His quiet, gentle demeanor has made him a beloved figure in the eyes of many pet owners, while his insight into dog behavior and psychology has made him a household name. The “Dog Whisperer”, or Cesar Millan as his friends and family know him, became a hit in the United States after his half-hour program debuted on National Geographic in September 2004. The popular series, in which Millan worked with to rehabilitate the behavior of problem dogs, ended with a finale on September 15th, 2012.
During the last couple years of the series, Millan battled real-life drama as he coped with depression and thoughts of suicide. In 2010, Millan’s beloved dog, Daddy, passed away. A few months later, his wife filed for divorce, ending their 16-year marriage. The Dog Whisperer soon fell into “the darkest season of my life”. Overwhelmed by guilt, and feelings of failure and defeat, Millan found himself at an all-time low. During the middle of the 2010 season, he tried to overdose in an attempt to kill himself.
Unfortunately, Millan’s reaction to a deep, dark depression isn’t uncommon. When the pain of depression becomes heavy and all-consuming, suicide often appears to be the only way out. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death, finds the National Institute of Mental Health, and for every successful suicide, there are 10 non-fatal attempts similar to that of Cesar Millan.
If you’re battling depression and suicidal thoughts, there’s a way to overcome the pain without taking your life. A caring voice at the other end of a suicide hotline, a counselor, friend or even your doctor can help you find relief. Reach out to someone who can help you walk through the hopelessness, remaining with you until you’re able to stand on your own again.