Suicide is a completely tragic way for someone to die however it is all too common in Australia. It is not always the most “obvious” people who find themselves feeling so helpless that death seems like a better result than to try and go on living. I recently found out that a girl I know found herself so depressed that she attempted suicide, not just once but twice! Luckily she was unsuccessful on both occasions.
Here is how she described the situation:
Hi, I’m Emily, a seventeen-year-old girl from Sydney’s Northern Beaches suffering from the mental illness depression. This is my story. In early 2012 I started to become depressed, I would cut my wrists, cry excessively for no reason, started to lose sleep, my appetite and stopped enjoying the things I really used to love.
I thought that it was just a phase and would pass soon, however it didn’t and I got worse. I wouldn’t go to school, leave my house and stopped hanging out with my friends. One day in June I broke down to my mum, who immediately took me to the doctor, I was put on an anti-depressant and moved schools to get a fresh start and be away from the people who were saying things about me. In the September holidays, I was so alone and depressed; I attempted suicide for the first time. I didn’t tell anyone accept my ex boyfriend, who told me to go and throw up all the pills. After this I became really sick and sank even further into depression. I thought I was a failure because I didn’t die. I started seeing a psychiatrist through the Northern Beaches Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
When I started my new school, I thought things were going to be so much better, I made a few friends and I felt okay. However this did not last long and by the end of the second week I was admitted to Manly Hospital’s Psychiatric Emergency Care Center (PECC) for 3 nights. They took everything away from me, shoelaces, shavers, anything made of glass, straps and cords, tweezers, and even deodorant.
Once I got out, I vowed I’d never go back there. But still, I was depressed and felt like there was no way out, I missed weeks of schooling and in early November I had my second unsuccessful suicide attempt. I was cutting more than ever, and having to wear long sleeves everyday.
On December 19th I’d planned to be dead. This time I wouldn’t fail at killing myself, I’d written my note and was calm at the thought of dying. But my parents found the letter before then. We talked about it and they were acting really calm and seemed to be okay with it. However what I didn’t know was they’d already made arrangements to meet with my psychologist and psychiatrist. After that meeting I was left with two options, either be sent involuntarily back to the PECC unit in Manly or agree to be submitted to St Vincent’s Young Adult Mental Health Service for 2 weeks.
Although I am still suffering from this mental illness, I want to raise awareness. 1 in 4 people suffer at some point in their life, but sadly only 1 in 12 get help. There are so many different therapies available and so many people to help. Most people don’t realize that depression is a chemical imbalance in your brain, it can also be genetic and there doesn’t have to be a ‘reason’ why you are feeling depressed. If you have suffered low mood consistently for longer than 2 weeks, seeking professional help is recommended. Its hard to understand depression unless you’ve been through it, so if your friend tells you they are depressed, take it seriously and encourage them to seek help. Depression is a flaw in chemistry not character.
The words are so haunting but what is important is she got through it. Even more she is now doing a fundraiser to try and make a difference for others. It is a remarkable gesture and hopefully it not only shows she is on the road to recovery but thinking beyond today.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are considering anything drastic you can contact a number of support services that might show you a different option to suicide or self harm.
Headspace – 1800 650 890
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Suicide Callback Service – 1300 659 467
Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800
Whether it feels like it right now there is so much to live for if you just give it a chance
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/honorthegift/4707926831/”>honor the gift</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>
Categories: What a world