Suicidal at 6, dead at 15

By admin
30 April 2010

Evan Perry was just six when he told his mom he wanted to die. After numerous failed suicide attempts he took his life nearly 10 years later.

In the 6 May issue of YOU Dana Perry (46), whose documentary film, Boy Interrupted, charts the tragic story of her suicidal son, talks about the horror of hearing her child say he wants to die.

Outliving your child is every parent’s nightmare, she says. As a first-time mother her two greatest fears were that Evan would be struck down by illness or be hurt in a freak accident. She felt a mother’s instinctive duty to protect him.

‘‘But how do you protect your child from himself? At the age of 15 he succeeded after a childhood of failed suicide attempts. He jumped to his death from his fourth-floor bedroom window.’’

Dana recalls, ‘‘When he was seven Evan told me in detail how he planned to hang himself and it horrified me he even knew of things like that. To this day I don’t know where he picked them up.

‘‘He’d sing songs about suicide in a happy tone and had this idealised view of death – that dying ‘wouldn’t hurt’ and afterwards ‘everyone gathers around and talks about how great you are’.’’

Evan was eventually diagnosed as having bipolar disorder.

‘‘Childhood depression needs to be taken seriously,’’ Dana writes. ‘‘People say they’re just troublesome children, that you should change their diet, they need more exercise. But bipolar disorder is a disease that can be fatal.

‘‘Our story should be a wake-up call. It’s too late for us but not for others.’’

Read the full article in the 6 May issue of YOU.

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