In my last two blog posts, I talked about the body language of babies when they are first born and the body language of teenagers when they flirt with the opposite sex. Both of those topics are cute and funny, but it is now time to move onto a more serious topic: Suicide. According to Merriam-Webster, suicide is “the act of killing yourself because you do not want to continue living”. Through body language, we can help decrease the stunning rate of suicides around the globe.
The biggest emotion that relates to suicide is depression. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest”. There are multiple obvious signs of depression, such as crying and fidgeting; however, there are many other signs that are not as easily spotted.
“THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME”
One sign to look out for is a person’s body posture. Studies show that a depressed person will tend to slump their bodies and they will not “stand tall” while walking (5 Body 1). They will look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, so it won’t be hard to miss. Besides slumping their bodies, they will also keep their feet very close together (5 Body 1). They do this to take up as little space as possible. With that being said, watch a person’s feet while they are standing still.
“THE UN-SOCIAL BUG”
Another sign to look out for is a person’s social abilities. If a person is depressed, they will tend to isolate themselves from the world and not talk to anybody (Depression 1). However, if they do decide to talk to anybody, they will spend more time looking at the ground or distance objects than your face (A.K.A. Very little eye contact) (Depression 1). Outside of school, these individuals will stop attending events, such as extracurricular activities, and will use that time to sleep. DO NOT let them become a UN-social bug.
I have personally encountered a situation where my best friend in high school was suffering depression and luckily I caught it. My friend began to attend less events and used that time sleep, which was the biggest red flag to me. She went from an energized softball star to a fading athlete, barely making any practices and she eventually quit the team. Despite her downward slope in athletics, her grades were also following that slope as she started receiving C’s and D’s on her report card. When I confronted her about this, she seemed to not care. In the hallways, she became the Hunchback of Notre Dame and the UN-social bug of the school. I am lucky to have caught these signals that she was giving off.
In my school’s history, there has been many heart-breaking suicides. High school kids taking their own lives… it is insanity. What if one of their friends realized their body language and did something to help them? What if these people were confronted and got help? What if their lives were saved? What if. WHAT IF.
Be a hero, this is your time to save a life.
“5 Body Language Signs of Depression.” 5 Body Language Signs of Depression. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2014.
“Depression.” Counseling and Psychological Services. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2014.