17 Year Old Girl Decides to Legally End Her Life After Battling Mental Illness for Years

After being raped three times as a child,  Noa Pothoven decided to undergo euthanasia on Sunday. According to The Sun, Noa said: Out of fear and shame, I relive the fear, that pain every day. Always scared, always on my guard. And to this day my body stills feels dirty. “After years of battling and fighting, I am drained,” the teenager said.

Noa had written a critically acclaimed autobiography called Winning or Learning, which explained her struggles with mental illness and suicide attempts. She wanted to help other children that have gone through the same pain as her help them feel that they are not alone. Noa had a history of anorexia, and last year she had to be place in a medically induced coma and fed through tubes as her organs were starting to fail.

On Sunday, her suffering ended. You can read the entire story here

As I read this story, I am still not sure how I feel about it. I do understand how unbearable the pain of mental illness can be and the trauma of having lived such horrific things. I understand that the mind, at such a young age cannot deal with so much suffering, and there is little that can be done about it. Yet, is it feasible to let a girl so young give up without exhausting every option, or is it cruel to let her live in a prison of her own despair? These are tough questions that I do not believe I have the answers to at this time. Yet this is what I do know:

Parents have to work hard at keeping the lines of communication open with their children, and being trustworthy enough that their children will feel compelled to confide in them. Parenting is no longer about exerting discipline, its about being aware of what your child is going through, physically and emotionally, and knowing when to act. The world we live in today brings threats from all angles, even at home with the Internet, and only our children will be able to tell us themselves when they need help. Don’t let them go quiet and end up in a prison of their own despair.

I hope Noa has found the peace she so much deserved.

Image Credit: thesun.co.uk/

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