Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering because it discusses a suicide attempt. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

The rain-slicked street flashes in and out of the night as a steady trickle of headlights pass over the bridge. With a desperate need, I walk, frantically, calmly, each step driven by a wretched determination. My backpack, protecting my miserable attempt at a suicide note, is the only thing I want to survive the night.

Some people think suicide is a cowardly or selfish act, but carrying it out is far from easy. Forming the foundations of all life is the urge to survive. Something catastrophic must happen to rob someone of their will to live, convincing them that death is the only thing that can end their torment.

As I tread farther up the bridge, the river sinks below. Part of me screams, Stop! But I continue on. I am 22 years old.

Depression is not a feeling, it is an illness. I was filled with a level of self-hate and emotional pain I didn’t know could exist. My body was slow, tired and weak. All the happy and joyful memories of my life were cut off like they never existed.

When I reach the top of the bridge, I drop my bag. My heart races. My stomach twists. I feel excruciatingly sad and beaten. I don’t want to die. I turn my back on the water and try to breathe. Stop now! Go back! No one will know I came this far. But I’ve tried to get better. I’ve tried counseling. I’ve tried medication. I’ve done everything I can. Recovery hasn’t happened. I am stuck. I just want to end my pain. There is nothing else to do.

When a break in the headlights comes, I turn and leap over the railing.

Years before, I had fantasized about suicide, never thinking I would one day act on those thoughts. Suicide was a weapon within my dreams, a way for me to say “fuck you” to the world and those who hurt me. Bullied and harassed in high school, I comforted myself by imagining my funeral, where a note would be read out exposing those who caused me such misery.

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As my feet leave the ground, I close my eyes. The river rushes towards me. The sound of the wind whirling past is the last voice I will ever hear. I hit the water, but I do not die.

When I finally tried to end my life, suicide was no longer a sheltering fantasy. Suicide was my last compassionate act of pity and misguided love.

When I come to in the water, I am surprised to be alive. Instantly, I am filled with devastating sadness and anger. I feel hopeless and abandoned, but above all, I feel fear. The impulse to survive I had overcome above on the bridge now takes control. With broken bones, I begin to swim.

Suicides are not peaceful deaths. They destroy lives, families and communities, leaving wounds that take generations to never fully heal. We say: “He was sad,” “She lost her job,” “His wife left him,” “Her father just passed away,” but when we do, we dismiss the complexities of the challenges in people’s lives and do them an injustice. We often fail to acknowledge the extent to which mental illness and depression can drive people toward suicide, and subsequently the extent to which suicides are, in fact, often preventable.

I was lucky to survive that fateful night seven years ago. Lucky to be able to recover from my injuries, lucky to have a second chance to recover from depression, and lucky to learn I was wrong.

Wherever you are, there are good people working to prevent suicide. Take meaningful action to support them; make a donation, volunteer; help spread the message that suicide is preventable. Recently, Sept 10th, 2017 was World Suicide Prevention Day, these organizations and your friends and family affected by depression need your support year-round. 

– Joshua R. Beharry, Project Coordinator, HeadsUpGuys

This article was originally published on HeadsUpGuys.org.

Men account for 75 percent of all suicides.

 HeadsUpGuys is an online resource developed to support men in their fight against depression and suicide by providing tips, tools, information about professional services, and stories of success. HeadsUpGuys is a free online resource and depends on the support and generosity of public and private partners, as we work together to improve the health of men in communities across the world.

Further resources/services:

Groups/Services

For local groups: Search “suicide prevention” in your area.

International Association for Suicide Prevention

More on World Suicide Prevention Day.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

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On Thursday, Talinda Bennington shared a photo of her husband Chester Bennington and their family, taken just days before the Linkin Park singer died by suicide.

“This was days b4 my husband took his own life,” Bennington shared on Twitter. “Suicidal thoughts were there,but you’d. Never kmow.”

The photo shows Chester surrounded by his children and smiling. He does not look “depressed” or the stereotype of what a suicidal person is “supposed to” look like. The thoughts were there, as Bennington said, but no one knew.

Since Chester’s death, Bennington has been incredibly active on Twitter, sharing tweets from others talking about Chester and using hashtags like #FuckDepression and #MakeChesterProud. The later hashtag was started by Chester’s Linkin Park bandmate Mike Shinoda, who was inspired by a similar hashtag created by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, after her husband died.

“Do something great / kind / generous to ,” Shinoda tweeted, inviting fans to honor Chester’s memory with kind acts.

Bennington’s first message came a week after Chester’s death. In a letter to fans shared on Twitter, she spoke about her grief, and closed with a message for those who were grieving as well. She wrote:

May God Bless us all and help us turn to one another when we are in pain. Chester would’ve wanted us to do so. Rest In Peace, my love.

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If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.


Next Sunday on World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10), celebrities and mental health professionals will be taking over radio station KISW-FM in Seattle for a two-hour, commercial-free live broadcast dedicated to suicide awareness.

The broadcast will feature big names like Michael Angelakos from Passion Pit, Jack Antonoff from Bleachers, Sarah Barthel from Phantogram, singer Halsey, former football player LeRoy Butler, rappers Khalid and Logic, and more. They’ll be joined by Dr. Christine Moutier, the chief medical officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and other professionals.

According to a press release, topics covered will include what all of us can do to prevent suicide, how to talk to friends and family about mental health and suicide, what to do if you or someone you know is struggling with depression, how to get involved in suicide prevention in your local community and where to go to learn more about the cause. It’ll also feature personal stories from the artists and celebrities.

If you want to listen, you can by visiting Imlistening.org. The show will be streamed live there. You can read the full line-up of panelists and guests here.

What do you hope they talk about?

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.


As part of National Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 10 to Sept. 16), we honor and remember the thousands of lives that have been impacted by suicide — those lost, those left, those in pain, those rediscovered, those still finding their way and those who have stayed.

In whatever capacity suicide has affected you, it can be hard to find the silver lining in a topic that’s often so raw and painful. That is why we must continue to remind both ourselves and others why we should stay. Because these little reminders — and the resources that are available — can make a difference.

This year, in honor of To Write Love on Her Arms’ theme for National Suicide Prevention Week — “Stay. Find what you were made for” — we asked people affected by suicide, suicide loss survivors and suicide attempt survivors alike, to share reasons they are glad they stayed, despite their struggles. 

Because you matter and we want you to stay.

I’m glad I stayed because… 

1. “I’m glad I stayed because my beautiful wife is pregnant, I’m going to be a dad in December. This is something I didn’t think would ever happen 10 years ago, but I’m here and I’m going to enjoy every minute.” — Ian M.

2. “I’m glad I stayed to realize that one mistake in a lifetime does not define you. I’m glad I stayed to have the joy of being a mother. I’m glad I stayed to see how much better life can get.” — Angie S.

3. “I’m glad I stayed for myself. I realized I didn’t need attention or people to make me happy. I could create it on my own, and when I started doing that, I realized I could do better and have better.” — Ashely C.

4. “I’m glad I stayed for my fresh start. I moved states to live by the ocean, so I can breathe. My childhood crush and I are now expecting our fourth child. I’m so glad I stayed.” — Angel W.

5. “I’m glad I stayed for her. She is the only one I could think of as I thought of dying. My human. My person. She stood by my side through all kinds of stuff… She is everything to me and I am everything for her. If I cant even fathom the idea to live without her, how would she be able to survive without me?” — Sania Z.

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6. “I’m glad I stayed around to hear my brother say that I inspire him. I’m glad I stayed around to meet a new friend while chasing a monkey outside. I’m glad I stayed around to see my friends (whom I had forgotten about in a blinding wave of depression) throw me a friendship party when I lost my job. I was surrounded by people telling me how much they appreciate and love me.

7. “I’m glad I stayed around to see the truths that the dark clouds of depression had hid from me. The truth that I do have friends and family who would be devastated if I was gone. People who love the random adventures that follow me around. People who remember me from elementary school and say how much I influenced them. I’m glad I stuck around to witness the release of Reese’s peanut butter cup doughnuts! I’m glad I stayed to taste peanut butter cup coffee creamer. I’m glad I stayed because if I didn’t, there would be a classroom of preschoolers without a teacher. A room full of college students without a mentor. A praise band with one less vocalist. A puppy with one less puppy scratch. A brother without his sister. A community with one less encourager. I make a difference. I matter to people, even when I can’t see it. I’m glad I stayed.” — Tamika B.

8. “I’m glad I stayed to see how much better my life got. I’m happily married to the man who convinced me to stop cutting. I have a wonderful son who keeps me going and makes me smile every day and I’m pregnant with another little boy. It’s hard for me to even think about how low I was. And I can’t imagine being that low again. While I still struggle with depression, I’m aware through just looking into my son’s eyes that tomorrow is a new day and I am very much loved, wanted and needed. And even tiny little me in Montana is making a difference in this world just by being here.” — Jessie P.

9. “I’m glad I stayed because if I killed myself there would be no one to take care of my beautiful flowers. They need a lot of love and a lot of nurturing. I know they would notice I am gone — Caroline P.

10. “I’m glad I stayed because I found out how good life can actually be. I found out how bright the stars are at night, how the moon sparkles against the sea, how the grass tingles with the wind. How fireworks explode into the nights sky like personified happy thoughts. That love doesn’t just come from humans — it can also come from the world.” — Natasha J.

11. “I’m glad I stayed because I was able to live out a lifelong dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. I’m glad I stayed to stand on hundreds of mountaintops, to experience the wilderness and to know and realize that I am worth living. To think that I almost missed out on a grand adventure… I’m glad I stayed.” — Ashley S.

12. “I’m glad I stayed for my life after 30! I struggled to find myself until I turned 30, and then it was like a light bulb went off and I have found everything that makes life worthwhile. I found my horse who brings me so much joy and has led me to new adventures with new friends. I found a new job that has a positive atmosphere, and although it’s not exactly what I want to be doing, I have good people around me. I found archery which is a great outlet for my stress. Its been a whole new world where I can be me and Im much happier.” — Carrie B.

13. “I’m glad I stayed because I want to live to see a cure for multiple sclerosis. I didn’t feel like living after I was diagnosed because I didn’t want to bother people or have people deal with me as it gets worse. I felt that I was going to cause people trouble for not being able to do everything that was expected of me.” — Jenna M.

14. “I’m glad I stayed for my cat. Nobody will be able to explain to him why mama doesn’t come home, and the thought of that breaks my heart.” — Sarah T.

15. “I’m glad I stayed, purely to experience life without depression. For a long time, the good things in life just seemed like distant ideologies that I wouldn’t get to feel or live. They were always things that were just meant for other people and not for me. Depression tricked me into believing I didn’t deserve experiencing pleasure or happiness, because I was a bad person. Ten years on and I’m so thankful that I’m here. I’ve been lucky enough to gain everything that I truly wished for, that I genuinely never thought I’d have. And I feel safe in the knowledge that if my depression ever decides to return, that I have the strength to do it all over again, because I want to stick around for all the other good things that are yet to come.” — Vicky K.

16. “I’m glad I stayed to find my passion. I am making my passion my purpose. Sport psychology and working with coaches and athletes is what I was made to do. I am glad I stayed to find the place for me. I can make a difference in people’s lives. Every day I am thankful for the waking up knowing that through all my struggles, I have a place I can share my love of the mental game in sport.” — Bernadette C.

17. “I’m glad I stayed so others may live. I went to school to become a paramedic. I’ve been a paramedic for nearly two years. I’ve seen many lives lost in my young career. But, I’ve also seen lives not lost because of the knowledge and skills I now have because I’m still alive. That’s why I’m glad I stayed.” — Heather P.

18. “I became the mother to three beautiful babies. I realized there was so much more to life than the demons inside of me trying to take me down. Becoming a mother saved my life and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I was given a second chance in life to help others and that’s exactly what I’m doing. I realized I am so much more than the thoughts I had racing in my head. I now have the chance to become the woman I’ve always wanted to be, the mother my mom taught me to be and to be somebody’s special someone.” — Caitlin H.

19. “I’m glad I stayed for the things that have little meaning but would be greatly missed; like the way wind feels in your hair or when the leaves start to change and you can feel the air you breathe or the way the person you love eyes light up when they see you. I stayed for those little moments.” — Marissa W.

20. “I’m glad I stayed because I met people who became my family when I felt like I had no one.” — Callie G.

21. “I’m glad I stayed so I could experience the future I was meant to have, but was always so terrified of. Just a few weeks ago was the first time I think I really realized I wanted to live. I saw a car crash on the side of the road and for the first time I can remember I thought, ‘Please keep me safe from that,’ instead of, ‘Why can’t that be me?’ The battle was long and hasn’t ended, but I’m so glad I’m here, I’m so glad I made friends and reached out, I’m so glad I got help, I’m so glad I’m alive.” — Kaitlyn R.

22. “I’m glad I stayed because I get to appreciate how precious life is every morning. To realize I have so many free gifts; I can see a beautiful sunrise, I can see how beautiful many parts of the world are. I stay alive because I have the love of a beautiful woman who life would be much poorer without. I stay alive because I am now in a place where I have accepted I am who I am and I have a place in this world. I stay alive because I may be able to show someone else that they, too, have a place in this world and they are loved. That’s why I stay alive.” — Noddy D.

23. “I’m glad I stayed so that I can be the person I needed back then, for other people now. Now, I have the opportunity to use my past experiences to help others. I think there is beauty in using my darkest moments to be a light for other people going through the same things I did. My ultimate goal is to be a counselor someday.” — Aaron G.

24. “I’m glad I stayed so that I can educate people around me about mental health awareness by being a suicide prevention advocate. So many of my loved ones have changed perspectives based on what I’ve taught them about this.” — Alex V.

25. “I’m glad I stayed because I met the love of my life. He’s been my lighthouse in the storm. He’s my peace. I was so convinced I couldn’t be loved and would be “too much” for anyone. But he has been nothing short of incredible. He helped bring light back to my world. “ — Catherine E.

26. “I’m glad I stayed because I got to save my mom from her own attempt when no one else would have been able to, which saved my brother and sister from having to endure a pain they should never know. I’m glad I stayed because when my husband’s mother died by suicide, I was able to be there for him in a very unique way. If I had gone, I wouldn’t have gotten to be an auntie, a dog mom, cat mom, a wife, a social worker or friend. I would have missed so many important moments for myself, my family and friends I never even knew I was so wanted for.” — McKenzie S.

27. “I’m glad I stayed because if I hadn’t, I never would have found out I can actually make art that I’m proud of. I finally decided to make whatever I felt like, not what others told me to, and it’s amazing. And I’m glad I stayed because I found out I can sing opera. I’m thankful I stayed because I’ve been able to empower and inspire so many people to do so many amazing and beautiful things because they decided to stay around too.” — Tiffany M.

28. “I’m glad I stayed for so many things that I was certain were impossible. I became a better person, there was a new ‘Star Wars,’ I became closer with my family, there was another new ‘Star Wars,’ my dog still greets me like the sun has just risen, I’ve met a girl that I love so much and loves me in a way I didn’t think possible.” — James R.

29. “I’m glad I stayed for all the poetry I’ve gotten to write, all the beaches I’ve gotten to visit, all the people I have (and have yet to) fall in love with. Most importantly, I’m glad I stayed because I now have the opportunity to be in my 20s and see life for the beautiful, full, intense, scary thing that it is.” — Emi A.

30. “I’m glad I stayed around for all the tomorrows filled with a love that makes your heart ache just a little. The kind of love that is brighter than the darkness.” — Tracy H.

31. “I’m glad I stayed for my innate curiosity. Every day is a new opportunity for me to experience the wonders of the world, whether it be through things like stargazing, learning new things about myself or even simple human connection. I struggle to get through many days, but when the veil that shadows and darkens my outlook can lift just a little, I am utterly amazed at the beauty of humanity and the universe we live in.” — Shauna C.

32. “I’m glad I stayed because I got to see my lifelong dream come true. I’m going to pharmacy school. I never thought I’d make it, but I did.” — Allison L.

33. “I’m glad I stayed because I now have a 1-year-old niece who I love very much. Seeing her smile, hearing her laugh and just spending time with her gives me all the more reason to stay. She’s a very important part of my life that I would have missed if I didn’t stay.” — Paige W.

34. “I’m glad I stayed because I got to watch my baby sister be born. I get to watch her grow up. I get to be there for her like I needed someone there for me.” — Susy S.

35. “I am glad I stayed to be the one my daughter confesses her fears to. I am glad I stayed to be the one my son calls for in the middle of the night. I’m glad I stayed to hear the rhythmic, healing words of hope and support from my husband. I’m glad I stayed to hold his hand in mine.” — Bryndi S.

36. “I’m glad I stayed for life — every aspect of it; things I never thought I’d know, see or feel. The people I love, friends and family and having the ability to support others in their times of need.  Simple pleasures and things once taken for granted.  I’m thankful I made it. And thankful that I was able to persevere.” — Annemarie H.

37. “My nephews, and little things like tonight, I was walking barefoot on pavement as the sun was setting and I looked down at my pretty painted toes and up at the whole vibrant sky and felt alive and peaceful and happy. I like to taste coffee and feel kisses. I like to float in water and feel weightless. I like to sing along to a song and really feel the lyrics.” — Aimee K.

38. “I’m glad I stayed for my future self so that I look back at that time saying, ‘You went through hell, but you have come so far, and I am proud of you for that.’” — Tessa B.

39. “I’m glad I stayed for my fur babies. It may sound simplistic or naive, but as an owner of a couple of rescues, I’m happy I’m here to give them a better life.” — Heather H.

40. “I am glad I stayed because there is so much to live for. It may not seem like it now, but there is. Even if you have to say, ‘I stayed for this moment.’ It is OK to live from moment to moment. You will get to hour by hour and day by day. You are never alone. I stayed to share my story with someone to let them know I care. I promise it does get better.” — Rae S.

41. “I’m glad I stayed because I broke the cycle of abuse in my family and continue to do my best to do so. I am glad I stayed because I have met wonderful children and adults with varying abilities. I have learned much working with children and adults with disabilities and wouldn’t give it up for the world.” — Naomi K.

42. “I’m glad I stayed for simple moments that remind me of the beauty of creation and the goodness in life. Things like hearing my children giggle uncontrollably, seeing my best friends face again, the eclipse coming. I’m glad I stayed to see myself a little stronger, a little braver, a little ‘saner.’ It may all be fleeting, but today, here and now, it’s mine. It’s enough. I’m enough.” — Brittany G.

This is another reminder that you matter and we want you to stay.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Lead images via TWLOHA Instagram


Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

September is suicide prevention month. I find it remarkable that just two years ago I barely noticed it was suicide prevention month. In fact, I don’t think I noticed at all. For me September was Labor Day camping, back to school, Fall leaves, pumpkin spice and everything nice.

On January 18th 2016, my dear friend of 20 years died by suicide. Since that time, I became acutely aware of not only needing a suicide prevention month like September, but the desperate need we have for this country to take mental health seriously. Mental health disorders kill people. It seems the prevailing dogma has been to blame the person lost to suicide. We say things like they “committed” suicide. We talk about how they fought “demons.”

No.

These words may seem harmless, but words matter, just like my friend mattered; and I refuse to be quiet. Let’s take a person battling a physical illness. If they are to die from it, we don’t say they committed death. We blame the illness. If they are lucky enough to live, we (rightfully) talk about how strong they were for winning the battle. Why do we refuse then to do the same with mental illness? Mental illness affects a person’s brain. It affects thought processes and mood. It can distort reality. Many with mental illness categorize their struggle as a “battle” they fight every day — but instead of being called strong, society says they are “weak.”

No.

There’s a lot of work to be done as we all know in regards to mental health care, but it starts here.

With words.

Imagine how perspective might change and the urgency people would feel when instead of blaming the person struggling and saying they “committed suicide” we say something even bolder. Depression killed them. Bipolar killed them. Do these statements shock you? If they do, ask yourself why?

What if, instead of saying they couldn’t fight their “demons” any longer, we call it what it is and say they lost their battle with mental illness. What if, instead of implying people with mental illness are “weak,” we celebrate them for being strong. We encourage them to go on because we recognize they find an inner strength every day. Imagine then, when we hear when loved and celebrated people like Robin Williams, Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell die, the world will not respond with “How could they do it?” or “Why did they do it?” and instead respond like they would if it were any other illness or tragedy that caused death. If this happens, perspective will shift. Suicide will no longer be blamed on the person struggling and mental illness will be treated seriously like any other illness that has the ability to cause death.

MIGHTY PARTNER RESOURCES

Yes.

Words matter.

Mental health matters.

People matter.

My friend mattered.

You matter.

September is suicide awareness month. Reach out to someone who is struggling. You may just save a life.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Photo via contributor.


Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

Parenting is hard. Not only because we are responsible for raising decent human beings, but also because there are so many voices coming at us from every direction. There is a reason why some people feel “guilty” about their parenting. “Am I doing enough?” “Am I messing up my kids?”

Sometimes family and close friends share with us what they think we should be doing, or what we are not doing, or how we should be doing it better. What we see on Facebook and other social media makes us feel like we can’t really do this parenting thing as well as other people do. Can we ever get it right?

For parents struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, these feelings of “guilt” or not being “good enough” can feel exponentially worse — what kind of parent wants to leave their children? But in reality, we know that struggling with suicidal thoughts as a parent is much more complicated than that — and parents should be able to talk about those dark, scary thoughts without shame.

We reached out to parents in our Mighty community and asked them, “If you are a parent who has struggled with suicidal thoughts, what’s one thing you wish others understood?”

These were some of their responses:

1. “I got the question, ‘Aren’t your kids enough for you to stay?’ Of course they are. I love them more than anything in this world, but that still doesn’t stop the suffering I have deep inside my soul.” — Shanna H.

2. “My kids are the only thing that saved me, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. But being a parent with suicidal thoughts also makes you feel tremendous guilt and anxiety for having those thoughts in the first place. This continuously fuels the darkness and depression you are already trapped in.” — Angela B.

3. “I wish people would understand what they sound like when they remind me how selfish it is to be suicidal, especially as a parent. I’m not selfish, I’m ill and I’m tired and I’m inside a sadness that most people will never understand. I wish I could explain the feeling of being so different and disconnected and how I don’t relate to any other person. I always feel like such a reject and I wish others could understand living under a weight that you can’t get rid of.” — Mark C.

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4. “I wish people would see it is not that I want to harm myself or hurt those I love. It is the fact the pain is so unreal inside, so bleak and all consuming, that you can’t see anything but [suicide] as a way out. It is not being selfish or a coward, it is being tired of the pain. I wish people would see that and know the battle before they say anything.” — Alanna J.

5. “Sometimes it’s not about wanting to die, it’s about not wanting to exist. It can be overwhelming being responsible for all these little people, being the person everyone needs something from when you’re struggling just to take care of yourself. Doesn’t mean I neglect them or love them any less.” — Mandi D.

6. “I just wish people, especially families, gained an understanding of the illness we are all living with.” — Gerard C.

7. “I feel completely stuck. I would never actually take my own life because the thought of someone telling my youngest, ‘Mommy is dead,’ is gut-wrenching and horrifying. But my depression continues to generate the suicidal ideation. So I’m stuck. No option is feasible. Except just going back to bed.” — Amy S.

8. “That it’s the opposite of selfish and uncaring. It’s wanting to end your own pain and the pain you feel you inflict on everyone else.” — Christina F.

9. “I feel more worthless when I can’t do everything right as a mom, and feel like my children would be better off without me.” — Jessica S.

10. “Depression isn’t rational. In my darkest moments, it told me that my existence hurt them more than my being gone would. It told me I would be doing better by them if they had to live with someone else who could give them more. It told me I didn’t deserve them, that I was failing them. People want to tell a suicidal parent to think of their kids… but a lot of times, that’s exactly what they’re doing. It’s hard to drown out Depression’s voice, because it’s always with you. More people need to realize that, and do more than just passively say, ‘Think of your kids.'” — Kimmee M.

11. “A parent can get overwhelmed with their children. Those parents struggling with depression can get overwhelmed easier. It’s not your fault and it is not the children’s fault. A strong support system is needed. When you feel overwhelmed, have a significant other, grandparent, even a great family friend step in while you collect yourself. Suicidal thoughts are not because of the kids. It is the illness, because that darkness on your shoulder has always been there and will continue to be. Parenting is not easy for anyone! So don’t compare yourselves to other parents.” — Ally M.

12. “Just because you are having a good day, doesn’t mean you have recovered.” — Mark D.

13. “My daughter isn’t the reason I want to end my life when I have fleeting suicidal thoughts. I don’t think about it because she throws tantrums or anything toddler related. I feel as though she’s too good for me. She deserves a healthy mommy, a ‘sane’ mommy. I feel as though my sister and brother in law would be best for her. Then I remember that no one can replace me. She needs me.” — Alyssa H.

14. “My kids and also my partner help me from suicidal thoughts because all I have to do is think, “Where would they be without me?’ Also [too many] people would be affected by my death.” — Psy J.

15. “It’s not my fault; the pain, the fear, the internal debate is like living in a personal hell. No one would choose these feelings, this isn’t a plea for attention but a fear of survival. So much pain and anguish every minute of every day.” — Emma O.

16. “I wish people could understand that just because you’re depressed/suicidal doesn’t mean you are a bad parent. So many women are afraid to speak out about their postpartum depression because people literally think you are a horrible parent. I have a 3-month-old and struggled with severe prenatal depression that made me wind up in the hospital, and still have postpartum depression. My baby is clean, fed, always snuggled and taken care of. My depression doesn’t mean I don’t love my child, nor does it mean that I can’t be a good parent.” — Emily A.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Photo by Dawid Sobolewski on Unsplash

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