OKLAHOMA CITY – The death of Robin Williams shocked many. However, his death has brought new light to the issue of suicide in our country.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans.
It’s an issue many fear talking about.
On the outside someone can look completely fine when, on the inside, they are fighting a battling more intense than those around them could ever imagine.
Kenzie Keck, who has struggled in the past with thoughts of suicide, said, “on the outside I was fine but on the inside it was total darkness, a lot of inner demons telling me I was worthless, that I couldn’t do anything right.”
On the outside Kenzie’s life appeared great, but at just 17 years old she reached a point where behind her smile she was struggling to hold on.
Kenzie said, “I got to the point where I thought, I’m done. I can’t handle this anymore.”
She had plans to end her life, but then decided one day to instead reach out and call the Suicide Prevention Hotline.
From there her life began to change.
She went to an in-patient treatment center for two weeks. She followed that up with counseling and prescription anti-depressants.
Her struggle was something most had no idea was going on.
Kenzie said, “Why would I be depressed? I’ve got everything I need.”
Dr. Willis Holloway, a psychiatrist with Cutting Edge Research, said, “Depression as well as other mental health issues are no respecter of gender, class, socioeconomic status.”
Dr. Holloway says there is a big difference in feelings of sadness and depression.
He said, “We all have things that occur in our life that make us sad or unhappy sometimes make us feel bad for a few days.”
He says a sadness that lingers two weeks or more may be a sign you need help and awareness is essential.
Pay attention to when someone we love is acting different or isolating themselves is also key according to Dr. Holloway.
“People are reluctant to admit they have problems and they are reluctant to admit they need help,” said Dr. Holloway.
Kenzie has since gone through a program called Pathways and attends a Celebrate Recovery 12-step program.
She has shared more of her story on her blog. She hopes her story will encourage someone else to reach out for help.
Kenzie said, “There’s so much in life to live for and you can’t cut yourself short.”
The American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide has a list of risk factors and warning sides of suicide on their web site.
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide help is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week by calling 1-800-522-9054.