Dear Annie: Six years ago, I tried to take my own life. I was a popular high school student, excelled at sports and had a girlfriend and a supportive family who were always there for me. People thought I had it all. What they didn’t realize was that I was struggling with debilitating depression.
One night, when things seemed hopeless and I felt my life was too much for me to handle, I decided to jump out of my ninth-story bedroom window. Luckily, I survived and am able to share my story in the hope that it will help others.
Why would I suffer from depression? As a male, statistics say I am far less likely to have depression than females. I also am African American – a group that traditionally has low depression and suicide rates. But statistics don’t matter if you are the one who is suffering.
What I want everyone who reads this to know is that depression affects all walks of life. The good news is that help is available.
Oct. 10 is National Depression Screening Day. I encourage anyone who may be struggling to visit HelpYourselfHelp Others.org and take an online depression screening. The screenings are free, easy and anonymous, and provide resources that allow people who may be depressed to take a first step toward healing.
While I still deal with depression, I am alive today because I got the help I needed. – Jordan Burnham
Dear Jordan: Thank you for sharing your inspiring story and mentioning National Depression Screening Day. Depression can affect anyone, no matter their circumstance. A screening can be a helpful way for those struggling with depression to receive the help they need. We encourage our readers to visit HelpYouselfHelp Others.org. If you or someone you know is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273- TALK (8255).