Edmonton woman describes living with mental illness; 3 suicide attempts

Written by admin on 14/11/2018 Categories: 长沙桑拿

In the third part of a series on mental health and suicide, Global News spoke with a woman living with depression. She has attempted suicide three times.

EDMONTON – Denyse Ward lives in a painful world. She recognizes her depression but often struggles to manage it.

The depression becomes apparent as she describes the thoughts and feelings she has had over the last 13 years.

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At one point, she recalls thinking of her family, “All I’m doing is wrecking their lives, so they’d be all better off if I leave.”

On the not-so-bad days: “I just sit around and try very hard not to feel like I am worthless.”

In 2002, Ward was diagnosed with a form of depression known as Dysthymia. Recently, she has also been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Things got worse in 2011 when Ward’s mother died.

“I started to crumble without really realizing it. That Christmas, I attempted suicide for the first time in my life.”

It wouldn’t be the last time.

On May 19, 2015 Ward tried again.

She was taken to hospital where she asked for help but found none.

“Despite them being told by myself if they release me I will finish the job, they released me anyway.”

A friend took her straight to the Royal Alexandra Hospital’s mental health unit where she was put on a seven-month waiting list for a treatment program. Waiting that long with her depression proved too much.

Two months later, Ward again tried killing herself.

“I took some more sleeping pills and drank some alcohol,” said Ward.

She then grabbed a razor and cut her wrists.

Ward texted family members who called for help. Paramedics took her to the hospital but the suicide attempt wasn’t over.

As she told hospital staff, “Nobody is listening, nobody cares,” she wrapped cables from an electrocardiogram machine around her neck and tried to strangle herself.

One hour later, Ward was discharged from hospital.

She’s still waiting to start her treatment program and doesn’t think that’s right.

“It’s really saddening when you go to a hospital and ask for help and they let you go.”

“I really don’t know what I’d do without my family sticking by me and being so persistent. It’s scary that they have to be so persistent for me to still be here.”

“I can’t help but think if I had cancer, it would’ve been dealt with one way or another.”

READ MORE: Edmonton area mom demands better mental health care after teen daughter’s suicide 

WATCH: Every year, 500 Albertans die by suicide. It’s the third highest rate in the country. Now, one mother is calling for changes to our mental health system. Fletcher Kent reports.

Both Ward and her husband, Ken Martin, feel Alberta’s mental health system must improve.

“It’s rough,” said Martin of being the primary supporter of a clinically depressed wife. Martin has lived with Ward for the last 18 years. Because of the depression, they’re often distant.

“There’s no family. There’s no three of us going out to visit anybody,” he said.

Denyse Ward’s family struggles to find help for her.

He wants Ward to find help and is frustrated at how difficult it has been to get it. He and Ward echo the concerns cited in earlier Global News stories from family of a suicide victim and mental health professionals. They feel those working in the mental health system must better collaborate. When a program is identified, it often takes too long to get access.

Martin describes the treatment process as “rough when you’re trying to get answers and you talk to a psychologist and they don’t even give you a proper answer.”

Ward is determined to improve but after 13 years of struggling within the system, she isn’t holding out much hope for any official help.

She says she expects to rely more on her family and friends for support.

Ward’s talking more about her problems now. That helps, too.

“I actually feel like I helped somebody,” she said. “So it helps me feel better with what I’m going through.”

Those informal support groups may aid Ward, but she still wants something more from the mental health system; both for her and for her young son.

“I’m having to deal with my son at four years old starting to tell me he wanted to die and bleed.”

Ward’s not sure if depression is genetic or if her son is merely mimicking what his mother has said. Either way, Ward says she’ll fight for a better mental health system. She doesn’t want her son to live the life she is.

WATCH: Seventeen-year-old Kylee Goodine took her own life last month and her mother says it didn’t have to happen. She’s demanding better mental health care. Fletcher Kent has more on the problems and how lawmakers are working to change things.

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