The Desperation of Mental Illness and Depression

I woke up one morning in 1994 crushed with depression. The first thing I thought of that morning was how much I wanted to kill myself, and if I couldn’t do that, then how much I wanted to hurt myself. I kept cutting implements and bandages near my bed just in case the feelings were too much to bear.

Of course, this was like every morning of my 16-year-old life. I was depressed, but I didn’t know it. I only knew that I wanted to die. I needed to die. I needed it like most people needed breath. And I knew that no one understood.

Home Life, Suicide and Depression

My home life was one of the things driving me to depression and granting me the leanings of suicide. Things there were a hellish nightmare of screaming and hate. And the people related to me and forced to love me gave me no consolation whatsoever as I was sure that they didn’t. These people hated me and wanted me gone every bit as much as I did.

This was, at least partially, my depression talking, but I didn’t know it then. I didn’t know what depression was and I didn’t know how loudly it spoke.

The Only Place That Would Have a Depressed Me

So I found myself in my car trying to drive anywhere away from there. Away from the nexus of crazy. So I drove to the only place that I knew would have me – to the house of my rapist.

As is most often the case my sexual abuse was complicated. And while I hated what this man in his 40s did to me the one thing I couldn’t live without was his love. He would tell me he loved me. This was undoubtedly a lie but convinced as I was that no one else did, that my life was worthless and that I should die, that one sliver of love offered by a minion of Satan made me keep breathing.

I arrived at his house to find him not home – away, undoubtedly grooming other little lovelies for his nest. So I did the only thing I could think to do, I curled up on a square of cement near his front steps and went to sleep weeping – an attempt to escape the world that was trying to kill me.

A Picture of Mental Illness in Crisis

This is a picture of a girl in crisis. A girl so tightly wound in the grasp of depression that she can see no way of dealing with it at all. A girl so desperate to feel anything but the pain of mental illness she was prepared to put her body and her soul in harm’s way just to not feel like death was upon her for one brief moment in time.

At sixteen, in spite of being acutely depressed and showing all the diagnostic symptoms of depression, not one person ever suggested I was mentally ill or that I was suffering from a mental illness. I had seen multiple counselors and therapists and not one suggested that I see a psychiatrist. No one, anywhere, thought that a medical illness could be part of the problem.

And I assumed they must have been right. Seeing a doctor was certainly nothing that occurred to me either. The adults didn’t see it, why would I?

But this is what happens to the victims of mental illness. They become desperate and then become victims of predators that would abuse them physically, mentally or sexually because their pain makes them so easy to manipulate.

And in my case, being as young as I was, it was my parent’s responsibility to see that I was sick and it was their responsibility to get me help. But like so many, they had their own illnesses and problems to deal with and were incapable of helping their drowning daughter.

Lessons of Desperation and Mental Illness

2012 Mental Health Blogging DayThe lesson here is this: those of us who are drowning might not realize it. Those of us who have a mental illness may not see it. Those of us who are unspeakably ill might not even know that such an illness exists.

So on this day of mental health blogging I challenge everyone to spread a fact about mental illness. It can be any fact you want and it can be to any person you want. It can simply be the idea that mental illness exists, it’s treatable and that it does get better. It could simply be the idea that just because you are drowning today doesn’t mean you have to be drowning forever. It could be the idea that people can take their own destiny by the horns and direct their future in a new way with the help of others who can guide them.

Because people need to know that mental illness exists. It’s real. And you can come back from it before you become another cautionary tale. No one has to suffer the kind of desperation I did.

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  1. I do hope mental illness is just be cured as easy as just forgetting, doing busy, making good times, fighting for the love ones.. but its not.. it depends on kind of illness you had.. i have suffered the uncommon mental illness (not like others) which is the Ptsd, anxiety disorder, depression, fatigue, stress due to horrible things happened to me in my childhood (which was having insomnia and then it came to as having fear of unable to sleep) can you imagine struggling this kind of madness everyday as if you are trying to get sleep where it is supposed to be just easy?? It makes me mad.. i have stuggling this for 15 years but still i am alive.. i dont know why i didnt get crazy.. everyday i am wanting to die die die.. but i was so worried what my family will react if i will be gone.. but i am extremely tired fighting everyday.. not my life, but i am in darkness.. my aura my self.. my brain is my worst enemy.. taking away my happiness to live.. why have i this kind of illness.. why just not cancer instead? I cant take it anymore.. nobody cant help me because i am the one handling my thoughts but my mind keeps fighting against me.. i hope everyone will understand.. though you all living normal.. this is the scariest life ever existed on earth.. mental illness..

  2. I have been thinking about suicide every day want to die if I can find a way to do it I real live anymore I wake up with panic attacks the doctors because they wanted to charge all the time I’m just sick of going to different doctors for everything and I hate my life I can’t walk out my house I can’t drive this is a fear to leave my own all the time my thoughts turn to

  3. Mental illness is a horse without a saddle. If you don’t ride,
    you fall, get no where, sustain injury, etc.. Get back on as many
    times as it takes… Expect the occasional fall from horse. Know your
    horse. The animal will take you anywhere. The destination is of no importance.

  4. I never knew anyone else felt as bad as I did in my youth. Thank you for putting these words on paper. You are an inspiration. You have made me feel a little better. I’m in my 40’s and still suffering, but to know that someone suffered exactly the same way as I did when I was 16, it matters so much THANK YOU!!

  5. I’m so sorry to have split that ridiculously long and boring story into 4 probably incoherent paragraphs. I think it just felt good to talk about this stuff. I work as a chemotherapy infusion nurse and as great as my job can be, lately, it is more often than not horrible. My patients are such wonderful people who don’t deserve the lot they’ve been given in life. And besides the fact that I am alone in life, that no one would be affected by my disappearance (well realistically for no more than a week or so) there is nothing wrong with my life. I don’t spend money on anything so I have enough to get by. I’m healthy. My family is mostly healthy. Any problem I come across is at best menial. So yes I am horribly depressed and I hate myself so much and I hate my life, but I have little to base these reasons on, and it makes me feel all the more selfish. All of these wonderful patients who would give anything to be in my shoes for just one day. To be able to be healthy enough to play with their children, to kiss their wife or husband, to talk to everyone without feeling so exhausted and awful, to have one more good day to say goodbye. And I feel so guilty. I would give anything to give these people my day, because I don’t deserve it. I don’t do anything with it besides sit here and cry. And it makes me feel so guilty and terrible and it makes me hate myself even more. It is so unfair and unjust that this stupid girl with no one in her life should be forced to live each long and never ending day while there is someone desperately clinging to every minute they can have to spend with their loved ones. How can I possibly face that incongruity on a daily baits?

    • Nicole, thank you for sharing. :)

      Please don’t feel guilty because you are alive and healthy while your patients are sick from cancer. You can’t do that to yourself. It’s not. Like you gave them cancer.

      It’s hard, but try to enjoy the time you have, even if you are spending it alone. Your patients would want you too. I can tell you care about them very much.

      Sorry you lost a cat to a clumsy boyfriend. :P Do you still have you remaining 2 kitties?

      You sound very lonely. I hope you can make new friends soon. Is there a therapy group in your area that you could go to? It helps to make friends with people who already get a lot of what you are going through.

      Ok, I need to go. Godspeed. :)

      • Thank you very much CM-your response was so sweet and heartfelt, and of course made me cry to see it. I’ve been living in NY for about 4 yrs now and all of these things are the same. I don’t see the lonliness aspect changing anytime soon. But you are correct, I do still have my other 2 kitties and they are the highlight of my life on a daily basis. They are so adorable and funny and the absolute sweetest most loving creatures ever.

        It’s interesting that you are the one that responded to my message because your post was the 1st to catch my eye, mainly because I am also an obsessive compulsive skin picker.
        I know all about that hard stuff and the scars and the things that I can feel inside my face or arms or legs that need to come out. Unfortunately I’m a nurse and have access to way too many supplies. I have become an at home surgeon. So if you ever want to discuss this i am always willing. I even take pictures. Yes I’m gross.

        I just wanted to let you know that I was impressed with your comment about you and your sister’s arguments during your mother’s last couple days. It is always very difficult for patients’ families to come to grips with their loved ones mortality but especially difficult for people to admit that they acted anything less than saintly during that time. You simply stating it happened seems to me like a recognition of the reality of things that a lot of people never come to. Good for you. I’m sure your mom was barely cognizant and would rather have had you be at home. Most patients I have had seem to have struggled with their own guilt, the guilt that their family should suffer watching them die. Many wait until their loved ones go out for a cup of coffee or a bite to eat, and will often pass moments after they have left the room. Obviously this is from my own experiences, not bad in fact, but more often than not this how it goes. It seems like the last few days of peoples lives are often structured around everyone’s gilt and everyone trying to somehow rid themselves of it. I think what our post similarly said was that guilt plays a huge role in life in general and too often becomes the sole purpose of why we live and why we do things not for ourselves but to’make up’ for what we believe we owe everyone else. I think it’s part of what makes us depressed. That most of what we aim to do on a day to day basis, is done with the intent of making someone else happy or making them forgive us for some wrong we did them long ago. Maybe that’s why we stay miserable and depressed maybe we need to find something besides guilt to keep us going. Honestly I’m not sure I have a clue what I’m talking about. I’ve probably just been alone to long now I’m coming up with small epiphanies. I do have to say though it really is so nice to know that there is a group of people out there that have these same horrible thoughts and feelings that I have. It doesn’t make me feel much less horrible, well maybe it does. It certainly is relieving to know that I’m not the first person, nor the last to have these feelings. That makes me feel relieved and much better.

        One little trick that I’ve been trying, I duct taped over my bathroom mirror. It is frustrating as hell but if you can’t see what to pick, you can’t pick. And even when you can, (ie work)you’re still less likely to do it for 8 hours at a time in that scary pick/trance state.

        • Hi, Nicole!

          Sorry I haven’t replied until now. Been busy.

          You are most welcome (re: thank you for my response)! I’m glad you still have your kitties. :) I am fortunate to have a husband, a son, and 2 dogs. Heh. My suicide attempt becomes even more inexplicable to me when you add in at the very least the 2 main humans in my life. But logic can go out the window when you are feeling that low.

          Also, thank you for your response to my response! :)

          I’m sorry you are so lonely. :( I was very blessed in being able to find someone. I’m OCD, and not Bipolar, at least as far as I know. But I started reading this blog because so much of it resonated with me. I hope you are able to find someone, even just to be friends with.

          If it helps, I met my husband in a city college class. I’d been laid off and needed to update my skills. Maybe you could take a class in something you enjoy? You may not meet your future mate, but at least it could help you make more friends.

          I don’t normally take pictures of my skin picking. I did take a picture of what my forehead looked like after an MOHS procedure to remove some skin cancer. The sliced-out hole left behind looked like a mirror image of Lake Tahoe, lol! I also took a picture of it after it was sewn up. I barely have a scar… God and/or my body getting continual practice healing skin pickings I created seem to have made me a fast skin healer for some things. :)

          I would love to discuss skin picking, or whatever you would like. How do we anonymously exchange email addresses?

          Natalie, can you help with that? Can you give Nicole my email address?

          I can probably gross you out more than you can gross me out. ;) I’ve been known to eat the skin pickings! Gross, right?

          Thank you for your comment about being impressed that I admitted I acted like a pig when my Mom was dying, lol. :) I’m not always good at admitting my faults, but I try, but often fail, to be honest with myself and others. I have some baggage where my sister is concerned, and although my sister’s baggage causing traits have mellowed with age, I’m hyper sensitive to anything negative my sister says; I’m still working on removing my “buttons”.

          My sister lives in another state, and I live close to my parents. [Well, “parent”. My Dad is still alive and in a nursing home.] Alot of back-seat driving was done, lol. My sister about drove me crazy with it. But she was understandably stressed too, and feeling helpless from so far away.

          The last few years of my Mom’s life, and right after her death, were incredibly stressful and guilt-inducing. I was never there enough for her…. in both my opinion, and in my Mom’s opinion! She was very needy the weaker she got, and her stroke wasn’t making her think straight. It was exactly as if we’d switched roles –> I became her Mom. I felt bad for not being there with her more, but I had a son… recently diagnosed with mild autism… who needed me at home! I never felt like I was giving my son or my husband enough time, either. I basically came out of the whole experience feeling like I was crap under someone’s shoe, even though I broke myself trying to be there for everyone. Ok, I guess the suicide attempt makes some sense: even though it was a year after my Mom died, I was still pretty PTSD over the whole thing. :P

          FYI, my son was diagnosed with mild autism at the age of 2.5 years. That was 6 months after my Mom’s major stroke, the one that signalled the final downward spiral of her health and mental abilities. By then, I was already managing her medication, and I’d taken over paying their bills for them, as Dad didn’t seem to be thinking straight, either. :P My Mom died nearly 2 years after that major stroke.

          FYI, your epiphany is spot-on. It makes me feel better that someone gets how stressful and insane of a time it is when someone you love is dying. For me, if they are also losing their mental faculties at the same time… yikes. Pass the Xanax, please.

          I really hope and pray that I am still rational when I’m near death, and that I can somehow make it easier on my husband and son.

          I need to forgive my Mom for being so needy at the end. She wasn’t herself. It wasn’t her fault. And she was in alot of pain at times. She did her best under the circumstances.

          My Mom’s Dad died slowly and in pain, but still able to think clearly. My Mom and her parents had had a weird falling out, and so my Mom didn’t think her Mom wanted her help. So my Mom wasn’t involved in her Dad’s care. And my Mom’s Mom, and my Dad’s parents, all died suddenly, w/o a long illness, w/o needing their kids there to help. So this was all new ground when it happened to my Mom and Dad, and when I became my parent’s caregiver.

          As to duct taping over a bathroom mirror… my problem is also if I FEEL a raised spot on my skin. I can get in that pick/trance state in the shower, therefore. But I usually don’t get stuck in front of the mirror. I think you and I may have slightly different triggers.

          Ok, hope to talk to you in email later. :)

        • Hello? Nicole? Did you read my post?

          Natalie, if Nicole wants my email address, can you give it to her? Thanks!

          • Ack, I meant Natasha, not Natalie! [Where did I get Natalie from???]

            Natasha, if Nicole wants my email address, can you give it to her? Thanks! :)

  6. I just discovered this site after spending the day hysterically sobbing like a 5 year old. Which would be okay if this wasn’t the 100th+weekend in a row I’ve spent doing so. And I’m not talking crying or even weeping, I’m talking that full body sobbing that you did as a kid that you were unable to stop, that reached every portion of your body and could only be stopped by a blanket over your head and finally passing out. This had been going on for so long now I’m can’t even remember the last time I actually went outside. Not that I’d have anyone to go with our anything I’d want to do anyway. I was 1st diagnosed with BP at 18 but choose to ignore it as the idea of lithium scared me too much. Stuck with ordinary SSRIs until a psychiatrist about 4 yrs ago put me on lamictal. Too bad it took so long for me to try it. My manic behaviors had made me tons of friends. In college and out. Although I was always paranoid of every relationship and never truly believed anyone ever liked me for me, there was usually someone available. Teachers found me intriguing and did bosses later on. I hopped between degrees, apartments, circles of friends, boyfriends, jobs, apartments, cities, countries, all the while thinking this was normal behavior, I was just a curious soul.

  7. My depression turned to anger especially at my family who had finally given up on me and decided they no longer wanted to help me. They were always too busy, they had important Verizon classes, teaching them how to use their new phones, or a poker game with my dad’s friends. Brother and sisters wouldn’t call me back. I gave up. On everyone. Myats are my saving grace. Of course a short term boyfriend “accidentally” killed one of the 3 of them which didn’t help matters much.If it werent for them I don’t know what I would do.
    Worst part, I had a therapist who knew I was so depressed. She sent me to a”nice clean inpatient facility”, where she lives so it would be close for her to check in on me. She never did. The head shrink talked to me for 5 minutes made assumptions. Never spoke with my own dr, and sent me home. no d/c instructions.

  8. And they are right, I had been pulling away, between nursing school in NJ, I had convinced myself that no one wanted to come all the way from Ny to NJ.i just wasn’t that important. When my 4 closest friends suddenly and w/out explanation, completely fell off the face of the planet, destroying my self esteem, and hurting me more than any relationship ever could have, I didn’t even bother to question them. I just assumed I had become so intolerable to live with, so depressing and miserable, that I should understand why no one ever would want to be around me again. I started travel nursing thinking maybe if I really jumped from state to state for short periods of time I could meet new people and make a couple friends. Anyone to just talk to for a minute or 2.this didn’t work and eventually I came back to NY and started working here again. And again made no friends and was ignored by the old ones. At this time was finally told I had BP and ADD. Either way nothing really helped.

  9. When I started to feel I was losing the interest of all these groups of people, I decided to change careers again, and moved to nursing. Again, the change brought a whoe new slew of different friends, teachers, etc. Then reality set in. I had responsibility. I couldn’t just play work. The stress of it started to grow on me and I began to take it out on my boyfriend and family and friends to watching them all become more distant. The boyfriend and I tried to stay friends, didn’t work, but as he had a lot of his own mental issues he’s the only one. All of the dozens of friends I had in undergrad and nursing school have sowly but surely pulled away. They’d claim they’d lost my phone number email or that I usually say no anyway…

  10. I can relate to this blog my home life sounds the same and although i don’t want to die my suicidal thoughts are often and my feeling of harming my self in hard times does happen, thankyou for sharing this you let people like me know i’m not the only one xx

  11. I’m 44. My son is turning 5 tomorrow. Official party this Saturday, but mini party tomorrow so he doesn’t feel forgotten.

    I’m a skin picker. OCD. Depressed. On medication.

    When the anxiety gets too bad, I’ve been known to help my skin picking with a razor. I have a scar that is so hard from repeated skin picking on it that if I want to take out the tough center I need more than just my nails.

    And there are times when I hate myself so much that I want to kill myself. But I don’t want to go to Hell, I don’t want to disappoint my family, leave my son w/o a Mom, leave my husband w/o a wife, such as I am. My Dad is in a nursing home, with Parkinsons. He needs me too. My Sister lives in another state, but helps out as much as she can. A little over a year ago, our Mom died in the same nursing home, after being there for 3 months tops. Her health had been precarious. She had been living at my parent’s home with caregivers, until the money ran out and it became necessary to move her while my Sister sold their place. I had been managing Mom’s medication (over 10 of them), and her doctor’s appointments for 2 years off and on, depending upon her stints in the hospital or nursing homes. She was on one medication to thin her blood that required very close and careful monitoring. And diabetic. And had lymphedema, which caused a huge amount of water retention, requiring compression stockings and compression therapy from one of her caregivers.

    Her stroke meant she was not the same person anymore. And when Dad was home with her, trying his best in spite of his undiagnosed Parkinsons, to take care of her, I’d often get phone calls from Mom saying that Dad was trying to kill her. It’s been a year since she’s gone, and I think I’m still a bit shaky and PTSD-ish. The care, and the drama, did me in. The guilt from missing time with my son when I was taking care of my Mom, and somewhat my Dad, or guilt from missing work… the debt from paying for daycare while missing work to take my Mom to doctor’s appointments or deal with other issues of her or Dad’s care… Aigh! Totally friggin insane time of my life. More so than usual.

    Mom had several hospital trips in August 2009. Then she had a major stroke in December 2009, a few days after my son’s 2nd birthday. It was a hellish ride until her death. Dad’s personality thankfully has been very mellow and sweet even with Parkinson’s making his brain mushy.

    I was OCD and Depressed before my son was born (and undergoing the pressure of being a working Mom), and before my Mom’s stroke that truly began the final downward spiral of her physical and mental health. Now I’m just kindof still in shock, waiting for the next shoe to drop.

    I feel a little like keeping the razors in my purse and in a drawer at work are kindof my way of knowing I have my “security blanket”. It’s so stupid. It’s not a security blanket at all. Thankfully I also have Xanax in my purse, too, lol.

    Work has been getting busier, and so have things with the holidays. I haven’t seen my shrink in a while. He tried to put me on Abilify, but when I tried it, it made me feel… wrong. So I stopped it. [You’re mileage may vary.] I’m on Celexa and Xanax. I’d like a larger dose of Celexa, or being back on Zoloft. Both are now limited to 40mg. I was at one point on 120mg on Zoloft, and happy to be there!!! Ah, well.

    Don’t worry, I’m not going to end it all. I just… I get what you guys are feeling. I’m tired, and I often just lose it and stay in bed as much as my child will let me, assuming I don’t manage to get him to daycare first. Today… yeah. I stayed home, and my poor child got to have a boring day at home with a sleepy sluggish mommy.

    Tired. Just very tired.

    Hang in there, everyone, though. I know Depression lies to me, constantly. It lies to you, too. Don’t believe it.

    • Forgot I wrote the above. Wow.

      January 25th, 2013, about 1.5 months later than my post above, and about 2 years and 2.5 months after my Mom had passed, I attempted suicide. I never thought I would try something like that. After I woke up and was finally lucid in the hospital, I was struck by many things. I realized it was a very selfish thing for me to do. I realized I had devastated my husband. And I realized I couldn’t believe I had actually done it. I’m still not sure if I really wanted to die, or if it was a cry for help.

      Almost 1.5 years later, I feel like I am living on borrowed time.

      I’m doing better, but I’m not sure I’ve really dealt with the underlying causes yet. I have varying degrees of depression, but the things that threw me over the edge are losing my Mom and not dealing with the loss, or the guilt, from feeling like I didn’t do enough to take care of her in her last few years, and like I wasn’t there often enough. Because of an argument with my sister, and the Nursing home and E.R. dealing with my sister on the day she died when I guess it was easier to talk to her than me, and my not realizing what was happening, that Mom’s situation was much worse than I thought… And finally, because I was so angry I wouldn’t answer the phone… I wasn’t there by my Mom’s side when she passed. Totally my fault.

      My Dad is still alive. But he’s sliding slowly away, losing more and more if his faculties. It’s so hard to watch.

      Don’t know my point. Except I know now I can’t keep putting dealing with this off. And I know I owe God, big time, for His protecting me from myself.

      And I owe my husband too. I owe it to him, and to my son, to work hard to get physically and mentally healthier. And I want this. I’m tired of wallowing in my depression, of listening to the negative part of me. I can’t let it win anymore.

  12. My mother had, herself, been IP in the mid-60s due to an addiction to “nerve pills” she called it. She stayed IP for a month and often, later, spoke of it quite fondly. Yet, she never admitted that she had a mental illness and that she had been diagnosed with Bipolar. She had gone to a doc, the doc said it was “her being a nervous female” and gave her Valium, you know… “Momma’s little helpers”?

    She came home and never went back for psychiatric treatment. Why? Cause in the 50’s and 60’s, YOU DIDN”T… less you were clearly crazy. Stigma was soo sooo sooo much harsher then as it is now and if you were a momma who tried to kill yourself, kids were taken away from you, you were locked up in a hospital, and there you all stayed for however, long.

    So, when I started exhibiting “problems” and “issues” as a very very young girl, in the late 60s… NO ONE saw it, NO ONE wanted to see it, NO ONE cared to see it. My mom and dad were divorcing, poverty, mom re-marrying, abuse, abuse towards us kids, etc.. too many ADULT problems… NO ONE saw me, NO ONE wanted to see me, NO ONE cared to SEE me hurting.. dying.. crying.. hiding.

    It wasn’t until I insisted on being seen by the “official” MH clinic, not my school counselor, that I was finally “noticed” but, only briefly. From then on… it was just that I didn’t try enough, didn’t want to try hard enough, why couldn’t I just ______ (fill in the blank), “there is nothing wrong with you that couldn’t be fixed if you’d just ____ (fill in the blank).”

    NO ONE saw it… NO ONE wanted to see it.. NO ONE cared… TO… SEE …. IT

    • Hi Tabby,

      That must have been very hard and I imagine it has left plenty of scars. But as you say, it was a different time then and people were much less likely to admit to a mental illness and we had far fewer ways of treating them as well.

      I hope, over time, you have managed to gain some sort of closure on this issue with your parents. As you said (and as I said too) there were so many adult problems going on that they just couldn’t (and yes, didn’t want to) see you. You obviously understand that it wasn’t you, it was them and the unfortunately life conditions.

      – Natasha Tracy

  13. I did this too and still fight it to this day. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me I am not alone in this daily struggle.

  14. Thank you very much for sharing. It’s the responsibility of the parents. They did take me to the doctors, but refused the diagnostic and the treatment. They refused the idea of me being depressed and suicidal.They refused to let me get treated

    • Hi Nikky44,

      I think that’s one of the most tragic outcomes of all – when the parents have all the information, the diagnosis and treatment handed to them, and yet they refuse it. It’s like someone took your help and just moved it out of your reach. That was very bad judgement on their part and they were likely acting out of fear and ignorance which makes me rather mad as you’re the one who suffered for it.

      – Natasha Tracy

      • They just didn’t want “crazy” children. They used to say if you take those pills your place is in an asylum for retarded. When i was admitted into psychiatric hospital, they said i traveled, and until now, the only thing they say is “look at you, stop those meds, you walk like a robot, you gained weight, stop those meds, that is a poison

        • Hi Nikky44,

          Well that’s an incredibly harsh and horrible thing to say. I hope you’ve learned how wrong they were and perhaps are.

          People who take medication do so because it helps their lives and not for any other reason and it certainly doesn’t mean you should be locked up.

          And yes, no one wants “crazy” children, but then, no one wants a child with learning disabilities or a physical disability either but these are things parents must learn to accept for the good of their child.

          I’m sorry you have experienced that lack of support but it is a testament to your strength that you are here to tell the tale now.

          – Natasha Tracy

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  16. That same statement resonated with too. I’m quite disappointed that no adult in my life- parents, coaches, teachers, priests, friend’s parents…etc, (not to mention my family doctor) ever picked up on my illness! Looking back I’d say it was very obvious at certain times in my early life. It wasn’t until I was in my 4th year of University that I realized I had an illness that could be treated and secretly went to see a therapist through student health services.
    I am hopeful that our experiences don’t have to be repeated by children/youth growing up these days.

    • Hi Tara,

      That’s pretty much exactly what I did only it was second year university :)

      It would be nice to think of people not going through that today but unfortunately, it still happens way too often. But luckily, with more knowledge and us talking about it, it should happen less and less. I hope :)

      – Natasha Tracy

  17. Thank you!! You beautifully put into words a piece of my history. That voice of depression still creeps at times, but I have a good healthy sliver of light to grab onto now. So many need to know there not alone. I am often one of them, and thank you for all you write. You share so eloquently that a world of psycho babble makes sense. Thank you for reminding me I made some hard choices, but the results were good love, and healthy relationships. Not perfect but close. I thank you for all you do.

    • Hi Justina,

      You’re welcome! I like to think I can communicate that psycho-babble stuff, yes.

      ” Thank you for reminding me I made some hard choices, but the results were good love, and healthy relationships. Not perfect but close.”

      How beautiful.

      – Natasha Tracy

  18. Thanks for this post. The line: “And in my case, being as young as I was, it was my parent’s responsibility to see that I was sick and it was their responsibility to get me help.” really resonated with me. The mother and grandmother of the man who murdered my brother turned a blind eye to his illness. He was a little older but I refuse to believe had their son/grandson been on the floor in an epileptic seizure, they would not have put forth some effort to help him. Likewise, despite the barriers your parents’ faced, had you fallen into a hypoglycemic coma, they would have done something to help their child.

    Yes, so much of depression seems invisible, until we learn the signs and symptoms. I will rejoice the day that people realize that prolonged psychic pain which welcomes in suicidal ideation is as serious as a seizure or hypoglycemia.

    • Hi Alisa,

      Beautifully put. When I think about that it sort of makes me want to cry a little. I hate thinking of that girl that was me crying out as loud as she could for help with no one hearing her.

      And obviously thought tragedy you have come to have great compassion for people with mental illness. What you have said and how you feel in spite of what has happened to your brother is astounding.

      – Natasha Tracy

  19. Wow, I never had anyone write a story from my childhood. That does explain alot of things. I was always shunned by the family unit until I finally just broke away, its easier than seeing the look of distaste in their eyes as they search out someone else to have to talk to. Alone is better than hated or ignored. Or used by the unjust. I’ve just given up on accepted. (But thats what cats are for)

    I always wondered why I accepted or sought out ill treatment from friends and lovers, and it hits home to hear that it happened to someone else too. Unloved does make you grasp for straws. Anymore I don’t seek out contact with anyone because its safer, and I know my judgement is questionable.

    Still trying to pass the open windows. Every day I figure I could still check out, but let’s see what happens tomorrow.

    • This sounds like my childhood as well. I avoid people simply because I don’t want to be treated that way anymore. It is getting a little boring. I think I might join a gym. They say exercise is suppose to make us feel better. Thank you, for your post.

      • Hi Lisa,

        They have people at the gym, you know? That could kill two birds with one stone.

        You don’t have to be alone just because once (or twice) you made a bad call. Because it does get lonely and no one deserves that.

        But hey, a gym is never a bad idea. I would hate it, but I hear healthy people hang out in those sorts of places ;)

        – Natasha Tracy

    • Hi Sarah,

      I’m sorry it sounds like your childhood. I wish it didn’t sound like anyone’s.

      All I can say to you is that you don’t _have_ to be treated badly. You can learn to trust your ow judgement again. Therapy can help a lot with that. It’s a frequent problem for people who have been abused. But believe me, you judgement does work, that pit-of-your-stomach feeling does work, you just need to learn when to trust it. Which, believe me, is possible.

      But yes, cats are good in the meantime :)

      – Natasha Tracy

  20. Hi Lee,

    Thank-you. I’m honoured to be an inspiration for you.

    “I am honored to know you virtually and walk alongside you in our passionate & purposeful passion to advocate for mental illness”

    Absolutely. Ditto.


    – Natasha Tracy

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  22. Beautiful Natasha
    You have been an inspiration to me in blogging for over a year now. It is my hope that when readingthos parents will take a stand and learn how to support their children. I am honored to know you virtually and walk alongside you in our passionate & purposeful passion to advocate for mental illness
    Much love, respect & gratitude
    Lee xoxoxox

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