She wanted to die. She needed to go to a hospital. ‘We can’t afford it,’ her husband said

October 3, 2019, Mississippi Today, Julie Whitehead - At school one day when Susan Wright’s son was young, he drew a picture of her with circles covering her arms. Wight recognized immediately what those marks were. They were the scars and scabs where she had gouged her skin, and the physical evidence of the mental illness she had struggled with since she was a child. “I was horrified,” Wright recalled.“They’re all over me,” said the 51-year-old Brandon woman, turning her arms over to show open sores from where she continually picks at her skin. Excoriation disorder. That’s the name of the condition that developed during Wright’s 45-year struggle with mental illness. It’s part of a cluster of anxiety and panic disorders - a diagnosis she didn’t receive until March 2009 during a five-day stay at a local hospital. Already anxious, Wright became increasingly distressed whenever she went home from work to a house that was falling apart. “Termites were flying out of the ceiling; the foundation was crumbling,” Wright said. “We couldn’t fix it, and we couldn’t sell it.” And she couldn’t afford the mental health treatment she needed to cope.

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