I decided to post a little update after reading strawberrimelon
on the suicide of a girl she went to school with. Unfortunately the reason I haven't been around lately is for a similar reason--no deaths, thank goodness, but an emergency with a friend.
Here's how I replied:
First, it is really tragic when someone chooses to take their own life because their friends and family are left with the repercussions of that choice.
I am diagnosed as clinically depressed. I have been so for five years now, since I was this girl's age. It is regulated with medication and counselling. Admitting you're depressed is the hardest thing a depressed person could ever do. And it's literally a disease that takes over your mind--you can't think coherently, you can't make sound decisions, or good choices. You're just so alone and in so much pain that you can't function, and you'll do whatever it takes to feel better immediately. Depression is a selfish disease. It's hard to think about others, never mind reach out. Even if all the support is there in the world (and I commend your school on having that kind of support because many schools do not--it is truly great) someone who is depressed just can't
I spent last week in the emergency room with my friend because she wanted to kill herself. She would have not got the help she needed if someone hadn't noticed the signs. Depression is unique in that you can't understand unless you've suffered through it--it's an intrinsic experience. I encouraged her to speak to a crisis counselor because having been through a similar experience, and to be honest, I was scared
for her. Absolutely terrified. Her reasons for depression were related to stress, family and school factors, and she ultimately has decided that she will be going home to Montreal on Saturday after withdrawing from university for the time being.
Regardless of her decision, I want her to get the help she needs. No matter where she goes, the depression will follow if she doesn't acknowledge it. I know that as her friend, I have done what I can--given her the information, helped her speak to someone, and been there for her as support. But I still feel it isn't enough.
Anyways, the point I want to get across is, everyone needs to be aware of the signs of depression
, not just for themselves, but for their friends, families, and peers. Here are some resources.In Canada:Suicide InfoCanadian Mental Health AssociationKids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is open 24 hours a day, every day. If you are not sure where to turn call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.In the United States:Suicide Prevention Helpline
1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.
Anyways, this is just something to think about. There is always another option. Suicide doesn't have to be the answer.