While we celebrate Janet's life, we recognize that a part of her legacy is rooted in her death. Janet suffered from clinical depression over the last several years of her life. She shared her struggles with those closest to her, and sought medical treatment on multiple occasions, including in the months prior to her death.
We at the Janet Aiko Sekiguchi Foundation recognize that clinical depression is a debilitating illness which is both underdiagnosed and is still stigmatized by a significant portion of our society. While Janet sought both medical treatment and the support of friends and family, we recognize that the pains she endured living with this disease at times were unbearable and directly led to her death.
It is our hope and prayer that Janet's story would increase awareness of depression and mental health issues. We pray that if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, you would immediately seek help. By actively seeking help, you show not weakness, but the utmost courage.
Get Help: Depression & Suicide Resources
If you or someone you know is suffering with depression or thoughts of suicide, please seek help. The following is a short list of resources available via telephone or on the internet:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
IMAlive: Provides help and hope through online crisis chat
befrienders.org: Locate a suicide helpline within your area of the world
YellowRibbon.org: Call: 800-273-8255 or Text: "Help" to 741741
iFred.org: International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression
mentalhealth.org: Provides one-stop access to comprehensive mental health information
In 2019, an estimated 19.4 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 7.8% of all U.S. adults. (source: NIMH)
The symptoms of depression include:
• Persistent sad, anxious or "empty" mood
• Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
• Loss of interest or pleasure in activities or hobbies
• Decreased energy or fatigue
• Moving or talking more slowly
• Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
• Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
• Appetite and/or weight changes
• Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
• Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment (source: NIMH)
The depression can be so overwhelming that some sufferers are led to suicide.
In 2019, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 47,500 people.