UAB Student Wants Others To Learn From Her Suicide Attempt

Preventing teen suicide

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - “I first attempted suicide at the age of 15,” says Sherilyn Garner.

Garner decided to inhale crushed pain pills and swallow a few more. She had texted her friend who alerted her parents and was taken to the emergency room.

“I didn’t want to be alive, I felt alone, abandoned and unloved. So I felt like taking my life was the best thing that I could do in that moment.”

She was diagnosed with depression and given antidepressants that her mother told her not to take. She went untreated for the next 14 years.

“I had no coping mechanism. I was just burying all those emotions.I had no idea why I was feeling the way I was feeling, I had no idea of how to improve my mood,” says Garner.

Garner eventually started running, cooking and doing yoga. She started seeing a counselor just two years ago. She also became a mother to Ava, who is six.

Sherilyn Garner says she never wants her daughter, Ava, to see her when her depression takes over.
Sherilyn Garner says she never wants her daughter, Ava, to see her when her depression takes over. (Source: Ashley Knight)

“I want to be the best parent I can possibly be, just like every other parent. Will that happen? Probably not, I’m a human, I make mistakes.”

But she never wants Ava to see her when depression starts taking over. She still has suicidal thoughts.

“Not saying that I don’t want to be here, but it’s just those urges that I can’t get rid of.”

It’s something she lives with and wants others to know they’re not alone. She says those hurting need to ignore all the stigmas associated with getting help.

“But that’s ok, you know, take care of yourself. You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. So find something that works for you and stick to it.”

September is Suicide prevention awareness month, UAB held their mental illness town hall Monday night. Officials say the more we open up the dialogue about mental illness, the more those stigmas will melt away.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, call the Crisis Center at 205-323-7782.

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