Watch for depression, other signs of suicide
After reading the “Community Forum” in the Aug. 26 Maryland Independent, I was emotionally compelled to share my feelings on the subject of depression and suicide, due to my brother and only sibling taking his own life over 25 years ago. I had not seen him for 25 years before that. He came to visit me and my three adult children. He arrived right before Christmas. We were all delighted to see him.
I took him around looking for a job. He got one at a restaurant in Waldorf. He seemed to be enjoying himself, and my kids loved their newfound uncle. Then one day he and I were discussing something. He started getting agitated and started yelling and disrespecting me, so I asked him to leave. He walked up to his room, took a few things, called a cab and left. I never heard from him again. I felt terrible he left that way. We always loved each other and were close when we were young.
Several months later, I received a long-distance phone call from my parents. My mother told me my brother had obviously taken a cab to D.C. and got on a bus to Colorado where we were born. He hiked his way up into the mountains. It was very cold, and the mountains were snow covered. He starved himself to death, and two skiers found him. The only possession he had on him was a blue jean shirt I had bought him for Christmas. He left all the other gifts my kids had given him and a $25 paycheck in the room he stayed in at my house.
I was truly devastated. I regretted that I let him leave after an argument. I should have given him a hug. I still cry when I think about that sad, unfortunate day.
Even as a child, my brother suffered from depression because of our unhappy home life. I left right out of high school, never went back home, and built a life for myself. My brother attempted suicide many times.
Suicide stems from constant deep depression and a total loss of hope. He lived like a hermit and sought counseling to no obvious help. In my heart, I feel the only way those affected can overcome depression is through prayer, kindness, understanding and good counseling.
The outside world may view attempts of suicide not as calls for help, but as a way to seek self-serving attention, so they ignore signs. They don’t understand or see people’s pain or do not know how to help. In today’s society people seem more self-absorbed, and only have time to battle through their own challenges. Unfortunately, some individuals never find happiness and do not seek help.
I miss my brother, wish I knew how deeply troubled he was and could have helped. Hopefully he hears me wherever he is. I love you.
Cassie Sandrovich, Brandywine