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Every day is just going to be getting up and thinking about food.'"There was a time where I was literally spending 16 hours of my 24-hour day thinking about food: how I could cut calories, how I could just get down to as little as I could. Stage"I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2004.I just thought that was never going to happen, because you have to think about food every day."Once I started to feel like I was stuck in this for years, that’s when the suicidal thoughts started to happen. I'd already been mis-diagnosed with depression and fed a steady stream of antidepressants, which did nothing but kill my sex drive and make me tired and even more depressed than when I started out.Today, life expectancy is higher than it's ever been, but the suicide rate is on the rise — perhaps indicating that our country's mental-health management is lagging behind the rest of medicine.Dismantling the stigma around suicide is a literal matter of life and death for tens of thousands of people: Some 40,000 Americans die by suicide every year.The one thing I don’t want to tell anyone I love is that I will never do it again, because I don’t know if I will never do it again. I don’t know if it’s going to get worse, if the medications are going to stop working, if my circumstances will change where I can’t afford medication and therapy."Melody Moezzi"The thing about the mentally ill is [that] I had never been familiar with that community until I was diagnosed and went into the hospital and realized that this is an incredibly vulnerable community that is so silent and is not some tiny minority of people.
It’s not some tiny minority of people, but they’re so fucking quiet about it, and that was the thing that really pissed me off when I went into the hospital and realized that."Carlton Davis"[After my suicide attempt] I remember lying in bed next to a man who did die, and I heard his death rattle throughout the night.
Anita Estrada"[The depression] really became more obvious, more of an issue, when I got in my late teens and early 20s.
I was diagnosed with depression when I was in my early 20s — depression with atypical anxiety — and then, when I had my first suicide attempt, they changed [my diagnosis] to bipolar disorder.
National Suicide Prevention Week runs from September 7-13, 2015.
If you or someone you care about is thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433. Stage Googled "suicide survivor." "What I found," she shares on her website, "was people who had lost someone they loved, not people like me, who had tried to die and lived instead — people who were confused about what happened next, who felt so much shame that they couldn't talk about what had happened to them, people who felt misunderstood and alone." Stage knew firsthand that isolation could be deadly.
So, as a self-taught photographer, Stage created the multimedia storytelling project , which draws suicide-attempt survivors out from under our culture's shroud of anonymity and encourages them to share their experiences — with faces and names attached.