How to help someone with anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts


I have dealt with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts since I was a little girl. It’s not the easiest thing to live with, but it’s something that I know I need to help myself and other people with it. I try to live each day to the fullest and so far it’s working. I’m not perfect and I don’t want to be perfect, but I do want others that are struggling with this to know that it’s not something to be embarrassed about.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says, “Anxiety affects forty million adults in the United States… which is 18.1 percent of the population every year. Only 36.9 percent of people receive treatment.” They also say, “322 million people are diagnosed with depression.” The Mental Health of America states, “The most common underlying disorder is depression. 30 percent to 70 percent of suicide victims suffer from major depression or bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder.”

Tiffani has three daughters, Maddy, Kenzie, and Emma, who suffer from anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. Tiffani said that, “people with anxiety and depression need a compassionate and understanding family to be right beside them.” I believe this is true. Without family, it would be so hard to try to talk to others and express how we’re feeling about something.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention said, “Based on the 2015 Youth Risk Behaviors survey, 8.6 percent of youth in grades 9-12 reported that they had made at least one suicidal attempt  in the past twelve months.” What happens when a male, female, teenager, adult or a child is depressed? The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that, “younger children refuse to go to school, anxiety about being separated from their parents and worry about the parents death. Teenagers are irritable, sulky, they tend to get into to trouble with school, they also have co-morbid eating disorders and substance abuse. Men are more tired, irritated and angry. Their behavior becomes more reckless and they abuse drugs and alcohol. However, they don’t know that they’re depressed, so they don’t get the help needed. Women feel worthless, sad and guilty.”

Maddy owns a blog in which she writes about her mental illnesses. She told me that because her sisters are dealing with the same thing she is, she says, “the best thing I can do is make sure they know I’m always here.”. There are days in which Maddy feels she should just give up, but she keeps going.

Kenzie has decided to travel and spend time with her dog and husband. She is trying to live the life she wants without her mental illnesses getting in the way of her joy. Like Maddy she also finds it hard to succeed in life. Kenzie has attempted suicide in the past and wants to tell the world that, “if you are suicidal, take it one day at a time.”

Emma is taking medication and doing as much as she can to help others. She is aware about her sisters and, like Maddy, she also lets them know that she’s there to listen to whatever they need to get off their chest. Emma says, “pick something that gives you any bit of excitement and cling to it.”

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) says, “a National Center for Health (NCHS) Data Brief issued February 13 of 2018 shows that more than eight percent of adults more than twenty reported having depression during a given two weeks period.” They go on to say, “from 2007-08 to 2015-16, the percentage of American adults with depression did not change significantly.”  

Mental illness is not something to be taken lightly. Mental illness is not something to be joked about or something that we can make fun of. These are real things that people are dealing with. These emotions are real things that we sometimes don’t know how to control. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to feel impossible, but you can’t give up. You’ve survived 100% of your worse days, you’re doing great. If you are struggling with this or someone you love is struggling with this talk to a counselor. They can help you.