Today I buried my son age 30 years and 5 months. Graduate of Dartmouth College cum laude. He suffered from an illness that was as devastating as any that is found in the world, depression also known as bipolar or manic-depressive disorder.
It kills a lot of people who suffer torments that are hard to understand.
These people cannot see any viable solution to their pain, except suicide. They leave behind those of us that will be tormented for the rest of our lives.
There are drugs, there are support groups, there are therapists, there is hospitalization. But, in the long run these solutions, and variations on them, help only some of these victims.
My son was not helped by any of these. Medications seemed to help for a short while. The psychiatrist who prescribed his medication only saw him once a month. His therapist refused to resume treating him after he was hospitalized for a second time. He had to start with a new therapist. We, his parents, his friends spent hours, days, weeks giving support - to no avail. My son had been a writer, a fundraiser and a teacher.
As a doctor at Bellevue, where he was brought the first time for treatment, told me if the patients want to kill themselves there is nothing we can do. He might as well have said "who cares, we can't expend the time, or the money to find an answer to this illness." Give them medications, discharge them and wipe your hands. I will never forget you, Dr. F____.
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anniversary date 06-27-97
date of post 06-29-97