Research Blog

Story of near-suicide can help others seek help

Posted on Oct 29th, 2011

In February, I left work on my lunch hour, drove home, gathered up two bottles of strong medication, left my husband a note, drove not very far from my home, and took all the pills with the intention of ending my life.

I was a 59-year-old, white-collar worker that was straight as an arrow. I was the “rock” that everyone went to for advice. I was fun to be around. My happiness involved making everyone else feel good. By all intentions, I should be dead. I spent many days in critical care and then in a psychiatric hospital.

I am currently at home and have regular therapy sessions. So what happened? Why at this age? Why at a time when things were much better than they had been all my life? Please keep in mind that this is my story. This is what happened to me. I need to do this, because it may help someone recognize they need professional help, and it may help the friends and family of that person know what to look for.

In my case, job stress turned into depression. It was a long time coming, but when it did, I did not recognize that I needed help. After all, my generation did not speak about these matters. Mental illness of any form was not discussed when I was a child. Depression is all-consuming. It mentally and physically takes over your life and your body.

I am a six-year breast cancer survivor. I mention this because I know that agony. But if I could take the breast cancer and all other illnesses and pain, combined with every moment of sadness and despair that I had felt in 59 years, and turned it into one combined event to go through, it would be the equivalent of dealing with a hangnail compared to depression.

When I was told that I had breast cancer, I felt in control because I was able to be proactive with my care. Having breast cancer turned me into a fighter for my life. Depression takes away all control. No one called me on the phone to tell me that I had acute depression and was gravely ill. Cancer gave me the will to fight for my life; depression took away my will to live.

If you feel there is no hope and you are only going through the motions, please get professional help. If you know someone that has changed and happens to mention death or suicide, please listen to that person and insist that he or she gets professional help.


My 49 year old wife did the same thing as you and she survived. She's different now, but that's not a bad thing. It was 2 years ago.

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Sorry for what you are going through. My wife was a suicide in 2008, that's why I'm here. Other signs I missed were her telling me if anything happened to her the boat would be paid for. Also, telling me who she thought her sister and I should get together if anything ever happened to her and her brother in law. I just kind of brushed it off but others should definitely be concerned about such expressions.

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