The Actress Says She Sought Help After
Attempting to Commit Suicide When She Was 22
James Donaldson notes:
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
Evan Rachel Wood is opening up about how years of abuse pushed her to seek help and check into a psychiatric hospital.
In a moving essay for Nylon, Wood, 31, said her wake up call about her mental health came after a suicide attempt when she was 22.
“Looking back, it was the worst, best thing that ever happened to me,” Wood began.
“It was morning; I felt as though I had been hit by a truck. Then with an almost hysterical acceptance, without thinking, I picked up the phone. It was one of those moments when you have a choice that goes beyond the initial choice you make by calling out for help: You can not die, or you can come back to life,” Wood wrote.
Wood then explained that her call to her mother and knowing that she soon would be getting the help she needed felt freeing.
“The beautiful thing about being at the bottom is there is nowhere to go but up. I wasn’t supposed to be alive, so nothing I did at that point mattered. I had already proven to myself nothing mattered. So, I may as well surrender.”
When she spoke with her mother again, Wood revealed her mother questioned why she attempted suicide.
“After a moment I said, “I just wanted some space,” Wood wrote.
“My mind at the time was filled with scars and shadows and most importantly, so much shame. I was struggling with PTSD and didn’t know it.”
“My PTSD was caused by multiple rapes and a severely abusive relationship that went on for years,” Wood wrote.
However, living in the public eye forced Wood to hide her pain.
“Getting help for mental illness is not something I can broadcast,” Wood continued.
“So when it came time to find a psychiatric hospital, my first concern — which most people won’t have to worry about — was figuring out a way to get help without anyone finding out, because if they did, any chance I had at rebuilding myself would be severely impaired by the cruelty of strangers.”
After a number of rejections, as many facilities were out of space, Wood and her mother found a private psychiatric hospital.
However, in order to protect her identity, Woods changed her name at the hospital.
“When my time was almost up, I felt conflicted about leaving. Of course, you want to get out of there, but it’s the first place where I had felt safe and taken care of for some time.”
Since her stay, Wood says she’s continued going to therapy and has managed to wean herself of medication.
“Depression isn’t a weakness, it’s a sickness. Sometimes a deadly one. And sometimes all people need is to know that they are loved and that others are there for them,” Woods concluded.
Wood’s op-ed comes just under a year after the actress opened up about the sexual assaults she experienced in order to make a change.
The Westworld actress gave emotional testimony in front of a House Judiciary Subcommittee in Washington D.C. to advocate for Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Acts in all 50 states.