When Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra first appeared on reality television, they were preparing to give their now 5-year-old daughter, Carly, up for adoption. The young couple managed to stay together and now have a 2-month-old baby girl named Novalee.
Although, they shared, in often painstaking detail, the challenges they have faced in their young lives, one significant event didn’t make it to publication. Baltierra, who is now 23 years old, wasn’t ready to talk about his battle with depression and the devastating moment when he almost ended his life.
In a recent interview, he revealed that, when he was just 12 years old, he attempted suicide. The downward spiral began when the Michigan native was sexually abused three years earlier. He said that he went to “a dark place” after his father went back to prison.
The new father explained: “I tried to hang myself in the backyard of my house. Being so young, I was naïve on how the process actually worked. I thought if I jumped, it would snap my neck and I would die instantly. I didn’t think about the struggling and choking and while it was happening, I realized it wasn’t going to be quick. It gave me time to think. I grabbed the rope and got it out from under my neck. I ran into the house.”
Fortunately, the only physical trauma he suffered was a rope burn under his neck which healed two weeks later. His mother noticed the injury and refused to believe it was the result of an accident. At this point, his emotional wounds began to be addressed. Several years of therapy and medication helped pull him through the rough time in his young life.
Baltierra does regret leaving this out of his book because, as he said: “Nowadays you see all the headlines. Kids are getting bullied, especially in the LGBT community. It’s a topic that needs to be talked about. Hopefully, people can learn from it.” He’s absolutely right. The more we talk about it, the more aware we can all become of this critical situation in our society.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost 30,000 Americans lose their lives to suicide every single year with the highest rates occurring during the spring. It is the 3rd leading cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds. On average, someone in this country commits suicide every 16.2 minutes. That’s a crisis worthy of our immediate attention.
For information about how you can help raise awareness, show support for someone suffering with depression in your life or get help if you are feeling suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit the website for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.