To Those Who Share Their Mental Health Story: Your Words May Have Saved My Son's Life

Editor's Note

This story has been published with permission from the author’s son.

It’s a long and complicated story, but I “acquired” a son.

A gorgeous 18-year-old who wants to die.

After months of psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists and fighting with mental health authorities, he has now been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, ADD and severe depression.

Let me tell you — it’s been a roller coaster of a ride, but here’s the thing.

In those dark nights and frustrating days I met you.

Your posts on this site have given me hope. Have given us both hope.

From the moment I met you there has always been an article, a post, a cry from the heart that has been pertinent to his experiences.

He has learned that he is not alone, that he’s not weak, that he is not evil.

I have learned to not take no for an answer, to keep on asking for help, to be educated and be informed about what he wants and needs. That DBT and CBT will help him navigate his emotions. I have also learned this kid is the most honest, loving and openhearted person I will ever know.

And so I thank you. All you brave and wonderful people who take the time to share your pain and experiences. Your wins and losses. Your insight and knowledge.

Without you I would still be awake at night with worry.

Without your intelligent commentary I would still be surfing the internet looking for clues.

Without you my boy may well be dead.

Instead he’s finishing high school. Talking of higher education and a degree in Astro-physics. Learning to live independently and manage his finances and most importantly recognizing his triggers and asking for help.

There are still days when I receive a text saying, “I’m tired and scared of being trapped in my own head with no way to escape. I want to sleep and never wake up because if I die there will be nothing but black,” but please know without your generosity in sharing your experiences, he would never have thought to recognize and acknowledge that he’s in pain.

Thanks to you he’s come so far.

I keep saying thank you and I mean it.

Your words may have saved 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, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

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Getty image via Grandfailure

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