Our hearts break for the families impacted by the mass shooting in Jacksonville today. Florida has suffered through several mass shootings recently, and it is only normal to ask why. The simplest answer I have to offer is that desperate and hurt people act in desperate and hurtful ways.
There are several ways to cope with tragedy. Often people attempt to prevent a similar tragedy in the future. If you know someone who is hurting and may become desperate, reach out to them and encourage them to get help. In Florida, the Baker Act protects those who may be a harm to self or others.
Signs someone may be hurting:
Social Withdrawal - they don't socialize as much, when you text them they ignore it or send you short replies, you try to call and they don't answer
Lack of Interest - they don't want to do things they usually enjoy, they spend a lot of time working or asleep, overeating or not eating at all
Substance Abuse - they don't seem like themselves, they drink alcohol more than 2 days per week, consume more than 3 drinks per use, experiment with other mood-altering substances, they sell possessions to have money for alcohol/drugs, neglect their hygiene
Mood Swings - they are more irritable than usual, have angry outbursts over small things, crying more days than not, seem sort of dazed or "out of it"
Hopelessness - they talk about there being "no point", or that things "don't matter"
Suicidal Thoughts - they talk about wanting to go to sleep and never wake up, to have never been born, that others would be "better off" without them, that they are the problem
Homicidal Thoughts - they focus on a certain person or group as "the problem" and discuss ways to "get back" at them
If you or someone you know is hurting, we can help. We have helped many people who have felt these deep strong feelings to see light at the end of the tunnel and make steps toward that light. Sometimes we just need someone else to come alongside us and help us through the tunnel.