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In the year 2000, approximately one million people worldwide died by suicide: a "global" mortality rate of 16 per 100,000, or one death every 40 seconds.

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Story 103

Before the depression, I was a happy, quiet and normal girl. I had many friends, high hopes for the future, and I felt loved. I didn’t know what depression was until my first daughter was born when I was 19. Then I started to feel alone and like there was no hope for me in the future. I felt as though my friends had abandoned me and my family didn’t care.

The doctors said it was just post partum depression.  They told me it was from the stress of having a child and that it would eventually go away. I was prescribed an antidepressant and sent on my way. But it didn’t feel like post partum to me. Not the way they were explaining it. I didn’t feel anger towards the baby, and I wasn’t upset that I had her. It was something more, but I was unsure what.

The feelings of loneliness got stronger and I started to feel suicidal. I was so embarrassed by my own thoughts that I didn’t want to tell anyone. Until the day that it got so bad that I didn’t want to take care of the baby anymore. I just wanted to die. I called my doctor, knowing that I shouldn’t be feeling that way. He changed my meds and I started talking to someone online about my feelings.

Things started looking better. I started back to college and I was moving on with my life. Then at 23 I got pregnant again, and I was in a very bad relationship with an alcoholic. I fell right back into the depression head first. Only this time I had a 3 year old watching it happen. I feel as though I took a lot of it out on her. She always wanted me to get out of bed and play and I just couldn’t. So I would yell at her until I was blue in the face and then I would push her off on either her dad, whom I wasn’t with, or my mom.

I told the doctors but they said it was the stress of everything I was going through with the man I was with. I believed it. It was easy to believe and it explained so much. But part of me knew it was just the old feelings that never went away, they just were masked for a while.

After my second daughter was born, I was started on another antidepressant.  It seemed as though it would help for a while then nothing so the doctors kept upping the dose.  I went on to try several different drugs but none made the feeling of loneliness go away and this time no amount of talking was making it better. I just wanted to die.

One day after losing my job, my vehicle, and my apartment I decided it was time. The girls were gone with their dads and I was really really low. No friends around, my mom wasn’t talking to me over something very stupid and I was alone, with no one. I felt the worst I ever had. I have no tolerance for pain so I decided I would go online to see if I took my whole bottle of pills, could that take me out of this pain, this feeling of being alone with no hope for love or anything good to come.

When I opened my laptop, for no reason at all, a picture of me and my girls popped up. They were hugging me and they looked so happy. And I remembered before my now 5-year-old left, she came up to me while I was laying down and said “Mommy I hope you start to feel better so we can play Barbies when I get home.” I started to cry as I thought about them. How would they ever forgive me for leaving them, these two beautiful little girls who love me unconditionally?  How could I leave them behind to wonder if it was their fault, or if I just didn’t love them enough to stay.

I decided then that I couldn’t commit suicide. Even though I struggle with the thoughts on a daily basis and I still have days when I just want to die, I remember that my daughters are still here and very happy. I am still trying new antidepressants and I talk now with my best friend about my feelings instead of a stranger. I know that these feelings of depression may never go away but neither will those beautiful girls who call me mommy.  I need to be here for them.

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