The following is an e-mail I sent to a suicide crisis organization. It's a bit verbose, so I don't particularly blame you for skimming it or skipping it altogether. Just thought I'd post it. Writing about this stuff has helped me cope. _______________________________ I'm twenty-five. At nineteen I was diagnosed with chronic depression, however, I'd suffered depression for many years before that. I never had close friendships with anyone. As a child I was often picked on at school, and I would come home only to be picked on by my father. As such I never developed a close bond with my parents, nor did I make many friends as a child. I believe my depression started when I was about nine or ten. Shortly after completing elementary school my parents divorced. It was an extremely messy separation and my sister and I were caught in the middle. What little love I had for my parents died and I no longer looked upon them as confidants or guardians. In high school I spoke so rarely that some students actually thought I was deaf and mute. I made no friends there, and eventually I flunked out. Not because it was difficult, but because I couldn't get myself out of bed and because I told myself it didn't matter. I'd begun to contemplate suicide, and what's the point of earning a diploma if you're just going to kill yourself? After high school I determined that instead of killing myself I would leech off my family and friends for as long as possible and kill myself only once I'd exhausted every available resource. For three years I lived in my bedroom. No job. No education. No hobbies. No socialization. No nothing. I would crawl out of bed, grab some food, and then crawl right back in. One day, for no particular reason, I enrolled to take the GED. I passed and got my diploma. Following that accomplishment, I enrolled in a local community college and got a job. I was twenty-two. My life took a full 180 in the blink of an eye. For one year I worked hard in school and I managed a 3.8 GPA. I did extremely well at work and received a number of raises and promotions. In addition, I began to develop a social life. I made friends. Even dated some women. In short, I was beginning to lead a normal life. At the conclusion of that year I applied to the University of Maryland . I was accepted. It was the happiest moment of my life. The university was about an hour away so I decided to move in with my uncle who lived near it. I got a new job fixing computers at the university and began my classes, but in so doing I left behind the handful of friends I had made. The job kept me largely isolated. The few people I worked with were professors and older graduate students, none of whom I could relate to or call friends in the traditional sense. Classes at the university were huge and with my limited social skills I could not make friends. Depression began to rear its ugly head again as I grew lonelier and lonelier. My grades slipped and I struggled through the year, only just managing to pass my classes. To make matters worse, I wasn't getting along well with my uncle. Come summer break I decided to move in with my father. For most of the summer everything worked out well. However, about a month before classes started my younger sister got into some trouble. She took my mom's car for a drive and was caught by the police. She was 14 at the time. My dad seized the opportunity to launch a fresh custody battle. Once again my sister and I were thrown into the middle of a messy dispute. It upset me greatly, and when school started I found it extremely difficult to get out of bed and attend class. My grades were continuing to falter. I sought help at my university's mental health center, and I began visiting a counselor once a week and a psychologist every month or so. I was prescribed Wellbutrin, and after a couple of months I began to feel much better and my grades improved. And then I noticed that I under the right lighting I could see my scalp through my hair. It worried me, but I ignored it for a while. That is until I used a small mirror to see the top and back of my scalp. In a number of places I could make out flesh. To compound matters, I'd had my hair cut short in a fade, so the sides were shaved down to the skin. The sides never grew back in fully. I got an appointment with a dermatologist who looked at my scalp and asked me a few questions. She diagnosed it as telogen effluvium, a temporary form of stress-induced hair loss. I went home. Tried to convince myself everything was going to be all right. I just had to keep myself calm. Well, my hair continued to fall out, so I grew it long. I couldn't stand the way I looked. I couldn't stand people seeing me that way. It began eating at me. My stress quadrupled and the depression rose to heights I'd never experienced before. I was so ashamed and embarrassed I couldn’t even discuss the hair loss with my counselor, much less anyone else. My grades truly plummeted and I was forced to withdraw from all classes. I continued to struggle through the next semester, and I finally got fed up with it. One day I took all my savings and flew to San Diego . From there I crossed into Mexico . I got a hotel in Tijuana and the next night I went to a whorehouse and lost my virginity. The following night I had sex with another prostitute, and the night after that I had sex with two prostitutes. I also began drinking heavily. Within a week I'd blown all my money. My parents had contacted the police and were in a panic. I sent them an e-mail and asked them to wire me some money which I used to fly back home. I was forced to withdraw from that semester as well, which resulted in me being dismissed from the university. I also lost my job. Since then I've continued to see my counselor, though the story I've told her is a bit milder than the one I've shared here. I'm too ashamed to speak the truth. It's easier to send an e-mail to someone I'll never have to look in the eye. I've applied for reinstatement at my university and my case is currently under review, though I have little hope. I tried to get a new job, but I'm too depressed to handle it. I just can't deal with people right now and I don't have any drive. There's nothing that compels me to get out of bed, much less interact with other people and work hard. My funds are steadily dwindling. My health insurance is about to run out. I may not be able to return to the university, and if that's the case I'll have to pay back ten thousand dollars in loans without a degree to show for it. My hair has continued to fall out. I worked so hard to build up my confidence enough that I could function in society. Hair loss may be a relatively insignificant thing, but in my fragile state it was enough to tear apart my entire life and plunge me right back into a bleak state of existence devoid of a future. I really don't know what to do at this point. I'm lonely, miserable, I have no self-esteem, and there's nothing to occupy my time. All I do is sit and brood. Thoughts of suicide are continuously present. I can't think of any other way out. Even if I do manage to stay in school, even if I do manage to get a job, what then? I'll still be lonely. My hair will still be missing. My confidence will still be shattered. What's the point of going to school and work if I have no light at the end of the tunnel? If there's no reward? No laughter? No love? I can't thank you enough if you've taken the time to read all this. I know it's quite a bit, but I didn't know how to condense it any more than I all ready have. I needed to get this stuff off my chest. I've been carrying it around all by my lonesome for far too long. Again, thank you.