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My fellow Urban Planeteers,

Last Thursday evening, July 6, I received word that my friend and

cousin, Suzanne, had been found dead in her home of an apparent

suicide. I have been devastated. A note was found, the first sentence

stating, "I have been suffering from depression for 20 years."

Everything after that was secondary, that sentence said it all.

With her family's blessing, I am posting this here to urge any of you

who is battling depression, to seek help. If you have a friend or

loved one who is suffering, or is alone, don't take their word for it

that they are doing just fine. Probe deeper.

There should be a new rule for everyone who is considering suicide

as a solution to depression or any of the problems facing any of us

today. Here's the rule: Wait one day, and call someone. Please.

If this is you, follow the rule. You are more connected than you believe

in your current state; the universe groans at the loss of each and

every person.

Be honest with your doctor and tell how you are feeling.

Treatment is available.

The national suicide prevention hotline is: 1-800-273-8255

The suicide, drug, alcohol, emotional crisis hotline is: 1-800-749-7720

Kent County: 616-336-3909

Thanks for your indulgence in this matter.

Peace and Love to you all.


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Mejane, I'm sorry for the loss of your cousin, and grateful for your post.

There is still a stigma about depression lingering out there. At my former cubicle hell-hole, my co-irkers routinely mocked our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) little knowing or caring how many people were helped by it (me included.) That attitude will still keep some people away from counceling who would benefit by it. I'm not implying this was your cousin's situtation; only that there needs to be a sea-change in the attitudes of our citizenry regarding depression, regardless how many Zoloft commercials are shown on t.v.

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I am so very sorry about your loss. My heart goes out to you.

The stigma attached to depression is not as bad as it was 20 years ago, but it does still exist. On the positive side, the array of medication options available now is unbelievable... a huge improvement over what was out there 20 years ago.

One must be patient while exploring these options because it may take some time to find the right med for you. Don't give up. Even a little tweak of the dosage can make a huge difference.

I can understand people's hesitancy over EAPs, but there are so many other avenues to get help.

Your "wait one day" and call someone advice is excellent. With depression, moods can change on a dime.

I would add this: if someone says to you that they are contemplating suicide, take it very, very seriously even if the person has said it many times in the past. The old adage about crying wolf is not applicable here.


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I remember when my best friend in high school almost attempted suicide. Fortunately, he did not pull the trigger and checked himself into a center. When he called me and let me know what happened, it was such a shock and so frightening to me. I was completely ignorant about depression, and he was usually hyper/spastic so I couldn't believe it. Only later I learned that he was bipolar.

Ironically, I went through depression myself starting in college and contemplated suicide quite often. I think it's so complicated, because I did have legitimate reasons to feel bad about my life. But often what would happen is that I would feel bad first and then think of everything that went wrong in my life, as if I were justifying the emotion. I still suffer from it, though not nearly as bad as back then. And I can now recognize when I'm starting to get depressed and understand that I'm just feeling depressed, nothing more.

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