Suicide Prevention Day
Today is suicide prevention day. This is something that is very near and dear to my heart. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
Did you know that 800,000 people die from suicide around the world each year? Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, higher than murder. It is the second leading cause of death of young adults 15-24. Every day, about 105 Americans decide to take their lives. And for every 25 attempts, one is successful.
So why is does this mean so much to me? Because I am a survivor. I’ve attempted to take my life multiple times.
I was first diagnosed as bipolar when I was 14-15ish. But I’m pretty sure I’ve suffered from depression for much longer than that. I remember as a kid, at girl scout camp, taking my entire bottle of pain reliever. I remember lying to a camp counselor after my bunkmates told. Luckily, nothing happened. I just spent the rest of the day watching dumb movies and not getting to participate.
I had a hard time in high school. It is when the depression hit. I didn’t feel good enough. I didn’t feel pretty enough. I didn’t feel I was liked enough. I felt like I had to get straight As and I wasn’t smart enough. It all kept piling up and up. I would argue with my parents, something I had never really done. I once again decided to take a crap load of meds. This time, it was a selection of all the pain meds in my house. The next day, I told my mom what happened. That’s when we went to the doctors, and I was diagnosed by a quack of a doctor as bipolar.
At the beginning of my sophomore year, my older sister died. My depression had been controlled by meds. But you can’t control depression that comes from a loss like that. I kept on my meds, but the depression was back. This time, I didn’t try to hurt myself, though. I was too empty to have even those thoughts.
Around 17, I thought I was fine. I felt good. No longer depressed. So I stopped taking my meds. I got involved with a guy. That relationship was incredibly toxic and led me straight back into depression. I once again tried to take my life. But this time, after it failing, I got real help. My parents drove me to the hospital and stayed with me the hours it took to get me admitted.
I was in the hospital for 72 hours. I got to know others who suffered from depression. Who tried to kill themselves. And who wanted help. From the hospital, I went to outpatient therapy. I learned more about depression, about how it is something I will probably suffer from my entire life. It is a chemical imbalance in my brain. Something I can’t fix without medicine. Whether I like it or not.
I would like to say life was grand from there. It wasn’t. At 19, after another toxic relationship, I was back in the hospital. I hadn’t tried to hurt myself this time, but man was I close. I didn’t want to hurt myself, but everywhere I looked I saw a way. Driving into a tree. Taking an overdose of my moms pain meds. Slitting my wrists. Falling down the stairs. I knew I needed help.
Again, being in the hospital was the best thing for me. While I was the youngest by a lot, I met some great people. I even met a Detroit judge. I listened to their stories, and they listened to mine. I learned, once again, that my type of depression isn’t one that is going to go away. One lady had been suffering depression since she was a teen and now she was in her 60s. She had gotten to the point where she was begging her son to kill her. I knew I never wanted to get like that.
Depression is never something to be ashamed of. Don’t EVER be ashamed of it. It isn’t something that tends just to go away. You wouldn’t be ashamed of having cancer would you? You can’t help depression the same way you can’t help cancer.
Please, if you think you are suffering from depression, get help. I promise it isn’t as scary as it seems. Go to the hospital. Go to the doctor. Get professional help. As terrible as it sounds, don’t go to a friend. Friends can’t prescribe you the medicine that will balance out your chemicals.
If you feel like hurting yourself, there are ways to get help immediately. If you can’t get to the hospital safely, please, call the national suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255. They are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
I’m lucky to be alive. I really shouldn’t be. But if I helped someone with my post, then that is the reason I survived.