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Greenville family recounts son's suicide, remembers warning sign - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Greenville family recounts son's suicide, remembers warning signs

Lynn and Marion Terry with a picture of their late son, Bryan. (Aug. 12, 2014/FOX Carolina) Lynn and Marion Terry with a picture of their late son, Bryan. (Aug. 12, 2014/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The death of actor and comedian Robin Williams by apparent suicide has sparked a national conversation about suicide and mental illness, and one Greenville family hopes the conversation continues.

"It's a nightmare," said Lynn Terry, who lost her son Bryan, 24, in 2004 when he used a handgun to take his own life.

Terry said Bryan struggled with bipolar disorder for years, and left a video for his family explaining his suicide.

"In the video he said 'If you could only see beneath my skin and down in my bones and in my muscles, this has been a long time coming,'" Terry recalled.

She said the national conversation on mental illness and suicide needs to continue so the stigma surrounding them can be defeated. The Terrys advocate for the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and provide seminars to local law enforcement with tips on how to de-escalate a potential suicide situation.

Terry said she remembers vividly the night her son indicated he might do something drastic to end his pain.

"He made a comment, 'If anything should ever happen to me, you know that I don't want to be put on life support,'" she recalled. "Looking back, that was the biggest red flag. And we didn't get it. "

Dr. James Hayes said the warning signs are hard to spot, but are often there.

"Everybody I know may occasionally have those thoughts, but if it's a regular, reoccurring theme you need to get help," Hayes said.

If you or someone you love are having thoughts of suicide, call NAMI's crisis hotline at 864-271-8888.

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