I read an article over the weekend about a young man with ME/CFS who committed suicide. When I showed my husband the article, I told him that suicide from ME/CFS happens a lot more than what we ever read about. The article says that the teenager took his life “after struggling to come to terms with having ME/CFS.”
The teen, Guy Ramsey, was diagnosed with ME/CFS at the age of 12; he was 18 years old when he died. According to the news article, it was said that Guy had previously taken an overdose and was desperate to get better.
His body was found at the foot of cliffs at Beachy Head after two visitors to the area saw the art and design student jump from the cliff edge in February this year. A statement read out on behalf of Guy’s mother, Alison Ramsey, who attended the inquest, explained that he would often become withdrawn and irritable. The inquest heard that Guy, who lived at Chedworth House, Avon Buildings, in Boscombe, Dorset, took an overdose in July 2007 and was taken to hospital. The casualty doctor said he would look into arranging an out patient appointment. Guy’s condition improved during that summer and he started at college in September that year. But his mother said the following summer he began to deteriorate physically and mentally after suffering problems with his eyesight.
As adults, it is hard for us to comprehend and deal with what is happening to our bodies with ME/CFS. Children and teenagers are still developing and so are their brains. How are these children supposed to cope with such a devestating illness and something that is so traumatic? You know kids and teenagers – everything is dramatic to them and everything is a big deal. How are they supposed to deal when there really is a big thing happening in their lives? I don’t beleive suicide is the answer, regardless of the problem, but I can understand why he would feel it was his only choice. How many of us have at times thought “if I could just end it all…no more pain, no more sickness, no more burden to anyone.” But then as adults we can stop and think about how suicide would affect our loved ones, friends, and children and know that it is not an option.
This story really breaks my heart. Such a young person to be gone from the world because he couldn’t deal with this cruel illness. Life is wonderful, even when we spend most of our days in misery. Please talk to someone professionally if you ever feel that suicide is the only way out.