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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.
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