CTV’s show, Canada AM, is running a series of reports and dialogues this week on suicide and mental illness in general.
The series is called “Speak Out on Suicide” and everyone is invited to contribute our thoughts and stories.
Add your voice:
Speak Out On Suicide: Your stories – CTV News.
Watch the series online (free):
Canada AM – Canada’s Most Watched National Morning News Program.
Here is the story i shared anonymously, entitled
“suicide among college students — my story”
Last year, I was a full-time student, supported by a national scholarship award for leadership. I was required to “create change” in my school and community, while carrying a full-time course load.
With a history of suicidal ideation throughout my teens and early twenties, I had always suspected that the depression and anxiety I felt was more than most. I always just hid from the world until I felt better, and became an expert at ‘faking it ‘till I made it.’
Throughout my life, when I spoke about my insecurities, people said, “You’re being too hard on yourself,” “You’re choosing to see the negative,” “You’re such a perfectionist – lighten up!” “You’re such an intelligent, articulate and capable woman. You just don’t see it” and “Of all the people on this earth, YOU can do it. Just believe in yourself.”
I didn’t know what to believe – was I incredibly talented and capable of anything or did I desperately need help? It was a permanent state of confusion, instability and feeling like a fraud that I hid all too brilliantly; and at 32, the ship finally broke. The pit of darkness that would swallow me without warning would never go away, no matter how much I devoted myself to personal growth and positive thinking; and no one was willing to admit that something could be wrong with me.
I attempted to end my life four months ago because I saw no hope for the end of my confusion, self-sabotage and isolation.
I have now relocated to a bigger city with better mental health care; I am living with my mother, receiving social assistance and therapy.
I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Type II and finally, what is still currently referred to as, Borderline Personality Disorder.
The award was definitely the breaking point for me; but having survived it, I am grateful for everything that brought me to this point in my life. I am no longer suffering in silence. There is a name for what I am going through, and others who can understand me.
I hope that my experience will enable me to recognize when a friend or colleague might need some help, and know how to get it for them. I hope I’m not going to be the person who tells them to just think more positively, look at the bright side, or buck up because everyone else has and because this has become the norm.
I think it’s time to question our society’s habitual rewarding of over-achievement, and people who over-extend themselves. Stress and over-work must not continue to be the norm; they are signs of ill health and isolation, which can push anyone over the edge. We need to be there for each other, watch eachother’s backs a little more.
No one ever wanted to be the one to tell me “I think you might be experiencing mental illness; I think you might need help.” And so, no one helped me; I fell through the cracks and miraculously lived to tell about it.
In my blog at www.heartjunky.wordpress.com I wrote:
“If I am mentally ill, then mental illness is just not as scary and horrible as most of us have been lead to believe. The gap is not so wide. It is not such a dramatic leap I am making; I am still me. No one is crazy, or we all are; it depends on whether the glass is half empty or half full.”
Series theme song ‘Don’t Give Up’ by Peter Gabriel:
- Why saying mental illness is the same as a physical illness is a bad idea (mentahealthmatters.wordpress.com)
- Fact about mental illness. (johnzacchaeus.wordpress.com)
- Former CEO not guilty by reason of mental illness (mysanantonio.com)
- Holiday season adds stress for ailing Afghan vets (theglobeandmail.com)
- Ashamed of Seeing a Shrink??? (bipolar2happiness.com)
- Greg Weston | Justine’s story offers hope for female inmates (cbc.ca)