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Suicide in Korea

September 23, 2015

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So, we’ve been holding off on doing this topic for a while, because it’s really tough to handle something as serious as this. Not just because suicide itself is such a challenging issue to discuss openly and carefully, but also because Korea has such a high suicide rate. But after we saw an article on the front page of Reddit that Korea lead the OECD in suicide again this year, we realize that a lot of people might be aware of the high numbers but not aware of the stresses that might cause those numbers to be so high.

We also know that suicide is a personal issue, and not just a social issue, so even though we discussed a lot of the aggravating factors for suicide in Korea, those factors alone don’t have the final say in what a person does with their life. We can’t just say “what happened? Korea happened.” That obviously wouldn’t be fair. Almost everybody in Korea deals with the factors we mentioned in this video. Tough school and tough jobs and tough retirements aren’t a guaranteed recipe for suicide, of course. We just tried to share the research we found on what many are attributing to the high suicide rate in Korea.

There are other factors we didn’t mention in this video. Bullying at schools is a factor. Sexual harassment is a factor as well. Challenges with social integration were mentioned. And there are, again, lots of other personal reasons that factor in. Everyone has their own reasons, and we can’t possibly discuss every one of them. I’m not sure how useful that would be.

What we are hoping, though, is that people watching this who might feel trapped in a miserable cycle consider that there are other ways out. If you’re ready to leave it all behind, there are other ways. Quit your big job for a small coffee shop job. Sell everything and move to another country. Go on a world tour with almost no money and just couch surf. You can leave in far less permanent ways. There’s always a new life and new lives waiting for you somewhere else, while there’s only one death. And I always suggest you choose life no matter how scary the options seem.

We also can’t emphasize enough that seeking counselling is so important. I don’t think we emphasized enough in the video that 80-90% of teenagers who sought counselling had happier lives after doing so. 80 to 90 percent! But the stigma of counselling is so strong here and it’s causing so much more harm than it needs to. We have a friend here whose brother was in a very bad car accident, and now, after many surgeries, and brain trauma, he’s having a lot of uncontrollable anger issues that he didn’t face before. His parents are actually trying to tell him NOT to go to counselling for it, because they think it looks bad. Seriously. We’re all trying to convince him not to listen to his parents, but it’s really tough for someone who’s seeking help to be scolded for doing so.

For Korean people, if you feel the need to, please don’t hesitate to contact a counsellor. We’ve got two links for you:

Hopeclick and
Counsel24

If you have a Korean friend that you feel might benefit from counselling, you can share those links with them as well.

For people in Korea who are more comfortable with English, if you would like to speak with a counsellor, you can go either:

International Psychiatric Center or
Dr Park’s Psychiatric Clinic

These resources aren’t really the easiest to find and we ourselves have never been to counsellors in Korea, but we have both been to counsellors in Canada. Fortunately our eatyourkimchi.com website does kinda well on Google search results, so we’re hoping to get these links some more visibility, and please please please share this post or these links if you know anyone suffering from depression, down thoughts, or general unhappiness. Both Simon and I went to counsellors when we were suffering from depression in Canada and I can’t express how important it is to have someone impartial to talk to. An impartial person allows you to express and vent your feelings freely and they’re not tied to their emotions because they know you as a student, friend, or family member.

For those of you not living in Korea at all, (roughly 97% of you who watch our videos), here’s a list of Worldwide Suicide and Crisis Support Numbers that I hope you can use to help a friend or to help yourself.

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  1. Hey guys, thank you so much for raising awareness. Do you have the sources to go with this? I would love to read more and it would help me share the information in my graduate program. Thank you!!!

    3 years ago
  2. Dear EYK Studios,
    Dear People of the Internet:

    I don’t know if I should say something but I feel like I should at least say thank you to EYK for their willingness to not only discuss such a difficult topic, but to be able to do so in a way that is empathetic and validating for all listeners.

    To South Korea overall, I am sorry that the people are experiencing such a thing. I hope for change in the future because I dislike people suffering. I don’t like feeling that isolated and depressed. I don’t know what I can do to help, but if I can help people I would always like to try. I can’t go myself or do anything like that yet because I’m still learning to help myself enough to be able to be that independent. However, I’ll look into other options. Maybe learning Korean and using social apps or something? If the EYK studio has any suggestions then I’d be happy to hear them.

    I want to also thank so many of the eloquent and sincere people who reached out in the comment section (especially the one who made an really great comment on ways to effect social change). Intellectually, I realize that social change comes from people coming forward and sharing their experiences. That confidence inspires other people with similar stories to share and encourages empathy from people who don’t have such experiences in their lives.

    I want to say something though, because as much as it hurts it’s nearing the one year anniversary of my first (and hopefully only) suicide attempt. Also, because this video was a fair bit more triggering than I’d expected. I rarely tell anyone about what happened to me in my attempt. Even when I do tell people it is really awkward sometimes because I can only guess that they don’t know how to respond.

    I think a lot of counties have a problem with mental health. From medicine to sociological and individual changes in perspective, the idea of psychology as we know it is still new. I know it takes time, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult.

    I’d like to post something to help allies or potential allies.
    This Buzzfeed article encapsulates everything I am struggling to say. It’s called ’15 Things You Shouldn’t Say To Someone Struggling With Depression’. Additionally, I think they have broader implications. They are ways to talk without invalidating other peoples’ experiences.
    I’d like to add to please never tell someone who is confused over something that seems like it would be simple or is in distress to stop faking it. It’s not just unhelpful it’s devastating.

    I know I said sharing inspires confidence and empathy. Mine starts here: I feel self-absorbed or selfish somehow to share mine. Every time I try to start I feel that way. I feel like seeking validation from other people, not because I want to feel good, but because I want to know if it’s okay for me to do so. Everybody knows or has heard of someone’s experiences with mental health or mental illness and the internet exists so all I must be doing in sharing mine is trying to make myself feel unique or special when it’s not. And this sort of thought process makes me disgusting. That’s how I feel.

    I don’t want to end on a such a note but I don’t know what else to say. Or make this comment too much longer.

    Thank you for your time and patience (and pardon grammatical errors, the person who wrote something isn’t always the best proofreader for that piece):
    PendulumSwing

    3 years ago
  3. I was wondering (if you haven’t done it already) about any Korean superstitions you find odd, and any that your Korean friends have noticed that you have that they think are strange. (For example, one of my friends will refuse to discuss a nightmare until the person who had the dream has had something to eat. I literally had never heard of anyone doing this until I met her 6 years ago.) And are there any superstitions from Korea that you’ve picked up?? Thanks in advance!

    3 years ago
  4. Could you do a TL;DR about guns and school shootings? I know it might end up being U.S. centric, but I really am curious to how Korea (and other parts of the world) view both the guns and these tragedies. I know after VA Tech, the government of Korea officially apologized for Cho Seung Hui, but at 10, I didn’t understand why they felt the need to do that. Thanks!

    3 years ago
    • DD

      I like this topic and hopeful that you can narrow down from this general fact. But gun is strongly restricted in Korea and not allowed to public purchase, even if it is air gun. In fact, police have limited right to use the gun. You can recognize this when you see Korean gang movies. Nobody, even if it is pretty dominant position, uses gun except police. Thus, gun fire can be a very serious situation.
      Another thing is, this is not my experience but heard story, Gun is one of the most serious subject in the Korean military. According to my observation, military shooting range is considered the place that actually person can be heart or died by accident in Military training: otherwise, nothing really can bring person die, unless management issue or violence. Also, the only place that person can be killed or kill people with gun. I heard many epic interesting stories about the shooting range from my friends, but none of them has a joke when it reaches the gun use. I felt this is somewhat general manner in Korea.

      It is very hard to describe things related to Cho Seung Hui because it is very broad topic. But hope this gives some clue for over all attitude about gun action in Korea.
      Thanks for reading this!

      3 years ago
  5. Thank you guys so much for making this video!

    Three years ago I suffered a psychotic break and was suicidal. Due to my delusions I literally thought I was in hell for a few months. It’s tough to explain how painful that was but suicide seemed infinitely better than an eternity of torture. Fortunately, I talked to my mom about it and she convinced me to get help. I went in and out of a mental health facility a couple times for “stabilization” as they call it and had a lot of therapy after that.

    Three years later I have a full time job, learned a new sport (Ultimate frisbee), am learning how to sing, and am actually enjoying life most of the time. Also, a few months ago my brother got married and it was absolutely amazing. Everything was perfect and everyone was so, so happy. As I was sitting there watching my brother give his speech thanking everyone for being there I couldn’t help but wonder how different that whole weekend would have been if I had committed suicide. How my brother would have had to mention how regretful he is that I couldn’t be there on what was the happiest day of his life. How my mother would be happy but still very, very sad. How the replacement best man’s speech would have completely sucked in comparison to mine. Just how not right everything would have been.

    ‘Cause man, it’s so tough when you’re completely surrounded by darkness to even believe that a sliver of light could ever, EVER, shine upon you again. But I’ve been there and back. It can happen. And I’m a strong believer that it will happen to anyone who chooses to fight on and bravely walk through that darkness. And if you’re fighting that fight now, just know that I and so many other survivors are right there with you, fighting by your side.

    3 years ago
  6. Dear Simon and Martina,
    Korea is a country full of fashion. The fashion trends in Korea is enormous and evolved recently over time. I was wanting to know if you two could possibly do a segment over fashion designing and the work behind it? Giving us a view of fashion in Korea and what the do’s and don’ts are. Thank you!
    Sincerely, The Nasty

    3 years ago
  7. So you guys are doing these types of topics again? eww what is this depressing atmosphere creeping out of my screen(shoves atmosphere back into screen).

    Seriously though, I actually almost committed suicide around 11-12 years of age. From the age of 10 on I hide silicone ‘do not eat’ packets in my drawer just in case I wanted to kill myself. I was depressed for years but I never let anyone know and no one noticed either.

    Until one day I got up the nerve to do it but I stopped myself not because of the pain I would cause my parents or siblings, but because ‘I would miss me’. The thought of me not existing made me so sad I almost cried. It was kind of weird that I would suddenly care about myself before I wanted to end myself, maybe God was appealing to my narssisism?(Yes I was that narcissistic)

    Soon after I watched a documentary on the holocaust in class and I realized what an idiot I was. Here are people who were rounded up tortured, starved, and killed. My life is no where near as bad as theirs, how ungrateful am I to want to die?

    Honestly thinking about other people that have it worse than you really helps. Once I started focusing on things to be thankful for I felt better and got over myself. I got food, clean water, shelter, an education, and opportunities to better myself. Instead of looking inside myself and thinking all those negative thoughts, I look outside myself and appreciate what I have and what could be in the future.

    Hope this helps someone.

    3 years ago
  8. I am a highschooler in the U.S. and we have actually been learning about suicide and and stress recently at school. It has really made me rethink a lot about how I deal with my stress .It’s also taught me a lot about dealing with stress, seeing the signs before it happens ,prevent theirs from committing suicide, finding someone to talk to, and getting help. I that the whole experience was very eye opening . Maybe if you have time you can teach your students about this and you never know this may help one of them.

    3 years ago
  9. Counselling is an efficient way of gaining trust in yourself.. but when u suffer from severe obesity health prolems, life is not pink anymore. All in all, what do u recommend? https://www.placidway.com/package/183/Weight-loss-Programs-in-South-Korea

    3 years ago
  10. Before you quit – try
    Before you die – live.

    P.S.: abortion is actually the no. 1 cause of death in humans

    3 years ago
    • That is blatantly false. You are severely misinformed. It’s not even near the top ten. Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide.

      3 years ago
      • Did you google? ‘Abortion’ is not even considered cause of death because unborn baby is not considered life and does not have any rights to live if his month ear or father decides so. No wonder you could not find it in “top 10″…

        3 years ago
        • Kam

          Agree with you. And you are not “misinformed”

          2 years ago
      • Hi Emily
        It does not matter though which one is statistically no 1 cause as any death is sad. In case with abortions since it is illegal in Korea there will be no official statistics but it is still happening.
        And suicide is a very important and serious issue, it just helped me once to remember that while some of us want to quit before it’s time for them to go others are eliminated before they’re even born. Maybe some better people who will change the world, we never know, a lot of people are overly negative.

        3 years ago
  11. Thank you guys so much for making this video.

    3 years ago
  12. Hi, I’m a long-time visitor to your site, but a first time commenter. I really love you guys! If I remember correctly the divorce rate in Korea is quite high. This too could be contributing to the suicide rates and stress levels as well. My parents got divorced my freshmen year of college. My friends encouraged me for a year and a half to go see someone for counseling. I didn’t want to go because I didn’t want my parents to find out through the insurance. Fortunately my school had excellent services that allowed me to pay out-of-pocket and keep it off the record. It would be great if these options were available in Korea. I also hoped that maybe you could do a TL;DR about divorce and how it affects the family structure.

    3 years ago
    • Hello, and welcome to the comment section! I’m glad you took the plunge!

      I didn’t see any reports connecting divorce with suicide rates, but it’s an interesting thought. I’ll look into it and see if there’s something I can find!

      3 years ago
      • You guys mentioned that employers can see if you were hospitalized for mental health problems when they’re hiring you. Does Korea not have some version of the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) law that protects the confidentiality of Korean people’s healthcare info? Do they also not have something like the Americans with Disabilities Act? Because in the US that’s super illegal. The only way your employer knows you have some kind of disability or have been hospitalized for a disability is if you tell them yourself. And even after that, they are required to provide reasonable accommodations for you (ex: a note taker for meetings, PDFs of documents and literature compatible with text-to-speech software, etc.)

        2 years ago
  13. Suicide sucks. At one time long ago I struggled with the thought of hating life and wanting out … it took a lot of work and growing up but LIFE IS GOOD. And now I understand what it means for all the people left behind when someone gives up.

    About a year ago, a close friend of mine – great guy, music teacher, lover of all things reptile and nature, incredible photographer, person of inspiration to many people, father of 2 amazing young women, and husband to a lovely and incredible wife … a guy who’d struggled with anxiety and depression for all of his life and who’d just been shifted off his doctor and meds due to an insurance change at his work – finally decided he couldn’t handle it any more and drove his car into a tree going very fast and was killed.

    I guess he talked about how he didn’t thing his life mattered … that he’d done nothing good and couldn’t see anything getting better. He didn’t think he really mattered to too many people and he felt alone.

    At his funeral, over 800 people attended … they held an anti-suicide rally for him and his family. The line to get in stretched all the way around the high school building where he’d taught and across the parking lot and field. After his wife and some of his family spoke, a bunch of the kids and other teachers whose lives he touched got up and talked about him … the talks went on for nearly 3 hours.

    He mattered. He was effective and he touched lives. Like his wife said … suicide sucks.

    I’m going to miss him.

    3 years ago
    • You wrote about your friend so beautifully. I’m so sorry to read about this. I hope one day the memories of him make you smile instead of just feeling sad.

      3 years ago
  14. Great job guys! This is a really important issue.

    I’ve gone to counseling in the past when I’ve needed it. It was a big help. It’s just like going to a doctor for any sort of ailment. It shouldn’t be a stigma.

    3 years ago
  15. Hi Simon and Martina,
    First of all, I would like to say how appreciative I am that you covered this topic. All death is tragic, but suicide is singular in its ability to render the loved ones of the deceased helpless and confused. And all the derision that comes with suicide only makes things harder, so I am extremely thankful that you discussed this issue and provided the information that you did. No one should ever feel that death is the only option.
    I am a senior undergraduate art student, planning on getting my master’s in art therapy. My dream is to live and work in Korea, and to advocate for the awareness and acceptance of mental health as a legitimate issue, and work on starting counseling programs in/specifically for schools. I was wondering if there were any resources available for graduate therapy students in Korea or if you know of any good therapy programs in Korean colleges. I really appreciate all that you guys do, and will continue to support you as a fan for many years to come.
    Thanks for your time,
    Molly

    3 years ago
  16. It’s so sad that Korea has to deal with this problem today. Unfortunately, it was their efforts in the past to escape from poverty which made the nation as the real-life Hunger Games arena. Kill or be killed, fight or flight. And now everyone is terrified of slowing down in fear of being stampeded, putting their knives down which has been digging through their skulls, just because that knife saved them in the past. The time is overdue for the Koreans to stop their outdated spartan methods and start changing properly for real. Of course, rooting out the roots of the problem is not an easy job, and might have to spoil their cultural garden and even bring in some bad scars to their fingers, but they can’t cut just the blades of the ever-growing amount of weeds forever.

    3 years ago
  17. Hey S&M, thank you so much for finally covering this topic. I know how hard it is to do a topic like this and I really commend you for it. I have tried to commit suicide (a LOOOOOONG time ago, like in 2008) and realized that it wasn’t at all the best option. I had so many good friends (both old and new) come in and help me grown and move past the temporary problems in my lives. If any of you are thinking about suicide and think it may solve a problem, hear me: it won’t. It leaves a much bigger problem behind for everyone who loves you (trust me, there are way more people than you think), and really big health problems if you fail.

    I remind you that each of you are much more connected than you could even imagine, everyone who is around you is influenced by you, whether or not you realize it. I have worked with a middle school bible study (in the USA) that was specifically for middle schoolers (11-14) who wanted to commit suicide/were cutting/had depression/etc. Each of them I knew really really well and knew a lot about their lives. I regularly got emails from their families, classmates and friends about how grateful they were to have people who would sit down and talk to them about their life struggles, especially from the perspective of someone who had been there and seen that. I would often give these letters to the students who were amazed by the people who loved them, often from people they didn’t realize they impacted. I really encourage everyone who has someone they know who struggles with these things to just tell them how much they impact your lives. It can really make a big difference to anyone who is thinking about suicide.

    Also if anyone wants to talk, lemme know.

    3 years ago
  18. One thing in your blog post REALLY stood out to me: “If you’re ready to leave it all behind, there are other ways. Quit your big job for a small coffee shop job. Sell everything and move to another country. Go on a world tour with almost no money and just couch serf. You can leave in far less permanent ways. There’s always a new life and new lives waiting for you somewhere else, while there’s only one death. And I always suggest you choose life no matter how scary the options seem.”

    I never, EVER thought of such small things before. I’m always worried about the future and what’s going to happen, will I be able to afford an apartment, will I be homeless, all of that. I’m still young but it still worries me. I never thought of selling everything and moving or just moving in general. Giving up things that I don’t need, in order to live. I always think that I’ll be stuck in this one place forever. Moving never seemed like an option to me for some reason, but I’m so glad I saw that. Thank you. That one paragraph really opened my eyes to possibilities that I hadn’t thought about. Next time I start worrying about the future, I need to re-read that paragraph and realize that I do have options.

    For the longest time, I would worry about what would happen when my parents are gone. I’d have nowhere to stay. I honestly did think about suicide a lot, that once they’re gone and I have no other options, no place to live, that suicide would be the only way out, or be homeless on the street. But reading your blog post really did show me that there ARE options. I don’t have to live in the US or even this state forever. I can move somewhere I can afford.

    I’m sorry this comment is all over the place… but thank you for those words. I needed to hear that. I will definitely save that onto my phone and re-read it any time I start getting those worrying thoughts again. Thank you guys, you’ve really helped me and I’m sure you didn’t even realize it. :) You’re the best. <3

    3 years ago
    • I’m really happy we could help. I know a lot of people feel trapped in their current situations and feel like they can’t excel where they are. And while that may be true, there are millions of different options for you out there. If you can’t be a lawyer in New York, why not be a barista in Spain? Why not be a truck driver in Germany? Why not be a translator in Taiwan? If your friends in California aren’t treating you right, you have new friends waiting for you in Korea, in South Africa, in Brazil, new friends you didn’t even know about but who will be awesome and who you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. There’s always something different out there.

      3 years ago
  19. Hi guys, this is the first time I see a video of yours. You’re right, is a tough issue to talk about. I really feel the same as Martina, not only with young but with any life. It breaks my heart. And you exposed a good point: goverment can’t change this. When I think it with sense, my country has its own issues, and people even expect things to be solved by the goverment, but the change is within the people who “make” that country, not the less ones who manage it. That’s why this won’t change at least until korean society experiments that change in itself (and the same for my country).

    About going counselling, in my country, to my parents’ generation was some kind of stigma too, same as koreans; so for me, it was really hard to go to counselling and not being seeing as an “unstable person who can’t deal with life’s issues”. But still, I kept going. It was hard to manage, both, counselling and people’s prejudice. But guess what? After 2 years, my mom ended up going counselling after a job issue, and even a doctor suggested it to my dad after an episode in his health. So, in my society became more and more common to go counselling. Now people talks about it openly. Isn’t amazing? Of course there’s still people who has prejudices, but they’re the less, and I choose to ignore them.

    I’m a free spirit, and I tend to break structures that lock life and don’t allow to people to live and enjoy life freely. My hair was with all the colours you ever knew, and still is half pink. I keep finding those who love it and those who call me “a not serious-trustable person” because of it. And that just make me love it more! And that’s why I love this part you wrote: “What we are hoping (…) is that people (…) consider that there are other ways out. If you’re ready to leave it all behind, there are other ways. Quit your big job for a small coffee shop job. Sell everything and move to another country. Go on a world tour with almost no money and just couch serf. You can leave in far less permanent ways. There’s always a new life and new lives waiting for you somewhere else, while there’s only one death. And I always suggest you choose life no matter how scary the options seem.”

    Amazing guys. Thank you.
    Sorry for any mistake in my English. I’m a self-taught (native Spanish speaker).

    3 years ago
  20. While I see the government’s good intentions in setting up school hours and locking rooftops and so on, it also shows how helpless they are. Of course every life is precious, and a locked door might keep a student alive who is desperate in a high-pressure situation, but it’s nowhere near treating the root of the problem. There needs to be a cultural shift, and the government can help that along.
    Do you need to disclose your health records when applying for a job? Government has the power to make laws to protect their citizens and their privacy! There could be tax reductions for companies that are committed to creating a healthy working environment. The pension system could be revised so that elderly people don’t end up penniless and alone. Guidance counselors could be part of the school system…
    I get that you can’t change a culture overnight, but honestly, the government could do a lot more, it’s only a matter of how much you care about your citizens and how committed you are to enforcing these laws.

    3 years ago
  21. when i hear those kind of topics i always thinking that i am very happy in my country and forget all things why i was mad. Poor people, kids don’t have nice memories in such a life

    3 years ago
    • same happens to me. I start to appreciate more the good things about my country, in spite of the bad things. This make you grow more, isn’t?

      3 years ago
  22. I thought about whether to post this but I will in the hope it helps other people. Many years ago I went through a really tough time. My son died, I was assaulted by the brother of my son’s father, resulting in the failure of the relationship and the loss of my job, my home and my family. I had post natal depression, I had grief, I didn’t really have anyone to turn to or anywhere to go. I really just didn’t want to live anymore. I just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up. I hadn’t had a great life before that point either. I had to really fight to keep going. That was many years ago now. Since then I met and married the love of my life, who supports me and made me believe in my dreams, I began to study languages and speak several now, I had only ever been to one other country my whole life before that point, now I have climbed ancient pyramids in tropical jungles, seen world famous geisha, ballerinas, rock stars, seen sunsets from the top of volcanos and snorkled in the sea. I learned to swim, surf and ride a bike, to weld (I used to be scared of sparklers, swum with manatees and dolphins and I’m currently studying for a diploma because I was not given the opportunity to gain a degree. I have been able to give myself choices that I never thought I would have and whilst live has thrown me a few really horrible surprises along with way I’m glad I carried on waking up.

    The point of this very personal post is to let anyone know that no matter why you may feel like it is hopeless that it really isn’t and it will get better for you. It may take a while and you may have to work to get there but you will. In a few years you will have made some of your dreams come true also. It may not always be easy but you can do it.

    Big hugs to anyone affected by this topic and know I believe in you x

    3 years ago
    • Thank you for opening up and sharing this here. That’s very inspiring. Thank you :D

      3 years ago
      • I would like to add to my first post as I worried a bit about what I had said. Firstly that I hope no one takes from it that you have to have horrible things happen for depression to hit. I told my story to show how badly things can stack up against you all at the same time and how bad things can get/how hopeless things may seem but if depression or stress has just hit without a triggering event it does not make the situation less in any way. The situation is still real, valid and important.

        Secondly, bad times do not necessarily pass if you manage to get over the hurdle of depression but you will always know that you can find happiness in so many ways. I think I made it sound like all that stuff happened and then my life was just magical (it is but…) in the intervening years between then and now a lot has happened. My Dad got seriously ill, my husband lost his job twice, we lost another baby and cannot try again, we had to move out of our much loved home when the landlord sold it without telling us, so much stuff happens. If triggering events come round again it is completely fine to acknowledge that you are having a rough time but you now know it will pass.

        Thirdly, you are completely right, there is a lot to be said for being happier with less. Most of my really special memories are free, like going for a picnic on a bolder in the middle of a river that no one knew about with my husband on Sundays and watching the fish swim around it and just being peaceful and relaxed. Find what makes you happy and make time for it. You don’t have to be rich to be happy.

        Sometimes going through depression or stress can help you and people you love if they are going through a tough time. You can actually be glad it happened if you can help. Better friendships, relationships and happiness come from understanding.

        Lastly, and one thing I feel to be very true is that many people are told not to talk about depression or stress and I feel this comes not from people who have had it but from people who maybe have not and feel uncomfortable around the topic. By silencing a discussion by implying it is in some way shameful to have depression is merely protecting people who are OK anyway. It is as OK, natural and understandable for someone to have depression as it is for someone to have broken a leg, be left handed or have a certain eye colour. It happens to many people, it can be in our DNA or it can be triggered, never, ever be made to feel ashamed about talking about it as that is more about the person making you feel ashamed than it ever is about the depression or you!

        3 years ago
  23. i have gone through therapy for several mental illnesses and just recently got re-evaluated and had another illness added on to my list. where i’m from, while people are talking more about mental illness, there are a lot of people who don’t understand how serious it can be. and because many don’t realize that, it makes it hard for some people to cope with these illnesses because they feel like they can’t find that support they need from family or friends.

    i have relatives in asian countries and while i don’t know the stats for those countries, it seems like that stigma of mental health is similar. i’ve had relatives that say “it’s their fault for not seeing the bigger picture”. of course, this isn’t saying this is true for all people in those countries, but thats what i experience in my family.

    3 years ago