Duxbury, MA USA
“As a kid, I knew I was struggling with depression, but I kept all of my problems hidden and silent. I grew up with an older brother who had been diagnosed with Bipolar 1, Depression, Anxiety, ADD, as well as ADHD, so my issues seemed like nothing compared to what he had going on. I was bundling everything inside and crying endless nights throughout my time in high school. This is when I started to have suicidal thoughts and urges.
After six long years of keeping it all to myself, I finally self-destructed. I lost all motivation to keep going and I completely gave up on life. I was not attending any of my classes and I was spending my days and nights sitting in bed. Meanwhile, during this time, I was telling my parents and friends I was doing well at college and attending classes.
Everything came to a head on a Saturday night last semester- February 5, 2016. I went to a friend’s party, even though I knew I was feeling very depressed at the time. I also knew that drinking wouldn’t help anything, but I decided to drink anyway… heavily. I became very angry and verbally abusive to many people there and I realized how was I acting. I scared myself in that moment, and it was the biggest wake up call in my life.
I went home to my apartment and locked myself in my room and sat there crying, debating whether or not to call my parents and tell them the truth of what’s really going on. As I sat there longer, with a knife in my hand, I began to contemplate life and wanted to end the suffering I had been feeling.
But, after some time, I realized that I wanted to live my life and make the most of it. I put down the knife and instead picked up my phone to call my dad around 2AM. We talked for quite some time and I opened up to him about my suicidal urges and feeling like I was in the worst place in my life than I could ever imagine. By speaking openly with him, he was able to calm me down.
I woke up the next morning to multiple phone calls from worried family members, as well as texts from my dad telling me he was on a flight down to Charleston. Before I knew it, 10 hours later, he was here to pick me up. From there, I was on my way back home and took a medical leave from school.
I was lucky enough to go through a partial hospitalization program to get the help I needed and get me out of the sinking hole I was deep inside. I was able to be surrounded by my family and friends’ endless support and love. In my time of being partially hospitalized, I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder.
Being back at school this semester, it is still a struggle to get through my days. But, the difference now is that I have learned what my red flags are and I am aware of them to now be able to fix the problems I am facing.
To those that have not reached out to someone, I know how hard it is, trust me, but I can tell you that it can only help. Your mental illness does not define who you are, nor will it ever.”