Friday, September 6, 2013

1-800-273-TALK

My life is wonderful. I have a loving husband, a growing child, and a variety of activities taking care of them, helping others, and stretching my mind and abilities. Most importantly, I love God and know He loves me. This was not always the case.

When I was in my twenties, I had a hard time finding a good job (the economic recession of that day was in effect), no boyfriend, and I struggled to make ends meet and enjoy my life. After being thrown out of my parent’s house, I moved from place to place and job to job (neither by choice) for over a year. On top of that, I had been in a car accident and had recurring pain with which I dealt.
At one point, I was so depressed with the way my life was going, that I considered taking my life. What brought me back from the brink of such an action was that I felt some connection to my nephew (who was a young boy at the time), and I knew that everyone in my family would be negatively affected by my act. The memory of his sweet face and the knowledge that I could be starting a pattern that would influence others stopped me.
I didn’t have an ideal childhood. My father was an alcoholic and my parents fought often. He was abusive and my mother depressed. At one point, she took an overdose of pills and ran out of the house. I had to find her and get her to the hospital.
She was in her forties then. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the highest rate of suicide is among adults 45 to 54. But suicide also ranks third as a cause of death among Americans aged 15 to 24 behind accidents and homicides.
 
The thing is, depression affects so many people. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 9.5% or 20.9 million American adults suffer from a depressive illness in any given year. However, according to the World Health Organization, less than 25% of individuals with depression receive adequate treatment.
 
I was one of the lucky 25 percent. As I’ve already talked about, I found out that I was manic depressive when I was 25 and I’ve been on medication ever since.

Next week is about helping others who were where my mother and I were. It’s
National Suicide Prevention Week. Across the country, there are walks and other activities to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention. You can find out about some of them at the National Association of Suicidology.
 
If you or anyone you know has been thinking about suicide as an answer, call or give them this number 1-800-273-TALK (8255). I saw a great, short pneumonic device on the National Suicide Prevention Week Facebook page for the SIGNS that someone may be thinking of suicide. Sleep disturbance, Isolation, Giving away possessions, No interest in anything, and Seeing no future.
 
I never knew how happy I could be, but it took time for me to get here, time I wouldn’t have had if I’d succeeded in ending my life. Thank God I didn’t! God Bless, everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this beautiful, very personal and moving story. You have a powerful message to share.

    ReplyDelete

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