Behavioral Healthcare Advocate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
In 1998, I nearly died due to a suicide attempt. My ignorance about mental disorders, coupled with beliefs that reinforced the stigma associated with mental illness almost cost me my life. I knew very little about mental illness in general, and even less about major depression. After three months of sleeping between zero and three hours a night, I came as close to killing myself as a person can come, and still live to tell about it. I had a near death experience due to semi-intentionally caused acute carbon monoxide poisoning, and woke up a couple days later in a bed in a hospital ICU. By publicly sharing about the circumstances leading up to, and the lessons learned since my suicide attempt, I hope to reveal insights about the suicidal mind and mental illness that may provide, at the very least, a modicum of understanding and peace to those left to mourn and remember loved ones who have died by suicide. Furthermore, I hope that frankly sharing about how I nearly killed myself, will help people going down similarly self-destructive paths resist the impulse to attempt suicide.