About Me

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I tell my story. I'm not here to sell a product, but to challenge people's thoughts to take better care of themselves. To validate those that are already doing this. To educate, to eradicate the mental health stigma, to influence those that need influencing and doing all of this with respect as each person has their own journey and we need to recognise that. I am vulnerable and raw. I have to be authentic. I am me. I have faults, I have made and continue to make mistakes, but I learn from those mistakes, I am me.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Vulnerability & suicidal ideation

Vulnerability, "capable of being physically or emotionally wounded".

I have previously blogged about having previously suffered from suicidal ideation, that being suicidal thoughts, which are incredibly confronting when the first arrive. To have your mortality challenged is internal confrontation of the highest order.

I want to raise this subject again because there are so many people struggling and the national suicide rate is horrific reading and we all need to be better. Every one of us.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimate that of the near 26 million people in Australia, 16.7% or around 3.3 million Australian's between 16 and 85 have serious thoughts about taking their own lives. In 2021, 3,144 Australians took their own life, of that 2,354 were males and 785 were female. Those figures are incredibly tragic in every sense of the word.

This is where the vulnerability side of the equation comes in.

"Capable of being emotionally wounded". I know the feeling all to well. It happens pretty much every time I enter my psychs office but the wounds now are surface wounds (for the most part) as opposed to gaping wounds in my earlier years of this journey I am on.

To be vulnerable takes courage but you get used to it. You learn that within your vulnerability lay a great power that is waiting to be unlocked and every person has their own key.

Once you accept your vulnerability, you grow. Be that from what has been termed as "post traumatic growth" for those that live with PTSD and I see no difference to those who emerge from depression and anxiety with great growth. This growth rapidly escalates once you accept your vulnerability.

Every time I present now, I am highly vulnerable and ripe for the picking for an anxiety attack but it is the challenge of it all that drives me. The idea of continually challenging myself to be vulnerable because I know I will continue to grow as a person by doing this.

I sought out the advice from a great mate, Gavin, a while back after I had a decent melt down on camera presenting. Gav let me know that he goes through the same thing from time to time when he presents on his journey. I gained great confidence from this...I am not alone in this, it happens to other people, this is relatively normal for people like us. Ok cool, get on it with....what my thoughts were after receiving this advice.

I would not have gained this wisdom from Gav if I was not vulnerable and asked for his ideas and I would not have gained this wisdom had Gav not being vulnerable in return.

Is it difficult to be vulnerable? absolutely it is but please, take that step to be vulnerable in trusted company, to a GP or a psych, it is well worth it.

Now to circle back to the ideation subject, if more people unlocked their vulnerability, the suicide rate would drop.

Now in no way shape or form am I being disrespectful to those that have taken their lives, I would never do that, ever but tragically for whatever reason, some just cannot or will not talk (as in with a GP/psych) and cannot or don't know how to unlock their vulnerability power.

This is where we all need to be better. To remove the stigma associated with mental health, to call out poor words and behaviours, to educate as many as we can so more people will seek out treatment.

We owe it to our families, our friends, our colleagues and well basically everyone in our society.

Be Well.

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