19 year-old Madison Holleran had, it seemed, everything going for her. She was a promising scholar-athlete at the University of Pennsylvania. The burning question, and one that is being debated on social forums now, is why did Madison jump to her death from a Philadelphia parking garage on Friday Jan.17?
Pressures of trying to achieve has been batted around in many articles regarding the teen's suicide as has those two dreaded words "Mental Illness".
Madison's father, James Holleran, told the New York Post, "We knew she needed help. She knew she needed help," he stated. "She had lost confidence in academics and she also lost confidence in her track abilities."
James also shared the news that his daughter was also seeking help from a therapist in December after she had told her family that she had suicidal thoughts.
It's unknown, at this time, if Madison was taking any medication.
According to Philly.com, Holleran had gone to Penn's counseling center for help and didn't like it, her father said. So her parents found her a therapist near home. She had gone several times, most recently on Jan. 10, the day before her father took her back to Penn.
"Her therapist said if you get a suicide plan in your head, you will call your dad, you will call your mom or you will call me," Jimmy Holleran said. "Madison said, 'I will.' "
The therapist recommended that Holleran take medication, and she made an appointment to see a doctor in Philadelphia, her father said.
It's difficult to comprehend what was going through Madison's mind when she decided to end her life. Many questions will be asked why she decided to call it quits. Pressure from school work, boyfriend troubles, fear of being labelled as someone who had a mental illness, fear of under-achieving...and many more.
Most of the articles I've read about Madison call for more input from mental health authorities. I couldn't disagree more.
I don't know what the relationship was like between Madison and her therapist but it didn't seem to prevent what Madison was feeling. If Madison's therapist had recommended she take antidepressant medication and Madison had complied then we have a whole new story on our hands.
If Madison was taking antidepressants would it have made any difference? Well, we know the first few weeks of treatment on antidepressants have to be carefully monitored due to the suicidal thoughts drugs such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, causing these thoughts in teenagers. What they basically do is numb you, they give you no fear, you don't think about the consequences of your actions whilst you are taking them...that's exactly what they were designed for.
Not one single antidepressant manufacturer can claim that taking antidepressants can stop a person from killing themselves. They do, however, have to warn that antidepressants may trigger suicide. Quite surprising then that there are calls for teens, as young as Madison, to seek mental health assistance. First route of mental health is medication.
My heartfelt condolences go out to Madison's family and friends.
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