On November 14, 2012, my beautiful son, who suffered from depression, OCD, and substance abuse, took his life. In October, 2013, I was admitted to the hospital for suicidal ideation and PTSD. I found my son shortly after he had shot himself. After a 3 week intensive therapy program I was able to admit that I have a mental illness. I suffer from Major Depression and Panic Disorder and have for many many years. Only, stuck in a society where such words seem to be taboo, I accepted it as a part of my life instead of educating myself. Had I had more knowledge I might have seen the signs in my son. I know now, and can look at our family dynamics and see, that mental illness has been a issue in our family through generations. I am so grateful for NAMI and all the information, and for the ability to seek help with those that are trying to educate others about mental illness.
Today, I am working towards finishing my nursing degree and transitioning our horse rescue into a people rescue, developing a program for others that suffer from mental illness. There needs to be more awareness so that people don’t have to feel ashamed that there are some things we cannot control without therapy and medication.
I miss my son tremendously, but will not allow his death go in vain. It’s vital that I speak out and help educate others in a hopes to preventing anyone else having to go through the pains I have had to. My emotional sobriety is as important to me as my physical one. If I can reach one person, what I set out to do will be a success.