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The Truth Can Set You Free: A Testimony

The Truth Can Set You Free: A Testimony

It’s a common story: On the outside, the Gallaghers were the typical suburban family. John was a businessman and husband to Trisha for more than 30 years. They had four wonderful children together. But on the inside, the family was living a lie.  

In 1999, John attempted suicide. Tired of the unabated feelings of hopelessness, loneliness and apathy, he leapt head-first out of a third-story hospital window where he was on suicide watch. Although he was being observed, it only took a second for him to go through with the act. In what some would call a miracle, not only did John survive the fall, but he did so with minor injuries.

Ironically, after John’s most desperate act for help and acknowledgement, the family ignored the suicide attempt and his experience with severe depression. John didn’t want anyone to know about his suicide attempt, so his wife and older children created elaborate stories for his hospital stays and injuries. The stories worked so well that the younger children really believed their dad had been in an accident, and John’s dad died without ever knowing the truth.

After almost 10 years of denial and an almost-broken marriage, John was inspired by reading another man’s suicide attempt to go public with his own story. The younger children were told the truth and a family dialogue about suicide and depression began. In fact, John was so inspired that he wrote a book about his experience and encouraged every family member to write their own contributing chapter about their experience. The book, No More Secrets: A Family Speaks About Depression, Anxiety and Attempted Suicide will be released this fall. The Gallaghers hope their story will help other families dealing with depression and help ease the stigma associated with suicide attempts.

Does the Gallaghers’ story sound familiar? Do you know someone or a family who seems to have it all together only to find out they were dealing with depression? Share your experience; you never know who it could inspire. [The Reporter Online]

Posted: 8/19/08