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We can learn from people who beat suicidal thoughts

There is much talk on suicide prevention. This is a very serious topic. But there is an untapped resource. I’m talking about ‘experts by experience’. Let me elaborate.

Years ago, I availed of psychiatric services, because of severe depression with suicidal thoughts. I was diagnosed manic depressive and told I would have to take lithium for life, otherwise I would be at the mercy of my violent mood swings.

Three years ago, I began to speak publicly about how I overcame this diagnosis, medication-free.

Not one ‘expert’ has contacted me in the last few years to ask me how I did it.

We will never know what mental anguish drove someone to suicide. However, a wealth of people, like myself, have been driven to the edge. We are ‘experts by experience’.

I challenge any ‘expert’ in suicide prevention to consult with real people; people who either attempted suicide or who were driven to the edge. Otherwise, they are just extolling platitudes, exorcising their own wafer-thin beliefs.

On Friday, July 4, I celebrated 21 years medication-free.

On July 17, I celebrate half a century on the planet. No small achievement, considering that in my late teens I never thought I would make the age of 21.

Surely, I have a voice that is worth listening to.

Tommy Roddy

Salthill

Galway

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Research finds GPs do not feel able to treat patients who self-harmResearch finds GPs do not feel able to treat patients who self-harm

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Elisha Gault's mother: 'We need a new Ireland where we don't hide behind closed doors'Elisha Gault's mother: 'We need a new Ireland where we don't hide behind closed doors'

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