x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

"Why I twice attempted suicide as a teen'

ASM, a 24-year-old Muslim, began suffering from depression when she was 12. Here she tells her story:

I was lucky. I have never been bullied. To be honest, the term bullying is used more in western countries, where the tough, popular kids pick on the school geek or nerd.

However, here, it still happens. Kids get bullied simply because they are at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Parents don't take what their child is saying seriously, thinking, "My child is at school, and things like this happen. How bad can it be?"

So they disregard it and just expect their child to go through it thinking everyone does.

I haven't been bullied, personally, but I have thought about suicide a lot. It began when I was a teenager.

It is difficult to determine whether they were serious thoughts of suicide or just thoughts that come as a person goes through puberty and life changes.

You know how they say: "Teenagers go through a phase."

When I was 19 and 20, suicide was big in my thoughts. I remember the first time I thought about it, a few years ago. I was at a place in my life where I hated everything and everyone. Suicide is also linked with depression, and I was going through that as well.

Most on the outside saw my life and said I had it made, but if only they knew what I was going through.

It felt like all my dreams, everything I strived to be or wanted to become, was disregarded or laughed at by the people around me.

I guess knowing that my dream is not supported by my loved ones, and knowing that they don't take what I love to do seriously, hurts.

It makes you question your own dreams, and makes you wonder if you are thinking the right way, or should you be thinking like everyone else?

I felt I had no purpose in life. That caused anger, frustration, hate as well, and I just really, really didn't want to be here any more.

I did not want to live in a world of people that worried about only themselves, when others are suffering.

I didn't want to live in a world where people had to do wrong to get ahead, become more successful, while the honest wouldn't.

My first attempt at suicide was after a fight with my family. For a girl who loves her family, I wanted to please them, but couldn't.

The second time also involved being set off by my family.

Parents can be the solution and sometimes can be the problem.

If a child is struggling with such problems, and the parents are approached about it, then parents should act according to what can help the child.

If the parents choose to ignore the situation, then the child can become worse.

Today, I feel much better. Therapy helped, but mostly, deciding to just do what I want in life and stop caring about what others thought was the key.

* Interview by Hala Khalaf