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Suicide Prevention

How Reaching Out to Others Helped me Overcome Suicide

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Reach out to others and try to get involved more. Getting involved is a way to take your mind off things and find new friends who can be a safe zone for you.
Lorain, Ohio

When I was younger, my mom thought it’d be a good idea to move from Cleveland to Lorain to give her children a better life. This meant leaving behind our father since he didn’t want to move with us.

I started feeling lost and confused, questioning why my father didn’t care about his family enough to start a better life with us.

Moving to Lorain meant I had to make new friends. It wasn’t hard for me, but I didn’t know if I was up to it. Not long after moving to Lorain my mom found a new boyfriend, and eventually got engaged.

Shortly after their engagement, my mom’s fiance died which caused her to go on a downward spiral and start drinking. At this moment, I realized I had not only lost my dad but now my mom too.

On my 13th birthday, I came home excited to see what my mom had planned for me, but she never showed up. My sister ended up getting a cake and singing happy birthday to me.

I still remember a tear dripping down my face as it was time to blow out my candle. Later in the week, my mom ended up coming to talk to me. Throughout the whole conversation, she made me feel like I couldn’t be loved by any man.

My mom took the last glimpse of happiness away from me at that very moment.

After hearing the person I loved most tear me down, I reached the lowest point of my life. I felt like there was nothing left living for. I grabbed a rope from the garage and headed into my closet.

As I was getting ready to end my life, my sister ran in the closet after hearing some shoe boxes fall and grabbed me before I could follow through. Watching the pain in her eyes as she held me reassured me I never wanted to make anyone feel as low as I once did.

Now, I attend Kent State University where I am pursuing a degree in child Phycology. Although I often get depressed, I always remind myself that life will get better. Some advice I would give to someone going through a similar situation that I did, is to reach out to others and try to get involved more.

Getting involved is a way to take your mind off things and find new friends who can be a safe zone for you. Never forget that your life is more valuable than you think.

Suicide Prevention

How Finding Happiness Helped me Overcome Suicidal Thoughts

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This young blonde man tries to find happiness to try to cope with his suicidal thoughts and depression.
Columbus, Ohio

I don’t necessarily think there’s a trigger to make you happy. Happiness is something within you that you have to find for yourself.

As a kid, depression was always something that I overlooked because I didn’t think it was a real thing. I had always heard my mom talking about how she was depressed, but I thought it was a feeling that you had control over and could change whenever you wanted to.

My mindset quickly changed in 5th grade when I started to have suicidal thoughts.

During 5th grade, my parents got divorced and my mom became a huge alcoholic. My whole life rapidly changed including where I lived, where I went to school, and even the friends I hung around.

I started to ask myself, ‘Is it me, am I the reason they got a divorce?’ Once my mom found a new boyfriend and they broke up, she ended up blaming the breakup on me and told me if it weren’t for me, they would still be together.

From that point on my depression followed me wherever I went. In high school, my depression reached a new height when my dad put me on a special gluten and wheat free diet.

He believed that gluten and wheat might have been the reason my turret was acting up so much. He ended up buying all sorts of special wheat and gluten-free food that tasted horrible which caused me to starve myself.

I walked around most days starving, depressed, and feeling alone.

One night, I was playing video games at my mom’s house, when she came into my room raging drunk, screaming at me about how I was ungrateful and cared more about my father than I did for her. After she got done screaming, she made her way over to the stairs and fell down them accidentally.

It was at that moment I realized I didn’t want to end up the same as my mother, depressed and using alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Depression isn’t something that goes away overnight, but with the proper care and attention, I have learned to manage it. I’ve also learned that no matter what someone else does or tells you, you need to want change for yourself in order to have change occur in your life.

This is a motto I find myself revisiting quite often to remind myself that I am worthy of living. I deserve a chance at life, just like everyone else.

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Suicide Prevention

How Working in Long-Term Care Affected My Mental Health

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I have Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. The roots of my mental health story started in childhood, although I didn’t know it at the time.

Looking back on those years now, I can clearly see that mental illness has been my companion for a very long time.

I was a very behavioral child, aggressive towards objects and just anger all the time, constantly in trouble at school.

There has always been this heaviness, unidentified in those days but now I realize that the anger was merely a manifestation of an underlying issue, I now know it as depression.

I didn’t catch on to my anxiety disorder until I was in my teens. Still unaware that how I felt came with labels, that didn’t stop both disorders impacting me in the form of social withdrawal and continues to do so to this very day.

I am social to a degree but being social comes at a cost. It exhausts me mentally if I am exposed to the outside world for too long.

It is an illness after all and almost illnesses come with the side effect of being wiped out in short order.

As an adult, I spent 15 years in the volunteer fire service and I also worked 20 years in long term care.

I work with aggressive individuals, with mental illness and who have a variety of medical/psychiatric illness.

Autism, cognitive delays etc. Both expose me to constant violence, death, noise and overall chaos This constant exposure for years and years wreaked havoc on my mental health, causing me to take leave from work several times.

As I struggled with my own mental disorders, my work environment became overwhelming and over stimulating. Now, I am off because of my mental injury. I have recently been diagnosed with PTSD and as a result, I am now off on workers compensation.

I think what has triggered my suicidal battle has simply been the length of time I have suffered from the pain of mental illness. My dance with suicidal ideation is a passive one, I have never actually attempted suicide.

My illnesses are such that I often experience neuropathy like pain that only increases the frequency of these thoughts in my head. Sometimes, I just feel so sad that it seems to trigger these thoughts be a default.

I guess I understood the magnitude of the situation I am in. Having an educational background in counseling helps too. It helped me see that it is a very real phenomenon in our society and to take it seriously.

This knowledge allowed me to acknowledge that I needed help. I have always made family the epicenter of my life which has been a saving grace.

Also, the positive result of the tragedies I have witnessed in both the fire service and my occupation taught me the appreciate the frailty of life.

I was constantly exposed to those left behind and I don’t want that for all the people I care about. I don’t want them to experience that kind of pain.

My family has a stake in my life and thus in my health overall, I fight on because it’s not only my life, a piece of me belongs to them too. Therefore, I understand that I must soldier on and do whatever it takes to win the war.

I think it’s best to seek out help from anyone whom they have a strong rapport with from a teacher to a best friend.

Build a social network of people who are in the same situation, reach out to them and ask them how they found help. In other words, they have to be their own warrior.

I haven’t overcome my mental illness to be honest, I am in a moment by moment battle to manage it.

My coping tools are; a good diet, lots of exercise and forced connection with friends and family.

I say forced because I choose to put my energy into them rather than my disorders. When my depression tells me to stay home, I defy it and I force myself to connect.

That being said, I have learned my limits and I pay attention to them. I refuse to apologize when I am not able to partake in activities. My journey continues, moment by moment.

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Suicide Prevention

How Controlling My Emotions Helped me Start Over

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Little by little, you will find ways to control your emotions and recovery is a great way to reinvent yourself and start over.

One year ago, I was really depressed but my ex-boyfriend at that time helped me a lot.

I started to heavily depend on him emotionally. However, he suddenly liked another girl within a very short period of time.

After I found that he had cheated on me, I was not able to accept the reality and became more depressed. To make things worse, after I broke up with him, he emotionally attacked me.

I felt my world was too overwhelming, and I could not even take a deep breath.

I questioned myself so hard about whether I was too cheap even though it was not my fault.

I tried to confront my ex-boyfriend hoping to let him acknowledge that he was wrong. However, he kept making fun of me and saw me as a joke.

During that time, one of my relatives committed suicide, so I thought maybe suicide was a way to end the pain.

Even though it was difficult, I did tell my friends what was happening to me. Every time I expressed myself, I felt better and could see things from a more objective perspective. I slept all days during those dark days but had the intention to save myself.

I sought help from my friends and found ways to distract my head like watching a show or cooking. Staying busy helped me release all the burden and pressure.

When I realized that the demand of schoolwork was worsening my condition, I decided to take a break and withdrew from university.

The most important thing you need to do if you are struggling with depression is to acknowledge it. Do not suppress your emotions because it is worse.

Do not be afraid to acknowledge you are ill.

When you are ill, everything you see is distorted, but this does not mean that it is your fault. All you need to do is acknowledge your condition and understand the root cause of it.

Little by little, you will find ways to control your emotions and improve your mental health.

I know it is hard to recover. But the beautiful thing is that it gives you the opportunity to reinvent yourself and start over.

You are the one can save yourself, so be strong and keep going even if you fall thousand times.

We only live once!

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