Suicide and Depression

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Victims and eye-witnesses will be dealing with post traumatic stress after the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech. Parents are responding to their children’s needs as they try to deal with the difficult emotions.

A Bowling Green, Ky., woman we spoke with still struggles with her depression two years after her teenage son died. Anita Hudson goes to the cemetery everyday.

“You have the what ifs. If only I could have done things different. What were the clues I missed?” Hudson asked.

Perhaps her struggle was more difficult than most. For the first year after her teenage son’s death she was told he committed suicide, but after a lot of research and several conversations with the medical examiner, his death was ruled as “could not be determined.”

During the difficult year following her son’s death she became very close to families who’ve dealt with suicide. She started Bowling Green’s first suicide prevention group.

“Talking of suicide - don’t think it’s a joke. Tell someone. Don’t think you are a bad friend if you break their confidence,” Hudson said.

Hudson also said suicide and depression are very real.

“You feel alone - guilty. You feel tired. It’s physical and mental pain,” Hudson explained.

There’s no doubt Virginia Tech parents will be feeling the same pain after losing a teen-aged child.

Psychiatrist, Dr. James Davis said part of dealing with the pain for all Americans should be recognizing school shootings didn’t happen 20 years ago, they do now.

“We will think it doesn’t happen and therefore we don’t respond,” Davis said.

Davis said we all need to realize tragedies can happen at any time.

“This is an assault on our ability to deny the possibility that something tragic is going to happen,” Davis said.

Hudson never thought her tragedy would end in what she still considers somewhat of a mystery.

Anita Hudson’s group meets once a month. Contact Hudson at 270-202-3204 or email her at

To find out more on suicide prevention and for a list of area support groups, click here. Go to for even more support nationally.

More suicide prevention hotlines:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Kentucky State Suicide Prevention Contact: Barbara Kaminer, MSSW, LCSW
    Training/Education Coordinator
    Kentucky Cabinet for Health Services
    KY Cabinet for Health and Family Serv.
    100 Fair Oaks Lane, 4E-A
    Frankfort, KY 40621
    Tel: 505-564-4860
    Fax: 502-564-3844