Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood has discussed candid details of her suicide attempt in an open letter published in Nylon.
In the solemn essay, Wood discusses how she placed herself into psychiatric care at the age of 22 and states that her mental health and self-esteem had severely deteriorated as a result of PTSD, which she sustained as a direct result of being a victim of two traumatising sexual assaults.
Wood testified before the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations as a rape survivor, and told the House in an emotional testimony: "I want Congress to understand that sexual assault and rape have lasting effects on your health and well being. It's the trauma that continues after the act itself that is overwhelming. Survivors shouldn't also be forced to jump through hurdles to hold their perpetrators accountable.
"Mental health famously has a stigma around it. We are more likely to call in sick with a cold, than to say we’re depressed. We are more likely to get sympathy for a broken arm, than we are for a bout of debilitating sadness. But we know these things are real and they affect all of us in some form or another. Yet, because we can’t see depression, it’s easier to write off. It’s easier for people to put a negative stereotype on you. This is one of the biggest lies in society today."
She added: "Getting help for mental illness is not something I can broadcast. So when it came time to find a psychiatric hospital, my first concern — which most people won’t have to worry about — was figuring out a way to get help without anyone finding out, because if they did, any chance I had at rebuilding myself would be severely impaired by the cruelty of strangers.
"So when it came time to find a psychiatric hospital, my first concern — which most people won’t have to worry about — was figuring out a way to get help without anyone finding out, because if they did, any chance I had at rebuilding myself would be severely impaired by the cruelty of strangers."
Since her stay in psychiatric care, Wood has continued to attend therapy sessions and managed to wean herself off medication. Now, she seems to be free of the suicidal thoughts that plagued her nine years ago, but she is still keen to ensure that other people don't end up suffering the way that she did.
If you or anyone else you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, then please don't hesitate to contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-TALK.