Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. Cyril Connolly (1903 - 1974)


Is It Depression Or Mental Anguish?

I read this article and could not agree more because I know that I'm in this situation too many times and I wonder what damage this consistent mental anguish has done and is doing to my mind. But I keep holding on as I seem to burn in fire and wonder if I'll just one day be unable to go on. 

There's no chemical imbalance here. Just a life imbalance that is screaming misery in all my bones. 

A doctor who makes sense:

Amen! Finally, someone says it.
...even though I was suicidal, it was from mental anguish rather than mental illness.
Claudi Wolff  

In July of 2000, my friend Ngozi, a second-year surgical resident, took her own life. She did not suffer from mental illness either, rather she had a severe case of mental anguish stemming from the culmination of a bad relationship, a stressful surgical residency, being ostracized from her Nigerian family that she lived with in New York, all combined with a unique medical training and practice system that ensures you are punished severely if and when you cry for help from what I call "overwhelmedness."

That beautiful Sunday morning while her beloved family was out at church, she did the unthinkable. I can only imagine how lonely and possibly afraid she had been that morning. How utterly helpless she must have felt. How alone, how trapped, how much pain, how much anguish.

There was no doubt that I was experiencing depression, reactive depression. No doubt, I was indeed suicidal.

However, after the third dose increase of my selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), and a change from one to another, my mood did not improve. My suicidality remained the same if not worse because my life's stressors remained largely unchanged.

I would drive up and down the highway, looking for a chance to drive off of it, wondering, "what if?"

I eventually weaned myself off the SSRI, and with the help of my extremely supportive spouse and family, I began my road to rebuilding.

The more I was able to plan out my future, the better I felt. I eventually paid off a good chunk of the loan and filed for bankruptcy, which is stressful enough, but because it was part of my plan to recovery, it didn't hurt as badly. The lingering question I have is, what dose of antidepressants would it have taken to overcome my financial situation?

When children and teens take their lives because of incessant bullying in schools or in classrooms, how many kinds of antidepressants would it take to change their reality?

If antidepressants work, as Big Pharma would like us to believe, why are suicide rates on the rise across all races, ages, and walks of life? Why are African-American children and teens attempting and dying by suicide more than other races? Why do LGBTQ+ youth have some of the highest rates of suicide? Why do Native American/Alaskan youth? Why do Indigenous Australian youth lead the pack in suicides in that country? Why would a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed resident with a promising future suddenly kill herself during her second year in surgical residency?

Until we begin to look at other myriad reasons for suicide as bona fide players in the game, suicide rates will not come down anytime soon.

We must be very careful in throwing mental illness at every suicidal person. If someone has an overwhelming traumatic life event, a prescription of antidepressants might actually be more detrimental to them.

There is no doubt that mental illness (especially when undiagnosed or untreated) is a risk factor for suicide, but so are other factors. Only 46% of individuals who died by suicide had a history of mental health issues, and many were complicated by a lack of family support, substance abuse, or sudden life trauma.

We must find out what the underlying cause of the behavior is and tackle it specifically. Diagnosing everyone with mental illness actually worsens the stigma of both suicidal behavior and poor mental health.

I am Colette. I am busy and screeching in late! I have two kids and I've always wanted 5 with the adoption of 2 to make 7. I LOVE kids! I'm a cultural mix of different countries. I love learning and sharing about everything that affects our lives. Consider me an eclectic blogger. Visit me and let's help to make life better for everyone! Please read my disclosure 

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