Jade Rees suicide death: What led to one young woman taking her own life? A foreboding sense of guilt over a recent abortion or the re-emergence of lifelong depression?
Jade Rees, a 21 year old Oldham, Greater Manchester, UK woman has hung herself after being ‘haunted’ by her decision to abort an unborn child.
At the time of her suicide death, Rees was listening to an Ed Sheehan song, ‘Small Bump’, a song about heartbreak whilst taking her life.
The song is a first person account of a miscarried child, written from the point of view of one of the songwriter’s closest friends.
Sample lyrics include: ‘Cos you were just a small bump unborn for four months, then torn from life,
‘Maybe you were needed up there but we’re still unaware as why.’
According to a report via the dailymail, Jade Rees’ death comes after she terminated her unborn child after a five month relationship with the baby’s father broke down and he began dating another woman.
Nevertheless the decision to abort the child left Rees ‘upset and distressed’ and three weeks later she took her own life.
Leading into her suicide, Jade Rees wrote handwritten notes addressed to her parents and two year old son, to whom she was devoted to, explaining the struggle she had faced since ending her unborn child’s life, in which she stressed that her little boy ‘means everything to me’.
An inquest into Jade Rees death led to the description of the woman having had a history of eating disorders and battling depression since she was just 14.
She had been prescribed antidepressants after being diagnosed with anorexia but was taken off the tablets when she fell pregnant with her son in 2013.
Although she split from the boy’s father when she was just four months pregnant, the then teenager coped ‘exceptionally well’ as a doting single mother.
According to the mirror, Jade Rees met her most recent boyfriend in early 2015 but they split after she became pregnant with his child. Her pregnancy was terminated in October. It is not necessarily understood how far into her pregnancy she was when Jade Rees took her unborn’s child’s life.
The hearing was told of the single mom’s mental state worsening when she visited a pub she used to frequent with her ex-partner – only to discover he had asked the landlord to bar her.
She then overdosed on prescription and over the counter pills twice in 48 hours. On the second occasion her father had to rush her to Royal Oldham Hospital’s A&E department, where she stayed for two days before being declared medically fit for discharge.
From there Rees was referred to psychiatric services for a full and thorough assessment.
Dr Easodhavidhya Elangomo, the trainee psychiatric specialist who handled Jade Rees case, told the inquest how she had come to know the young mother following her visit to the Royal Oldham Hospital.
She told the hearing: ‘My first impression of Jade was that she was dressed casually and was very well kempt. She was upset and angry, emotions she directed at me, because she had endured such a long wait to see me.
‘I apologised for the inconvenience and told her I had been very busy in the clinic.
‘She was fiddling on her phone a lot and clearly in no mood to engage with me. She complained that the room was too hot. She told me she just wanted to go home to her son, who she clearly loved dearly.
‘She told me about the abortion she had just weeks earlier, and how the split from her ex-partner had been very distressing for her. She told me she believed he had a new girlfriend and was struggling to come to terms with it.
‘Though she was upset, she did not have any ongoing thoughts of suicide or self-harm. She denied any sense of hopelessness, and was adamant she eventually wanted to return to college to complete her A-Levels.
‘She denied having any past medical history or any form of psychotic illness. When I asked her about this, she said “For God’s sake, I have a son to look after”.
‘She identified her son as a protective factor and kept insisting that she wanted to leave so that she could get home and put him to bed. She then stated she did not wish to answer any further questions without her father by her side.’
Dr Elangomo added: ‘Though I felt she was no risk to herself or others, due to the two overdoses she had taken so close together, I was concerned by her impulsivity. When her father arrived, he also voiced his concerns about her impulsive nature.
‘I referred her to mental health services, and she promised to attend the appointment. I gave her the appointment card in the presence of her father, and he agreed to keep an eye on her.
‘She told me she regretted taking the overdose, and promised to keep herself safe. She was on no antidepressants at the time of our meeting that I was aware of, and I did not prescribe her any.‘
Days later – on the evening before her death on November 3, Jade Rees informed her parents she was attending a bonfire.
When she returned home at around midnight, she seemed ‘very upset’ and proceeded to discuss her ex-partner – though her parents were not concerned about her mental state at this time.
How or why the parents were not aware of their daughter’s state of mind is not necessarily understood.
The following morning at 10.30 am the mother Anne discovered her daughter’s body in her room.
Recording a verdict of suicide, assistant coroner Matthew Cox said: ‘Due to the circumstances and the contents of her note, I am satisfied that Jade did intend the consequence of her actions.
‘I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Mr Rees and to the rest of Jade’s family at this very difficult and distressing time.’
Jade Rees’ death has led to commentators debating the degree of guilt that the young woman felt for ending the unborn child’s life whilst others wonder to what degree the incident relapse the girl into a life long pattern of depression, this time unable to break free and sinking deeper into despair, presumably with her friends or family not necessarily been aware as Jade sought to keep the pain hidden. Until she could no longer.