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Mental health Preventing suicide

When Sue learned that Caroline was having suicidal thoughts, she acted quickly. Still, it took time for Caroline to get the treatment that was right for her, and to begin her recovery.

Eighteen-year-old Mike, profiled in the DVD Depression: True Stories, got professional help when he told a school counselor about his thoughts of suicide.

Mike was hospitalized several times. He says that it can take time but, with treatment, you can change your mindset and feel hopeful and happy again.

Dr. Jefferson Prince, Director, Child Psychiatry at North Shore Medical Center says untreated depressed can lead to suicide because one’s thinking becomes distorted. “It’s as if you put a 50-pound sack on every day and run through water,” says Dr. Prince. “You get tired, and eventually can’t bear it any longer. You think, If I’m going to feel this way, I can’t go on.’ That’s when people think of suicide.”

Mike says that unless you’ve experienced depression, you can’t imagine how it affects you physically and emotionally. “When someone tries to describe what depression feels like, you have to multiply it tenfold,” he says, “because the sheer weight that they feel, and the pain and fear they are experiencing, simply cannot be described.”

Key to surviving and getting well is being able to ask for help. Sometimes that’s hard. Some who are depressed keep their feelings bottled up for fear of being judged as weak. Others worry that their feelings will be brushed aside. Depression may make you feel so overwhelmed that suicide feels like the only answer. If you have suicidal thoughts help is available through your doctor, friends, or family. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Samariteens hotline: 1-800-252 TEEN (8336)

Watch and read more from Mike, and other stories about depression and suicide, in the DVD Depression: True Stories and the booklet Words Can Work: When Talking About Depression.

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Other Issues
Mental health   Coping with stress
Mental health   Bipolar disorder
Mental health   Depression
Tobacco   Dying to smoke
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Words Can Work: When Talking About Depression - Booklet
Young people, teens and parents tell how they discuss depression.
TIPS for Parents of Children of All Ages - Two-sided card
Tips for starting and continuing open communication with young people.
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