A woman was arrested after a traffic stop escalated. Three days later she was found dead in police custody. The inital claims are that she took her life. One of the supporting rationales, which is said to be a video that she had posted on Facebook eariler in the year where Bland says: "I want you guys to know that I am a human, and so if there are any of you that are dealing with those same things, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder — it's OK". I think that Sandra was on to something and was brave for discussing a topic that is often stigmatized. I seems to me that she wanted to help others through her own experiences. So, what you can do to help? Let's talk about the facts and not the stories. If we educate ourselves we can educate others, you never know who needs the information.
Depression is real. But depression does not equal suicide.
#JusticeForSandy and #WhatHappenedToSandyBland
Now, you may look at this and think "well I'm depressed" or "I've been depressed"-- and maybe you have. However, having symptoms of depression does not mean that you are depressed. Just think about how many of us experience things like sadness, mood swings, confusion, lack of energy.... We all have our good days and our bad days, they come and they go. The main thing about depression is that alot of these symptoms are experienced all or most of every day for an extended period of time. In addition, the person is unable to go about their daily tasks the way that they typically do.
Experiencing depression does not make you "crazy". Life happens and some times we need a little assistance finding our way back. If you or anyone you know is experiencing depression, I suggest talking with a mental health professional. The sooner you seek support, the sooner you can get a grasp on it and return to doing things at your best. We have to start caring for our minds the same way that we take care of our bodies, or even better on both ends!
It is important recognize that while thoughts of death and suicide may be symptoms of depression, it does not always appear when individuals are depressed. However, when suicidal thoughts and plans come together, it increases the risk. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255. There is always someone there waiting for you to call and talk.