My Birthday Gift and the Subject of Suicide
In 2010, 16-year-old Kalief Browder was sucked into the criminal justice system for three years without trial, sequestered on Rikers Island and in 2013 released without any apology or explanation. Browder became one of many victims in a flawed judicial system in the United States.
Browder suffered from the effects of paranoia and depression; however, prior to his incarceration, he had no known mental health issues. Unfortunately, in 2015, Browder committed suicide by hanging himself.
According to Jennifer Gonnerman (The New Yorker), during his time of incarceration, Browder endured about two years in solitary confinement, where he attempted to end his life several times. Once, in February 2012, he ripped his bedsheet into strips, tied them together to create a noose, and tried to hang himself from the light fixture in his cell.
Kalief Browder, 1993-2015
Also, according to Gonnerman, in November 2013, six months after he left Rikers, Browder attempted suicide again. This time, he tried to hang himself at home, from a bannister, and he was taken to the psychiatric ward at St. Barnabas Hospital, not far from his home, in the Bronx.
Browder shared with Gonnerman, stories about abuse by officers and inmates on Rikers. In April 2015, Gonnerman obtained surveillance footage of an officer assaulting him as well as, a large group of inmates.
Typically the majority of people who have depression don't expire by suicide, but having major depression (Clinical depression) does increase suicide risk compared to people without depression. The risk of death by suicide may, in part, be related to the severity of the depression.
According to WebMD, with major depression, it may be difficult to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy friends and activities. Some people have clinical depression only once in their life, while others have it several times in a lifetime.
Also, major depression can sometimes occur from one generation to the next in families, but may affect people with no family history of the illness.
On July 20, 2017, Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington committed suicide. According to the Los Angeles County coroner's office, the 41-year-old rocker hanged himself from a bedroom door in his home near Los Angeles. Shortly before his death, Bennington's close friend, Soundgarden frontman, Chris Cornell committed suicide. (Heroin-overdose)
Note: Comedian Robin Williams died in an apparent suicide by hanging in 2014.
Coroner confirms Chester Bennington died by hanging
Prior to his death, Bennington was open and candid about his troubled life, including an introduction to smoking pot after his parents divorced when he was 11, which led to an on-and-off battle with addiction to drugs and alcohol. Also, from the ages of 7-13, Bennington was sexually molested by an older male (not his father) which led to depression.
According to Lizette Borreli (Medical Daily), victims of child sexual abuse can develop depression and other mental health conditions that follow them well into adulthood.
Effects Of Child Sexual Abuse: Depression And Other Mental Health Conditions
According to Sabrina Tavernise (The New York Times, 2016), a federal data analysis found suicide in the United States had surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years, with increases in every age group except older adults. American Indians had the sharpest rise of all racial and ethnic groups, with rates rising by 89 percent for women and 38 percent for men. White middle-aged women had an increase of 80 percent.
U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High
Warning Signs of Suicide
Also, the analysis noted that about one in four suicides in 2014 involved suffocation, which includes hanging and strangulation, compared with fewer than one in five in 1999. Suffocation deaths are harder to prevent, because nearly anyone has access to the means.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that approximately one out of every five American adults experiences mental illness of some type every year, but only 41 percent of these people receive mental healthcare. Even those who do get treatment do not always find their symptoms improving and in the case of those taking antidepressants, their symptoms could even get worse.
Although more women are affected by depression than men, males are less likely to seek mental health care or talk to anyone in reference to the subject.
If you are depressed or feel that you're experiencing depression and thinking about harming yourself or others, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Current Military/Veterans: use the same number and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
Also, if you know someone that needs help, reach out to them and encourage them to get seek help.