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Second look: On being scared, really, really scared

Posted Feb 26 2010 9:04pm

The email asked for help.

She said she was 18 years old.  Just turned.  She talked about being really depressed and barely hanging in.  She had thoughts of dying and that really scared her.  She wanted to live.  2 people in her family had committed suicide, but she thought they had wanted to live too.  She was afraid if a lethal minute came she wouldnt get past it.

Her mom wanted her to go into a hospital.  She wanted to go into a hospital.  She had been in one when she was 12 and hated it.  She followed internet posts a lot and had read all the horror stories that people had posted about psych units.  She wanted to know what an adult unit was like and what was likely to happen to her.  She wanted to know if she would really be tortured and what to do.

She was caught between what was and what she was afraid might happen.  She was in a space past terror.  And getting more depressed each day.

I wrote her back and told her I was so sorry for her terror.  I told her bad things do happen, but nothing is worse than death.  I told her my wife had been hospitalized and had hated it, but that it saved her life.  And that she hated it, but she also thought it saved her life.  And to choose life.  Above all choose life.  Death gives no second thoughts.

Bad things happen, but not all things are bad.  I hope that in my bad things no one ever finds a terror that paralyzes their life.  Choose life.  Always choose life.  Nothing that has happened to someone else should ever disqualify what can happen to you.  Psychiatric hospitals frequently dont offer a lot of therapeutic benefit to people.  In my state they are used less and less for that reason.  But I know many people who share the testimony of my wife.  They hated it and hated it passionately.  But they lived.  They still live.  And none of them are complaining.

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