Nine Years Old and Suicidal: As Told By the Nine-Year-Old

Full disclosure: This post was written by the son of the author of the previous posts in this series. He wrote it and approved its publishing. That said, we’ve chosen to publish it anonymously. This post is part 4 of a 5-part series, following Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3. You can read Part 5 here.

My mom already told you some stuff about when I was in the hospital. I went there for suicidal thoughts. I had the bad feelings but they would go away mostly. I never told anyone until the day I went to the hospital. My parents were very sad when I was gone. I want people to know that it’s not that bad going to the hospital. I got a brain vacation. That helped me a lot. It was actually fun. I even made some friends there.

The first day was a little hard because I didn’t know what to do. I did not know I had to ask for my clothes. I took a shower and put my old clothes back on. But then the nurses helped me. I missed my family and my dog but liked the hospital. They were really organized. We had a schedule, but we also had some time to relax. We did lots of therapy more than what I normally do. We had music therapy, art therapy, and process group therapy. We played outside. The other kids there were a lot like me. I never met kids like them before.

I learned other people have brains like mine. The hospital workers helped me understand that I get stressed out sometimes. All my stress makes me sad. There are things that bother me more than they bother other kids. When things are hard for me, my brain gets stuck. This happens a lot every day and makes me mad. I learned I probably don’t like myself when this happens and that might be why I didn’t want to live.

I got a wheel that shows lots of feelings. On the first day, the feeling I picked was grief. That means really sad. On the last day, I picked stressed. That’s better than grief. I’m feeling better. I take some medicine every night before I go to bed. It’s supposed to help me relax and not let my brain get stuck so much. I go to therapy. My parents do too.

I learned that my parents have their own therapist. I never knew that. The doctor told me that she thought I might grow up to be short but will have a lot of hair. This is because both my parents are short and have a lot of hair. She thinks I will be like them. Both my parents get anxious too. The doctor said that just like growing and hair, I might have gotten my anxiety from my parents.

We do some stuff at home now like we did it in the hospital. The feelings wheel is on the fridge for me to use when I need it. I do starfish breathing whenever I want and no one knows if I do it. I also have a list of positive things about myself taped on my dresser. And I do some workbooks with my parents a little bit each night. I feel better. Now I have tricks to help my mind. They told me I might have some scary thoughts, but I signed a contract that I would tell my parents or teachers or therapist if I ever want to hurt myself. I’m glad I stayed at the hospital. It might sound scary, but they helped me so much.

If you or someone you love is suicidal, don’t wait to seek help. Head to your nearest Emergency Room, or call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255.


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