Colin

Age at interview: 20
Age at diagnosis: 18
Gender: Male
Outline:

Colin, age 20, had depression in middle school. He has attempted suicide and has OCD. Non-residential day therapy, medications, and practicing gratitude have helped put Colin on the healing path. He works and attends college.

Background:

Colin works at the college he attends and lives with a roommate. He takes medications and sees a therapist. He is White.

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When young, Colin suddenly started to lose interest in things he used to enjoy. He quickly descended from being a happy kid to “feeling neutral” to “didn’t enjoy anything” to not finding “any reason or purpose in the day whatsoever”. Then he started having “consistent suicidal thoughts, for no apparent reason”. As a sophomore in high school, his family moved to a different part of the country and suicidal thoughts became more persistent. Two things stopped Colin from committing suicide in his junior year of high school. First, he felt guilty and wanted to protect his good family, especially his mother, from the devastating consequences of killing himself. Second, he finally made a friend in his new school, and looked forward to seeing her everyday. He says, “A study hall I had in high school … really turned my whole life around. It didn’t make it good, but it made it bearable”. Despite his depression, Colin was a straight-A student, which might have been associated with his obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

In his first semester of college his OCD and depression “came together to create this perfect storm”. He stopped going to class and as his grades slid, he felt worthless. Being good at academics was the positive part of his “self-definition” to balance his “depression and compulsions and obsessions”. After withdrawing from school Colin went home blaming his OCD. He saw a psychiatrist and was prescribed Prozac; he suddenly became “twice as suicidal”. He did not tell his parents about his depression and suicidal thoughts. His mother found an intensive day treatment program for OCD, where he was given medication and learned several skills. Upon returning to college, Colin began therapy and medication for depression as well. He resumed a very rigorous and accelerated course of study, was promoted to a supervisory position at work, made friends and found a girlfriend, who as Colin described was “definitely the best part of my life”. However, after that relationship broke up, Colin spiraled downward and carried out, unsuccessfully, a suicide attempt. He then entered an intensive non-residential treatment program for his depression, which he found very helpful.

Colin is now back in school, and has readjusted his excessive academics expectations, started practicing gratitude and has found a new girlfriend. Most importantly, he has become closer and more open with his parents, who revealed to him that depression and suicidal ideation run in the family. In turned out that his parents and Colin were protecting each other from the truth. The newfound openness has relieved Colin’s guilt and increased his understanding and respect for his parents.

 

Colin began losing his interests as a teenager, until he no longer felt a sense of purpose in the day.

Colin began losing his interests as a teenager, until he no longer felt a sense of purpose in the day.

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Ok I was pretty young like 14 or 15.

It just kind of started as losing a lot of my interests. I used to be, when I was really young I did a lot of art. A lot of music and actually enjoyed things [laughter].

And then all of a sudden I just stopped everything at first it was neutral and then I realized I didn’t enjoy anything and then it just got to the point where over time I would have periods which I hated everything [laughter]. I would just wake up and just couldn’t find any reason or purpose in the day whatsoever and it was pretty early when I started just getting consistent suicidal thoughts, for no apparent reason and I felt so guilty for it because like I had good parents, good family besides some of the minor issues that everybody has with their family.
 

 

 

Colin was relieved when his parents finally told him depression runs in his family.

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Colin was relieved when his parents finally told him depression runs in his family.

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And, we went out to eat and stuff and we had just a very calm, like, surprisingly calm levelheaded talk. And, so much got revealed in this conversation. And, I was baffled. Like, since I was, started having bad depressive symptoms, around maybe, I don't know, puberty, like 14, 13, I had felt so guilty because I literally have so few things in my life that, I'm sure like a lot of people say this, so few things I feel that warrant this type of just intense sadness and enmity for the world. And, I felt so guilty my whole life about feeling the way I do, like, I'm somehow causing this and bringing it on myself, and like I'm doing something wrong, it's my fault that I feel this way all the time. And, I've asked them straightforward before about, because I've had to fill out so many like therapist documents or psychiatry appointments, I've been at [hospital name] before for OCD. So, I had a long screening process for that as well where they ask about family history. And, they never have anything to report, because my parents say that there's nothing to report, which is another reason I felt like I'm an isolated incident. 

And then, it all comes out at this meal that there's so much depression and mental health issues on both sides of my family. And I have no, I, they said that they were keeping this from me because they thought it would bother me or worry me. But, it just made me feel so much better when I learned that it wasn't my own doing. And, they told me about, I have one grandparent who's still alive. And that she had attempted suicide twice. And my mom has a large family; she's one of 15 kids. And, she said at least seven of her siblings are antidepressant. And, my father said my uncle has obsessive compulsive disorder. And, all this stuff started coming out. And, I was just taken aback. Oh man, it was just, I don't know, it was, I felt very good about all this. And they were just like I didn't want you to hear that. Like, do you really want to hear something that dark like your own grandmother tried to kill herself? I said, yes, like, please tell me that. I would have loved to hear that. That would've been so relieving to me as a younger kid. They didn't understand that. But, after that conversation, they went home, I felt better.

 

When his father deepened his religious faith, Colin felt less judged for his depression and more fully supported by his parents.

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When his father deepened his religious faith, Colin felt less judged for his depression and more fully supported by his parents.

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The one positive experience I’ve had with religion was probably maybe three years ago. Mt father had this big spiritual overhaul, kind of like a new born Christian and it made him a much nicer person. 

Like I don’t adhere to any beliefs myself, but all I can say is it really softened him a lot and he’s a lot nicer than he used to be. After having this and doing things I would never see him doing. He like goes to bible meetings and group sessions and he leads this men’s group now.

Stuff I would never have associated with my father. But he’s a much more, he’s not gentle he’s still fairly a hard stoic man, but he’s a lot more easy to communicate with and he doesn’t feel as judgmental as he used to. 

 

For Colin, learning to be grateful even for the depression journey had a big impact and helped prevent negatives from becoming overwhelming.

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For Colin, learning to be grateful even for the depression journey had a big impact and helped prevent negatives from becoming overwhelming.

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Every little joy that I find, is just so amplified by the utter absence of it in the past. The littlest positive thing will all the sudden be so important to me. Just because it’s a foreign [inaudible], but learning to accept those and appreciate them is, I guess that also comes to something I’d add. Because my new therapist has been working with me on this. And I thought it was cliché because everybody talks about it, but it’s not. Gratitude. Just be grateful for every little thing that you can be grateful for. Because there’s so many terrible things that happen every day. But if you sit down and recognize, you don’t even have to write it down, although it is kind of healthy, just a couple of things that you were grateful for throughout the day, just a big impact on my life. And it makes you realize just the ways in which you’re lucky. Yeah, that’s what my final thought is, gratitude, to be grateful, and to not let the negatives just wash up across you. And in general, from the journey as well, I’m a stronger person, for sure. Each trial I’ve gone through has just like added another layer of skin, I guess, made me tougher. That which does not kill you only makes you stronger. It’s another cliche that’s true, though.

 

Colin talks about his panic attacks and their relation to his OCD and suicidal thoughts.

Colin talks about his panic attacks and their relation to his OCD and suicidal thoughts.

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But I feel like when my, I definitely feel like when my obsessive compulsive symptoms were the worst my depression was the worst as well, like if one got worse the other would get worse.

And yeah, that’s I guess, they relate, they are a very direct relationship and what was I about to say. Oh and another thing that kind of helped, I had really bad anxiety issues and OCD’s an anxiety disorder just general anxiety issues and a lot of that was a driving force of my depression when I came back to school the summer after I had stopped the medication. That was that was my first time I had ever experienced panic attacks. I would have these suicidal thoughts and get so worked up and my heart would just start racing and I was so sure I was going to do it and just I’d get so panicky and anxious that I would just, thought I was going to have a heart attack and die and pass out. I couldn’t breathe. And the same psychiatrist who got me back on the Lexapro, I got a Xanax prescription that helped with the immediate panic that I would get. And then I got off of that because it’s addictive and I have a bad history with addictive substances and trying to get that out of my life [laughter].

But that actually helped a lot at first with. That was kind of the point at which I had this general anxiety mixed with OCD mixed with depression and that was like I said my really low point my, when I finally.

 

Colin discusses the increasing severity of his OCD symptoms.

Colin discusses the increasing severity of his OCD symptoms.

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After my senior year of high school during which, it was still bad, but I got through it – it was a lot better than my junior year. I went to college at university and my OCD and depression just came together to create this perfect storm and just, I was not a functional human being. I, wasn’t going to class, I couldn’t get out of bed, I wasn’t completing any of my assignments. One of my biggest issues with OCD was, I take an incredibly long time to finish assessments and things for various reasons. And, I just wasn’t finishing any of my tests, I was getting them about, like half done. I was just going throughout the day with these terrible thoughts, I felt so worthless. I with – only thing I had ever been good at my whole life was academics, and I got straight A’s in high school – and all of a sudden that was all falling apart and I had nothing that I was really, to define myself by, besides, depression and compulsions and obsessions. And that was pretty much my entire life. And I would just have these thoughts all day, that weren’t mine [laughter].

 

Colin describes his experience in an intensive outpatient program.

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Colin describes his experience in an intensive outpatient program.

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I was logging these numbers, and at first when I came in, I felt so broken because one, I was in a terrible mood at this point. I was going through a depressed episode right at the start of the session of the program. And I was in there with, they made it a community thing.

Where you would start off every day, I would go in there every day of the week for maybe five hours. And they started off each one with people saying out loud how many tallies they had for each thing. And I was the youngest person in there by far. I was still 18 at this point. Everybody else in there was in their late 20’s, early 30’s, some people in their 40’s and I was maybe one of 10 people in that room. And I just, it made me feel worse hearing all of these tallies because everybody was like, “Oh ten for this, ten for that.” I tried not to listen to what their specific things were.

But maybe 20, maybe 30, but every time that I would repeat mine, especially for the numbers and counting section I’d come in and have to say like, “310.” Or “350.” And then it would start going down as the program went on, maybe like 290, 280. I was still so much higher than everybody else and I felt so hopeless. And I would go into this program every day and then after we finished that report with our statistics, I would be given these. I had this binder of exercises to work on. I don’t remember what they called them, but you would rate your level of anxiety that it gave you to think about a certain scenario.

Such as, and I still do, but I used to have a really bad issues with having to do everything in 3’s. And it would be, you would start with the things that were the easiest.

And get those out of the way to get a momentum, things that gave you the least amount of anxiety. And so I might start like, “Oh think about only tapping the wall twice.” Or something.

And then it would say, maybe I would rank that as a five out of ten. And then you would start timing how much time passed until you finally gave in.

And at first even little things like this were so hard, I would give in about after maybe 30 seconds or 40 seconds and I would have to like tap the wall three times, just because I thought I was going to go crazy. But then after you start doing that and really just, I did these breathing exercises and you would just focus and concentrate and try to lower your anxiety, they taught us techniques for that.

Did that help?

Yeah, it did. Definitely.

Is it something you can still tap into? Is that a tool you have now?

Yeah, because I still go therapy every week. And we do a lot of the same thing.
But yeah, I still do that. Maybe I’ve neglected it a bit, but I still keep my binders and my exercises and stuff to go back to. And so yeah, I just keep working my way up and then after you can say, “Oh, I went X amount of time and I actually got my anxiety down to a 0 for this scenario.” And move on to the next one and it took a while but you were there for about five hours a day, so you have a lot of time by yourself to do these things.

 

Colin talks about how medication helped his OCD, but not his depression.

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Colin talks about how medication helped his OCD, but not his depression.

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And she prescribed me like [unknown medication name], Lexapro, instead of fluoxetine and I started off about with low to average dose and I don’t think it helped much. It definitely didn’t help OCD at all, it might have helped my mood a bit, but when I went into the program one of the psychiatrists there said, especially for obsessive compulsive disorder, they usually have you on a much larger dose. So I doubled my dose when I was there and the medication regimen combined with the program was actually very helpful together. It, the medication kind of gave me enough control in order to work on these issues.

So the medication was, was handling your mood?

The medication actually handled, once I was on the higher dose, handled obsessions and compulsions better than my mood.

Ok.

I wasn’t very happy like with what it was doing with my mood.

That was one thing that didn’t change substantially during that time, but I stopped getting a lot of obsessive thoughts on the medication just, even without trying, like I was trying really hard, but even some things that I hadn’t worked on started dissipating.

And I thought that was magical [laughter] at the time.

And then after this program I continued that medication regimen, kept doing the exercises they taught me back while being enrolled in university after having left the program. And I got through my first semester of school and it was so hard, but I worked as hard as I could and I did very well. I fell back to where I had been in high school, like all A’s. All I did, I got a 4.0 my first semester. I was taking fairly hard classes. I, it was, took a lot of effort but I made it back [laughter] to where I was. And then I thought I was in such a good place that, with my obsessive compulsive issues, that I stopped the medication because I didn’t want to be on it any longer and that was a bad idea [laughter]. Because I don’t think I realized how much it had helped my mood. Like I did, I thought it was, like I was really disappointed with, because I still felt, I still had suicidal ideations, and I still had no desire to wake up in morning, I mean.

While you were on the medication or after you started?

No, while I was still on it.

Ok.

But my OCD symptoms were so much better.

 

When his father deepened his religious faith, Colin felt less judged for his depression and more fully supported by his parents.

When his father deepened his religious faith, Colin felt less judged for his depression and more fully supported by his parents.

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The one positive experience I’ve had with religion was probably maybe three years ago. My father had this big spiritual overhaul, kind of like a new born Christian and it made him a much nicer person.

Like I don’t adhere to any beliefs myself, but all I can say is it really softened him a lot and he’s a lot nicer than he used to be. After having this and doing things I would never see him doing. He like goes to bible meetings and group sessions and he leads this men’s group now.

Stuff I would never have associated with my father. But he’s a much more, he’s not gentle he’s still fairly a hard stoic man, but he’s a lot more easy to communicate with and he doesn’t feel as judgmental as he used to.

 

Specific sources of joy for Colin include classmates with a sense of humor and cats.

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Specific sources of joy for Colin include classmates with a sense of humor and cats.

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Because I feel right now, it’s harder for me to grasp onto bigger concepts and find, it’s kind of more scary for me to think about the bigger picture. But it’s easier for me to find that little bit of joy, and when, for example, every Tuesday and Thursday I’ll go to my class, only one in person class and one online class, so I just go Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, and one of my favorite people are there. And I don’t really care about going to the class, I don’t really enjoy being there, but I always know that, he’s like one of the most consistently funny people, like no matter what, everything that comes out of his mouth is pure gold. I don’t know. He just has a way about that. And I just always look forward to seeing him, just like have a short conversation before class starts because it always puts me in a better mood. You know? He could always, we’ll laugh right before class starts. It’s very predictable. And then like, I never used to be an animal person, I never really was. I’d go out of the way of dogs or I’d just be like indifferent. I guess, I’m kind of seeing this girl right now more casually. But she has this cat. I want to go and see the cat every day. And he’s just like, I don’t know, I love seeing this cat. It’s like the first thing I do when I walk inside her house, I’ll just like look for [inaudible]. He’ll just come snuggle up next to me. Get me all congested but I don’t care.

 

Colin works hard to choose what to do about his depression rather than letting the depression be in charge.

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Colin works hard to choose what to do about his depression rather than letting the depression be in charge.

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I’ve made some bad decisions and I’ve made some more recent good decisions, and just. It’s really a good way, to think that way to combat helplessness, which it’s so easy to feel helpless.

But I think you feel like you’re the one creating your own journey. There’s not somebody doing it for you. There’s not, depression’s not doing it for you, anxiety’s not, you’re making your own, paving the way for you, that it’s your decision. And sure, you can’t, there’s going to be ignorant people out there, so if you’re feeling sad, or like down, or you’re worrying about something that people say ‘Why are you worrying about that? It makes no sense. It’s irrational.’ Or ‘Why are you sad? There’s nothing to be sad about. Look at your life, it’s fine.’ I just don’t feel that way, that’s wrong. Sure, you can’t choose to feel the way you feel, but you can choose what to do about it. Like you could choose to make the right choices. Sometimes it might be hard, due to lack of motivation or lack of energy, or the will, but I think it’s really important to see that you’re the one, you’re the one in control of your future, ultimately. Like there’s other things that’s going to make it either harder or easier for you, but. You’ve got that ability.

 

For Colin, depression eroded even the most loving family relationships, but over time they began to recover.

For Colin, depression eroded even the most loving family relationships, but over time they began to recover.

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With my mother, our relationship became very, we used to have a good relationship, and being home and her being worried about me made it a lot rockier. She was very worried about me all the time and would just … We couldn’t have any normal conversations anymore, like we used to, it would all be, like. That’s another thing I have described in therapy, like, with my mom, she would ask like, how I’m doing, and like, “Are you ok?” But every time I’d try to give a legitimate answer, she would just change the subject, like she didn’t want to hear it, she was, just … If I told her I was feeling, how bad I was feeling, I think I remember one time I specifically told her how depressed I actually was. After that, instead of asking me more often, she actually just stopped asking how I was, I think she was scared. Our relationship became really, really weakened by it, actually. It’s a lot better now though.

 

When he first went away to college, Colin's isolation made his depression harder to manage.

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When he first went away to college, Colin's isolation made his depression harder to manage.

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I was very dead set on getting this chemistry degree and my Spanish degree. And that was kind of like plan A in my head. And, I didn’t really have any plan B through C. It was just the only thing that I was really focused on. And then, I finally told myself that I couldn’t do it if this is what it meant, because that’s what it meant going through this kind of, this hating every day so much and just feeling like it was such a, such a draining, laborious process. So, I just, it caught me really quick. Like, even within the first week, it just, the underlying depression that I was feeling just really, it forcefully blew up into a really abysmal episode just, I was by myself at this point, living in my apartment. I wasn’t seeing anybody I wasn’t doing anything social really. And so, I felt very alone and just very scared. And, once I realized my plan A wasn’t working, my mind just started going to those really dark places that it always used to where, oh, if plan A isn’t working then what’s the point, I guess. Just, couldn’t think of any reason to keep going…

 

Colin's job gives him the chance to be 'part of something' with other people.

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Colin's job gives him the chance to be 'part of something' with other people.

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The friends I met now I’ve met through my job, I work at a dining hall. I got promoted, I applied for the promotion, I’m a supervisor there.

And after that it was like the first time I’ve ever, since I’ve been in college that I’ve been like a part of something, like a group of people. And we have like these supervisor meetings and these, it’s kind of like, it’s like a club.

And everybody there is so hard working and really admirable and I had jobs in the past that I felt were good hard working jobs as well. A lot of people haven’t had experience with that, like hard work, which is something my parents really tried to instill in me and that I really respect and I found, I found a lot of hard working people out there and I’m really drawn towards them. And yeah I met one really good friend through work this, just this year and like probably four or five others that are still pretty good, I maybe hang out with them once a week and it’s always the highlight of my week.

 

Colin learned to take the mask over his depression off with friends, while keeping it on around strangers.

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Colin learned to take the mask over his depression off with friends, while keeping it on around strangers.

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So those masks that you’ve had, where, what have you done with those masks?

They’re still very much on with some people, with people I don’t trust. But with, they’re almost completely gone with closer friends. And that’s fine with me. Because I feel like I don’t really need support from strangers. Like I don’t need to know, that like that’s not really their business, I guess. But having the support from closer friends, is amazing and being open with them. Because even people who I considered friends since I was like in middle school didn’t know. And that just, once I thought about it, it was really weird to me because it’s such an integral part, of me.

Yeah.

And it just seemed like I had kinda been lying the whole time. And so yeah, I don’t know, I’m slowly, but surely, getting rid of the masks that have been unhealthy.

 

In reflecting on his recent episode with severe depression, Colin finds purpose in life by developing his own philosophy and in making decisions to improve his life.

In reflecting on his recent episode with severe depression, Colin finds purpose in life by developing his own philosophy and in making decisions to improve his life.

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It really makes you sit back and create your own philosophies on things. Personally I think it’s really made me believe that I create my own purpose in life. That I, that nothing’s really dictating what’s going to happen to me, that I’ve made all of these decisions that, like you said before, I chose personally a lot of these things to do in my life that have bettered my life. Big decisions, and I think like you can really mold your own purpose in life which is, this has taught me a lot going through all of this is that you have the choices. You have the chance to make your own choices and really determine your future and that is just like as bad as it can get, I hope I have seen the worse it can get like it can get better.

 

Colin ended up in the Intensive Care Unit after attempting suicide, and from there was admitted to the psychiatric ward for crisis stabilization. He describes this as 'the worst experience I have ever had.'

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Colin ended up in the Intensive Care Unit after attempting suicide, and from there was admitted to the psychiatric ward for crisis stabilization. He describes this as 'the worst experience I have ever had.'

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But, they kept me in the hospital just in the ICU department for a few days after that with people watching me at all times. They wouldn’t let, leave me in the room alone. And then, once I was stable enough, they sent me to the inpatient, like the psych ward part of [name]. And, I, without a doubt, that is the worst experience I have ever had. I, it’s not like the nice, like, ones that I’ve seen on episodes of like House or something where it’s like group therapy and people just come around and talk and have snacks and stuff. It was not like that. It was, it was a place of stabilization, like crisis stabilization. And, there was, I just felt so out of place. I was probably I feel like I was most definitely the only person there who was not, I mean, by my reason, not super informed of the specific conditions, but a good probably 90% of those people were schizophrenic. There was not many people there based on reality. They were all just somewhere else. And, I had to share a room with one of them. They made me share a room. I couldn’t sleep. I’m already a light sleeper as it is. I couldn’t go to bed. I was sleep deprived. I was in this room with another man in his 20s who was obviously dealing with something bigger, something that was really detaching him from reality. I was very uncomfortable. They fed us meals on schedules. There was always just screaming going on, all the doors locked.

 

Colin describes his outpatient program.

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Colin describes his outpatient program.

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But this program, where I had to be there at 8:30 in the morning every day, which was not like too early or not too late. I had grown used to working at 6 a.m. over the summer. I had a car, so I wasn’t, my anxiety wasn’t pushed over the roof by like an unpredictable bus schedule, or I knew I would be able to get there at the same time every day. I didn’t know what the traffic would be like, I didn’t know if, I didn’t have like a cab on speed dial just in case the bus didn’t get there in time. So it was all very comfortable. And then the first week was pretty scary. It was, it was a lot. They keep you really busy during that program. And it was really a lot more intimate than I thought it would be because it was a group setting. And if I had not had so much previous therapy prior to that, I don’t think I could have been as open as I was. You had to be really open with pretty much what were near strangers to begin with. And, but then as I got to know these people and I started opening up to them, I just got, I looked forward to seeing them every day. I’d be like, wake up and I’d be like oh, I’m so glad I’ll go and get to see [name] or [name] or [name]. It was just like, and I especially look forward to seeing the therapist of that program. She was, she, I don’t know what she’s getting paid, but she should get a raise. She’s so good. Like she just made you want to be there. She’s so interactive, so understanding, but at the same time will push you beyond where you’re comfortable just enough. And yeah, by the time I left, I’d gone from like counting the days until I got to leave to like being reluctant to go. And just I felt like I kind of developed a “family” there.

Were you able to keep up with that “family”?

A few of them. One of them goes to [name] as well, somebody [inaudible]. I have her number and I talk to a number of people still through like social media and [inaudible]. It’s been nice.

And Yeah, I would do the same thing every day. It would vary a little bit because they made it, so it didn’t get stagnant, like you’d do different things every day. They had like a schedule, but it was pretty loose. It’s not, we had art therapy, but everyone did the same thing. Every day you’d have like different projects and different things, you know, keep it fresh and. When I first started going there, like I said, I was really scared. I think I was still kind of scarred from the inpatient. Like I went in there, and I was in another, you know, institution kind of, and just when they told us, I remember the first day when they told us that we got to leave for lunch, I was like oh, yeah, if you have lunch you can go out to your car and like grab it if you made one. I got really scared. Like I walked by this, I remember walking up to the exit doors and just waiting for somebody else to go out because I thought somebody was going to yell at me if I left, you know? Or like stop me or just call the police on me, or just, that was the existential thing I had on my mind was like that the door would be locked when I tried to leave. And it took a while to get over that, like, you know, oh, I can actually go out the area into the parking lot. Yeah, every morning I would get there, secretary, you know, the person at the front desk would greet me. She knew my name. Sign in. Go, sit down, chat with the people before, like the therapist would get there. Towards the end of the program I had made such good friends now that we would go out to lunch together. It was real nice by then.

 

Colin talks about not being able to discuss his suicidal thoughts without feeling judged.

Colin talks about not being able to discuss his suicidal thoughts without feeling judged.

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I’m still seeing him, if not every week, biweekly and.

And how does that help you?

At first when I was still very suicidal and very depressed, I was just going for like mood remediation like just to take care of my immediate needs. And I just needed somebody to talk to and anybody close in my life, I was so afraid to talk to about this. I have never been very open about it, I didn’t feel comfortable talking with anybody besides a professional. And so after that after I, the medicine started helping and after we started dealing with just techniques to kind of calm me down and deal with suicidal thoughts and just, and just somebody to talk to was great, to be honest. It was, I looked forward to it every week, I went every Thursday and I was looking forward to it. Just so I could have some time, somewhere to like vent all of these terrible feelings where I wouldn’t feel judged or isolated. And after I started getting more control on that and like I said, the medicine started helping along with that therapy and I started actually feeling better, I started focusing more on just like, how to make myself want to get out of bed in the morning, how to find purpose in my day, and how to just get through a day with, not with being happy, but just being okay and that was, I’m still working on that [Laughter].

 

Colin describes his experience in the hospital after attempting suicide.

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Colin describes his experience in the hospital after attempting suicide.

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And, once I realized my plan A wasn’t working, my mind just started going to those really dark places that it always used to where, oh, if plan A isn’t working then what’s the point, I guess. Just, couldn’t think of any reason to keep going on if that one goal I had was so far out of reach all of a sudden. And then, yeah, I just felt very empty and lost, and so un-expressively sad that I just gave up on school. I just stopped going and I, it was like the first time in my life that I was 100% certain that I’d go through with the thoughts I had with suicide. And then, I had it all really well planned out. And then, one night, it was a Tuesday night, I finally went through with it. And, unsuccessfully of course, I took about 120 Xanax with vodka, which, I don’t know, is beyond lethal. And I don’t know, I don’t know, it’s really just, like the doctors told me, in the hospital, that it was sheer luck that I survived because somebody found me on a park bench at like three in the morning. I don’t know why they were out there and I don’t know who found me. But, they got me to the hospital in time. And, I woke up two days later in the ICU at [name], and I was kind of going in and out of consciousness, I didn’t really know what was happening.

And, once I woke up for good, I was just, I said all the wrong things, I guess. They sent a psychiatrist in to me to do a psych eval, and like I said, I didn’t say what I, like I said what I meant at the time which was I was mad, I was really mad that I woke up. He was asking me what brought you to this point, like, why are you here? Why are we having this conversation right now? And, I obviously knew what he meant. He meant like what has transgressed in your life, like, in the past, what has gone on that led you to this point of depression?

But, I decided to be really snarky about it because I was mad. I was like, oh, why am I in this bed right now in front of you? And then, my answer was because I didn’t drink enough. And, that was like the one thing I said, I think, that got me sent to the inpatient. And, he told me that, that’s not what they want to hear, that a lot of people usually feel glad or relieved, or regretful and like repentive of it. And, I didn’t.