I was only 15 when I tried to commit suicide. The last thing I remember was closing my eyes, and a feeling of complete numbness. Upon waking up, I realize that I wasn’t dead, but was in a local hospital instead. Being told how lucky I was to be alive, I was looking forward to go home. Unfortunately, that would not be the case.
The day I was discharged from the hospital, I was admitted into a behavioral center, also known as a mental hospital. Two men drove me in an ambulance to my new destination, for a psychiatric evaluation. There was no way that I was going to stay in a mental hospital, but due to my suicide attempt even my parents had no say in the matter. There was nothing left except to escape.
My escape was short lived, it seems the staff was prepared for that scenario. Actually, my attempt made things a lot worse on me. Now I had three plastic bracelets, one with all my information, and the other two were color coded for suicidal precautions, and escape risk. This threesome combination meant that I had no freedom. I was to be closely watched at all times, no private restroom breaks, I even had someone to watch me sleep. Most suicide attempts are for attention, but not mine, attention was the last thing I wanted.
As I set staring at a white wall, another patient came over to talk with me. He was a 16 year old, who was in there due to anger issues. During the conversation he told me how to get out of the facility. It seemed all I needed to do was wait until my insurance ran out. My insurance only covered a 7 day stay, so in 7 days I would be sent home.
During the days everything was on a schedule. Medication was handed out three times a day, we ate three meals, and spent a few hours in the recreation room. Every other day I seen my newly appointed Psychiatrist for a half hour session. The medication the gave me kept me very sleepy, so I basically slept my days away.
On day 7 no one had yet made mention of me being released. I still wore all three bracelets, and still was taking several different medications. But, mid afternoon I was told my parents were on the way to get me. I was going home. It appeared I was magically cured, and at no risk of trying to attempt suicide again.
The next few years was filled with failed attempts, that went completely unnoticed. What should have been my happiest years as a teen, was filled with the hopelessness of depression. It wasn’t until I had my first child at age 20 that life seemed to have meaning, and finally I was thankful to be alive. At the same time, as a new mother, I feared for all the others who had serious issues like mine, and yet never received treatment. Instead like me, so many others were only in treatment facilities until there insurance ran out, and was never helped.
Thankfully the behavioral center I was in, closed down several years ago. However, just like anything else, when one closes, another one opens. My children’s insurance only covers 7 days of inpatient treatment per year. It’s a horrible, and said situation. There are millions of people throughout the world who need help, and can not afford it. To make matters worse, most state run mental hospitals has closed down throughout the years, leaving us with only prayers.
If every state offered free mental treatment plans both in and outpatient, with free or affordable medication, we would see less crime, suicides, and murderers. A large portion of violent crimes, such as murder happen due to underlined mental conditions. A lot of these people, like myself was used for insurance money, and never accurately treated. I am thankful to be here today, and enjoy every moment of it. Through medication, proper diet, and yoga I have learned to cope with depression. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone.