Why I Came Out of the (Suicide) Closet

What will people think of you?

What will people say about you?

Some people asked me these questions when I told them I was publishing an essay in the New York Times (“A Suicide Therapist’s Secret Past”) about a very dark time in my life when I made a suicide attempt. I can’t really blame them. I myself had the same fears.

It’s stigma. If I had been pummeled by a tornado and almost died, or survived breast cancer, or been robbed at gunpoint, no one would question my decision to tell others of my experience. However unfairly, suicide and mental illness are treated differently. They are, to many people, unspeakable.

The meaning of stigma is “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.” I refuse to abide by the notion that people with suicidal thoughts, depression, and other mental health problems deserve a mark of disgrace.

Depression and suicidality are things that happen to people, like cancer or bad weather. It’s not our fault, and it’s not something that taints us.

And so the fear I felt in coming out paradoxically fueled my motivation to do it.

A Long-Held Secret

For 22 years, I kept secret from almost everyone that I had made a suicide attempt in my first year of graduate school in Austin. Personally, it felt deeply private to me, even tender, a source of shame and failure regardless of whether that shame was deserved. Professionally, it seemed too much of a liability for people to know.

Of all people, some mental health professionals hold very stigmatizing attitudes toward people with mental illness. In my master’s program and beyond, I heard some colleagues’ disparaging remarks: “People who attempt suicide just want attention.” “She’s being manipulative.” “He’s so sick.”

Many physicians and nurses are openly hostile to people who have attempted suicide. When I worked as an emergency room social worker, more than once a physician came to me and said of a patient who had attempted suicide, “Could you please tell them how to do it right next time?”

Stigma exists even among researchers who devote themselves to helping prevent suicide. Early in my doctoral studies, I heard a suicide researcher complain that some people who worked in their research lab had a history of suicidal thoughts or behavior. The researcher wanted to know how to “weed out” these people before unknowingly hiring more people with a suicidal past.

From these experiences and more like them, I got the message loud and clear: Don’t tell anyone your past if you want to get a job, be respected and cared about, and succeed. Hide. Be quiet.

So that’s what I did – for more than 20 years.

Liberating Truth

I never lied. When people asked me why I was so interested in suicide prevention, I told them a friend of mine had died by suicide in high school, and the experience had filled me with questions about how to help suicidal people. I give this same explanation in my essay Why I Study Suicide.

It’s true. But it’s not the whole truth.

The whole truth is much bigger than a 1,400-word essay in the New York Times can capture. Maybe one day I will write a far longer piece about my experiences with depression and suicidality, maybe even a book. But for now, I wanted to at least come out of the closet.

Suicide prevention activists and researchers like to say that we need to lift the taboo about suicide. Talk about it. Diminish stigma. If enough people from diverse walks of life share their stories about mental illness and suicide, then stigma will buckle under the weight of enlightenment, education, and compassion.

As I explain in the New York Times piece, the longer I hid that I myself had been intensely suicidal, the more hypocritical I felt. I needed to do my part.

Some people cannot take the risk of revealing their mental illness, suicidality, or other vulnerabilities. They might be fired, or discriminated against, or hurt in other ways. Though I wish it were not so, the risk is real.

I could afford to tell my story.  As an associate professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, I have tenure. I’m not going to get fired for revealing my past.

It also helps that I recently finished writing a book, Helping the Suicidal Person: Tips and Techniques for Professionals. This gave me a huge sense of accomplishment and pride. I feel more confident now, not only professionally, but personally, too.

What Do People Think?

So let’s go back to the questions that came before the essay was published: What will people think of you? What will people say? 

I’m happy to say that almost all of the responses have been positive. In the New York Times comments section, on my personal Facebook page, and in emails, phone calls, and handwritten notes, people convey their support. There are no doubt some people who think less of me, or judge me, or are aghast because I suffer from depression and I attempted suicide. I am not likely to receive emails from them.

Perhaps most gratifying to me are the emails from other people with mental illness and suicidality, many of whom are also mental health professionals. They tell me that my story helps them to feel less alone, less afraid, and more hopeful.

I love knowing that my essay is, in its own small way, spreading hope to others. But my motives in publishing it weren’t entirely selfless.

In sharing my experience with suicide, I also hoped to help myself. My suicidal past was a big secret to carry, especially as someone working in the suicide prevention field. I felt like an impostor, hiding in a dark closet of secrecy.

In coming out of the closet, I have stepped into the light.


Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, is the author of “Helping the Suicidal Person: Tips and Techniques for Professionals,” a psychotherapist and consultant, and an associate professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work.

© Copyright 2017 Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW. All Rights Reserved. Written for www.speakingofsuicide.com. All photos purchased from Fotolia.com.

Want to join the conversation?


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

39 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1. Margaret says:

    As sad as I am that you made a suicide attempt Stacey, it is encouraging to know that people can recover. I am in my late 60’s and since I retired 6 years ago, life has been less than kind. I have been watching my mom die a slow, painful death, I myself suffer from a chronic, incurable disease and I suffered trauma, after which I hurt others (not physically) in the process. I am in physical and mental pain every single day and if not for my family whom I adore, I am not sure I would still be here, though I fear death especially since I believe that anyone who takes their own life does not go to heaven (though the ‘funny’ part is that after all I have seen and been through, I no longer believe there is a God). I am on medication and am working with a psychotherapist from one of the country’s top notch mental health facilities. What hurts the most is that before all of this, I was at my physical and mental best and was so looking forward to retirement. I have SO much to live for…a beautiful family to include a grandchild, wealth, etc. yet many nights I wish I would go to sleep and not wake up). My life was once as close to perfect as one could get. Every day I get up and hope that this day will be better and though some days are not ‘as bad’ they are not anywhere near what they used to be. I still most days have the lingering thought that I want to leave this world, though I really don’t if that makes sense, however I know doing so would destroy my family. Anyways, thank you for sharing some hope.

  2. Louisa Cox says:

    Thank you very much for ‘coming out’ i attempted suicide 4 times in a year whilst the pandemic was going on. The last time was last May and was then most serious in that i wanted to die. I turned off my phone and lay on my bed waiting for the light to go out. Even as i was writing in pain as the pills started getting into my system i told myself to be patient. this would soon be over. It was only due to a concerned friend that i’m here. I’d been unconscious for 24 hours and ended up in a psych ward for 4 months. I remember the hostility of some nurses whilst in the general hospital. i was so down i just felt like i deserved their scorn. i guess nurses try to save peoples lifes and can’t understand people wanting to end theirs.
    I’ve recently started training as a peer support worker and what this has bought up for me is that i haven’t talked about the attemps. Not even to my therapist who i trust and know i can. i’m very selective about the people i go out with as i feel like i have this finger pointing at me saying ‘shes the one who tried to kill herself’. the hard thing is that i’m very sensitive to the subtle changes within people when they’re around me. Before these episodes i was a thriving woman who had respect from the community. I’m a massage therapist and i had a decent client base. Now, very few people come to my door. I wonder how i come to terms with it all
    Louisa Cox

  3. CJS says:

    Thank you. As a 40 year healthcare provider (MN, RN, APRN, CNS, PNP), the only person with whom I shared my secrets was my therapist, until a couple of weeks ago. I finally opened a conversation about suicide with a friend and colleague who is nearing the first anniversary date of her brilliant, accomplished, loved sister. As I approached the topic gently, I asked about whatever she was comfortable sharing about her sister and added the query about whether she had ever had such thoughts. Her reply of “ oh, god yes!” Was unexpected. I actually started the conversation for a very personal reason. I knew the method her sister chose and, had recently found myself wheeling into a gun shop to purchase a hand gun, only to find out that my most functional hand was not strong enough to pull the trigger on any of the models I reviewed. I felt so angry that the most lethal option I could imagine, was not possible for me. As an advanced practice nurse, I know first hand how successful plans have been executed and attempted by patients I cared for in the ER and ICU as well as by close family members. I also know what does not work. This was not the first time I have had such thoughts and plans. I was testing my friend to see if she might be a safe confidante. She was the second person with whom I shared my dark side. I was carefully vetting her to make certain I would not add to her struggle with the death of her sister. Whenever I have listened to a patient or client discuss their struggles, I feel like such an imposter, thinking “if you only knew”. This has been such a huge step in the midst of a long struggle with complicated PTSD and all that accompanies this misunderstood diagnosis, particularly as a healthcare professional. I cringe every time I hear the comment regarding my most visible trauma, tetraplegia as a result of a horrendous car crash with a speeding cellphone user about being “such an inspiration”. If only they knew! I’m a long way from sharing my full story, but this is a welcome start as I continue into my third year of working with a therapist to learn how to untangle, heal what I can, and find coping strategies for the triggers that remain. This is the most difficult work I have ever done. The thoughts are still there, I cannot erase the traumas, and I find relief in knowing that I am not alone.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      The secret is a heavy burden; “if only you knew” is a statement of loneliness, because we are hidden to the person in front of us. But people also have their reasons for hiding and bearing the burden, self-protection being one of them. The irony is that if more people shared that they, too, have had suicidal thoughts, there would no longer a need for self-protection. In the U.S., roughly 12 million people a year seriously consider suicide, far more than actually disclose it to others.

      I’m sorry about all the pain you’ve experienced, and grateful to read that you are in therapy and connecting with others, too. Thank you for sharing here.

  4. ComaLife says:

    ”When I worked as an emergency room social worker, more than once a physician came to me and said of a patient who had attempted suicide, “Could you please tell them how to do it right next time?”

    That’s obscene. It immediately made me start crying. Did you turn in these physicians? Tell anyone what they said? Doctors like that shouldn’t be practicing.
    I had a psychiatrist tell me to 1-Marry a rich man, and 2-Quit all my meds at once and smoke pot all day.

    I filed a report on him. Turns out he was piling crap on many suicidal people and I got a letter he was under investigation.

    People that awful shouldn’t be able to get away with that. How long before one of those ”Doctors” says that to a suicidal patient??

  5. Daphne says:

    I know suicide feeling are very selfish, but you don’t feel it is at the time,you just think my son even the dog who saved me ,were better without me,when the dog sensed something wrong and was very troubled I told my son to ring 999. This is the last time this is the last attempt at suicide, I have now at this moment the urge still troubles me nearly everyday, but for some reason I know its weak, but carry on this fight, I’m elderly and don’t have any family or friends who care, partly because I’m so sensitive I can’t cope and hope to carry on being dependant on my own, I feel unsafe but always worry about telling people too much so feel even more unsafe if I tell people too much, I continue to try and put my disguise on now. I don’t want end up in a home if I ever get to this stage, my life wouldn’t be worth living I most probably end my life properly.

  6. Cheryl Mlcoch says:

    Stacey, our ‘coming out of the suicide closet’ stories are similar in so many ways! It’s been over 24 years now and coming out definitely changed my life for the better and has sent me down a path of sharing my lived experience and helping our youth who struggle with suicidal ideation and/or previous attempts as well as their families. I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting you and attending your powerful training this past Friday in Denver and I hope we stay in touch! You are definitely a mentor to me. Continued blessings to you – Cheryl / Andy’s House (soon-to-be Andy’s Lighthouse)

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      Thank you so much for your words of support and camaraderie! I was happy to meet you, too, and hope to connect again. 🙂

  7. Debra says:

    First I wish to compliment you on an exceptional site. I am a retired administrator of an EAP for a large corporation in the midwest. I am 66 years old, female, and healthy for my age. I am very comfortable financially and have a generous number of friends. What I wish to share, is that I am one of those individuals who has chronic suicidal thoughts. I was raised in an intensely, physically and emotionally abusive home. All adults present were severe alcoholics. To get to the point, I thought of, planned, and collected, items that would be needed for a successful suicide. I told no one, I made no attempts. However, my intentions were decidedly lethal. This behavior started around age 8. This behavior continues to this day even though I now realize the possibility of actually taking this action is remote. I believed being prepared to take control of the emotional pain and knowing I had the power to end it at any time….made me the master of my life instead of blind circumstance. It acts as a safety net to what I was willing to endure. This gave me even greater endurance. Now at age 66, the thoughts are so much a part of me, they are old, reliable, friends. I no longer think of them in desperation, they have become a comfort. I decided at age 60, after retirement, to treat myself to therapy, which I like to think of as a massage for the brain. After a lifetime of silence, I finally shared with my counselor. Her diagnosis; High Functioning Reactive Attachment Disorder. I am very much at home with it now (because of the therapy) and my interior life has improved in many ways….I wrote all of this to encourage others. This is treatable. This is truly something that many suffer . I imagine we would be shocked at the numbers. Thank you so much for the work you are doing ….and for your courage.. Debra

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      You convey powerfully and beautifully how suicidal thoughts can be a way to cope with suffering. What you wrote reminds me of that Nietzche quote: “The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets successfully through many a bad night.” (I also include the quote in my post, “When Suicidal Thoughts Do Not Go Away.”)

      I thank you for posting your comment here. It is generous of you to share your own suffering and coping as a means to help others. Many people on this site leave comments describing profound despair and hopelessness. This is understandable given their suicidal state of mind, but I also greatly appreciate when others offer hope that can help balance out the despair.

      Thank you, too, for your kind words. I appreciate them!

  8. Jamie says:

    Absolutely stunning read and thank you so much for all of the work that you do.

  9. Fen says:

    I want to hear about new posts.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      Thanks for your interest! You can put your email address in the sidebar on the right to be notified of new posts.

  10. Avelon McNae says:

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. It is greatly needed and appreciated. So many lives have been touched by suicide in one way or another. It’s great to see someone in the mental health field write so candidly about personal experience with it. Your difficulty led you to help save the lives of many others. I appreciate your personal courage and dedication to helping others. God bless you!

  11. Annonimous says:

    Your so inspiring x

  12. Julie M Wilson says:

    I just read your story on coming out of the closet. Very insightful especially what other professionals thought and said in your experiences in the mental health field.
    I cannot imagine carrying that secret as many years as you did.
    It takes great courage and strength to share your story.
    I am glad you did and so very proud of you for sharing!

    We need to be rid of the ignorance, stigma and shame regarding suicide and mental illness.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      Thank you for your support, and for being an ally (or a warrior!) in the fight to get rid of ignorance, stigma and shame that often accompany issues of suicide and mental illness.

  13. Stacey, I’m just dropping in to say I continue to appreciate your work here on Speaking of Suicide.

    I love Mary Elizabeth’s comment (below) – ” . . . what I love about you, Dr. Freedenthal, Stacey, one-of-us. You see us, and in your vision and sage advice, you see us – not just our dress and makeup – but you see all of us. You see all of us because you see yourself in us.”

    Its a fitting tribute to your body of heart-work.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      What a lovely message, Tamara. Thank you so much. Have I told you LATELY how much I appreciate your support and friendship?

  14. Rebekah says:

    Hi Stacey, I stumbled across a post you wrote. (not this one) And found my way to this post. I’ve not been honest with my family or friends about my thoughts. I can’t even type it yet.
    When I decided to “test the waters” the other day with my Mother, who I’m very close with, and jokingly said, that I’ve considered it. I was not too surprised by her reaction. It was of shock and almost annoyance by what I said. I apologized and told her not to worry I was only joking and wouldn’t say it again.

    I have A friend, but she’s fair weathered sad to say. I have some acquaintances, but they are very religious and when I tried to explain how I was doing they told me “to pray and that God would take care of me”. With all due respect, I’m spiritual and everything but, it’s been 2 months now and these thoughts are getting worse not better.
    I went to my Dr., she added a new anti-depressant to the one that I apparently am at the max dose on, it’s not doing much of anything, but I’m told to give it more time. I talked to my therapist a little bit about it, but he tells me that I’ll “pull through it”.

    I need to find a new therapist specialist who deals with this, but here in NH. there are none. So, I’m lost and feeling more alone then ever. I go to bed each night hoping I don’t wake up. And each morning, wishing it was night. I’m tired of feeling this way. Could you point me in the right direction to find a new therapist who might specialize in this in the Southern NH. area?

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      I’m sorry you’re dealing with this and feeling so alone, all the while. Suicide freaks many people out, and unfortunately many people can’t manage hearing others say they’re having suicidal thoughts. I hope you will connect with someone soon. You can also try to national lifeline at 800.273.8255 (TALK) or the text line at 741741.

      As for referrals, please email me at stacey@staceyfreedenthal.com (or you can use the comment box and I will receive the comment but not publish it) so that I can learn more about your location in NH, preferences, etc. and respond to you privately. Thank you.

  15. Becky says:

    Thank you for your blog. I wish my therapist knew the information that you do. It’s just a tragedy that mental health professionals do not get training in therapy for suicide in graduate school. Not many professionals seek out the additional training on suicide. In my experience, a therapist can be great at cognitive behavioral therapy on every topic except suicide. As soon as the client brings up suicide, it’s like they forget all of their knowledge in how to perform cognitive therapy. And this includes therapists that specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy for pain management who say that virtually all of their clients with severe, chronic physical pain have suicidal thoughts or make one or more suicide attempts!

    I’m shocked that you don’t address chronic, severe physical pain in your blog other than just a cursory mention. Are your clients suicidal because of emotional suffering or mental illness? Do you have any comments specific to chronic, severe physical pain? Perhaps you could do a future blog post about it.

    It’s no surprise why severe, chronic physical pain makes people suicidal. The pain is usually undertreated , especially if the patient needs opioid medication, and as a result, the physical pain radically reduces the patient’s quality of life.

    In fact, chronic, severe pain causes many of the conditions associated with an increased risk of suicide: relationship problems, loss of health, loss of job, home, money, status, self-esteem , and depression. Chronic, severe physical pain also causes many of the emotional and behavioral changes associated with suicide : overwhelming pain, hopelessness, powerlessness, feelings of worthlessness, declining performance in school and work , social isolation , insomnia and loss of appetite. All of these things can be caused by severe, uncontrolled physical pain. This information is from the book Out of the Nightmare: Recovery from depression and Suicidal Pain by David L Conroy PhD, pages 253 and 254.

    It’s also such a shame that you do not accept insurance. The very people who need you cannot afford you.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      You are absolutely right – chronic physical pain is a big issue, and it definitely increases suicide risk. I do intend to write about the relationship between chronic pain and suicide at some point in the future (though the list of topics on that to-do list is formidably long right now).

      I agree with you that more therapists need training in suicide risk assessment and intervention. I wrote about this problem in an earlier blog post.

      Thank you for adding to the conversation here. I think a lot of people will learn from what you wrote.

      (As for insurance, that’s a very complex topic and maybe I will write about it, too, in a future post.)

  16. Tore Nielsen says:

    Thank you for your honesty and persistence.

    (and thanks for this site. It, along with the other sites you link to, have given me much to think about).

  17. Jimmye Warren says:

    Thank you

  18. Nikky44 says:

    I don’t want to commit suicide but it is all there is in my head. I don’t want to die but I can’t find a reason to live. I don’t mind suffering but i can take no more. I don’t want attention but just to stop existing

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


      I hope you will get help. You can can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255 (TALK). There are other places, too, you can call, text, or email for help; I list them on the Resources page.

      I am hoping for the best for you!

  19. Mary Elizabeth says:

    I think that not enough credit is given to those who work in the mental health field who put their reputation on the line when they come out about their own lived experience.

    I know, as a person with a mental illness and a history of suicidal ideation and behavior (although 20+ years ago), I have to play the system because of what seems to be a subconscious bias of MH professionals to pass judgment on me. I’ve come to a place of understanding.

    I’ve learned that if I want to be taken seriously, I need to show up in nice professional dress, full makeup, and a put-together look for a psychiatrist or therapist to see ***who I AM***. If I show up in my normal pajama-professional who works at home, I am dismissed — a depressive — a sick-o.

    It’s not right, but I recognize that they are human, just like me. I play the game and dress/act in a way that lets them know I am sane and all-in on my own recovery. I only have a mental illness. I’m not stupid or lesser-than.

    Truth be told, I have a lot of anger at the MH system. They have failed me time and time again. BUT, that doesn’t mean I am powerless. Quite the opposite. I use my acumen to learn the rules of the game simply because I forgive the humanity of those who care for me. There is nothing wrong with that. Should I not forgive the humanity of my MH professionals that I request from them?

    Most of the time, I’d say, “F-No!” “Who is the professional? Get your shit together!”

    But that is what I love about you, Dr. Freedenthal, Stacey, one-of-us. You see us, and in your vision and sage advice, you see us – not just our dress and makeup – but you see all of us. You see all of us because you see yourself in us.

    Keep on doing what you do. Please BE OUR VOICE! You are a light in the MH field. I know your decision to *come out* was not taken lightly. I know you put your entire reputation on the line.

    • Lija says:

      Thank you, Mary Elizabeth! For your insights.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Mary Elizabeth,

      Years later, I’m horrified to read your comment and see that I didn’t reply. I view the comments section as more a place for conversation among readers than with me, but you directly addressed me, so I should have replied! I apologize.

      And I thank you – I thank you immensely, in fact – for your supportive words. I hope you see mine now, however belatedly.

      What you said about playing the game is both sad and true. Sad that you have to play that game, true that it serves you better than showing up to a psychiatrist’s office in PJ’s. You are not alone in having anger toward the mental health system. If you haven’t seen it already, you might appreciate the site madinamerica.com.

      Anyway, thanks again.

  20. Paul says:

    I think more people knew than you recognize. Not that you attempted suicide per se, but they knew that you do or at least have personal experience with severe depression.

    Along with my lifelong up and down depression issues, I also have moderate social anxiety that I largely cover up with meds. My anxiety has been crippling at certain points in the past. My struggles are neverending, and as such I can usually pick out my own kind, the depressed and the anxious, because they exhibit behaviors and mannerisms that I recognize. Even if those behaviors are subtle, I can often see them.

    Likewise, I’ve heard former/present alcoholics and drug users can recognize their own, too. I believe that like recognizes like. And like drug addicts, once you leave the world of ‘normal’ via mental issues, you can never truly return to it 100%.

    I always attempt to make some contact or bond with people who I can pick out in this manner. I’m not a therapist – I’m too old to go to school. But I like to think I help such people in my own fashion, and they help me, because they are my brothers and sisters in many ways and it feels good to not be alone in a world that doesn’t fit you. Most of the friends I’ve had, and have, share that bond with me.

  21. Al Jones says:

    Ouch!! Now I think I can understand better why so much of what you’ve written resonates so well with me.
    I think I can say that most of us on my forum understand the feeling of not wanting to say anything because of what ‘they’ will think or say about us or worse what they’ll do. Thanks for ‘opening up’ with what must have been a difficult and painful article.

    • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:

      Thank you, Al. I remember seeing something on your site – you might be the one who wrote it – saying that I don’t give trite or cliche advice about suicide. (Or something like that.) Now you know why. 🙂 Been there! (On the receiving end.)

      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate hearing from you.

      And I still want to write that post someday, hopefully someday soon, about chronic suicidality.

      • Lija says:

        Thank you Al and Stacey.
        I didn’t know that there were many like me, who not only have lived with the idea of suicide for decades, but find it comforting.
        Thank you Stacey for giving the link to Al’s site. It is frustratingly impossible to Google suicide because they will only bring you to the sites that… well, you know.
        I will be visiting Al’s site again, knowing that I can find comfort there. Thank you SO MUCH for providing the link, Stacey.

        • Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW says:


          Thanks for contributing here. I’m confused – when you Google “suicide,” do you have trouble finding sites that discourage suicide? I know there are pro-suicide sites out there, but I hope Google isn’t prioritizing them over sites that try to help people stay alive.

          In terms of people living with the idea of suicide for decades, you might like this post, if you haven’t seen it already:

          When Suicidal Thoughts Do Not Go Away

          However, I suspect you read it already and actually were referring to it in your comment above.

          Anyway, I’m grateful to know that you can find comfort at Al’s site. Thanks for letting us know!

  22. Salvador says:

    Stacey, I think it’s so great for the world–particularly those who have struggled with suicide themselves–to see the amazing things one can achieve when they are able to “hold on”. And for those of us who haven’t lived through such a struggle so far, it’s so important and useful to be aware of the stigma our society places on this issue and those who struggle with it. Thanks for taking the time to write these articles.

    • RI says:

      I am bipolar, and periodically subject to bouts of deep depression. Before my bipolar condition was diagnosed, I would suffer these terrible periods of depression, there were many nights that I would sit alone in my darkened room late at night for hours with a loaded pistol cocked and ready to fire pressed against my forehead. I would argue with myself about pulling the trigger. The argument was mainly about whether my wife and kids would be better off without me.
      I’m a 3rd generation Japanese-American, who was born just after WWII in 1944 and grew up with the effects of post-war anti-Japanese/racism, which I internalized and absorbed as a virulent self-hatred as a kid that ate at me throughout my teenage and adult years. When I was in graduate school, I finally hit bottom and swallowed a bottle of anti-depressants and washed them down with a bottle of rum. A friend happened to visit my apartment and found me unconscious on the floor. I ended up in the hospital security wing for a week.
      Since then I have been though intense psychotherapy and medication for about 10 years, but it’s all good now.
      The message is: THERE IS HELP AND HOPE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.