can control their symptoms and live a fairly normal and comfortable life. Suicide According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have been diagnosed with mental illness. This can include anxiety. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 4 percent of adults per year in the United States have serious thoughts about suicide. These numbers are higher in people who also have depression. If you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or social phobia, you are also at an increased risk for suicide. If you have one of these anxiety disorders along with depression, your risk is even greater.