About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view ajarrese's profile
    Posted May 3, 2014 by
    Atlanta, Georgia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Going public with mental illness

    Things Get Better


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     ajarrese realized he was depressed after he was brought to a hospital after a suicide attempt. He says exercise, therapy and medication helped him cope with his depression after the event. ‘A change of scenery definitely helped me. I transferred school immediately,’ he said. But he doesn’t let depression dictate his life now. 'Depression and suicide doesn't have to be this dark cloud that follows you around for the rest of your life. There are positives in it,’ he said, explaining that it brought him closer to his family. He believes coping with depression has made him stronger and capable of managing other difficulties in life. ‘In 2009, I was diagnosed with cancer. Learning to deal with the depression helped me beat it and not slow me down one bit,’ he said.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    When I was 19 years old, I attempted suicide after a bad break up with an ex girlfriend. I was diagnosed with major depression. I immediately underwent therapy and was prescribed to anti depressants. I did therapy for 4 years, and was on the medication for 7. Almost 10 years later, I feel that I have overcome my illness and I am able to live a healthy, happy, fulfilling life.


    The scariest thing about my experience was that I TRULY believed in my heart that things would not get better. Clearly, they did!


    One thing that has always helped me battle my depression, was a quote that I read after being hospitalized in a psychiatric unit for 5 days.


    It said “Don’t always believe what you think”


    That’s the best way I’ve been able to explain to people how depression works. It feels like you can’t control your thoughts. It feels like a negative force has taken over your brain, and soon enough, you start to believe those thoughts. I believed that if I took my life, no one would miss me. I know it sounds crazy but it’s seriously that powerful.


    If your reading this, and you feel like hurting yourself…..DON’T!


    I was lucky enough to survive and was able to see the pain I put my friends and family through. Ask for help, and do whatever it takes to get better.



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