WARNING: This article deals with suicide and mental health, and may be distressing for some readers.
The first time her son said he was going to kill himself he was four-years old.
“Mom, I’m gonna kill myself.”
“I can’t take it anymore.”
“ I just want to die. “
“I want to go to the woods and kill myself. Can you just leave me on the road somewhere?”
Jennifer Cristini told CNN that her now ten-year old son terrified her.
He had been prescribed anti-depressants by a Doctor who thought he might have some form of attention disorder.
His reaction to the drug was instantaneous.
Jennifer and her husband, from New Mexico in the US, adopted Giovanni, or Gianni, as his family call him when he was a newborn.
They walked out of the hospital with him cradled in his mother’s arms. He was theirs from the moment they laid eyes on him and with his curly brown hair and deep brown eyes he was an adorable baby.
Around eighteen-months old they started to notice he didn’t react to things quite the same way other children his age did.
He was obsessive about his toys and clothing – to the point of concern.
And he flew into unbelievable tantrums, rage filled terrors that tormented his family.
His mother grew concerned.
He stopped sleeping.
Her beautiful brown-eyed toddler was exhibiting behaviour she had never heard of before.
She took him to a multitude of pediatricians; she went on waiting lists and saw specialists.
His diagnosis changed frequently from autism to attention disorders- until his behaviour got past the point of her understanding.
Her son began to hear voices.
CNN replayed a video she took when he was seven-years old.
A little boy screaming at imaginary demons – “They’re not going. They’re not going”.
His father lies across his son’s body in order to calm him.
His mother speaks to him.
Jennifer says they took the video to show their Doctors just how bad things could get.
Finally they were taken seriously and Gianni was diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenic affective disorder.