I've had suicidal thoughts more or less constantly since I was eight years old. There was a history of abuse in my family stretching back to as far as I can remember, at four years old, up until the day I moved out. From the early days, it was verbal/emotional abuse and physical abuse, then it switched to just the former once I got up the courage to fight back against the physical abuse. That was when I was 16 or 17. It hurts even to scratch the surface like this, and remembering anything from my childhood is gazing into a swirling vortex from hell—I don't even want to look for a second. Suffice it to say, I don't even know how I've survived so long: I'm 31 years old now. This last semester of school (I'm still a community college undergraduate, because I put my studies on hold to move elsewhere) ended in me getting put on academic probation for a year, not because of bad grades, but rather the absence of grades. I get As when I can finish out a semester, which is rarely. Most of the time I withdraw from all my classes in a fit of depression. So now I have to sit out a year, and then beg them for re-admittance later, which they may or may not grant, or go to a different school. Either way seems humiliating, and I'm not sure if I even want to return to school given the fact that I regard each and every major I've tried out as having ended in failure. I think it's a personal failing that I wasn't able to complete these semesters, and instead ran away from them so many times that in many cases I ended up excluded from classes due to my school's policy of "repetition violations" (withdrawing twice from a class meant that one was excluded from that class). The thing that caused my depressive crash this last time was actually taking my medication faithfully and going to therapy. They just exacerbated the problem instead of making it better, and I found myself less able than ever to cope. It's only withdrawing from classes and flushing my medications that has made me even marginally capable of coping with the rest of my life. (Incidentally, I highly recommend Robert Whitaker's Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, a book I discovered when researching matters to try to find out why my medication seemed to be making things worse.) I don't want to go back to therapy or on a medication regimen, and I certainly don't want to get a therapist involved in my schooling by invoking the disabled students' services. My last therapist pressured me to do this, but I resisted because I know there's no such thing as patient confidentiality anymore once that bell has been rung. They'll put my psychiatric diagnosis in front of the school counselors who will try to persuade me to drop out so they don't have to face the risk of an on-campus suicide and lawsuit. I've known this to happen many times. It's all about CYA rather than the mental health of their students. Another reason I don't want to be in therapy or under the care of a psychiatrist is because of the very real possibility I might be locked up for thoughtcrime, a.k.a. put on an involuntary hold, if I become inadvertently too open about how much I really want to kill myself. I was already held for a 72-hour period once, after I tried to hang myself, and it was the most hellish three days I ever spent on this earth. I was overmedicated to the point that I could barely keep my chin from drooping to my chest, and it was obvious to me that this was not for my sake but for the convenience of the people running that hell hole. I was effectively a warehoused zombie for three days, and then turned loose on the fourth with no better handle on my suicidal impulses than I had when I went in. I would rather die than ever see the inside of one of those places again, so it doesn't really bother me that I might be risking a death by suicide if I eschew therapy and medication. As far as I'm concerned, that's my decision to make and nobody else's. A line from Seneca the Younger has always stuck with me: "The wise man lives as long as he ought, not as long as he can." Contemplating both my recent past and my likely future, I think I may have overstayed my welcome.