She's one of the best known doctors in the country who offers regular doses of information on how to live a healthy life, but now ABC News' Dr. Jennifer Ashton is getting personal and sharing how tragedy has made her stronger.
Suicide has reached crisis proportions in the United States. More than 120 people a day die by suicide and one out of six of those are members of the military.
Despite those numbers, suicide remains more of a closeted issue, but Ashton - Chief Health and Medical Editor for ABC News - is helping to force it out of the closet and into the sunlight because of what happened to her family.
Ashton's new book, "Life After Suicide," released during Mental Health Awareness Month, shares how she found courage and comfort after her ex-husband, Dr. Rob Ashton, died by suicide.
After being together 22 years, Ashton said her ex-husband didn't have any of the classic signs of depression.
"We are taught in medical school the typical signs of depression -- Rob didn't have a single one of them," Ashton said. "A lot of people who die by suicide don't, it's an impulsive act."
She said not recognizing those signs led to the guilt that she felt after his death.
"I've learned that the two hallmark features of someone who attempts suicide or dies by suicide is they have lost two things: hope for the future and a fear of death," Ashton said. "Some of us may have one of those things at various times in our lives, but when you have both of those things together at the same time, it can be really dangerous."
After a loved one takes his or her life, survivors are often left questioning what happened and why. Her book raises the question that every survivor is forced to ask themselves: Why wasn't I enough?
"As I've learned through therapy, that's an example of a rational question being put into an irrational mind or act," Ashton said.
Ashton said she and her children knew how much Rob loved them, so for him to do what he did, his pain had to have been greater than that love.
In "Life After Suicide," Ashton also speaks with other people impacted by suicide, including Melissa Rivers and the family of Tyler Clementi, to bring their stories to the floor.
Ashton said by talking to the others families, she learned of the concept of Post-Traumatic Growth which is a psychological process that helps the people who have been through a trauma have a greater understanding of life, deepens their relationship with others and brings a new passion to their lives.
"My children and I are living that way now and it's our hope that when people learn about that, that it can offer them a road map to healing," Ashton said.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Click here for Ashton's Podcast "Life After Suicide.
ABC News' Dr. Jennifer Ashton finds strength through personal tragedy in new book 'Life After Suicide'
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