But that day, I saw how many people my depression was affecting. And that, he said, is when his recovery began. Bergman spent two weeks in an inpatient facility in Pennsylvania, recent health news articles where he was protected from harming himself. He then went into intensive outpatient therapy four days a week for several months in Philadelphia and slowly began putting his life back together. St. Joe s Prep allowed him to put his health before academics, he said, increasing his workload at home in small increments and easing him back into the school day slowly. I had to start with achievable steps, doing 15 minutes of work at home at night – not the hour that I would talk myself out of, Bergman recalled. Getting sleep, eating a good diet and taking care of my mental health was first. When the 10th-grader returned to school a few months later, his guidance counselor, who also worked as a therapist, asked him: What can we do to keep you alive? That help included seeing a therapist at least four times a week after school and taking summer classes to catch up on the coursework he missed. Bergman also began attending social events and talking with his classmates, though he most valuable never told them about the depression he battled. He called it the other side of his personality. In 11th grade – one year and one month following his second suicide attempt – he broke the silence by speaking to his entire school. I couldnt just tell a few people; the story would get misconstrued, Bergman said.
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