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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Depression and Suicide: No Do Overs with Death

Robin William’s death by suicide this week raised national awareness of clinical
Robin Williams in 2011
Source: wikipedia
depression, addiction, and suicide. Many of us were surprised to learn that more people die each year from suicide than homicide. “
The homicide rate in America is about 6 per 100,000; for suicides it’s about 10.8.” (Benjamin Radford, “Is Suicide a More Present Danger Than Homicide?”

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

I wasn’t thinking about faceless statistics when I wrote Spell Struck, a story about a teen trying to prevent her sister from committing suicide. Instead, I was remembering two teens I know who tried to commit suicide, and an adult who became suicidal. My protagonist’s fear and worry stemmed from my personal experience. I know what it is like to be on suicide watch, to be afraid to leave a person alone. The fear imprisons you. And because the father of a childhood friend had committed suicide, for me the possible outcome was all too real.

There are no Do Overs with death.

Although many years have passed, I still remember the desperate race against time that marked my first experience with a suicidal loved one. At the time, the parents of one my daughter’s preschool classmates were family therapists. I asked them, “How do you convince someone to get treatment when they believe their situation is hopeless?”

They told me, “Tell the person there is always hope. Hopelessness isn’t reality; it’s the disease talking.”

Their approach worked. The adult I was worried about finally sought treatment. The person's suicidal thoughts and severe depression abated. The battle continues, two decades later. Untreated depression doesn’t get better on its own or go away anymore than untreated cancer or diabetes, or other serious illnesses.

What became of the two teens? Luckily, both survived their suicide attempts. One of them is leading a happy, healthy life. The other still struggles.

If you have suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you are worried someone you know may be suicidal, learn about the warning signs at

And remember. There is always hope.

© 2014 Ariella Moon

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