To everybody who reads this,

Sorry it had to be this way. I'll explain what exactly was going on.

Maybe I've been depressed for almost all my life. My childhood memories consist especially from lots of melancholic and sad feelings, often I didn't know what caused those feelings.

Approximately from last January, it has become unbearable. Therefor I haven't studied anymore (I tried a few times, but after 5 minutes I was staring ahead of me with tears in my eyes, and I hadn't read anything) and I also hardly went to class anymore. I just "stopped" living. I wasn't capable of doing anything anymore.

I was lucky to find out (through the internet) that this is a depression, an illness in your brain which can be treated. However, it was too hard for me to get help; especially because then I would have to talk about it with my family, something which I really can't.

In a period in which I was home alone for more than two weeks, I decided to get professional help despite all the difficulties. After all, I could do that now without anyone else knowing it. And I knew there were only two ways out of this: 1) Get help, or 2) what happened now.

But getting help turned out to be very disappointing.

As I thought it was too hard to talk about it to my family doctor (I don't know why, but maybe it's because Heenvliet is a small community where everyone more or less knows eachother), I decided to try the Riagg first. On the internet there was a homepage of the Riagg NorthWest Rijnmond. ("Rijnmond" is an "official nickname" for Rotterdam and Dordrecht and their suburbs, and a few other districts.) On this homepage I've been looking around for a while, and I came to the conclusion that I would probably have to go to the Riagg South Rijnmond, of which the phone number was on the internet. But first I sent an e-mail to ask if I could be treated there without other people knowing it. The answer I got said that this was indeed possible, and it also mentioned another phone number, from a Riagg in Hellevoetsluis. However, the doctor who sent me that e-mail didn't know if I could be treated there without a doctor's reference (I had explained that I found it very difficult to go to the family doctor).

Last Saturday I had my first attempt to call the Riagg in Hellevoetsluis. There was no answer, not even an answering machine. But I thought that was because it was weekend. To be sure I tried the number of the Riagg South Rijnmond which was on the internet, and there came a voice which said they were closed for the weekend.

I was completely broken. Not because I was so desperate right away, but because it's so damn hard to call. The night before, I hardly slept (although I don't sleep so well normally either). And before I actually dialed, I first sat there with the phone in my hand, just "preparing" because it's so hard for me to talk about it.

But okay, Monday I tried again. After all the preparations (including another almost sleepless night) I dialed the number in Hellevoetsluis again. Nothing. There was no answer, and also no answering machine again. So, after another whole bunch of preparations, I dialed the number which was on the internet. Someone answered the phone here, but their reaction came down to "go see your family doctor first." I was broken again.

But Tuesday I managed to collect the courage to call the family doctor (after, of course, going through all the preparations again). Their reaction was approximately this (in somewhat more polite language): "Oh, okay, call back tomorrow between 8 and 10." I was broken again. First of all because I had been preparing to call for nothing again (calling doesn't get easier when you do it more often); and second of all because I've been sleeping so bad lately that I'm glad to fall asleep at 8 a.m. And they want me to call between 8 and 10?!

I'm beginning to think this whole help-getting-thing was one big mistake. Apparently it's impossible just to be taken seriously for once. But alright, I'm going to try it tomorrow.

If someone has found this letter next to my dead body, then that means it failed again.

Depression is just an illness. There's a very simple medical cause for it. And something can be done against it. For instance, there are medicines for it. But then you'll have to be taken seriously first. From a doctor's office or an psychiatrical healthcare institution like the Riagg, you'd expect that they take you seriously in a case like this. But unfortunately they don't. Apparently the psychiatrical healthcare around here is awfully bad.

I hope my death isn't useless. I hope that now there will be good healthcare for people like me. For I am not the only one. I don't know the Dutch rates, but I do know that in the USA there are at least 15 million people suffering from depression. I'm not exactly the first one to die from this. And I'm afraid I won't be the last one either. Especially if things go on like this.