We are not selfish: a view from the inside of suicide

The last thing I want is for this post to come across as clichéd and well-timed, as though I sat here and premeditated the whole thing. Lord knows the subject is serious as hell, I myself have discussed it ad nauseum for years, blazing a fire beneath the first cause to really (I mean really) move me. It absolutely thrills me to see the conversation finally having its day as it rightly should. At the same time, it makes me refrain from posting certain things these days. You see, there are people of the opinion that advocates like myself are simply riding on the trend cause of the moment, and that I, in particular, am just another blogger milking or feigning mental health challenges for attention. (Yes, there are actually people with such ignorant, insensitive and bigoted beliefs). Not sure why of all the things one could pretend to be consistently, a mentally challenged person would be the most desirable option. This seems absurd to me, especially given the stigmas we have to battle or hide from daily, but hey, what do I know?

Anyway, I wanted to address this subject last week when Delus died, but panicked about putting myself out there yet again as ‘the depressed poster girl’. Especially as it’s something I’ve tried so hard to change over the years. Then it became yesterday as a #mentalhealthMonday piece, but I was ready and then I wasn’t sure anymore because it became all too real for me. We, JAMHAN, an advocacy group I’m part of, had just appeared on Smile Jamaica showing our video and talking about things we want to identify, discuss and change here in Jamaica. It was brilliant, timely, just what we need in this country, especially with many people seeing suicide victims as selfish and cruel. Suddenly I felt horrible and lost all energy to share it, but it keeps popping up because I’m still here today, so I figured it might be worthwhile to add my two (or 20) cents to the discussion. Here goes…

What does depression look like?

This is me on Sunday, June 26, 2016 at about 11:00 AM.
…And here I am on Sunday, June 26, 2016 at 12:18 PM all dressed up for brunch.

These were supposed to be my last pictures taken alive.

It’s been seven years since my last suicide attempt (there have been two), and two years since I’ve actively thought about it. Therapy has helped a lot, and so I went from having active thoughts (e.g. planning a day, time and method) to passive (e.g. wouldn’t it be a relief if I just died of a heart attack in my sleep instead of waking up tomorrow?) Mind you, neither of those are healthy thoughts, but for a depressed person, the latter shows much progress and promise. You cannot begin to imagine just how much brain work and willpower it takes to get from that point to the next, especially in my case, as the last time I tried to ‘not be here anymore’, I very nearly succeeded. My body had gone through the fight and given up, while my mind went through the acceptance and I was on my way into the light when I was jerked back to consciousness. I remember my initial thoughts – I was angry that I was stopped, then frustrated that I failed again (like I did at everything else I tried in my life), and then… numbness.

A few hours later I was back to partying, smoking and drinking a tonne of alcohol as I was doing right before, because I simply didn’t know what else to do to quiet my mind and I knew no one around would have understood me in that moment.  Yes, it was a good thing that I was saved, but also very dangerous because in a way, I now know what it feels like to die, and it’s not as scary as people think. While on the way into the light I had happy memories, sad ones, angry ones, I could hear what was going on in the world above as well as the world below and it was a little frightening for a very short time, but then I felt free and calm… happy it was finally going to be all over and to be doing everyone I knew a favour. It was, and still is, my first real taste of inner peace and joy. Imagine fighting the urge to go back to that seemingly attractive place where nothing matters any more every. single. day. and you’ll begin to understand a fraction of what experiencing depression is like. It’s very fucking hard, to say the least, and until a month ago, I was so proud of myself for moving away from the proverbial edge of the cliff on to thoughts that I could actually spot and tweak before they turned into plans.

Now after all that work, all that progress, the last three weeks for me have been nothing short of hellish. I’m having active thoughts again and almost everything is a trigger, so much so that I thought yesterday would be the perfect day to do it for real.  I would have had a nice weekend with my boyfriend Adam, Skyped my sister Simone, hung out with my other sis Ash at the Raging Fyah concert, killed it at work on Sunday all day while chilling with my friend Miriam, then seen all my years of advocacy work pay off when JAMHAN appeared on TVJ. I’d know I at least managed to make a contribution before I ‘left’ and reckoned that being such a burden on everyone, they would, once they got over their grief, eventually be relieved that they no longer had to deal with me, so I even stopped feeling guilty about it. The only thing on my mind was anticipation of that sweet peace I once tasted in that place where nothing hurt anymore… that’s all I want, all I ever wanted… not to hurt, not to feel burdened, embarrassed, sad, angry all the time. Not to have to fight my thoughts and feelings and feel like I’m a colossal failure at everything in life only here draining everyone I love each day. It’s exhausting.

I won’t go into why or how I managed to be here today as this is already a long enough post, let’s just say a mother’s intuition is a very real thing, so, too, the intuition of a significant other… but I wanted to clarify for everyone that while it may seem like selfishness is the driver of suicide, that is far from the truth. I’m still trying to fight and I plan on seeing a new psychiatrist this week to help me some more as I believe I now need to be on mood balancing medication, but in case you find it helpful, I’m going to share my own warning signs below so you can reach out if you recognise similar behaviours in someone you love.

  • Withdrawal from people and activities
  • Poor eating habits
  • Constant fatigue/illness
  • Not really sleeping
  • Sleeping too much
  • Irritability (lashing out with not much valid reason)
  • Crying all the time (I should probably take this off because nobody ever sees me)
  • Sounding really dull, bothered by or uninterested in everything
  • Being really dressed/made up all the time (for me this usually follows a major meltdown – case in point, Sunday before brunch)
  • Being happy and upbeat all the time (this too, as it helps people not to question how you are)

I also want to let you know that people are categorised as suicide ‘victims’ for a reason… usually they are in some kind of pain and their thoughts are too cloudy because most of the times, they’re too ill to reason properly and thus see only one way out. I’m speaking from my own experience in the hope that you will understand a bit more of what it’s like and act accordingly by showing kindness and love to everyone, because the truth is, you just never know what’s going on inside.

P.S. I’d really appreciate it if those of you who know me personally do not blow up my phone with suggestions or keep telling me to try and snap out of it, and as for strangers, don’t bother submitting your horrible, bigoted thoughts in the contact section of the blog. Go ahead and show the world how you really view women or #mentalhealthmatters and leave a comment right here on the post.

UPDATE: I started a mental health support group called #itsokayJA in Kingston and it will be rolling out in a few other parishes soon. For more details on that, plus tips and coping strategies as well as general information for those who want to know, please sign up for my e-mails here: bit.ly/tamitsansai-emails. Mental health can be restored but we can’t do it alone, support is crucial. Let’s do this for each other.

Thank you for reading.


96 thoughts on “We are not selfish: a view from the inside of suicide

  1. Counselor77 says:

    Thanks for sharing.

    For my 2 cents, I think it’s human nature for us to fear (and even hate) the unknown and things we can’t explain. I will not claim or pretend to understand. And equally, I will not condone or support the hurtful comments of many against those who suffer as ‘surviving’ victims. Suffice to say that – far from being selfish – I believe that it must take a great deal of courage to act on the instinct … albeit that it would be the apparent prelude to the ‘peace’ that one seeks.

    I’ll remember you in my prayers my friend.

  2. Running Wild says:

    There’s a part of me that this speaks a part of me that creeps up from time to time but I somehow manage to shovel it back in…mental illness is a reality …. my children are the next part of me that gives life another chance

    Thanks Tam

    • Tami Tsansai says:

      It’s good that you have something to keep you going, treasure it and keep fighting. Sometimes not having children makes me think I’m a great candidate for dropping out. Thank you for your comment.

  3. Tiffany says:

    In bed reading your amazing post and one word keeps popping up in my head: Braveheart. It shocked me when you said you feel like a bother. I haven’t been around you in years since uwi and literally ALL I think about when I see you is how much light shines through you. You were always so kind, positive, beautiful and unique! Constantly expressing yourself creatively 🙂 Thank you for sharing your pain and journey and thanks also for trying to help others going through it and who might have loved ones going through it. The world is blessed to have you darling.

  4. Shanna-Kay Heaven says:

    We are survivors. .. I’m still trying to figure out if that is fortunate or unfortunate… but I’m not very happy… I’m just happy we survived.

    Even if we don’t know how to live yet… or figured out how or why to stay alive…

    What we always need to to is what we’ve done

    Survive . . .

    I hear God listens when we pray or cry or sit in silence… so until we can communicate with him ourselves… I’m sure people who we love may do it for us…


  5. Joan Nanook Webley says:

    Tami I feel like you ripped a page from my heart. I didn’t write about this publicly for many of the reasons you shared, but I am so glad YOU DID! No one who has dealt with mental illness in any way can question your sincerity. The symptoms you have listed are so spot on…ironically I live my life trying to be nice to others because “you never know what they are going through” and even as I type this to you the tears come because I ALLWAYS feel like no one knows what I am going through. That anyone else would do a better job at my life than me. I shared that thought with a close friend just a few days ago, or may occasionally say to my mom that I feel “sad” but, I just never want to bother anyone with the fullness of the emptiness. In fact, that’s the real reason I’ve never made an “attempt” because I know it would hurt my family too much and I can’t hurt them like that. But when I see how many around me are giving in…people I am sorry to see go…I feel like we all need to speak up and out about things. On better days, which are becoming more frequent, I’m excited about unfulfilled plans. I’ve found that setting new goals for myself (learn a language, learn to play guitar, etc) have really helped my perspective. You, young lady have been very bold- and to really thank you I will actually post this instead of writing and deleting as I’d considered the whole way through… 🙂

    • Libby Lyn says:

      Post on point as is your reply, the part where you said you haven’t made an attempt because you knew it’d hurt your family suprised me, I know someone who long ago that was the reason why they never made any attempts…stay strong

  6. unravelled1 says:

    Thank you for putting my entire life in words. This…. this says it to the T. I never really thought anyone else understood that eternal internal fight, so thanks for helping me to realise I’m not alone.

  7. Sheeka says:

    I have been struggling with unanswered questions after my friends suicide two weeks ago.. Thank you so much for shedding light on a topic that no one has been comfortable openly talking to me about. Tami, God will continue to stretch his arms to you through your the intuition of others or otherwise… Don’t let Go. He will give you the peace you desire.

  8. Rosa says:

    I often say to others, you will have a different view if you experienced this first hand. People are skeptic of what they cannot understand, and when they get skeptic they shed negativity. Some persons don’t want to believe that mental illness is real, so they say persons like us, suicidal persons, are trying to seek attention. 3 times I tried. I never got that close. I use to cry every night too. The days have gotten brighter, but they are not constant. the cloud still hangs over me. I wish people would understand that the reason we want to die is to stop hurting. Tami, I know more about you than I have ever told you, and I thank you for sharing this article. You are strong and you have positively impacted many persons. Remember this when you get an attack. (I like to call it an attack, cause it’s an illness right? Like asthma? lolz I’m trying to get you to smile, did it work?) Love you ma! muahz.

  9. Karen Stewart says:

    It is people like you Tami Tsansai, who have something very special to offer the world….ofcourse energies opposing your unique contributions would find joy in extinguishing your light. Speaking out around the globe on this subject, either physically or through a pen is purposeful…..and can save lives. I hope you find something useful from my comment.

  10. deb says:

    Thanks for Sharing. You are an inspiration with much to offer. I think that you are brave and inspirational… I’ve been ill for a while now, but your post gave me hope. No matter how dark the situation there Is always a little light worth fighting for. Thanks for Sharing, your post caused me to see that. Continue to ignite that fighter spirit. I’ll be praying for you!

  11. Pettoya Bradbury says:

    *Tears pouring out*Tami my dear,you’ll be in my prayers everyday hun,You know what you are a gift from God,you are special in your own way,you are a testimony to change lives,sharing all this is very brave dear, a lot of people wish not to reveal such story but you courageously stepped out and do just that and no it’s not embarrassing because guess what? we all are human and go through things,a great one as yours others are facing but choose to keep it in then all of a sudden you hear the end result because hey guess what? They felt it best not to speak out because they’ll be judged by many,but at the end of the day from my point of view where I stand on this one is that such illness is not be hidden from anyone someone has to know because at least they’ll be some hope right there so have no doubt on help.
    My dear I could go on but cutting this short I just want to say,you’re an inspiration,thanks for sharing and I honestly pray and hope God will heal you and bring you comfort from this and also pray you’ll break free from this my dear,but let me just say this,sometimes it’s his way of having you or someone close to him,don’t feel he had forsaken you,he’s right there,just call on him and he’ll answer,he’s proud of you right now,you’re doing a good deed something from I think is meant to be,cause indeed he works in mysterious ways and he uses people to get others to him and you’re one of them,it’s like ministering to one.
    By closing I would like to say,in knowing you back in the days at high school i’ve known you as one anyone would feel comfortable around,you were such a great individual, very fun to be around,girl if I got the chance to see you, I’ll give you a big hug and let you know God is in control, you’re not alone.Lots of love hun:):)God bless!!

  12. AAA Snr says:

    I still think it’s the most selfish act a person can commit but it is your life and as such your right to take it. Consider this, you or I kill ourselves and the hurt and anguish forces mothers, brothers, lovers and friends to follow just to get the inner peace from missing you, does that make them brave? The few remaining are cowards? We all go through mental depression and yes we deal with it in different ways but it takes cognitive effort to take a life and even more so your own so how unsound is the mind for one to actually attempt or succeed in this endeavour? We are thrown to the dogs in this world and as such we learn along the way, we are taught all the wrong things and then we end up with conflicts inside our own demean but how can you truly say we will all be better without you and know that as a fact? How do you measure such an action? Such an absolute and profound one at that? I say, with no disrespect either, that if you wanna go then go already but don’t leave us all here wondering when and why as you still ponder the light. We all have a story and we are all entitled to die, our purpose seems much more divine, to me that is, so why rob the world and yourself of this experience? So you can not deal with “it” anymore? Oh please, it sounds spoil and nonsensical and I’ve had these thoughts and ideas plus ones of killing others. The moment you become your own happiness is the moment you appreciate the life you have and do the most you can with it, I get that euphoric peace everyday when I now look into my daughter’s eyes. I enjoyed the read and then I think, aren’t you supposed to be dead?
    The irony of life eh… I wish you all the best xoxox.

    • Struggling says:

      You are the worst example of a human I have ever seen.. You don’t or will never know the daily struggle of someone fighting.. It is constant and tiring and a strain EVERY SINGLE DAY!! You are trash to tell someone to go ahead and do it!! Please kill YOURSELF because you are a waste of humanity and oxygen.. I would rather a person struggling day to day taking it one step at a time rather than a person like you taking up space and have that much disgust coming out your mouth..

      • Jean says:

        You have such venom and cruelty stored deep in your soul. You really need help, please try to get some as soon as possible. Peace and love to you.

    • Verna Kitson says:

      It’s clear to me that you also have a mental illness. That anger, ugliness and inability to empathize are symptoms. Please go and take care of yourself.

    • Marvette Facey-Dobbs says:

      Obviously spoken like someone who is ETERNALLY clueless; as if you TRULY think that depressed persons think logically; have the propensity to think rationally, then your level of ‘cluelessness’ is FRIGHTENING!!!! People like you make me constantly shake my head. Obviously MANY people who have either attempted or completed suicide ALSO have children’s eyes to look into, that THEY dont feel the euphoric peace YOU feel by looking in your daughter’s eyes proves what THEIR struggle is. Having depressing feelings that “everybody has” is NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING like being TRULY depressed; clinically so, especially for years, when NOTHING at all in the ENTIRE world, regardless of what or who it is; gives you ANY joy at all, when you lose ALL hope and YUP, it just feels like it would be SO much better for EVERYONE if you just exited this thing called life. I leave you with this; judge NOT, as EVERY heart knows it’s OWN sorrow, and even if YOU have had these feelings and thoughts and yet still manage to be here and now euphorically peaceful, we applaud you YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS; wonderful, but in the interim, stop sprouting garbage about other people’s struggle as it is them and ONLY them that TRULY knows how and what they feel. I have two nephews struggling right now and when they are at their worst, their mind isn’t even their’s anymore, that’s how bad their depression gets; so yeah; shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, if you dont know what the HELL you are talking about yow. Tami, love and light mi sistah, cause yeah, I KNOW that the struggle is SUPER real, as not only is it in my family but I have been depressed myself for over two decades and albeit I have never been suicidal, when it gets SUPER difficult, I find myself repeating in my head over and over “I dont want to be here.” But thank God, we are STILL here, spreading the word that depression is as REAL as the next breaths we are about to take; I do it OFTEN on my FB page. Continue the fight mama; you now join the list of those I pray for daily. One love iyah.

    • AnnieP says:

      …I would have been kinder to simply say “I still don’t under.” In the meantime, I pray that this blog manages to prepare you for what may lie ahead in the future for yourself and or loved ones. Your contribution here has had no more effect than an attempt to talk someone out of a heart attack.

    • Deidre Vaughan says:

      Why isn’t it you who are selfish??
      You expect others to keep suffering so you don’t have to grieve????
      We grieve EVERYDAY for feeling this way, having these thoughts, because we know the noise in our head is only ours to live with. And it’s MADDENING.
      I have sought help, I know I have anyone at the drop of a dime if I cry for help.
      I’m tired of crying for help that isn’t really helpful, or for friends who can’t run my life when I can’t or won’t.
      I’m tired of ppl like you who take the last of my fucks to give and expect me to find more for the sake of YOUR feelings, then tell me how selfish I am.

  13. KennishaW-L says:

    Tami, thanks for your post. I have the utmost respect for you. Want you to know that I’ve always been proud of you from primary days. I admire so much the many strengths you possess. You’ll always be that pretty ‘brown eyed coolie girl’ that I loved to see as a child. So much more amazing things I’ve added to my list: the smart hamtonian, the university grad, the make-up artist, the blogger, the activist, the daughter, the daughter, the sister, the friend.

    You’re not a failure in my eyes. I understand all you’ve written and can relate. There are days when I feel like the worl will be a better place without my existence, too. Many won’t understand, especially ‘our people’ because of lack of knowledge and that stigma associated with it. I’m glad you’re going to a new therapist. I’ve found that it’s more helpful not to have only one. Keep up the good work. Walk good, super girl.

  14. Naomii says:

    I think people who battle depression are exceedingly strong given the turmoil their tortured souls put them through on a daily/regular basis.

    I am sorry you have to battle but I’m really happy you are still here.

    I’m no psychologist but bizarrely I wasn’t totally shocked to discover you had gone on to struggle with depression because of your beautiful, selfless nature at school. You always used to put yourself last in the interest of being good to others. After a while something was bound to give.

    Be good to you and be aware of how much brighter a world it is with you and your divine soul here. Lots of love and light to you. Xxx

  15. Laura says:


    Just woke up and managed to read through your well-written, spot on description. I always smile when people call suicide victims selfish and coward, and I always say, ” Don’t say a word on the topic you know nothing about”.

    The struggles are real. And I’m thanking God for your victories and your testimony.


  16. Nardia says:

    You are so strong, stronger than you know it and so beautiful. The strength through your pain to share and encourage others. That’s the sign of a truly kind and sincere person. Bless up!

  17. Lilo says:

    I was recently talking about mental illness/depression with a family member and how us as Jamaican fear the unknown. Instead of educating ourselves we suppress it with negativity. I applaud you for sharing. I pray things look up for you. I think this blog is a small piece to something big that can take the whole Jamaica by storm. People like you to be at the forefront to advocate. Letting others know they’re not alone and where to seek help. We need to stop being ignorant about reality. Thanks Tami. Haven’t seen you since UWI. Always remember your beautiful smile and shining so bright.

  18. Krystle says:

    Thanks for this post. It was very enlightening and I do agree people need to understand and not judge.
    I didn’t know delus personally but he was a friend of my boyfriend. I was mad when a friend of mine made the remark that she will not feel sorry for him because he took his own life. Smh people can be so sheltered and closed minded. Dig deeper , open the minds and heart, don’t just glimpse the surface. Keep pushing my dear. There is support out there. Here I stand with you for person battling depression. #strength #willpower

  19. Shoni Smith says:

    You have so much life in you, i could feel it from reading this… You can be the change and the voice that a lot of persons need.. use your voice to make a change, help others.. there is so much to learn from you, help others overcome this illness. Whenever you reach at the edge and you feel like giving up, just remember your work is not yet completed, you have others to save. Do it……………………………… #longlife

  20. Tameka says:

    I saw my friends sharing this blog, and I am like where do I know that face from. Been ages girl, my name sake. Thank you for this blog it was very informative and inspirational. I too know what its feels like to be “selfish”. But that little light, thank God saved me too.

  21. nickyann says:

    WOW! I cannot in good conscience say, ‘I know/understand how you feel’ but I can empathize. While I can relate to being deeply saddened, I know sad and depressed are not one and the same.

    I’ve encountered and dealt with persons (close to home too) who are so afflicted and I can appreciate that it’s no easy road to travel. I’ve personally known people who’ve taken their own lives. Whilst I cannot imagine I would choose this option, I cannot adversely judge those who have. It’s a very thin line. Indeed, we all have our varying degrees of struggle and should never discount said struggles one to another.

    Tami, you are a brave soul to share your story and to actively participate in efforts to increase public awareness on the issue. This alone, is reason for you to stay with us 🙂
    While I don’t know you personally, I deem you to be a good soul. Again, your own efforts to spread awareness and not be afraid of associated stigma etc gives credence to this.

    You are brilliant
    You are beautiful
    You are a talented writer
    You are a good make-up artist
    You are helluva funny
    You are stronger than you think

    (and I as typed that, I remember “You is smart, you is kind, you is important) 🙂

    Came across this quote recently ” And more than anything else in the world, I admire the way you carry your pain, even the air around you stills, humbled by your bravery and your grace.” Nikita Gill

    #youhavesupport #ihopeyoustaystrong #idontknowyourstrugglebuticanempathize

    P.S. Brunch outfit was poppin’ (smile)

  22. Mel says:

    Tami, thank you for sharing as I know this feeling very well. I dont know you at all I just know you from seeing you and always felt a strong connection with you maybe because we share something that no one else knew but they all know now huh. You like me always have a smile on your face so no one would ever know whats going on deep down inside. Chronixx song “they dont know” is one of my favorites….”they see me smile but they dont know what i feel inside”. We care about everyone and want this world to be a happy better place. We most times forget about our happiness and all we see is sadness. I am glad you shared this so people can understand the mid set of someone that is suicidal, so people can look out for the signs and pay more attention and be there more that person even when they push them away. This really touch my heart. Hang in there hun we have nuff life fi live so lets find some peace and live it up

  23. Deb says:

    I cannot define suicide as a selfish act! I’ve been in pain and I’ve fasted and prayed for healing; I’ve had many sleepless nights and I’ve asked the Lord to take me if He isn’t going to heal me. I reached the point where death looked better than life…and I had dreams and a plan for my life! But the pain and illness took over and everything became meaningless. They say there is no known cause or cure for what I have and I have done multiple surgeries. I’ve gotten some relief, but there are days like today when the pain rocks every fibre of my being and when you reach out to those around you they are too preoccupied with ‘the tyranny of the urgent’ to pay attention to my pain cries! So yes I want to live, and even though death may seem so final the everlasting peace it brings I yearn for! I sound morbid I know…..walk in my shoe!

  24. Dabion says:

    You just help someone who has been going through what you are. It’s also a brilliantly within piece that speaks from the heart….you are a very brave woman.

  25. SB says:

    Wow. It’s like you’re in my thoughts… i had no clue someone actually goes through what i been through. I keep my thoughts to myself because i dont think anyone will understand plus it’s all so jumbled in my head. Yet i hide behide my mask of makeup and trendy clothing. Unless someone really looks deep in my eyes, they will never see the sadness and emptiness i feel… thanks for sharing

  26. Playbwoycookie says:

    First I must say thank you for sharing your story you are very Brave. I was /am one of those persons who thought anyone who commits suicide is very selfish and that I’d never waste my tears for them or even attend their funeral & all that is because I didn’t understand why they would do as they did but from your post and what konshens said, inner peace is something everyone needs but not everyone will have or understand. I’ve had a cousin who tried to commit suicide but thank God she’s OK. At the time when she took what she did and called me asking if I could take her to the hospital because w.e she took *I won’t say* was taking too long to work & she didn’t want to die again, I laughed so hard because I thought she was joking & being melodramatic. I’m sorry I did that but now thankful she is alive. I do believe Mental health & finding that peace & not being a burden is very serious & real but I guess what I couldn’t understand is why most of these persons didn’t seek help but then again , some seek help and it doesn’t work as well as some talks to other but they don’t listen keenly enough to notice. Also I’m that type of persons who thinks, ” listen my problems are my problems and everyone has their own problems so why should I “”BURDEN”” someone else with my problems”, but sometimes we are suprised to see how well things can change for the better when we speak to the right persons. I also think people in depressing situation should try to do more to change their situation, some wants a change but has not actually taken the step to do something different which will bring fourth change. Sigh wow this is long but I’m just giving my 2cents. Also I get to understand depression has to do with a chemical imbalance in some persons brain so I would say not everyone mindset is as strong as other’s but if persons try to focus their good attributes in the right direction this will be better & Always Pray. Faith without work is dead & most of us pray but we don’t listen for an answer & we are not dedicated to God & our prayer, our faith must be that of a Mustard seed. Things also takes time patience is essential. Please continue to stay on the healthy path because even though I don’t know you, I can tell not only are you Brave but there are several other good positive qualities about you the persons around you appreciate. I just wish persons wouldn’t wait until someone die to say all the nice things they Appreciated about them. 🤗 A hug for you because I know u will continue fighting to stay alive & you will because I believe I will see u more often sharing your story & motivating others who may have similar thoughts as you & my cousin have had.

    • Tami Tsansai says:

      Thank you very much for your comment. Glad you learned something from my post and that now you know better and get how serious it is. In my case right now, I suspect something is very off chemically based on how fast I’m getting into a low state, that never used to happen before. Thanks a lot for the kind words and hugs to you too.

  27. Tawana says:

    I think in writing this blog you are very brave and it writing it, it has become therapeutic as you have let out a piece of you that you obviously keep secret and in a small circle. Your blog will reach others who are struggling with the same experiences. I think you should continue to write doesn’t have to be a blog but in your own book letting out your thoughts, I find that when you write it out it clears your mind and when you read it you feel a sense of relief because u let what was bothering you out. Keep strong Tami now you have many praying for you including myself. I declare that you will stay around to motivate and encourage others and find favour in the persons you help in Jesus name amen.

  28. Pete says:

    The only sister that I grew up with took her life in 2010 (the second attempt)… I was crying reading this because I was the one who stopped the first attempt. And I saw the fierce wild look in her eyes when I did, I thought she resented me for doing that but she never said a word.
    I had no clue how to deal with depression then… Some days I wish I had another chance to help her get better. But I will never look at a person suffering depression with disdain ever again, thanks to the 9 years my sister battled.
    Thanks for sharing. You’re in my prayers.

    • Tami Tsansai says:

      Thank you so much for sharing that experience Pete, I’m sorry I made you cry, I imagine it must have hit home really hard for you. At least know that she understood how much you love her and now that you know, maybe joining an advocacy group or community will help. Also if you think you need grief and trauma counselling to help please don’t hesitate to get some.

  29. Kandie says:

    Thank You for sharing…your post will help someone somewhere to know they’re not alone…and hopefully help others to be more aware of tbe signs. Your work with Jamhan is part of Your larger purpose as is this blog post. I pray you continue to live your purpose n remember you and Only YOU can do what you were put here on this earth to do. Love, Light n Peace to YOU…Namaste

  30. Ali says:

    “Who feels it knows…”

    I felt it…. I know….

    Losing my child’s father to the monster called cancer just 2 months before his birth really made me feel like I wanted to go too.

    I prayed and I cursed! I just didn’t understand why it had to happen. I wanted to die! This went on until I gave birth to this baby boy that looked so much like his dad.

    Long story short – He gives me life! I am now afraid to die because I want to be the best thing in his life.

    No matter the situation, there is always hope.

    Keep the faith!

  31. Stephanie Lewis Brown says:

    I’m glad you did this
    .. because I think many people act as if mental illness is something other people get… Well I know that it runs on six sides of my family and uniquely my family acknowledges it and just tries to deal with the members affected (par for the course) .. so when I see people being afraid or ashamed of mental illness to me its like being ashamed that you broke your leg…no one asks this on themselves….. anyways kid your piece and your advocacy makes me feel very proud of you.. after all you are my favorite….. dont tell the others Love ya

  32. Marymcneill says:

    Tami, you just told my story. I’ve been talking around it for awhile but more recently, have just been coming out from the cold claws of depression. Thanks so much for being brave enough to talk about suicide because it’s something that people like to judge and scoff at when they really have no idea what the depressed person is actually going through. Bless you and stay strong soldier.

  33. sherylle prince says:

    I have never experience depression, nor have I ever thought of committing suicide when times got really rough, but I have always wondered why people thought that someone is selfish when they commits suicide. someone must be depressed to take ones own life, so it must be an illness. no parent in their rightful minds kill themselves and leave their young children. no person kills themselves just because they feel like. therefore, depression must be an illness. however I wish that persons going thru their battles would try and get help. someone who is qualified to help them fight this demon called depression. DEPRESSION IS REAL and until we try and understand it and identify the symptoms and help it is going to get worst. thank you for sharing and God bless your mom and your friend.

  34. Kimberley Hepburn-Lewis says:

    Tami, it’s good that you have the guts to share your experience. I’ve been living with several pain disorders for most of my life (I’m 26 yrs) and guess what comes along with it? Depression. I’m on three medications and two, causes depression and suicidal idealations. And one of those two is an antidepressant. Funny huh? The meds to help with depression gives u depression. I’m parasuicidal, what those in the medical profession call those who have attempted suicide (I’m a RN). But I’m also one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. And that is what has saved me. The relationship I’ve developed with Jehovah God has helped me tremendously in pushing the thoughts of suicide down. But if I couldn’t the Bible helps me to maintain my life and my friends have also helps. I’ve placed some links below that has helped me and others cope with these feelings. Keep holding strong.





  35. Elissa says:

    Tami, thank u so much. We lost a close friend 6 months ago and your article just articulated everything I’ve been thinking but could not put into words. I hope u will not mind that I share it with others. I am so sorry u feel this pain. U are incredibly brave. Thank u again.

  36. Pierre says:

    Thank you Tami for having the courage to share your pain with the rest of the world. I also have battled suicidal depression as well as anxiety. I am at a point where I feel that I am in control of my mental health issues. Let me share with you how I have reached this point. From my experience I do believe that alot of mental health issues arise from how we manage our emotions. I went on a journey of intense introspection and realized that I learned to internalize my anger which caused me to be anxious and subconsciously resentful about life. That bitterness caused my depression. In recent months I have had to learn how to channel my repressed anger into activities that make me feel much better about myself. I feel calmer and alot more optimistic about life coming from feelings of pessimism, cynicism and hopelessness. This is just my 2 cents and I hope that you and your readers might find what I have said useful.

  37. Karen Kennedy says:

    Show me the stairway, I have to climb, Lord for my sake, teach me to take ONE DAY AT A TIME. Sigh, thank you for being selfless and choosing to share your life experience with us. You have touched a place deep inside my soul and I now truly realize I have some work to do. Clicked on your photo just now and what greeted me was a blatant reminder of myself…multi talented, driven, candid, life of the party…the one on whom EVERYBODY can depend. Hmmm, this life huh. Stay the course, YOU ARE PURPOSED, we are purposed. Thank you and may God’s blessings continue to be upon your life

  38. Sherabby says:

    You’re an intelligent and articulated person. This post was well written….we need more people like you…stick around my friend God has a plan for you. God Bless you.

  39. Petrice maxwell says:

    I too go through a lot of those symptoms that was mention above and believe it or not when u are a Jamaican born and raise certain things parents do not kn how to deal with or lend a helping hand cause they are clueless because of the tragedy that was brought upon there young.

  40. Courtni Jackson says:

    I completely understood everything you said. I have also been battling depression and my only reason for not ‘leaving’ is because my Mother would probably die of a broken heart. Thankfully, I’m doing better now (with the help of medication). I hope we find peace one day. Xo.

  41. Nikki says:

    Wow. What amazing strength and honesty. Dear me. I am so humbled. Tami I know everyone may be giving suggestions right now but I read these books that have really helped me quiet that mind that seems to have a mind of its own. I would love to give you some info on them. They are on audible.com so you can listen to them on your phone. They have done wonders for me. Let me know. Nuff blessings you brave woman. #humbled.

  42. Anny says:

    Tami, thx for exposing the ugly truth about depression and suicide. I think all of us have our moment when we think we are insignificant and we don’t matter, but I believe everyone is important and contribute to the lives around them. You are precious bcuz if you weren’t around to state your “20 cents” and I wouldn’t have read your message and know what depression really feels like straight from the horse’s mouth. Your two pictures speak volumes. I’m a healthcare professional and I was trained to assess, identity and treat depression. Never had a patient told me explicitly how it feels to be chronically depressed. There is no textbook or lecture that can provide the insight you gave; thank you. I sincerely hope that no one judges you for this and that you get all the help you need. Let me reiterate that you are special, unique, have a purpose and you matter. You survived for 3 reason – to tell others, to save others and to make loved ones more aware that depression is a disease not just a feeling. May god continue to bless you and number your days. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  43. ryanapsmith says:

    Hi Tami,

    From what I gather, the writing is cathartic. A captivated audience serves as some sort of passive encouragement, especially for those like myself who aren’t sure how to actively aid someone in need.

    So, keep writing. I’ll keep reading.

  44. Lily says:

    Thank you for sharing. Although I haven’t tried to commit suicide I can say I know why people who are depressed do. I am suffering as well. I live one day at a time.. and on bad days, one minute at a time . I am glad your here. And I am glad you have opened this dialogue.

  45. kayd says:

    I read this piece and had to comment….first of all I began crying during reading because although I don’t know you it felt as if u looked inside my whole being took the feelings and everything about me and put it down on a piece of paper…..I was reading about myself, I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and have been struggling with it for many many years iv also made two attempts and been to different therapists over the years it has helped me somewhat, but to be honest I’m now at a place where in my mind it’s not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of WHEN. last week I told myself I’d do it after my sons birthday (29/6/2016) today is the second of July and I NEED help before its too late…

  46. Taayoo A Murray says:

    Hi Tami, I have a childhood friend who committed suicide. To this day I don’t know why he did it. I hadn’t seen or spoken to him in years when it happened. Yet my first thought was that I failed him. I hurt so much because to me it seemed as if something must be wrong with me that he didn’t feel comfortable enough to confide in me. It surprises me that people say that victims of suicide are selfish. Conversely, I have always seen it as an indictment on their friends on family. Now I know it’s way more complicated than that.Thanks for sharing. It’s a topic that has hit close to home in recent years and I sincerely hope that more people will acknowledge that mental illness is real. I hope you find the support you need. Continue trying one hour at a time.

  47. Joan Henry says:

    Glad to see this kind of article. I have always thought of suicide victims as exactly that victims of things we can’t readily see or know about. Thanks for sharing and xontinue to shine the light on mental illness. Much love and light

  48. Arriel says:

    The struggle is real. The sad part is most of us who struggle with depression and/or suicidal thoughts are some of the most caring, creative and giving people. And as you stated, alot of us have very exuberant personalities which hide the truth about the pain we experience on a daily basis. There is so much hidden behind our smiles. Keep holding on, you still have a lot to accomplish and a lot of people to reach with your story.

  49. Libby Lyn says:

    Thank you so much for posting this, I think that if we spoke more about our depression and suicidal thoughts then less would be acted upon. The worst part about this is that some people still dont realize that the struggle is real, I have heard people comment and say “but that person had money why would they kill themselves”, they fail to see that being rich or poor can be non factors (most times are). You can have all the money and nice things in the world and still be depressed and unhappy, untill society really realize and understand mental illness the stigma will never end…Stay strong, you are a beautiful intelligent human being and you have so much to offer, keep doing what you are doing

  50. Fightingbattles says:

    I have been battling with depression for years. As far as i remember was my parents divorce in my teenage years. I am 33 now and I still battle with a lot of issues and thoughts of dying. I never tried taking my own life but have prayed endlessly for God to take me out of my miserable life. I now have a 18 month old son. He keeps me going but i dont know for how long. I keep praying for the battle in my mind and heart stop so I can be here for my son to be a positive influence in his life. I know what it feels like to have a parent walk away, so i dont wany him to feel that way. Its a daily struggle, but i keep fighting.
    Thank you for sharing your experience and I pray we all overcome this battle.

  51. Pingback: #Mentalhealthmatters – current status: Partly cloudy – TAMI TSANSAI

  52. Deidre says:

    I’m done being alive and trying to run the race. I have many ppl who love me and only a tiny few understand why I advocate suicide. I didn’t have any choice in being born, or most of the things that have happened to me. Don’t get me wrong, I screwed myself up just as badly as what has been inflicted. I own my Self and actions. I get the whole being- left- to- float -on -after -someone’s -suicide thing. My mother moved to another state and shot herself when I was 26.
    Anyway, back to the point, I see where Life is going for the majority of us on this planet, and where it has been for me. I’m tired of being strong and always picking myself back up and starting over. I’m tired of people, I’m tired of working my ass off to scrape by. I’m broken down physically, mentally and emotionally. And I’m tired of “selfishness” being thrown in my face (on top of everything else I’m going thru, THAT helps so much,thx).

    It’s the ones who want us to stay, to learn to “fix” or “get over” being depressed.

  53. Lee says:

    Hello friends, I think it is important for us not to be too hard on ourselves…We are human and none of us are perfect. Do not feel alone and weak when you have the thought of ending your life or things are not going your way. I grant you that many of us go through that silent hurt. Forgive yourself, encourage yourself, love yourself, breath deeply and be thankful for whatever there is in your life.. You are strong, an overcomer… you were born for a reason…and yes we will all die someday but in the meanwhile please LIVE.

  54. Sasha says:

    You made me cry for so many reasons. This is so well written and so heartfelt. I always knew you were different and special but how brave you are for sharing your story and your journey. I hope you are continuing to fight through. You are such an inspiration and I can’t imagine the fight you go through daily. Regardless know you are thought of often esp on Sept 9, know that it was because of you I survived “prison”, know that if ever you were to leave this earth that with at least one person it would not be a sigh of relief that you are no longer here but a regret that I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time as I wanted with you. Love you always.

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