In the pandemic there has been a rise in suicide. This all being the result of the stress of the pandemic and individuals mental health. I personally feel as though suicide is one of the main factors that hinder the youth of our nation and other nations around the world. Having dealt with my own personal struggles there is very real consequences when we don’t take time to look at ourselves and determine how we feel.
The fact that we are mostly working from home and no longer able to see our friends in the workplace and be able to talk and get that human contact that we all really want is becoming rare. There are reports of attempted suicides on the rise across the country in part because of the contactless living we are under. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-08-pandemic-effect-suicide-heightens.html a report on New Mexico and the rise in attempts there. Even the military is having a rise in suicide https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/10/01/suicide-rate-among-active-duty-troops-jumps-six-year-high/5879477002/. This whole pandemic has caused those with already very fragile mental health to become very unstable. Those who have mental disorders already feel like outcasts or even shunned by society and adding to that the trauma of a world pandemic that has been said to be so deadly it kills everyone who gets it in some cases. The massive leap in cases shows how deeply we need something better in our lives. The fact that at the beginning of the pandemic Churches were closed, is not good for those who really needed to be with someone who can give them help.
In time the pandemic may go away and something totally catastrophic will happen in the world that takes the place of the pandemic but for now we need to be focused on our own lives and things we know we can control. Our mental health is the one thing that can truly keep you healthy. The mind and the body have the kind of mechanical connection that if one or the other is in disrepair everything else will eventually crumble. If you constantly think that you’re a terrible person and all sorts of other things then your physical appearance will show that as well. If you think that you are healthy and perfect then it will show as well, sort of a physics thing. Remember though to not become egotistical and be full of yourself or you may fall into great sins. If you need references for that read the Bible or the saints who talked about such things.
There are a great many ways people can keep from falling into despair and depression and suicidal thoughts. For me it is in Orthodoxy I find refuge in the lives of saints and the daily readings of the Bible as well as being able to go to Church for the Liturgy. I also have writing out my thoughts like a goth teen and playing and working on instruments. Things that I can feel good about after having finished a project keep me from being depressed about whatever it is that gets me down at times. I also go to my priest and talk to him at times. Its not my place to say to those out there who are not Orthodox but confession is another way to get rid of these things that make us feel ill and dirty. Especially when we have suicidal thoughts.
St Nektarios of Aegina says “Don’t let anything deprive you of hope” this is to be remembered, St Ephraim The Syrian says “Don’t lose heart. There is hope, and it is Christ.” There are many other quotes I could use but the point is that right now with all the hopelessness in the world we need to find Christ and go to the Liturgy and be in the Church. There is hope in Christ and when we realize that we have no need to despair over anything in the world.
The Father is my hope; the Son is my refuge; the Holy Spirit is my protector. O All-holy Trinity, glory to You.