Tag Archives: self-harm

Single Action Pistol

I’m a loaded gun with no safety.
No one knows how to take me.
See you think you’ll be okay
Because you know my triggers,
But one false move, one mistake
And I’ll fire.
I could hit you, her, or no one
So be careful where you point me.

Wanna play Russian roulette?
Then don’t be afraid to die.
This is a game of chance.
So, it’ll only be your own fault,
The blood on your hands
Playing with a girl like me.
I’ll kill you.

Don’t you know?
Dating is a game of chance, not skill.
Yeah, we decide how many bullets to load,
But you don’t load your own gun.
I load yours and hold it to your head
And unfortunately for you
I’m fully loaded.

I’m easy to trigger,
Completely neurotic,
One day anxious
Next day depressed.
Lacking control of my emotions
They pour out of me,
The blood gushing out of a cutter’s wrist.
Don’t trigger me.

See, I used to leave my gun unloaded
Pointed against his head,
So, when he pulled my trigger
He was safe from death.
He didn’t deserve that.
I trusted him because he had protected me
So, I was unarmed.
Surprise! His gun was loaded
And when I pulled his trigger
I wish I had died
Because he betrayed me
For loving someone else.
I promise I’m fully armed now.
Don’t fuck with me.

The leading killer is ourselves

Many RU students probably noticed a heartbreaking email (if nothing else) indicating the loss of Kristin Greene due to suicide on Oct. 22. Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.

The most common cause of suicide is untreated depression; other health problems (such as mental illness, physical pain, or substance abuse) can be a factor. Although 1 in 7 Americans are affected by depression and 1 in 5 college students express their depression level is higher than they’d like, less than 10% say that they have or would seek treatment.

DSC_0062
“Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.” Photo by: Danielle Johnson

Up to half of those who complete suicide have previously attempted it before and males are 75% more likely to die by suicide than females. Statistics show that race and ethnicity play a large role in American suicide rates with Whites being most likely at about 14% of suicides, Native Americans coming in second at about 10%, and other minorities following with only half the statistical likelihood.

While significant research on suicide is available, the warning signs can be hard to see. These signs include talking about suicide or feelings of being trapped, being in pain, or being a burden to others. The person’s behavior may change to include substance abuse, acting recklessly, researching suicide methods, withdrawing from activities and relationships, aggression, giving away possessions or saying goodbye, and abnormal sleep patterns (such as sleeping too much or too little). Anxiety can often be a major cause or symptom of depression and suicidal thoughts. While this may not be as easy to distinguish from stress, it should be taken seriously and dealt with properly in any capacity.

Additionally, it should be noted that those who have had a history of suicide in their family are more likely to be at risk. Those who have lost someone to suicide (no matter the relationship) should also be monitored for suicide warning signs as they too are more likely to consider killing themselves.

In college students, specific signs to look out for are those individuals who are normally good students but suddenly do not complete their work or show up to classes. Friends who suddenly withdraw from regular social activities and relationships, or those students who never had many friends to begin with, are at a higher risk of depression and suicide. Significant changes in weight, diet, or exercise can indicate depression, and those in abusive relationships (whether with family, friends, or a significant other) are at a higher risk.

If you witness any of these signs or feel concerned about another student’s state of mind, don’t take it lightly. Ask them how they are and be a good listener if they choose to open up to you. What a person considering suicide needs more than being talked out of  acting on feelings of self-harm is to have their feelings heard.

If you are concerned, RU urges you to follow these guidelines in order to provide the most effective help:

  •    DO listen and offer support in a non-judgmental way
  •    DO help the person explore feelings
  •    DO widen options and explore alternatives for problem solving
  •    DO ask direct questions about the person’s intentions; ask if the person is considering suicide
  •    DO communicate your concern for the person’s well-being
  •    DO recommend that the person contact a mental health professional
  •    DO call a professional yourself and offer to accompany the person to an initial appointment
  •    DO call the police if you believe the risk of suicide is immediate
  •    DON’T say “everything will be alright”
  •    DON’T dare the person to “do it”
  •    DON’T tell the person about someone who “has it worse”
  •    DON’T promise secrecy to the suicidal person
  •    DON’T leave the person alone if you believe the risk of suicide is imminent

Above all, don’t blame yourself for missing signs in a friend or family member who completes suicide. It isn’t about you or what you could or couldn’t have done. The bottom line is that suicide is usually a symptom of an emotional illness which a person was unable to find suitable treatment for. A person needs to want help in order to receive it.

For more resources on- and off-campus you can reach out to several organizations:

Student Counseling Services are open to any student and sessions are free. You can call 831-5226 to set up an appointment or find them in person to schedule or commit to a walk-in appointment by seeing them in the lower level of Tyler Hall.

Additionally, the following campus departments are willing to assist students in concerns for themselves or others:

  •    The Student Health Center, 831-5111
  •    The Dean of Students Office, 831-6297
  •    The Radford University Police, 831-5500

Finally, if you think someone is in immediate danger of self-harm or harm to others, do not hesitate to call 911 and report it.

The leading killer is ourselves

Many RU students probably noticed a heartbreaking email (if nothing else) indicating the loss of Kristin Greene due to suicide on Oct. 22. Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.

The most common cause of suicide is untreated depression; other health problems (such as mental illness, physical pain, or substance abuse) can be a factor. Although 1 in 7 Americans are affected by depression and 1 in 5 college students express their depression level is higher than they’d like, less than 10% say that they have or would seek treatment.

DSC_0062
“Unfortunately, suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college students along with homicide, traffic accidents, and alcohol related accidents.” Photo by: Danielle Johnson

Up to half of those who complete suicide have previously attempted it before and males are 75% more likely to die by suicide than females. Statistics show that race and ethnicity play a large role in American suicide rates with Whites being most likely at about 14% of suicides, Native Americans coming in second at about 10%, and other minorities following with only half the statistical likelihood.

While significant research on suicide is available, the warning signs can be hard to see. These signs include talking about suicide or feelings of being trapped, being in pain, or being a burden to others. The person’s behavior may change to include substance abuse, acting recklessly, researching suicide methods, withdrawing from activities and relationships, aggression, giving away possessions or saying goodbye, and abnormal sleep patterns (such as sleeping too much or too little). Anxiety can often be a major cause or symptom of depression and suicidal thoughts. While this may not be as easy to distinguish from stress, it should be taken seriously and dealt with properly in any capacity.

Additionally, it should be noted that those who have had a history of suicide in their family are more likely to be at risk. Those who have lost someone to suicide (no matter the relationship) should also be monitored for suicide warning signs as they too are more likely to consider killing themselves.

In college students, specific signs to look out for are those individuals who are normally good students but suddenly do not complete their work or show up to classes. Friends who suddenly withdraw from regular social activities and relationships, or those students who never had many friends to begin with, are at a higher risk of depression and suicide. Significant changes in weight, diet, or exercise can indicate depression, and those in abusive relationships (whether with family, friends, or a significant other) are at a higher risk.

If you witness any of these signs or feel concerned about another student’s state of mind, don’t take it lightly. Ask them how they are and be a good listener if they choose to open up to you. What a person considering suicide needs more than being talked out of  acting on feelings of self-harm is to have their feelings heard.

If you are concerned, RU urges you to follow these guidelines in order to provide the most effective help:

  •    DO listen and offer support in a non-judgmental way
  •    DO help the person explore feelings
  •    DO widen options and explore alternatives for problem solving
  •    DO ask direct questions about the person’s intentions; ask if the person is considering suicide
  •    DO communicate your concern for the person’s well-being
  •    DO recommend that the person contact a mental health professional
  •    DO call a professional yourself and offer to accompany the person to an initial appointment
  •    DO call the police if you believe the risk of suicide is immediate
  •    DON’T say “everything will be alright”
  •    DON’T dare the person to “do it”
  •    DON’T tell the person about someone who “has it worse”
  •    DON’T promise secrecy to the suicidal person
  •    DON’T leave the person alone if you believe the risk of suicide is imminent

Above all, don’t blame yourself for missing signs in a friend or family member who completes suicide. It isn’t about you or what you could or couldn’t have done. The bottom line is that suicide is usually a symptom of an emotional illness which a person was unable to find suitable treatment for. A person needs to want help in order to receive it.

For more resources on- and off-campus you can reach out to several organizations:

Student Counseling Services are open to any student and sessions are free. You can call 831-5226 to set up an appointment or find them in person to schedule or commit to a walk-in appointment by seeing them in the lower level of Tyler Hall.

Additionally, the following campus departments are willing to assist students in concerns for themselves or others:

  •    The Student Health Center, 831-5111
  •    The Dean of Students Office, 831-6297
  •    The Radford University Police, 831-5500

Finally, if you think someone is in immediate danger of self-harm or harm to others, do not hesitate to call 911 and report it.

Understanding nonsuicidal self-injury

Self-injury, self-mutilation, self-harm, it doesn’t matter what it’s called. It’s the act of intentionally inflicting pain on the body in order to relieve negative feelings or a negative cognitive state, not including social norms such as tattoos, piercings or any self-harm related to religious practices. Continue reading Understanding nonsuicidal self-injury