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    Community Voices

    My name is John and I need support and want to help support others!

    <p>My name is John and I need support and want to help support others!</p>
    19 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Apparently here in CO we know how to ADHD.

    <p>Apparently here in CO we know how to ADHD.</p>
    Theresa Foley

    My Battle With Depression and Grief After My Cousin Died by Suicide

    On the morning of March 14, 2015, I lost a piece of my heart. I remember the phone call as if I had received it yesterday. The words my aunt spoke over the line couldn’t have been more traumatizing. “Matt’s dead. He killed himself,” she said. With those words, my world fell apart around me. Soon after Matthew’s death, I’m ashamed to admit, I felt incredibly resentful. As much as I tried, I couldn’t understand what led him to such a painful conclusion. Gradually, I came to realize Matt had been struggling with mental illness. Had he been healthy and received the treatment he needed, I believe he would not have made this decision. After sustaining two traumatic head injuries, his mental and physical health had been compromised. For a long time, I blamed myself for his death. How did I not know he was suffering? Why didn’t I call him more? The night Matthew died, I had intended to call him. A few friends and I were headed to a bonfire in the woods. Remembering the summer before when we’d tromped through those same woods, I reached for my phone to call him. For some reason, I couldn’t find his number. Not giving it a second thought, I resolved to call his mother in the morning for his number. By the time I spoke to my aunt, it was too late. Dealing with his death took its toll on me. While there is no time limit on grief, I found myself unable to heal. Over time, my family tired of hearing me talk about my cousin, so I began covering up my heartache. Not knowing who I could turn to, I slowly spiraled downward into a depression. I threw myself into my work, and I began to play the role of a happy individual, putting others’ well-being before my own. But I ignored the fact I hadn’t been myself in a long time. After almost four years of putting up this facade, my world came crumbling around me one night at work. I don’t remember much of what happened, but I do remember the delusions that surfaced. In each one, a family member took their own life. I even remember sweeping the floors at work while talking to myself in a state of delirium. All of my suppressed grief, it seemed, took the form of a mental health episode. Eventually the police and an ambulance arrived. Waking up the next evening in the hospital, I remember being scared and confused. My first thought was that I needed to act “normal,” to avoid commitment to a mental health facility. After spending 36 hours under surveillance, I was given pamphlets for a few mental health treatment centers and released. Fearing another breakdown, I decided to pursue the support I needed. Asking for help allowed me to finally deal with my unresolved grief. Now, I can say I am in recovery. For the first time in almost six years, I am in good spirits. I’m learning to be vulnerable and share my challenges, a task that has never come easily to me. If I find myself unable to vocalize what’s weighing on my heart, I have taught myself to write it out. While I’ll never fully understand why my cousin ended his life, I’ve recognized I can recover even without this clarity. While I may never fully heal from losing him, I will always treasure the memories we had together and keep them close to my heart. Suicide Helplines: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: English: 1-800-273-8255 Spanish: 1-888-628-9454 Deaf & Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889 Crisis Text Line: 741741: You can text BRAVE to this number and someone will assist you. Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255   The Trevor Project Chat is available seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST. The Trevor Project Text: 1-202-304-1200: You can text TREVOR to this number and someone will assist you.  Available Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST. The Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860

    Community Voices
    Community Voices

    ...held by helium.

    …held by helium.

    revive my soul.

    a refining work continues its need to take place.

    there’s no hiding that fact.

    there’s impurities galore that keep rising to the surface,

    in the ebbs and flows of life’s furnace.

    Your promises are a trustworthy pact,

    despite the circumstances that I daily face.

    make me whole.

    sparkle my eyes.

    pure silver dripping in the tears I shed,

    my requests rise to You.

    the light of days and nights and scars

    penetrates the hopelessness of prison bars.

    no matter what I say or do,

    I need to trust You rather than my head.

    truth be wise.

    hands that move,

    rise up skyward as if held by helium,

    searching beyond earth for reward.

    You alone are my inheritance.

    help me hold You in complete reverence.

    taking roads least explored,

    grace that covers the depths of my delirium.

    find my groove.

    lift me up.

    unfailing love is the ultimate blessing.

    come to my rescue.

    I need to sing because You are good.

    give me the courage to act. understood?

    my body is Your venue.

    woo me with Your righteous caressing.

    fill my cup.

    © Mark Bryant. May 7th, 2021.

    [Psalms 12-17, 19-21]




    3 Things I Wish Healthcare Professionals Better Understood

    Just over 10 years ago, I developed Bickerstaff brainstem encephalitis (BBE), and was in a coma for six weeks and hospitalized for 18 months. The illness resulted in an acquired brain injury (ABI) which caused a multitude of physical, mental and emotional issues that confused me, puzzled doctors and frustrated nurses and care aides. As a result, I experienced countless moments of fear, isolation, loneliness, confusion, depression and anxiety. I believe many of these situations could have been alleviated if hospital staff were better prepared. These are the three main areas where health workers’ lack of knowledge and understanding impacted my care: 1. ICU delirium and post-intensive care syndrome (PICS). Delirium is an abrupt change in the brain that causes mental confusion and emotional disruption. It is caused by many factors, and can result in hallucinations, emotional disturbances, sleep issues, cognitive impairments and more. Up to 80% of ICU patients experience delirium (depending on the severity of illness). There are often long-term consequences, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even physical impairments. PICS is a group of health problems that often are a result of ICU stays. These health issues fall into three main categories: physical impairment, cognitive impairment and psychiatric impairment. They may begin in the ICU and can persist for years after having left the ICU. Patients who have had sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multi-organ failure or prolonged mechanical ventilation can be at higher risk for developing PICS due to the intense care of these medical conditions. I have almost no memories of the first month after emerging from the coma. The next few months are a confused, disjointed blur of fractured images and visceral emotions. Whenever I allow myself to reflect back on that time, I am flooded with fear, confusion, disorientation and vulnerability. I felt anchorless and disembodied, like my atoms had separated into a formless mist, and my self-awareness was intact, but untethered to physical reality. I experienced hallucinations, paranoia and a terribly skewed perception of time, sometimes not even able to tell night from day. Doctors often stood over my bed, read my chart and discussed my status with their colleagues without speaking to me. Nurses came and fiddled with equipment, tubes and wires. They emptied containers, injected fluids and replaced bags and dressings. My virtually lifeless body was poked, prodded, tubed, turned, adjusted, scanned, stripped, bathed, diapered and clothed. All of this was done by nurses, care aides and technicians who barely looked at my face, and almost never spoke to me. They were far more concerned with my physical health than my mental state, and I think many of them assumed I was unaware or unable to comprehend. I believe the mental health issues I experienced from delirium and PICS could have been alleviated if medical staff were better educated about it. Simple acts like greeting me when they enter my room, telling me the time and date and sharing what the plans of the day are may have helped clarify time and space. Talking to me and explaining what’s happening during scans and procedures may have eased fear and anxiety. Recognizing there is a person who may be completely aware inside that nonverbal body, and trying to find ways to help me communicate, might have reassured and tethered me to reality. 2. Emotional lability (pseudobulbar affect). Injury to the brain can often result in emotional lability, which is a neurological condition that causes uncontrollable outbursts, often at inappropriate times. The reaction is often far more intense than the situation warrants, or is incongruent with the circumstances (laughing at sad news). I experienced emotional lability for years after my brain injury. As my brain and nervous system repaired itself over the years, I slowly stabilized, but the first year while I hospitalized was the worst. I constantly felt emotionally twisted and “out of control.” When I wasn’t bawling or raging, I was flat and emotionless. I yelled and cursed at nurses, threw tantrums with therapists and became demanding and obstinate with loved ones. I burst into tears when my mother told me it was a beautiful spring day outside, and laughed when the doctors told me they would probably have to amputate my feet. My reactions surprised and shamed me. I lay awake at night, feeling guilty about an outburst, only to repeat my behavior again the next day. The nurses became frustrated, physiotherapists stopped working with me and the care aides assigned to my nightly “mental health watch” stopped interacting with me. I felt like a pariah, a bad patient, a troublemaker. And the worst part was I had very little control over it. It was like riding a wild horse bareback over an open plain. A few nurses began to take it personally, and they would curse at me, say cruel things or flat-out ignore me. This only exacerbated my emotional responses, and left me feeling determined to fight back. I know my behavior was disruptive and added a great deal of stress to the nurses’ jobs. I certainly don’t believe anyone should have to tolerate abuse, regardless of the circumstances or how ill the patient is. However, I believe if medical staff were better educated and supported by the hospital, they may be less likely to take poor behavior personally, be more patient with emotional outbursts and better equipped to manage the stress and resentment that threatens to build. 3. Mental health versus physical health. These are two separate areas of health, but from my experience, it’s surprising how often medical professionals get them mixed up, especially if you have a pre-existing mental illness. Because I had a brain injury and a history of depression and addiction, many doctors assumed some of my physical issues were mental health issues. These assumptions not only delayed or complicated treatment for the physical distress, they exacerbated the mental turmoil I was experiencing. After about four months with a tracheostomy, the respirologist decided it was time for it to come out. To prepare me for breathing through my mouth and nose again, he wanted to plug my trach. The plug was a small plastic piece that screwed into my trach hole, preventing air from flowing in and out. Each time it was put in, I could exhale but not inhale. I might get a few inhales in the beginning, and it would seem like everything was fine. Then, suddenly, I was emptying my lungs and not filling them again. It’s like a valve would open so I could exhale, then slam closed when I tried to inhale. I was repeatedly instructed to “relax” and “not think about it,” and “if you let it, your body knows what to do.” I tried, I really did, but to no avail. At first, everyone was supportive and encouraging, returning to try again and again. After a while, however, they became exasperated, even angry with me, claiming it was “all in my head” and I should just “stop fighting it.” They even went so far as to have my physiotherapists insert the plug secretly during a session to “trick” my mind into accepting it. A few minutes after the session, as I was sitting in my wheelchair across from my husband, I began to suffocate. As soon as my husband realized what was happening, he reached forward and pulled the plug out. I took a deep breath and promptly burst into tears. This reaction was a not only a knee-jerk response to the sudden fear I had just experienced, it was also a reaction to the sense of betrayal I felt. The trust I had placed in the therapists while I was so vulnerable was forever broken, and my future sessions were tainted with suspicion and nervousness. Still, that wasn’t enough to convince the respirologists I was telling the truth, that it was a physical barrier, not a mental one. It was decided the trach would be removed anyway, that once the trach was out, my body would respond normally. I lay on the hard table, squinting against the bright light overhead. The respirologist’s masked face appeared above me. I felt him fiddling around at the base of my throat, releasing the strap around my neck. A bit of a tug, and a sliding sensation, then … inhale … exhale … inhale … exhale … nothing … exhale … nothing … I clutched at my throat. The doctor pulled my hand away from the wound, and said, “Breathe in, Jennifer.” “I can’t!” I tried to scream. I began to panic when I saw his eyes widen in alarm, and he fumbled for the old trach he had just removed (there was not a new one prepared since he didn’t think it would be needed). “Hang on,” he said in a slightly shaky voice. Cold hands on my neck, a sharp pain, then … inhale! A few days later, after a number of tests and scans, the respirologist informed us my vocal chords were still partially paralyzed, which was causing the breathing issues. No apology for the distress he caused me, or the stress that was put on my family. In fact, he then matter-of-factly predicted I would have a tracheostomy and feeding tube for the remainder of my life, and walked out to begin his weekend. Six months later, the trach was removed with no issues, physical or mental. This is only one of the many times a physical issue was mistaken for a mental or behavioral one during my hospital stay. All too often medical professionals do not fully understand or do not take the time to investigate a patient’s symptoms. If the standard tests and scans do not reveal answers, it is assumed there is no physical ailment, and therefore the issue must be mental. If you have a history of mental health issues, this only reinforces those assumptions, and makes it even more difficult for a patient or their loved ones to challenge them. Of the many dozens of doctors, nurses, care aides and technicians encountered during my hospitalization and recovery, about 10% were fantastic: compassionate, informed, patient, diligent. Twenty percent were good: knowledgeable, patient and forthcoming. Sixty percent were tolerable: professional, trained, but indifferent. Ten percent were bad: negligent and unkind. And of that last 10%, five were terrible: cruel and abusive. Only five. Yet, they are the people I remember most. Their abuse is the greatest contributor to the PTSD and anxiety I still experience today. It goes to show how much of an impact patient’s experiences with hospital staff can have on their mental health for years to come, and sometimes the rest of their lives. This responsibility does not rest on the shoulders of health care workers alone. To remain current and skilled, they should be continually trying to educate themselves and learning new skills. However, there needs to be a higher level of training in areas of mental health, as well as doctor-patient interaction. Hospital staff are often overworked, under-rested, and time-restricted. This often impacts their own mental health and their interactions with patients. To provide patients with thorough and compassionate care, hospitals need to provide health workers with the resources necessary to maintain their physical and mental health, increase the time spent communicating with patients and investigating issues and improving their knowledge and training.​After all, isn’t the goal to release the patient from the hospital in stable physical and mental health?

    Community Voices

    The importance we give to #MentalHealth

    Why didn't I help him earlier? What do his mental disorders mean? Why didn't I realize that he was having a hard time?

    I asked myself these and many other questions related to mental health, after a very close friend in a dance class threatened to kill and cut his teacher with a knife. When this happened I felt in a state of shock, I could not react and I had pain and anguish in my chest. Then I began to reflect a lot about my friend's behavior patterns and I understood that I always downplayed possible attitudes that spoke of his behavior and consequently of his mental health. I think that we must be aware that a person may be affected by some disorder or mental illness and not know it. I concluded that I could have done something and helped my friend with a little more information on the subject. What happened to him could have been avoided if he had received the help he needed to treat his mental disorders in time.

    Most mental illnesses do not get better on their own, and without treatment they can get worse.

    Some examples of the signs and symptoms of mental disorders include the following:

    Feelings of sadness or discouragement

    Confused thoughts or reduced ability to concentrate

    Excessive worries or fears or intense feelings of guilt

    Ups and downs and radical mood swings

    Withdrawal from friendships and activities

    Significant tiredness, low energy, and sleep problems

    Disconnection from reality (delirium), paranoia, or hallucinations

    Inability to cope with the problems or stress of daily life

    Problems understanding and relating to situations and people

    Problems with alcohol or drug use

    Major changes in eating habits

    Changes in sexual desire

    Excess anger, hostility, or violence

    Suicidal thought

    Buenos Aires province:

    Mental health: 0800 222 5462

    Information supplied by the representatives of the Federal Council on Disability.

    Bibliography: Mayo Clinic Family Health Book 5th Edition

    How Illness, Hospitalization and Disability Changed Me

    In 2009, I developed a rare illness called Bickerstaff brainstem encephalitis (a variant of GBS). Overall, I spent three-and-a-half years in medical facilities: six weeks in a coma, 18 months in bed in the hospital, and two years in rehab and group homes. By the time I finally moved into my own suite in my caregiver’s home, disabled and a wheelchair user, I was not the same person I used to be. In fact, virtually my entire personality had changed, and my life has been radically altered in all areas. Physical: While I was non-disabled, I took my body for granted and was rough on it. As a child, I played and practiced sports hard, flinging my body about with little regard for its safety. As a teenager and young adult, I took Tae Kwon Do and played softball. My theatre training was often long hours with little sleep and physically exhausting. I smoked, drank heavily, ate poorly, and tried a vast range of substances. Like most young people, I felt invincible, with no care or forethought of the future of my health. Although I was strong, flexible and graceful, I doubled my healthy body weight by the time I was 38, and I was in mediocre physical health from alcoholism, poor diet and lack of exercise. The illness and brain injury resulted in a number of issues that contributed to my disability, including dizziness, balance issues and double vision. But the bed confinement and hospitalization also contributed to my disability. I developed joint contractures, kyphoscoliosis, and muscle atrophy that limits my strength and range of motion. As a result of all this, I move much more slowly and carefully to avoid stumbling, falling, injuring myself or knocking things over. I am no longer reckless with my movements or lifestyle. I am also much more aware of the future of my health, recognizing now that physical health is never guaranteed. I am acutely aware of my current physical condition and am terrified of returning to the state I was in the hospital. Mental/Emotional: I was diagnosed with depression in my mid-20s, and for most of my life, it has been a massive source of distress, leading to major episodes and suicide attempts. I also have OCD, but for most of my life, the symptoms were fairly mild and I seemed to manage it well. My passion and sensitivity opened me to many moments of joy, but many more moments of angst. I possessed a great deal of empathy, compassion, and a strong sense of justice. I volunteered at a crisis hot-line, was an animal rights activist, and was constantly compelled to “fight for the underdog,” regardless of how many times I was left “holding the bag” in the end. While I was ill and hospitalized, I spiraled through long periods of grief, anger, fear, and depression. I developed delirium and post-intensive care syndrome. I suffered several experiences of callousness and outright abuse from nurses and care aides, and developed anxiety and PTSD as a result. These experiences worsened my pre-existing mental illnesses and added a couple more. The emotional lability that resulted from the injury to my brainstem never quite resolved itself, so I have a tendency to “overreact” emotionally, and the PTSD manifests most often in either tears or rage. Because of the numerous embarrassing and hurtful (to others) moments these behaviors elicited, I have a tendency to avoid conflict or “harden” myself. I did not return to volunteering at the crisis line because I no longer have the patience, yet watching the news (especially in 2020) often leaves me in furious tears about the suffering and injustice in the world. However, out of necessity, I spent a great deal of time addressing my mental health and learning to cope with my emotional responses. I have become much more circumspect and mindful not only about how I treat myself, but about how I treat others. My depression still exists, but staying on the antidepressants and engaging in activities that are fulfilling for me and helpful for others has given me purpose and satisfaction. I have not had a major depressive episode in about a year and a half. Social: I used to be extroverted: fairly open and outgoing, freely and candidly sharing my feelings and opinions, and enjoying the limelight whenever possible. I didn’t make friends easily, but I had no problem meeting new people, introducing myself to strangers, or entertaining people at parties with jokes and stories. I enjoyed the company of others, and rarely turned down the opportunity to party. Theatre and the Arts was my area of study at University; I spent many hours on stage in front of hundreds of pairs of eyes, and enjoyed every minute of it. While hospitalized, I endured thousands of hours laying on my back in a narrow hospital bed, accompanied only by my own thoughts. I grew accustomed to entertaining myself by listing, counting, daydreaming, philosophizing, meditating, mental games, anything to occupy my mind while the hours, days, weeks and months droned on. I would pick a debate topic then argue both sides or, because I was severely vision-impaired, try to guess which nurse/doctor/aide was in my room by their scent and sound of their voice. I slowly began to withdraw into myself, growing more and more comfortable with the slow silent solitude I had no choice but to fill for myself. Today, a decade later, I am a much quieter, more solitary individual: a “lone wolf.” Aside from my husband, who is my best friend, and those few who I have met online, I have no friends. I have difficulty meeting new people, I find crowds suffocating (especially crowds of standing people, as I use a wheelchair), and “small talk,” for me, is tedious and dull. Though I know being friendless probably isn’t healthy, it hasn’t really bothered me so far. I truly prefer my own company, and I spend much of my time happily engaged in activities that are creative and introspective rather than physical or social. Because of the exorbitant amount of time I spent isolated in drab, quiet spaces, I am easily overwhelmed by too much activity and noise. I avoid crowded public spaces, wear earplugs outdoors, and regardless of the weather, wear sunglasses to block the light’s glare. Spiritual: I was raised Roman Catholic. Though my family was not devout, my sister and I attended Catholic school, completed our childhood sacraments, and went to church on religious holidays. During teenage hood, having begun to learn about other religions and discovering inconsistencies and contradictions in Catholicism, I became agnostic. I still believed a God was possible, but that it was impossible to know for sure, therefore no religion was “true.” In my mid-20s, I discovered Paganism. This earth-based faith appealed to many of my basic values and ethics, so it fit well for many years. I celebrated the Pagan holidays, observed the moon cycles, meditated on the three aspects of the Goddess, and tried to live a life respectful of nature and all life forms. Then I got sick. I came precariously close to death on several occasions and endured enormous amounts of pain, debilitation, and mental/emotional suffering. The coma was a long void, occasionally punctuated with brief moments of hazy awareness floating in a bubble of mist that evaporated as quickly as it had formed. When I was on the verge of death, there was no white light, no welcoming figures, no sense of peace. There was just nothing. After the coma, as I lay in my hospital bed, sweating, itching, burning up, delirious, wracked with pain and spasticity, I prayed, I meditated, I called out to, and I begged both the Christian God of my childhood and the Pagan Goddess I had come to respect. The relief (or release) I desperately needed never came. The peace I prayed for never arrived. None of the gods and goddesses of this universe came to my aid. I was frightened and furious and utterly inconsolable. Today, I am Atheist. Having survived and somewhat recovered from such a torturous and unpredictable experience with the help of science, medicine, human support, and my own strength and courage, I do not believe there exists anything beyond this existence, this life. Besides, if a “higher power” does exist, I cannot possibly put my faith in a being that saw my suffering and had the power to intervene, but chose not to. When the topic of a god and spirituality comes up in conversation, I have learned to keep my thoughts to myself. It seems that most people, while they may tolerate other’s beliefs in a faith other than their own, they have a much harder time tolerating when someone does not believe in a higher power at all. I see the look of sadness in people’s eyes when I share that I don’t believe in an Afterlife. I’ve heard all the suggestions of ways God might have worked his unrecognized magic through my rehabilitation. I sense the frustration when I counter those suggestions with a realist perspective. So, I often choose to say very little when the topic arises. I am at peace with my conclusions and have grown into a better person as a result of them, opting to live this life as fully, ethically, and collaboratively as I can, while I can. Not necessarily a bad thing: Illness and hospitalization, followed by disability, has radically changed me. If you knew me before 2009, you would not recognize me today. I used to be an extroverted, outspoken, socially engaging individual who fought for the underdog and listened patiently to everyone’s woes. I am now an introverted, circumspect, hypersensitive individual who grows impatient with others’ “bitchin’ and moanin’,” yet falls apart over the world’s injustices. Despite my mediocre health, I used to take my body for granted, confident that it would withstand the abuse I subjected it to and perform any task I asked it to. Now, I move slowly and painfully, acutely aware of my vulnerability and fearful of my future health. Unbidden, my mind runs scenarios of terrifying events where I’m rendered helpless. Old OCD symptoms have grown worse, and I’ve developed a new skin-picking compulsion that is painful and disgusting to me. PTSD still rears its ugly head now and again, and each time is as shocking and upsetting as the last. However, I used to be a severely depressed, suicidal, unemployed alcoholic whose marriage was failing. Today, I am addiction-free, relatively content and, because I’m no longer able to work, I have been free to find outlets for my creativity, empathy, and sense of justice that fill me with a sense of purpose. During my illness and hospitalization, my husband stuck by me, spent hours hanging out with me, talking to me, reading to me, entertaining me, and running countless errands while I lay in my hospital bed. Old resentments faded away, and the reasons for our separation seemed petty under the circumstances. We developed a much stronger bond, and our marriage bloomed. During hospitalization and rehabilitation, I was forced to avoid alcohol for three-and-a-half years. During that time, I experienced a tremendous amount of trauma and personal growth, and in the process, healed from many of the issues that exacerbated my alcoholism. Today, I enjoy alcohol in moderation and never in excess. Part of the reason is that I do not want to exacerbate my physical challenges with balance and coordination and end up injuring myself. But mostly, it’s because I’m no longer driven to drink the same way, the same amount, or for the same reasons I once did. So, yes, this experience profoundly changed me in ways I am not comfortable with, and some of those changes could have been avoided with more compassionate care and awareness. But they also changed me in ways that are healthy and joyful. Some would call these “blessings” or “silver linings.” I prefer to think of them as Phoenixes or new Stars: sparks of life born from a type of sudden death.

    Community Voices

    Dealing with a Depressive Relapse: My Story

    As someone who has suffered with depression for years, I know firsthand the struggles it comes with. It is such a complicated illness that is hard for others to understand unless they are dealing with it too. I do not wish it upon anyone, but I do wish that people understood the complexity of it and difficulties of having it. I first got treatment for it in 2017, after secretly dealing with it for years and finally opened up in late 2016 about it. Yet, it became difficult looking for help and so it took a toll. I handled my depression through self-harm (which I do not condone) and found it as a relief but a brief one. Then it was back to my head all over again.

    After several months of therapy, I felt like I could manage life better… or at least numb it. I never really focused on my mental health during my sessions because I was so worried about getting over and out with therapy. I was seeking help yet escaping it too. I was able to manage myself for 3 more years until early 2020. Being at home more often and less at college for my second semester of my first year started taking a toll on me. I felt loneliness, anger, sadness, etc. All because my problems started coming back and becoming greater. I realized then that I was going to deal with a tough battle for a second time. It started with losing sleep slowly but surely, feeling complete lack of energy and motivation, low appetite, etc. My emotional issue was creating physical ones. I became an insomniac by May and by July I was a compete wreck. This caused my dad to admit me to the hospital, and be observed for two and a half days. My first day while in the ER I suffered from delirium and started rambling and panicking. I was nonstop apologizing to my dad about everything and repeatedly asking for a hug.

    After my two and a half days in observation, I was then taken to the psych ward and admitted for a week. My experience there was not the best, but I did meet some great people who had other stories and the staff were kind to me. The entire experience showed my family the toll depression took on me and how hard it is dealing with it. It taught me to open more and do not brush off my issues because they are in fact valid and may become a greater problem later on. Suffering from a depressive relapse was horrible and still is but I am growing as a person and learning ore about myself from it. That I am strong, intelligent, worthy, and more. And so are you.

    I want to thank the entire staff at Jacobi Medical Center for their extreme care while I was there on my road to recovery.

    Thank you.

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    Community Voices


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