Recently a young lady wrote a suicide note and then jumped in front of a train. She survived the attempt but died from complications a few days later. During the times that she was alert she described the event as a “crazy moment” and discussed a plan to get her life back on track. Her family and friends were stunned by the attempt and later devastated by her death.

We have all experienced crazy moments when our actions or behaviors are unusual for us, resulting in harm to ourselves or others. Crazy moments can wreak havoc .on our emotions and our lives, our plans and dreams.

Do such moments always indicate an underlying depression? Or is it just a catastrophic response to a moment of vulnerability? Sometimes there is a trigger for the overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and helplessness that may push someone over the edge. Family and friends may fail to recognize that their loved one is in a crisis state.

No one can understand the events that will result in a crazy moment of self-destruction. No one can feel the emotional pain that the person is experiencing. Many people are experiencing high levels of stress in their daily lives. Even those who appear to be very successful may be struggling with feelings of inadequacy and helplessness.

How can we help? It may be difficult for family and loved ones to know what is going on unless there is a previous history of depression. However, each day we should make an effort to reach out to those around us. Try to become more aware of what is going on in their lives. Let them know that we are there as sources of support and strength.

Harriette Barker, PH.D, RN

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