Vincent was 15-years-old when he decided life wasn’t worth living. It had been years since he experienced the highs and lows of everyday life. He slit his wrist to escape the overwhelming feeling of nothingness. Thankfully, his suicide attempt failed and a friend at school noticed his wounds and told a school administrator. Vincent was soon admitted to Clarity Child Guidance Center’s inpatient treatment program where he began his journey toward recovery and along the way he found a friend in his therapist.
“Clarity Child Guidance Center helped me to get through the worst of it and gave me a safe place to recover without the ability to hurt myself,” says Vincent. “After getting out of the hospital, the outpatient services gave me the support and life skills I needed to cope with my depression.”
At 12-years-old, Vincent had been a carefree kid who loved to play video games. But that all changed when his mom began to recognize warning signs for depression. He began to sleep a lot and did not seem to care about anything anymore. Over the next five years Vincent’s depression became increasingly worse and led to three hospitalizations to keep him from hurting himself.
After his last inpatient stay, Vincent began regularly meeting with Dino Hernandez, LPC. The pair formed a friendship and Vincent knew Dino was someone he could trust to get him through the hard times. With his help, Vincent has learned a great deal about how to cope with his depression and anxiety so that he may lead a more successful life.
The scars on Vincent’s wrist are a permanent reminder of what he has overcome. He sometimes catches people staring at his marks of depression before they quickly look away. These awkward moments demonstrate the stigma that still surrounds mental health disorders and the social challenges Vincent will face throughout his recovery. He hopes that by sharing his story he will do his part in eliminating the stigmatization of emotional and behavioral issues so that more people will seek the professional help they need.
Vincent, now 19-years-old, is currently attending a community college and is working toward his dream of becoming a history professor. He finally feels as though he truly can accomplish anything and everyday he reminds himself that it’s darkest before dawn.