Michelle Carter sentenced for prompting boyfriend’s suicide, sparks fresh row on depression

Michelle Carter sentenced for prompting boyfriend’s suicide, sparks fresh row on depression

Suicidal feelings can often plague a depressed mind. However, not all depressed people end their lives, though persistent hopelessness may impel them to nurture feelings of suicidal ideation. A recent ruling against Michelle Carter, who had urged her boyfriend to end his own life through phone calls and a slew of text messages, brought to light the reality of mental health problems that exist in the United States.

The Bristol County Juvenile Court found Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter after compelling the victim to commit suicide in 2014. The judge convicted Carter to 2.5-year term – with 15 months in jail and the balance suspended. The judge stressed that since Carter had not turned 18 at the time of her boyfriend’s suicide, there is still scope for rehabilitation. This is not a common case since both the victim and the perpetrator suffered from some kind of psychological disability.

Carter’s boyfriend Conrad Roy III had been diagnosed with depression. At the time of his suicide, it was found later, Carter had sent dozens of messages prompting him to take his life. One of the messages read, “Hang yourself, jump off a building, stab yourself I don’t know there’s a lot of ways.”

Defense attorneys pleaded that their client was suffering from certain mental illnesses herself when she coerced Roy to kill himself. In a plea to the court, Carter’s defense attorney Joseph Cataldo said, “Ms. Carter will have to live with the consequences of this for the rest of her life.” He added that his client felt deep regret while taking responsibility for her actions that had led to a young man’s death.

The victim’s father Conrad Roy Jr. accused Carter of using his son as a mere pawn despite knowing that he had been battling depression. Apparently, Carter was on the phone with Roy when was dying of poisoning due to carbon monoxide. Carter admitted in court that she did nothing to extract Roy out of this predicament, nor felt the need to call the police or Roy’s family.

Depression needs timely treatment

Roy’s suicide is an instance of how serious unaddressed mental illness can be and how harrowing the emotions someone with depression can experience. In addition, there is an urgent need to look at his death not only as a terrible tragedy but also as a reminder that mental disorders like depression need to be taken seriously and treated on time.

Details by the National Center for Health Statistics indicate how episodes of suicides have gone up in recent years. More male teenagers compared with their female counterparts have lost their lives by committing suicides between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. While there may be myriad factors like bullying, academic pressure or undetected psychiatric illnesses responsible for committing suicide, the impact of poor emotional health must not be ignored.

Breaking silence around suicide

Experts suggest that the most effective way to prevent deaths by suicide is to ensure people showing symptoms of severe depression or suicidal ideation get the required help. A suicide not just takes away lives but has an impact on the family members and loved ones left behind.

Sovereign Health understands the plight of people who undergo the daily grind painfully owing to depression and other mental problems. As symptoms of depression and consequent pain can rip apart emotional health of the affected, clinicians at our centers offering suicidal ideation disorder treatment in California recommend a combination of effective remedial therapies, along with medicines. To know more about our suicidal ideation disorder treatment centers in California, you may call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online with our representatives.

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