The following is part of a series of “I Walk Because…” posts. To find out about joining one of AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Overnight Walks, click here.
March 16 – I walk because…she did it while I was talking to her on the phone.
My daughter Gia Allemand died by suicide on August 14th, 2013. I heard her last breath. She was my light, my world, my very purpose for existing. In just a moment, she was gone. I walk for Gia. I walk so no other mother has to endure the pain associated with losing a child to suicide.
Although Gia was a successful model, actress, and reality television star, popularly known from shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelor Pad, behind all the glitz and glamour was a woman ravaged by an illness: an illness that has very little recognition by the medical community. Gia suffered from Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, also known as PMDD. PMDD is a severe form of PMS that often progresses to suicidal ideation. Her symptoms were further perpetuated by insecurities stemming from having an absent father. Like Gia, I myself was plagued by PMDD. I suffered suicidal ideation and began acting on my thoughts from the time I was 8 through to the time I was 42. I was finally diagnosed after being hospitalized several times, and effectively treated. Unlike me, Gia did not survive this illness.
Gia was so incredibly full of life. She possessed an amazing spirit, and had a beautiful path laid out in front of her. Sadly, that was ripped away by an illness so many other women don’t realize they have.
In addition to co-founding the Gia Allemand Foundation for PMDD, which works to provide peer support, education, research, and resources for those affected by PMDD and female suicidal ideation, I keep Gia’s spirit and essence alive by walking with AFSP to ensure women who suffer from PMDD know there is an entire community and foundation available to help them survive. Please visit the Gia Allemand Foundation to learn more about Gia’s story, join our organization, and help fight PMDD and female suicidal ideation.
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