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Thread: Mental Illness -

  1. #26
    Super Member Nancy in Louisiana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanabee Quiltin View Post
    I want to remind you that he was an alcoholic and drug user. Depression goes with this.

    Are you saying depression comes from alcohol and drug use, or that substance abuse comes from depression?l Remember he was "clean" for almost 20 years ... and still battled depression during that time. Robin was an extremely complex character, like John Belushi, both battling their dark sides their entire lives..

  2. #27
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    My father's second oldest sister was institutionalized a couple times after she was married and had her 2 children. They put her through so many treatments; twice the one's where they jolt your body with electricity to shock it out of you. She was totally abused throughout her life. She left her husband and brought her daughter with her to live and help take care of my father's parents. She could do nothing right. She worked full time and took care of her daughter and my grandparents and my uncle and his son lived with my grandparents also. She took a lot of abuse from everyone. When my other aunts and uncles came over they were very critical about how things were. Food was not good enough, laundry wasn't done right, just she did nothing right according to everyone else. Her saving grace was her faith and her job. She was in walking distance of her job and her church was just right across thestreet fromher job. She went to church on her lunch hour to take communion during the different seasons. She was a launderer at a hospital. That was a lot of heavy work, the laundry could not touch the floors. Anyway, she did all that and came home and did the same thing all over again. I saw how hard she worked by staying over night a couple times. She turned the basement into an apartment. I told my dad and mom everything I saw and how she was treated and how my uncle and his son treated her and my cousin. After that let me tell you things changed. My father went ballistic and started telling everyone they were going to help or keep their mouths shut. We started having them spend the weekends with us and going up to the lake. She still went through Hades throughout the years. Her son thought she gave up on him. He joined the navy when he was 16 and then blamed her for everything. Her husband had so many affairs in front of her it was pathetic with the old bitty across the street. Didn't mean to ramble but she told me she was thankful for the few nights I spent because no one would listen to her but for once they listened to a 9 year old who got to spend some quality time with a special aunt. She was also a very talented needle worker, knitting, crochet, and quilting. She did everything by hand and my mother was thrilled with some of the doilies she made for my mother. She had many bouts of depression. My father talked to her priest once to try to get her some help. The priest said to get her out of the hole she was living in and she would get better. My father help my cousin with a deposit on an apartment and moved them both into it. She later ended up in a health center where she could leave overnight but had to be back the next day. When I got off work on a Saturday in the summer, I would pick her up in my Chevette then go to McD's and eat our meal during the hour long drive to the lake. She passed away a couple years after being in the center but she said she had her best years there. She had rules but was never told she wasn't good enough. She had her crafts and taught them to some of the employees. She had severe depression because of all the abuse she went through, emotional and a lot of verbal. She was a diabetic and my mother saw to it she didn't have to worry about her diet. We all went on diabetic diets when Aunt Catherine came to visit! Didn't hurt a bit. Had one aunt (her sister) that I asked my dad if she was possessed by demons. That one chased her husband down the street with a butcher knife. Now she was definitely had a problem. I just feel if you could just look at their past and see how and why they've come to the level of severe depression, I'm sure came from their child hood. Some one has said something that stuck in their psyche like just the right amount of epoxy glue that just can't come lose.

  3. #28
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    I come from a long line of manic/depressive people. Most of them until my generation were out of control alcoholics, my generation understood that there was a genetic component to the problem, and have found treatment that works. I do have one (out of the six siblings) that refuses to believe he has a problem, and the fallout in his life is quite dramatic. Mental illness can be a birth defect, or caused by trauma, or life experience. For some stupid reason, humans have decided that these kinds of problems should carry some kind of stigma. I hope it is just misunderstanding of it and not fear of the sufferers, I know that there is help available, but until the insurance community stops being able to decide what "one size fits all treatment"/ works for everyone, the problems will continue. Treating mental illness is a multi-approach science, until we stop trying to fix everyone with assembly line medicine, mental illness will continue to plague humans. I am very thankful for the doctors (plural) that have helped me out of the dark. I spent years unable to cope with the world because I was told that I was the problem, not that there might be a solution. Encouraging people to seek help, is my way of paying back the fates that led me to treatment. Life is great now, even with the occasional down day, anything is better than where I was. If you are getting help, please be patient. It took a while to find the MEDS that work for me, but I stuck with it, and now I am doing very well. I wish you all well and healthy.
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  4. #29
    Super Member llong0233's Avatar
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    I have suffered with depression all my life. Fortunately I have never been self-destructive, but undiagnosed and untreated bi-polar disease (aka manic-depressive) takes a lot of energy to live with. I was properly diagnosed 10 years ago and have been happily taking the right combination of drugs, keeping me "normal" as possible. By the way, when we were younger (30-50) my older sister's answer to my depressive episodes were "get over it. How bad can it be?". She's now 72 and I'm 68. She still thinks you can "out-think" mental illness. No wonder some of us are depressed! HA HA
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  5. #30
    Super Member Tiggersmom's Avatar
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    NJQuilter: I think you are doing a marvelous job of being the friend she needs! Depression is like being on a tread mil you can't get get off of....[or a fast moving merry go round].no stopping place until you get help. In my deepest depression I turned to the book of Psalms in the old testament, but I also saw a dr. until hubby's insurance ran out.


    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Quilter View Post
    I have a friend (really - it's a friend) who has been suffering from a very severe depression for a number of years now. I encourage her at every opportunity to seek help. The reasons for her depression are very valid but it's devastating for her nonetheless. I want to see this woman want to live a fulfilling life again. Her husband is not overly supportive of her seeking treatment. The costs involved are a very real part of his lack of support. I sometimes get so frustrated by her depression I just don't know what to do. I wish I knew better what to do to help her beyond listening and encouraging her to seek treatment.
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  6. #31
    Super Member IBQUILTIN's Avatar
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    I have a son with mental illness. He lives on the street; I have tried many times to help him by getting him to come here to live. He will have none of it. He likes his lifestyle and even though it hurts me terribly, I have finally learned that I have to accept that.

  7. #32
    Senior Member Elise1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBQUILTIN View Post
    I have a son with mental illness. He lives on the street; I have tried many times to help him by getting him to come here to live. He will have none of it. He likes his lifestyle and even though it hurts me terribly, I have finally learned that I have to accept that.
    Hugs to you, IBQUILTIN. It is tough to be a parent of a mentally ill child. I know only too well. It is the toughest job I have ever had.
    "Be brave enough to be who you really are.

  8. #33
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    I grew up during the 50's in a town with a state mental hospital. A few teens were treated there and attended school with us. We accepted them at lunch and felt bad for them because they couldn't be with their families during the week. The hospital used to have cows that the adult patients cared for, fields that they tended, and had other jobs that helped create a community. When patients were deemed well enough to go into the outside world, employers would be sought and a job provided. My dad hired a man from the hospital who was a hard worker and took good care of himself. His treatment, therefore, was effective and my dad always treated him with respect.
    My grandmother had electric shock treatment there, so I know about that. She elected to have it...she knew something was wrong with her and was hoping it would help. It did, but it's not something we have to do now or want to do, because there are meds that are much more effective and not as hard on the body.
    We need to take the stigma away from mental health diseases. They are diseases and we need to work as hard for cures/helps with them as we do with the physical diseases.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  9. #34
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    Even though Robin WIlliams was clean for awhile, he was STILL an alcoholic and drug addict. they fight this demon every day even if they are sober at the time. this too can cause depression, and depression can cause Alcoholism and drug use as an escape from the real world.
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  10. #35
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Depression, whether situational or chronic, is just as frustrating for the person suffering from it as it is for those around them. Those who don't suffer from it don't understand it and they just want their loved ones to stop hurting and be "Happy" again. It's just not that easy. Some meds work, some meds don't. Some work for a while and then stop. Therapy and counseling can be helpful along with medications but each persons treatment is as individual as they are. Most people suffering from depression do so in silence. They feel there is shame in being mentally ill. Sometimes it takes all the strength you can muster just to breathe.

    The Huffington Post shared this video and I swear it is the best explanation in the world, especially for those that have loved ones who suffer from depression and don't know how to help them.

    http://www.upworthy.com/in-response-...-heard?c=huf1?
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  11. #36
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    Coop ah, electroshock therapy is alive and well in this country and others. Nowadays it's much less electricity and it's carefully guided to the correct part of the brain. The patient has a sedative and usually does much better after the treatment. I've been trying to talk my psychiatrist into letting me get it, as my dad had it several times during his life and it helped a lot each time. In the US it seems they only give it to people deemed pretty hopeless.

  12. #37
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    And the medical research profession is working on devices or implants that will provide gentle electrical currents to the brain to keep whatever part of the brain is not functioning normally (whatever that is) calm. I don't know if 'calm' is the right word to use to describe it, but I think about it as keeping the brain from going to extreme highs or lows.

    Of course, when/if these treatment options become available, many people will refuse them because their beliefs and illness will not allow them to accept them.

    Very sad.
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  13. #38
    Senior Member maryfrang's Avatar
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    I really feel for people with PTSD and depression. Most of the time we do not know what they are going through. I do know during past wars our men have suffered with PTSD but no one knew what it was or why they were not able to do their military jobs. I still remember in the movie "Patton" how he treated the soldier with what they called "war nerves". Patton ordered him back to work. Today our military is understanding that some men/woman have issues with what their service is doing to them. I hope we all will become more understanding of PTSD and all mental illness. Remember not only our military members show PTSD, but anyone can.

  14. #39
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    I worked in a State office for 17 years where we tried to find jobs for the disabled. The chief complaint from the mentally ill people was that the meds made them tired/sleepy/unable to concentrate and they couldn't function, therefore they would not take them consistently. We called doctor's offices and asked if their meds could be adjusted and were basically told we were not doctors and we got nowhere with that. So most of them took the meds for a while until they felt better and then the side effects caused them to stop taking the meds and they were right back where they started, unable to function well at home, let alone trying to work. Wish I knew the answers but even the doctors seem to be divided on what treatment works.

  15. #40
    Junior Member IshtarsMom's Avatar
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    Forgive the disjointedness of this post...it's running through my head and out my keyboard....I'm wondering if part of the problem with the illness/depression is the person is being "jumped on" or treated like a child..."Just take your meds and get over it". What if a real dialogue was started..adult to adult...where you ask..."I know you are having a difficult time...What is it about the medication that is giving you a problem?" Then continue by offering to help research side effects with them and get the person to focus on something positive to do about it. Little by Little... We say we don't know what to do but I think we treat this illness differently. Perhaps by using the same approach that is used so effectively here on the quilting board to solve difficult problems with quilting might help...Lots offer support from having the same problem...more offer research articles...lots of people for support...same principle I think...easier to take help offered when someone is truly being a friend. Listening and hand holding is really good if you are truly listening not thinking about what's for dinner...there are clues you just have to hear them and ask lots of questions... Get them to give you a picture..."What does it feel like when that happens". It is easy to get sucked down into someone's depression unless you go into it with a positive attitude...look up together the stats on how many people have that particular diagnosis..etc. Anyway you get the picture...And keep looking for doctor that listens too..Know the problems with the drugs they are being given and insist they listen and offer whatever research you have come up with...Too many times we expect doctors to solve our problems when we need to HELP THEM RESEARCH.
    Last edited by IshtarsMom; 08-15-2014 at 05:05 AM.

  16. #41
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    While depression is very real we need to understand that not all suicides are due to depression. In my first husband's family we endured two suicides. Neither was due to depression, instead, they both made a choice to escape trouble they got themselves into. The trouble was only a few hours old so I know it was not depression. They made bad choices and this is how they chose to cope. That being said, suicides are so difficult for those left behind and heart goes out to the families.

  17. #42
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    We don't know why Robin Williams took his own life. He took that info to his grave. Now the wife is adding a diagnoses of Parkinsons...another awful disease. I wonder if an aging entertainer no longer in the limelight as he once was, facing his own mortality and human foibles, etc just could not be exposed as he was. HUMAN. Entertainers ....entertain. When that starts to wane...well, that is difficult to handle.

    Yea yea, he had projects coming etc but there does come a time when the "star" dims. I loved Robin Willaims and in the end, I feel sad about his end.

    We can't fix this. I vote to close the thread, frankly.

    RIP Mr. Willaims, i trust that you have found true Peace.

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  18. #43
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    Please do not close this thread. We have to keep talking about it if progress is to be made.

  19. #44
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    I am glad to see so much support for people with mental illness here. I am another who is bi-polar. I took meds for a while with good results then I started to have horrible side effects. I got violent. Made it very hard to find one that worked . I am at this point off meds. And doing reasonably well with meditation, and energy work . I still have my bad days but I have homeopathics I can take to soften it.
    I have to say I do love my manic phases , I get so much done and I am in such a great mood. But I know they don't last. One thing that also needs to be realized is it isn't just vets that suffer from PTSD. I do also. I had a major episode a few months back because of my living situation . It was bad enough to send me back to the doctor. I hadn't been in years. I am now in a place that is peaceful , calm and quiet. Just what I needed to function well. I spent my entire life trying to fit into others idea of what I should be like and now I can just be me. I figure at 62 its about time.
    To all who suffer with these things. Keep looking until you find your peace.
    To all that give support and understanding. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. There is very little out there.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy in Louisiana View Post
    Are you saying depression comes from alcohol and drug use, or that substance abuse comes from depression?l Remember he was "clean" for almost 20 years ... and still battled depression during that time. Robin was an extremely complex character, like John Belushi, both battling their dark sides their entire lives..
    Alcohol is a depressant, so is pot, add the depression that accompanies Parkinson's disease. obviously too much for Robin to handle. I had a college anatomy/physiology instructor who describe the superior intelligent persons are prone to having unbalanced brains. Maybe strong in intelligence weak in social skills, decision making skills, as examples. She did add "It is far easier to be average"
    I have a nephew who is of superior intelligence, skipped a grade. He also had a serious fixation with lighters and locking people out of houses. As a teen he found shoplifting and huffing(breathing chemicals from an aerosal can) My brother sent him to a rehab school in West Somoa island. He was required to wash his own clothes in a creek beating on a rock-probably like my great great grandmother did. He never left Level #1 in the entire 2.5 years he was there. He was graduated because he turned 18. He is now 30 and for whatever reason he is doing ok. (Thank God!). Right now I have a friend (yes, a friend) who is battling depression and suicidal thoughts. and is very open about this yet, works hard to hide and deny her daily alcoholic and pot dependence. I find myself walking a tight rope as to how often and how well do I keep in touch with her and keep a healthy distance from the substance abuse and subsequent behaviors. Pot by the way is a Gateway drug to other drug usage.

  21. #46
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    I have managed to overcome my emotional problems thru working with a 12 step group and the help of a holistic practitioner. It can be a long road and it does take work. Just like addiction, until someone is ready to do the work themselves, real change won't happen. No one else can "fix" them. I'm not big on the 'give 'em a pill and send them on their way" idea. While I do believe the drugs have their place in treating severe mental illness, I also believe that too many people get the pill and feel somewhat better and so don't really do the work to address the problem which is really sad. Many people are also put on drugs and never really evaluated further. They feel better and so they just keep taking the drug. That system does work for a while, but often because no real changes are made, it quits working for them at some point. I just pray that those that need help get it.

    Also, just being clean or sober does not fix everything. There are underlying causes for the drug or alcohol use. If they are not addressed, there can be the same behaviours and thought patterns from the addicted days even though the addiction is no longer present. There's also the continuing battle with wanting the substance that is too much for some people to handle. Some sort of continuing support like AA or NA is very helpful to addicts, but often not sought out even though it's free. It's very sad.
    Last edited by cashs_mom; 08-15-2014 at 09:02 AM.
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  22. #47
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    I really think almost every person has some degree of "abnormality/anomaly/defect/gift" - physically, physiologically, mentally - these can be caused by and can change due to genetics/age/illness/accident/experiences/environment.

    The big question is - when does this become a problem for the person and the people around that person?

    For example - I have arthritis in my hands and some of my fingers are crooked. Does this bother me? Yes - but not to the extent that it stops me from doing much of what I've always been doing. They look a little odd, but not enough so that most people will stare at them.

    One of my cousins has such severe rheumatoid arthritis that her fingers were almost pointing 90 degrees from their "normal" position. She has had several surgeries to try to maintain as much use as possible of her hands.

    I think this "range" is also possible with other conditions that humans are faced with.

  23. #48
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caswews View Post
    Thanks Bearisgray

    I could say a whole lot here but I won't. (I might get on a roll...),
    except I'm happy to see this here.
    Also happy to see so much understanding towards things one cannot
    see with the eyes, but certainly can feel!
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    I take a shot every 2weeks, and I agree with the 600 level.
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  24. #49
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    Where is the line between being able to "recover" (or cope?) on one's own and needing help/medication/supervision to manage to survive?

    To compare mental illness (again - this is such a vague term) to diabetes -
    For a while, and for some, changing diet and lifestyle can keep the disease under control. No one can see it from the outside. But help is usually easy to get and many people are willing to admit they are diabetics. For some, it's a straight line from being diagnosed to insulin dependency. Many people realize that they need the insulin to keep going and if they stop taking it, they will be in trouble. Also, there are tests to determine where one is at in keeping one's diabetes under control.

    Why is there such a leap to comprehending that some forms of depression, for example, may operate a bit like diabetes? there is something operating wrong in the person's system that needs assistance to be stabilized.

    "Snapping out of it" - "Get a grip on yourself" - "What do you have to be depressed about?" do not address the problem or do a thing to make it better for those that are in need of more help.

    I agree that "personal life styles" can and do affect whatever other conditions we may have - which includes our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual being.


    ok, I have to reply here.
    I once had a therapist and I asked him, "When you wake up in the morning, how do you know you are mentally healthy?"
    He did not answer bc he wanted me to find the answer for myself.
    When I went back, I told him that I did indeed find the answer.
    I said, "I think if a person even has to ask themselves if they are mentally healthy, that is a sign they could use some help."
    Whether it's a little help, or a lot of help...we all want to feel balanced.
    As for taking medication...I weighed the pro's and the cons and I gained more benefit with it, than without it.
    It took a lot of years for me to learn not to be embarrassed, even though there are plenty of medical
    doctors out there that will judge you for it.
    Yes, I said doctors.
    Never mind the public. They are ignorant (uneducated).
    There is no excuse for doctors that have had the necessary education to be so biased and judgemental.
    Shame on them!
    I had one try to talk me out of getting some counseling.
    He later had to put me into the hospital and one of his nurses committed suicide.
    I have a feeling, after that he didn't act like depression was nonexistent.
    Severe depression can make it more painful to be alive.
    (yes, there are things worse than death.)
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  25. #50
    Senior Member AllyStitches's Avatar
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    I guess I just want to chime in here too.

    I've seen a lot of comments intimating that suicide is the easy way out, comparing Robin's struggle with that of folks who have fought cancer or other diseases, combined with the idea that he had no right to make the choice to commit suicide when he wasn't facing terminal illness. Don't you know that Robin fought for his life too? Day in and day out-- addiction, depression, Parkinson's Disease? That sounds like a heck of a fight to me, and ultimately, he lost that fight. Any one of those things would put the average person into a tailspin, and Robin was dealing with all three. We are lucky we had him as long as we did. He showed up in the world, went to work and made movies that COUNTED. They are unforgettable. He made a difference in ALL of our lives.

    I want to say that Depression is an illness-- a disease-- that kills people. It can be just as terminal as a physical illness. It's terribly difficult to treat for various reasons, just like some physical illnesses, like cancer, Parkinson's Disease, ALS, MS and others, are difficult to treat. I don't know the suicide rates of Depression sufferers-- but isn't it clear by now that Depression is just as real as any of these? It can be just as difficult to get out of bed and show up, care for your family, or do your job.

    Until our society understands that sometimes suicide is not a CHOICE, we are going to have difficulty making changes to allow people to get the help they need. If someone is affected by depression or other mental illness and commits suicide-- often they have not made a CHOICE. They were forced into the action by the state of their illness. The control that gives power to a CHOICE is gone, it doesn't exist anymore. Depression isn't something you can talk yourself out of or pull yourself up by the bootstraps and feel better. I mean, look, Robin was an avid cyclist-- do you know how uplifting cycling is? My longest ride was 80 miles, and I can tell you right now that there is no better drug to help one's spirits. I've ridden some of the same routes he did. If he could have pulled himself up by his bootstraps and gone on a bike ride to feel better, he would have-- any cyclist would. BUT HE COULDN'T BECAUSE HE WAS SICK. Just like you can't ride with a broken leg, you can't ride with a broken brain! Most cyclists are avidly into nutrition, and committed to exercise. These are healthy people!!

    One more thing: People say that suicide is selfish. Many people who commit suicide are convinced that their loved ones are better off without them. In that respect, suicide is not selfish-- it's selfless.

    I hope that we can find a way to offer mental health services to people who need it. It's terribly difficult to get help in our day and age.

    I guess I just want things to be better, and I want this to be the last suicide that I'm faced with in my life. I don't want families to suffer this sadness anymore. I want peace and contentment for folks who suffer. No one deserves to live with the kind of pain that Depression brings. Not the individual or their loved ones.

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