Suicide Attempts In Immigrants

Foreign, Gay And Suicidal

Many immigrants who come to the United States with the hope of starting a better life become prone to developing depression for many reasons. Each individual carries different risk factors, such as gender, sexual orientation, financial status, social status and past psychiatric history. Suicide attempts in immigrants are not unusual; a different country provides different stressors.

When immigrants come to the United States with big expectations and fail to achieve their dreams and goals, depression starts to kick in. Not only have they left their family back in their home country, but they are now facing excessive worry about achieving a career while paying the bills, especially if their goal is unrealistic.

An example is a young gay male in his 20s who immigrates from Chile to Manhattan to become a famous actor. He attends acting school in Manhattan, makes friends who are also interested in acting and crosses his fingers with the hope of landing a paid acting gig. A few weeks pass by after graduation . . . a few months . . . he is still not paid and is working for Uber to get by.

On the other hand, he feels relieved that NYC is open to homosexuality and finds great pleasure in being open about his sexuality and going on dates; he even finds himself in a relationship with another young man. But a few months later, his partner from the West Village breaks up with him, leaving him to feel devastated and empty.

Not only is he an immigrant, but his gay partner has left him and he still has not succeeded in obtaining a paid gig in acting. So he starts consuming more alcohol in order to cope with the depression; he never used to drink much alcohol. After he realizes that the alcohol does not work, he takes an overdose of the antidepressant that he was prescribed by his psychiatrist and brings himself into the emergency room.

This time he was lucky and got out alive. This is an example of how depression and suicidal ideations can creep up on an immigrant who innocently came to the United States for a better life. Depression has no borders; you may be rich or poor, living in Mexico City or a penthouse in Manhattan and still have thoughts of wanting to kill yourself.

This is how serious mental illness is.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)


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