Freedom from Stigmas on Suicide and Mental Health
Dr. Anthony Piparo is on a mission. He wants to help people become free from depression.
Piparo lost his son to suicide in March of 2017, when he was only 36-years-old.
T.J. struggled with depression ever since he was diagnosed with a learning disability as a little boy. His parents, Piparo and his wife, both excelled in higher education and pursued advanced degrees. Piparo has two masters and a PhD in sports performance psycholog. All of this seemed to make T.J. feel as though he wasn’t good enough; he would never measure up.
But that’s not how Piparo saw him. He was in awe of his son’s many talents and creative abilities.
Then T.J.’s adopted sister experienced a botched shoulder surgery that turned into a severe infection and spread throughout her body. She eventually lost all of her teeth and became addicted to the opiates, which were prescribed to her. Then, one day, her heart stopped.
After T.J. lost his sister, his depression seemed to spiral out of control. He couldn’t find his way out.
There’s this stigma; parents are too often accused of being a bad parent. When Piparo meets people for the first time, in his conversations with them, he says that he has no problem telling people that he lost a child due to suicide after a long battle with depression.
He says by simply telling people straight out, it shows that he is not willing to buy into the stigma and is open to talking about the experience.
“I want people to ask me about my son,” Piparo said. “I want to talk about the man that he was and the little boy that he was. I want the world to know that he is not how he died. I want to remember all of the wonderful times we had together and this incredible man who I was proud to call my son.”