I was obsessed with suicide and death. Somehow, I survived.


Mental illness drove my obsession with suicide and death.

For years I have suffered from mental illness depression, anxiety, obsessive disorder etc.

A few years ago, I became obsessed with the idea of committing suicide. It was like a ghost that haunted my thoughts. Those thoughts were not­–what if or could I committed suicide? But when and how I would kill myself.

Because of my psychosis, I lost almost all communication and anger management skills. One day after working myself into a terrible frenzy, I got extremely upset. I barricaded myself in our bathroom. Out of desperation, my wife called the police. I was taken to a local hospital. 

First, I tried escaping. I was caught. I was then put into a room with a glass door, so the staff could observe me. I was forced into hospital gown to just sit with no human contact. 

Next to me was an IV stand. I decided this was my big chance. I lowered the IV, as far as it would go, until I hooked the back of my gown and then used my body weight to crash the unit to the ground. The next thing I remember someone shaking me screaming, "What are you trying to do?"  I figured that was obvious.

Then they forced me to lay in a hospital bed with restraints. I could see the male nurse that found me laughing at me behind the nurse's station. 

I was sent to a new hospital with a psyche ward. But the new hospital and its psyche ward could not stop my suicidal obsession. I tried to suffocate myself. I ended up under 24/7 suicide watch.  That wasn't fun and added to my anxiety.

Finally, I agreed to counseling. I was put on a drug regimen and when I was ready I was sent home. It was a terrible time but I did get better.

My wife remains terrified that one day she's going to come home to a dead body. I really can't blame her. But the truth is that I am no longer obsessed with suicide. I'm not sure why. Surely my meds have helped. I continue my counseling at a local mental health center.  

I am slowly realizing how many people in my family, especially my wife, were affected by my refusal to want or seek help. Today, I am grateful to the many mental health professionals and caregivers who gave of themselves to save me.

And most importantly, I know that if I ever feel my suicidal obsession returning–this time–I will seek help immediately and gladly.

We do get better. 

Gary Wightman, Belmont, New York