What are the warning signals to recognize that someone might be having suicidal thoughts?
Hello :-) well, first of all know that not everybody is showing up with the same signs as a depression can be also complete differnt to what every book says. 25% of the people who died by suicide are not showing that much signs. Many of the had a very normal life and than they did if from one second to the other. They planed it often for many weeks, some for years. The others are showing some or many of the listed suicide warning signs. Greetings Mario
- Appearing depressed or sad most of the time. (Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.)
- If they are talking or writing about death or suicide.
- or if they google "suicide topics"
- Withdrawing from family and friends.
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Feeling strong anger or rage.
- Feeling trapped -- like there is no way out of a situation.
- Experiencing dramatic mood changes.
- Abusing drugs or alcohol (if they never did before it is a sign that something went wrong)
- Exhibiting a change in personality.
- Acting impulsively.
- Losing interest in most activities.
- Experiencing a change in sleeping habits.
- Experiencing a change in eating habits.
- Losing interest in most activities.
- Performing poorly at work or in school.
- Giving away prized possessions.
- Writing a will.
- Feeling excessive guilt or shame.
- Acting recklessly.
- My partner never wanted to make plans for the far future. He hadn´t got any wishes and if I told something like: once if we are 70...... than he always rolled with his eyes and told me that he never wants to become that old. (This behaviour was really frustrating and I hadn´t got a clue how serious he is with it.)
- An be warned if somebody had attempts in the past and than those signs are showing up again.
- self hurting like cutting and branding can be a sign too.
Do you invite relatives to post like a 'virtual remberance wall?
yes, I have the "Album loved ones" and there we will remember about our loved ones. The album will change in a very nice web-portal too, if the crowdfunding campaign will succeed. At the moment everything is on one website and it is to much and a bit a mess ..... But it is important that we will have a place, where people can remember with Text, pics and videos ..... see here the english version .... https://sites.google.com/trees-of-memory.org/treesofmemory/loved-ones-album
Do you have a virtual route of the path of trees that you are planning and can you share?
well I am not deciding about the path around the world. The invitations to plant a tree and the places where we will do that will create the path. So, if I start walking in Germany I will put all the cities and villages in advance in a meaningful order and than I will walk, step by step , city by city, until I reach the border of the next country. The route can change almost on a daily bases. Everything which is ahead, can be part of the route around the world. The only thing I can´t do: Walking back - as life knows also just one direction: forward. .... But I have a map, showing the cities where trees are ordered so far. this might give you an idea. See it at the link.
What or who inspired you for your campaign?
My partner ended his life last year at eastern. I tried to commit suicide at the 28th of December 2014. Both had a major impact in my life. All the things behind are described in my blog on www.trees-of-memory.eu
How close are you to reach your goal?
- ... well, I have a bit difficulties to understand the questions. What are you defining as a goal`? So will try to answer:
- First Goal: collecting the money I need for the programming of the website: I reached by now 50% of the minimum I need in 4 days.
- Second goal: Planting trees: The first tree was planted last week (but I hadn´t time to edit the video for). 34 more trees are ordered in 12 countries. Some "we will think about in the pipline. I would say I reached the goal as it is not a question of how many - so, more will follow and each one is like one on top.
- Third goal: bringing awareness to the media: 5 newspaper article, 2 TV reports are done (not sended yet) and around 10 blogger from all over the world were reporting. 25000 Followers in all social networks. So soon i start walking the media interest will be big - I know the business. So, I would say, goal reached.
- Fourth goal: teaching journalist in different reporting about suicide topics. First work shop i held 3 weeks ago, with people from the most important media like dpa, zdf or FAZ. I have two more offers to do a workshop on the table. .... So, goal reached, more will come.
- fifth goal: becoming a part of the suicide prevention organisations. Last tuesday it happend the very first time, that the ministry of health from Frankfurt send a survivor to me. The weeks bevore I took part in all public activities for the suicide prevention week. More will come .... so I would say goal reached.
- sixth goal: founding the non profit organisation: we started with the entire prozess, we have most of the people we need for and we have good and important people with great skills on board. So we are close to reach the goal.
- seventh goal: open up the first help center for survivors: if we have the non profit organization, this will be the next big step. Still far away from the goal but first step is done.
- 8th goal: start walking around the world: I am close, as 27th of March I will start.
- So, I would say: some goals are done, some are on their way and just one thing is complete open but close. And all those which are done, will become big and this will happen for sure.
Who is planting the trees and how do you organize everything?
I will plant the trees together with the families. To describe the organisation of a lifelong project is a bit difficult. But I will have a team who will organize things in the background. I will be always in touch with the people who wants to have a tree. Each winter we will organize the next country. Making plans how I must walk, talking to the media and to local suicide organisations and making dates with the families, buying the trees and so on. People can follow me almostz in real time via social media. Well and on such a trip there will be surprises we cannot plan. It´s like "life" we have to deal with it, when it happens....... Greetings Mario
Who are the people behind this project? What would success look like for this project?
behind the future non profit organization will be:
- The head of the Non Profit organization will be Dr. Dr. Vitus Irrgang, Dr. of Psychology, Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist & former leader of a hospital in Munich, who is running help centers for eating disorders. He will be the one who will be responsible for the organization of help centers for survivors of suicide victims and he will run Trees of Memory. All future money will go right away to this organization. As the founding of the organization will be faster done than the programming of the website – all money from the crowdfunding campaign will be transferred to the organization
- We have got a partnership with a former CEO of Greenpeace and Aktion Mensch, who will help to create everything we need and who will make sure that it will become what we are planing: Help.
- And we have somebody from the biggest insurance in Germany who will do the books and I am personally supported by somebody from the church as some others, from all around the world.
- So soon as all contracts are signed we will publish all names (we must by law)And last not least it is me who will run the project Trees of Memory, who will walk around the world and who will plant the trees. And me, well:
- My name is Mario Dieringer, and I am not willing to helplessly keep standing on the sidelines. People used to call me „Sunshine“, as nothing seemed to be able to break my optimism, no matter what happened, until suddenly, aged 46, my brain went haywire, throwing me into a full-fledged major depression, leading to an attempt at my own life. At easter 2016, the love of my life took his life – leaving my struggling and fighting for my own life day and night, for some rather long months.
- Today, thankfully, I do not require medication and therapy any more, and have decided to put my full focus on this project. The sun was able to return to my life, because I was able to find a way to lead myself out of the scourge we call depression. I learned to follow my soul and my feelings, and pursue the resulting inner need to become active in helping others. Following ones own self proved to be the key in winning the fight for regaining your own life.
- „Give your life perspective when it hungers for it!“
- I wish to invite anyone interested to participate, and to help wherever I can.
Do you think there needs to be a lot more education for people with depression?
absolute yes. I never had any idea what depressions are and what they will do to people, that they will change the chemistry in your brain and many more things. I had no idea, that at the end of depressions, if they are not treated, is often a suicide. All of the guys who spent with me those 5 month in hospital were surprised like I was. I forgot so many things, I got lost in my own street while walking with my dog, loosing orientation, starting to cry, i couldn´t sleep any more and fear made my days to a torture. All of us did the same: we googled for whether it is possible that we are suffering so young at Alzheimer's disease. Or whether we have a tumor. Not one of us thought we would have depressions. And still it is that people don´t know anything. They are helpless or ignorant. Most of the people are not going to believe that it is a deadly desease.
What advice do you give to people who suffer such a loss?
- Make sure that you are not alone for 3 or 4 weeks - not a single day.
- Make sure that you will find an emergency therapist and go there twice a week.
- Make sure that you have real friends you can call day and night.
- Do not listen to the one who are blaming you as a murderer because they are in terrible grief and they don´t know anything about depressions. It is so easy and so much better to pint the fingers on somebody as to say: I had no idea that it was so bad ...... Depressions are not following any rules and each suicide is different and nobody is to blame for it. People who do so are evil and often they are triggering persons so bad, that they follow the suicide of the partner. Be aware that it is not your fault. You might be the one who put the last drop into the barrel but you are not the one who filled it. The majority of depressions have their roots in childhood and it takes often decades and a lot of other bad circumstances until they show. But if they show than bad, terrible and so strong that they can kill people in less than a month. And if you feel that you are suffering for depressions forced by grief and all the terrible feelings.. find a doctor.
- It sounds stupid but it is like that: Do sports, go out for long walks - it reall helps.
- And do everything your soul is asking for.
- At a certain point you have to get up and you must do something. Work half time if you are not able to go back to fully work. But start with it. At least it recued me and I know from many talks that id does the same to others.
What motivates you to keep going, does it not bring back a lot of memories?
Good morning Elizabeth,if you are left behind after a suicide memories will accompany your entire life. The first time we met - the first kiss - the moment I realized I am in love - all the trouble with his ex - all the trouble we had - the first vacations we spent together, the moment he was flying with me with a paraglider, the laughter in a bakery because he hated raisins, the moment when I saw him the very last time - the last sms we shared - the moment I switched on the phone seeing more than 100 messages - the terrible moment I realized he is dead .... the memories won´t be terrible. What´s terrible is the missing love, the guilt feelings and the missing. Even if you know, even if all therapists are telling you: you did the right thing - even if you store all the police files at home and even if you have all the sms on your phone and even if you read the 800 pages of whats app messages and all of this together is like a classical depression-suicide example in a medicine book - your heart will tell you always something different. Why I have done this or why I didn´t do that, Why he never tried and so on......
Walking for days and weeks, alone through a forest will start the complentation, something I experiences while doing the 1000 km camino to Santiago de Compostella. this will be reall tough and honestly, I am in fear of that. It will go down to the deepest and most hidden feelings and things are coming up, you cannot believe that they are existing. But at a certain point it will bring freedom because complentation is changing after a while in sort of a talk with the universe, with god .... name it or him or she however you like. It will go along with all the memories, which is part of the process. ....... this is the reason why I invite people to join me on my way for a while. Going through the complentation and experiencing how love, hate, grief, anger can be changed into helping feelings and into something new - a new life where sunlight will be back. The motivation doing this are the trees who are oredered by now in 12 countries. the motivation are hundrets of letters I received from all over the world. The motivation is that suicide prevention organizations are sending now people to me, so that I can support it. The motivation is, that those people leave me with a hug and telling me, that it was a big help. I am not holy and terrible circumstances changed my life. All what I can do is trying to help people and trying to create awareness to this terrible desease of depression. The motivation is my love to Jürgen, my grief about his death , my guilt feelings ......... all of it won´t bring him back. But all of it creats something people need: A project which is talking about how we feel, what does it do to us, if families blaming parents for the death of their kid, if the hate of people is more easy than the understanding of a desease, if friends vanish in the darkest hours of your life, if all the efforts to help ends in a tragedy, what it does if people huging you and supporting you and how does it feel if you can say: I would not survive, without your help.
People who left behind lost most of the time way more than a kid, a sister or brother, mom or dad, a wife or a partner. As a society - as empathic people with knowledge and understanding, we should stand to each other and we should know how we can support each other and how we can help those who needs help. We should not preach hate and we should let the verdict on a suicide or a committed mistake to the Almighty. We do not have the right to judge people, and above all, not those people whose future lives are already punished. Depressions don´t follow rules and the drop who brought the barrel to overflow (do you say this in english?) was not the one who filled the barrell. We need to understand that depressions and the suicide is always a summ of lots of different things, which are collected through the entire life. This can be the inherited system of depression, the mission emotions an love of partens, a divorce, a kid that turn away, cheating spouses or a partner who is living a great lie and never stands to you in public, job problems and much more - just to give some examples....... some of us are dealing fine with all of that, others, the senitive ones, will be damaged and without help they won´t surviving it. And than a single event can create a desaster. It happend to me too and I tried to kill myself and I was rescued in the last second. But I found my way in Trees of Memory and the knowledge and feeling that help is possible at any stage of the desease, to know you can come out of it - if you want to and if you able to. I will not give up to talk about it and to give workshops and much more. All of this is motivation for me and all the memories will me the fuel, keeeping the engine running.
Did you ever feel that you let your partner down or that you weren't there for him or her?
He ended his life during my stay in Berlin , 5oo km far away while I was not at home - yes I feel that every single second of my life - and I will, for the rest of my life.
How can we help someone we know who has depression?
Being ther for him or her and listen to them. The most difficult part is to understand the most crazy effects a depression is doing to somebody. Most important: Realize treatment is key and not your "poor you and after rain the sun will shine" .... The best thing you can do for someone with depression is support his or her treatment. Tell your friend or loved one that depression is a medical problem and ignoring it will not make it go away.Talk about it - every day .. make clear that a broken leg is going to the doctor too. So a broken brain has to do the same and can be fixed. and Stay in contact don´t let them because it is taking to much energy. Focus on small goals and help them to understand why it will be good to stand up and get out of the bed. Read books about depression to understand how it works and find local doctors who could help you and Encourage doctor visits. And very important: Helping Someone with Depression needs taking care of yourself while supporting a loved one. Greetings Mario
Are there always warning signs or do some people keep everything close to their heart?
the problem is that depressions are not following any rules and you never can say, that it is like this or this. But people who have massive suicidal thoughts they are talking sooner or later about it. They make remarks like: "I don´t want to become really old" or "don´t make plans with me, you never now". they make themselves smaller and smaller. They don´t see the future, often they are sort of emotionless and not interested any more in anything. You cannot tell them: Everything will be good. If you do so, they will keep distance. But if you take their sorrows and their suicidal thoughts seriously you can keep and contact with them and they might open up. But if you forcing them to do something it might end in an desaster. Well, and than there are so many signs for really bad depressions. And depressions are the cancer of the soul and the suicide is like the organ failure if you suffer at cancer. it is sort of the brain failiure and at the end, you don´t have control any more and things will be done to you ... I describe in one of my videos what happend to me in the last hour when my brain collapsed and I tried to end my life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC9QV7EME5I ... Be warned if there are follwing signs:
- Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking
- Feeling trapped, like there’s no way out
- Increased alcohol or drug use
- Withdrawing from friends, family & society
- Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
- Dramatic mood changes
How can we help as individuals?
If you are asking how to help people with suicide thoughts: Very easy and same time so hard: Don´t give up knocking on their door. Don´t accept being sent away. come back the next day. Calling them, sending them text messagees once a day: I am here for you. you can count on me. I will help you I won´t let fall you down. ... don´t push them to obviously to the next therapy ... give them signals to accept their thoughts. Take them serious, holding their hand, winning their confidense and their trust and help them through the dark time. simply be a friend and remember always why this person was once your friend, lover, ex wife or what ever ..... showing love. ..... I had so many talks to people and even in my case it was a bit like that: At a certain point I was angry I freakde out: "Why the fucking hell you are not going to the doctor, why the hell you stopp taking medicamentations..... I am running out of energy I want to help and you refuse and you refuse and you refuse and keeping me from day to day in a higher fear ... I can´t do that much longer .... " Many people told me that this was the end..... In my case too ..... others were ignoring the cry out of help of their friends, partners or kids.... and than they are dead.... all of us have one thing in common by now: We got lifelong. We failed because we had no more energy. The feelings of guilt will always remain: Why am I gone or why did I say that? .... of course we are humans and we are not able to do everything and of course our brain knows: i am not responsible for what happend. But our heart is crying out every single day: Why you did that?
What is the feedback you received to your idea so far?
Good morning Michael,well, I am working on it since one year and the response is really great. The suicide organisations in Frankfurt checked me for quite a long time and now they started sending people to me. I recived letters from all over the world with tragical stories and tree planting wishes from 12 different countries. In all social networks there are almost 25000 people following the idea and by now I am supported for founding the association by people who really now what they are doing and who are experienced. Most people are very moved and one consense is that I am the first one who is speaking out loud what happens to us survivors after a suicide. The entire feedback is one reason, why i survived the last 16 months and why my will to go forward came back.
What a wonderful idea! How did you come up with that?
Good morning;it will be very boring to hear. I was not sitting at my desk and thinking about what I am doing with my ruined life after the suicide of my partner. I was still in a situation where I didn´t know, if I will be still alive the next morning. It was the most terrible and the darkest time (6 month) in my life. And one day under the shower, all of a sudden it felt as everything around me was switched off there were three room filling thoughts: 1. Go and walk around the world 2. plant trees 3. let me help you ........ and than I had the full package in my head and I start to work on it. I think that in this time of suffering my soul hit the fist on the table and told me: you are doing this or you will die ...... someting like that.
Do you believe our society is too self centered to care about problems other people encounter?
Goood morning Eric,absolute.... I was calling three times the police, because I knew what my partner will do, I told his friends, I cried out for help at his family and nobody cared. And after his death the surprise was big for some and others were not showing up to ask how am I or if they could do something. I (and all other survivors make the same experience) lost many of the friends. They vanished with the death of my partner. If somebody is taking to much energy from others, they are gone. If they feel helpless, they are gone. If they can´t imagine how it is like to suffer for depressions they are gone. It is more easy walking towards the sunny side of life than to hug somebody who needs nothing more than a bit of emotional help and understanding. Yes, I think our society is loosing connection to each others and the meaning of humanity is changeing.
What are your back-up plans if your campaign fails?
Very easy: Everybody must live with the existing website, I will sort it out by myself, I will do my very best and than I will concentrate on the 27th of March, the second death day of my partner and the start of the walk around the world. But let me get this straight: Making a propper web-site is important if I want to create a web-portal which will help people from all over the world. In many countries there isn´t anything. No plattform people can go after a suicide. The plattform will be the gate to help, finding support and finding information and it will be the most important tool for the association we are founding at the moment and our plans for the future. No matter what will happen - all what is described on the website will happen and I will do it. Deep in my heart I know, that it will work out, doesn´t matter how many stones are thrown on my way. If the campaign will not working out it is just another proof how false people can be, if they say: What a great project I will support you whenever I can. Any idea how often i heard that and the one who said it vanished with no nothing, not even a click, with the wind....... I really don´t know why people are telling: I will help and than they are gone. But this is what happens to people with Depression too. People wants to be friendly, offering help but they are not able or willing to do it. And this makes it worse. this behaviour damage peoples hopes and souls in a way. What I am asking for is being honest, not making promises and than leaving people alone. Help you friends if they need help and not treating them like little babies and telling them: everything will be fine - no, it won´t because in case of depression a word or a promise can be like a knife: helping you cutting your chains or killing the rest of any believes. With "Trees of Memory" I will prove that you can achieve things, even if nobody believes in you. So if the campaign is not working out it just mean, that people don´t care and that they don´t believe in something they can´t imagine. But it is not telling that an idea is wrong or bad, because most of the people say or do nothing, they just watching. Only 1% and in crowdfunding and fundraising often less than that, are helping. We cannot change this numbers and only because 5 people are pointing out with fingers and telling: You are wrong, you are bad ... doesn´t mean that it is really like that. Of course I am not one of the people I will mention now and of course I am a little unknown nobody but how often people like Gates, Jobs, ghandi, Luther, luther king or many other people around the world earned nothing more than a slap into their face? Eexperienceing from more people no help than the other way around? Somebody asked me here if the society is to self centered. Well, the success or the fail of this campaign could be the answer to it. If the crowd is watching you and doing nothing, is it selfcentered? Maybe... I don´t know.I will and I must follow this task, no matter what. It is my life, it is my heart. When my partner Jürgend were laughing, in his eyes showed up a sparkeling firewerk of light. I never saw this in any other person. I will carry this light around the world and I am not willing to let it die. And orders for trees in 12 countries are a sign that I am not alone with my feelings. Success is not measured in numbers and the total amount of trees is not important. 100 trees on a cirle around the world are es good as 1000 too. But some of the people still asking: Why he wants to walk around the world? Others questioning: do I support a holiday trip around the world. The answer: Would any of you noticing the importance to do something again the increasing numbers of suicide, if I would say "Listen to me people, we have to do something...."? Would the meida and the press showing up, if I would say: I want to plant a tree ...? No, not you (not all of you) and not the newspapers would be interested. Not one single day. And how can I prove that you can overcome depressions and suicide thoughts, with not doing something big and not imaginable? Trees on a ring around the world will be a international symbol connecting people from all over the world , the walk around the world will be a symbol of what a single man or woman can achieve, and it is a need that the media will report and it is a need if I want to become an ambassador for the successful treatment possibilities of depressions and suicide thoughts. Become an ambassador too and check, if you have only 5 Euros left to help creating a tool which is urgently needed.
Do you plan to walk alone or can other people participate as well?
Hey Brandon, everybody who needs a time to rest his soul, to see another perspective or who don´t want that I am always alone, is invited to join me. for a day, a week, a month, a year... whatever it needs until it´s done what have to be done :-)