Dangerous spike in suicides among young Irish in New York
Family, friends heartbroken as three men take their lives
A spate of inexplicable suicides has swept the Irish community in New York.
In the space of just six weeks, three young Irish men have taken their lives.
Six weeks ago a young Kerry footballer, who was believed to have a history of depression, ended his life just hours after getting off the plane from Ireland.
Five weeks later a well-known Corkman in his 30s took his life, leaving behind a son in New York.
Exactly one week later, another young Corkman, famous for his love of English soccer, ended his own life.
A social worker at the Aisling Irish Community Center in Yonkers said such suicides are often a desperate last measure by someone suffering from major depression.
"They really don’t want to leave this world," says Elizabeth Donnelly. "They just want to find a way out of their depression.”
David (not his real name) was 32 when he took an overdose seven months ago. It was a few days after Christmas.
David had been suffering from depression since his youth. After 12 days of solid drinking he said he acted on thoughts that had been with him for a long time.
He admits that although he never “seriously” contemplated actually committing suicide, it was “definitely at the back of my mind” for as long as he can remember.
“In the end,” said David, “it was after 12 days of a drinking session” that gave him the courage to lock himself into his bedroom late one Sunday evening and take a bottle full of tablets.
Thankfully, his brother reached him on time and he survived.
David is not a big drinker. A social drinker at best, but his mood had been very low leading up to Christmas.
“Drinking was something I tended to do when my form was really low to make me happy again,” he said.
Unfortunately after the few hours of drinking, his depression would knock the wind out of him again, often making him feel worse than before.
David said if he wasn’t on a drinking bender last Christmas, he would “most definitely” not have tried to take his own life.
“The problem with drinking when you’re feeling low is that you don’t think rationally,” he explained.
“I would never have dreamed of doing what I did when I was in a sober state of mind, and unfortunately it was a decision that I can never take back,” he said.
“I regret the pain and torment I could have caused my family if I had managed to commit suicide.
“It’s hard to imagine how they would even begin to pick up the pieces after losing a loved one to something as tragic as suicide. Not to mention the pain I would have caused a lot of good friends also.”
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