My friend Jeff is dead. He had bi-polar disorder and had a psychotic break last fall, losing his beloved apartment and falling into legal troubles because of it. I helped him move into the new apartment, the one he killed himself in, last December. I was able to pull up the address on my foursquare check-ins and lead friends and the police to the correct apartment.
Please, if you know someone with a mental illness, please don’t abandon or ignore them. Even if their behavior is betimes off putting and belligerent, at least check in via phone or email, anything to reach out.
I honestly don’t know if there is anything any of us could have done to prevent this because he was a very troubled individual. But it would have been nice to try a little harder, wouldn’t it?
i don’t know any of these people – neither jeff or his friend. but this post really shook me up. it made me so sad to think this man felt he had no other way out except to take his own life.
it also scared me. because i’ve had those dark thoughts before. i’ve contemplated the exact same things. i felt how lonely he was from his last post – simply because of how he decided to communicate his last words.
i suppose one of the reasons i’m re-blogging this tragic post is because i agree with all those involved – mental illness is very serious. it’s difficult to treat – there’s no way to open up a person’s brain to try and detect the actual cause. even with treatment, it’s not easy – most of the treatments are through trial and error before the patient finds just the right dosage and the right type of meds. i’ll repeat what everyone else has already said – if you know some one suffering from mental illness, do not take it lightly. they are lost souls and for them, like jeff, they just can not see a light at the end of the tunnel. they don’t know of a better exit.
i’m also using this as a serious reminder to myself to continue getting help and to make sure i’m dealing with it rather then just letting it get worse. it’s mainly to avoid the pain i would be causing my loved ones.
i’m thankful to have friends who have been there for me – ones that have been supporting me. i’m thankful for a husband who won’t give up on me – who listens intently whenever i come home with new information about what i’ve been experiencing and my excitement of how i’m finally piecing the puzzle together. there are things i am learning that’s probably always been there – but either i just didn’t take notice or thought it was normal but am learning it is not. even though he can not fix my problem – having him there to listen to me makes a world of a difference.
more importantly, i don’t feel alone. and that is a huge key to keeping those suicidal thoughts away.