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Helpguide's Story

Helpguide's StoryIn 1996, SSRI antidepressant medications were considered perfectly safe by the FDA. Now, these very popular drugs are required to carry a warning:

“Antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders . . . ”

Unfortunately, these warnings came too late for our daughter, Morgan Leslie Segal, who died in 1996 at the age of 29. For six years, she grappled with a condition that started as low self-esteem and worsened into major depression. During this period she was given a variety of SSRI and other medications. She stuck with a single therapeutic mode and her prescribed medications even though the combination seemed to just make her worse. Finally, in desperation, she attempted suicide twice; the second time she succeeded.

Helpguide.org was launched in 1999, inspired by our belief that Morgan’s tragedy could have been avoided if she had access to well-written, professional information that gave her a sense of hope and direction.

Our mission is to help people who have mental, emotional, and lifestyle challenges by providing ad-free, well-researched, professional information and resources. With knowledge and self-help options, people can understand, prevent, and resolve many of their problems.

In the past 12 years this website has grown from a small local project to an internationally-recognized resource serving 41 million visitors in 2011.

We are delighted by the size of our audience and by the correspondence and feedback we get. We hope this website benefits you and your family and friends.

- Robert and Jeanne Segal

About Morgan Leslie Segal

Leslie Segal was a middle child, the peacemaker. She was quiet and gentle with compassion that encompassed anyone and anything that was troubled or hurting. In high school she first found her voice as a writer for the school paper and yearbook staff. In her college years she fell in love with the Spanish language and traveled to Washington, DC as an intern for the Latino Congressional Caucus.

She visited a dozen countries with the Semester at Sea program. A year later, traveling with a friend, she backpacked through Eastern Europe indulging her talent as a photographer, taking intimate, detailed, and revealing photos of young and old alike.

In her mid-twenties the life that was soaring began to falter. She changed her name to Morgan - "woman of the sea. " She almost completed a graduate psychology program but decided she preferred writing and left to attend Sarah Lawrence College. Later, she became a feature writer for the USC Daily Trojan and a literary magazine.

Though Morgan continued to grow as a writer, she increasingly lost touch with herself and retreated from those who loved her, finally ending her life shortly after her 29th birthday.

About Morgan's Voice

Morgan Leslie SegalAfter her death, we found her laptop computer containing a collection of her personal poems and stories. This led to the publication of Morgan's Voice.

" … She wrote whimsy as well as she wrote tense and somber drama, reflecting elements of herself, as a writer must, in such a way as to reveal both the light and the shadows that alternately brightened and darkened her soul. In this wonderful book her genius emerges in careful stages and we are at one with a soaring talent which, like a bird in flight, fell too soon to the earth below …"

Al Martinez - Columnist, Los Angeles Times

Click here to download a free PDF file that contains a complete copy of Morgan’s Voice

©Helpguide.org. All rights reserved. This reprint is for information only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Helpguide.org is an ad-free non-profit resource for supporting better mental health and lifestyle choices for adults and children.

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