In 2016, 44,965 suicides were recorded. On average, that rate has gone up 24% each year since. The National Center for Health Statistics have now placed suicide in the top 10 for causes of death in the United States. On average 1 in every 5 adults suffer from a mental illness. I am one of those adults. Doctors say I’m normal. That it’s “the age”. People say, “what do you have to be depressed about? Your life is amazing”. Since when does any illness choose a person based on how their life is? Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar, etc. will choose anyone. They don’t care about the color of your skin, how old you are, and definitely not how “amazing” your life is. My name is Kristen Terrell, and this is my story. These are my friends’ stories. Over the next few articles I am here to shed light into the dark world that people live in.
My life changed forever on January 14th , 2016. That day started out like any other day, but I came home to a cruel and gruesome scene that will never leave me. I came home to one of our horses being attacked by two dogs. I’ll save you the details, because honestly no one else needs to picture what I went through. But, after that day, I snapped. Something in my brain changed.
The girl I was before... she’s gone now.
Most of my days are spent making myself sick worrying about everything around me. I worry a lot about leaving my house in case something happens and I won’t be there. Sometimes I won’t sleep for days. With anxiety/depression getting out of bed in the morning is always harder. Everything in life just seems harder. This disease takes away your motivation. Most of your energy is focused on faking that smile so others don’t ask questions at work or school or trying to keep your mind on anything else, just so you can calm down. Coming home to cry because you feel like you have the entire world weighing down on you. People around you love to say, “just shake it off”, “you’re being dramatic,” or “just calm down its not that big of a deal,” and I think that’s why this is the loneliest disease. Until the other person has gone through what you do, there will never be an understanding. Sometimes you can’t explain why you feel sad, why you just want to be left alone, why you’re crying, why you’re cancelling plans again.
The thing is, it affects everyone differently. The only way we can cut down on high suicide rates and people feeling alone is making it easier to talk about, making it more of an open topic and not shaming people or making them feel they are being overdramatic. For those with people close to them, who suffer, just take the time to understand and be there for them. Find out what triggers them and help them through it. You really don’t know how much of a difference you can make in someone’s day just by caring and being kind to someone passing by. We live in such a disgusting, hateful world and everyone you pass is fighting their own battles and you don’t know what the last straw for someone might be.