This week at the Snapper I wrote a couple of articles for the Opinion section. At the time of my writing this, it is 2:25 in the afternoon. A wave of depression just hit me, and I am close to having a breakdown. Why would I tell all of Millersville this? Because I need to break the stigma against mental illness. Now, I am going to make it a little more uncomfortable for some of you. I am a suicide survivor.
That means that I tried to kill myself and survived.
This is an insanely personal detail about myself that I do not make mention of often, but I wanted to this year during the month that has suicide prevention day. It did not make me angry to see all the social media posts about suicide awareness, but it did not add up to me for some reason. My associate opinion editor, Jessie, is also writing a piece on this and I want to echo what she says in her piece: What about the other 364 days of the year? My attempt was in May and that seems pretty far off from September.
If you are uncomfortable reading this, then my goal has been accomplished.
I want to make it uncomfortable for others who never had to deal with having a mental illness. It makes me angry when I see neurotypical people make light of depression and anxiety. Everyone has those two at some point in their lives and I do not want to diminish that. Everyone deals with their depression differently and I deal with mine entirely differently than others as well. I have been dealing with my issues of being autistic and having a panic disorder and it is hard.
Back to the wave of depression, those who suffer chronic depression get like this a lot. I take medications and all that, but sometimes depression and anxiety get through and the ability I must deal with that is well developed in every sense of the word. I would prefer not to have anxiety and not to have depression, but there is a chemical imbalance in my brain that says I must. That is part of the reason I take my meds.
I credit my support network for keeping me alive. I went inpatient to a psychiatric ward after the attempt. It was my fourth time in this facility. I went back twice after that for a total of six stays at an inpatient facility. I wanted to cover this issue early in the school year so more could learn about my story.
Suicide is not a joke and it is important to make that distinction now. Suicide destroys families and everyone affected by it suffers. Make sure to let someone know if you’re suffering. It’s profoundly important. Getting help does not make you weak and seeking aid is not a detriment to yourself, it is salvation.
I am a lucky person to be alive today. Please learn from my example, talk to your support team, and establish healthy relationships in college. College is not about the parties or anything that comes with that, but it’s about growth and I know that it’s hard, but suicide is never the answer. Reach out and get help. Your health is more important than anything right now in these first few weeks of college.
Don’t let depression overtake you and do not let it win. If you feel like you cannot deal with your pain, please, call the National Suicide Hotline.