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A Personal Tale of Depression, Suicide – A Preventative Health Problem

Flickr.com/Dor Shemer

Kurt Cobain, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, and Vincent Van Gogh–They lost their battle with depression and suicide. And while we know their names, thousands more have struggled with depression and suicide alone. In 2007, suicide was the tenth leading cause for death in the United States and claimed 34,598 lives. But while the risk factors for suicide can vary by ethnicity, age, and gender, suicide is a very real, but preventable health problem.

My Story

I’m Bipolar. My exact diagnosis is Bipolar Disorder Type I. It’s something I’ve struggled with my entire life.

When I was 28 I hit a major low. I was working too many hours without time off, my then wife and I had just lost our house, she was out of work, bills were piling up, and my Bipolar Disorder made everything seem like the end of the world. It came to a point one evening when I couldn’t take anymore, at least it seemed that way in my mind, and I tried to commit suicide. Luckily for me I had a close circle of friends who acted fast, contacted authorities, and found me before it was too late.

It took a long time to rebuild my friends and family’s trust in me, but I have. And now I’m on a regular regimen of medications that keep my Bipolar Disorder stable and mostly under control.

So I’m not just quoting facts and figures. I’ve been there. I almost lost my battle with depression once. Don’t let this happen to you, or someone you love.

What If I Think Someone Is Suicidal?

If you think someone is suicidal, or is having suicidal thoughts, the worst thing you could do is leave him or her alone. Try to get the person to seek help from his or her doctor or the nearest hospital emergency room. This is a serious enough situation that if they refuse to seek help you should call 911.

Remember: Suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem.

Statistics via National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

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