Virgo is the sign of love and joy, and a major sign of the year when it comes to your mood.
But for a terminator like Dr. Robert Knepper, the sign was a bit of a shock.
“When I was dying I had an intense and debilitating depression that was getting worse and worse and the signs were not good,” Kneppers said.
“My wife was getting a little worried about me and was trying to help me, but I was so depressed that I didn’t know what was going on.
It was like the most horrible kind of depression, so I was going to die,” he said.
After several rounds of therapy, Knecker was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
“I went to the doctors who prescribed me a lot of meds that helped me manage my condition,” Knapper said.
But his wife was not so fortunate.
The couple had two young children, and their youngest son was born just weeks after his father was diagnosed.
The doctors told them the boy would need surgery before his life would return to normal.
“They told me I would be going to hospital in two weeks,” Kneepper said, adding that the family had to move out of their home.
Knepper said the doctors had told him he would need a tracheotomy to get the boy out of the way, but the operation was too painful for the little boy.
“It was a very stressful time for the family,” he recalled.
“We were not able to do anything.”
Kneppers’ wife and her family moved out of his home in November 2016, and in February 2017, Kneeppers was in the hospital.
He said he was still in a coma when he was transferred to the hospital for treatment.
“I woke up in the intensive care unit and there was a big big metal chair that was hooked up to a tube and they were taking me out of my bed and into the ICU and it was just horrible,” he recounted.
“And I was very, very, really scared and confused and scared.”
When he came out of ICU, Knappers was diagnosed as bipolar.
He has bipolar disorder since childhood, and he said he has been in a depressive episode since he was about 18.
Knepps family said he had no insight into his bipolar diagnosis.
“He was a completely blank person,” said Kneepps wife, Kristin.
“He didn’t really know anything,” KNAEPERS family said.
“You don’t have a sense of the world around you.
He didn’t have much of a mental compass.”
In his treatment, Kiepes psychiatrist said he would often have flashbacks.
But his family said his bipolar disorder was not the cause of the flashbacks, and that they were simply a coping mechanism.
“There was a time that I had a nightmare in the middle of the night and I woke up with my head in my pillow and couldn’t move my head or move my eyes,” Kiepas wife said.
Kneeppers family said they were able to talk to their doctor about his bipolar condition and were assured that he had not been psychotic.
“That was one of the things that was really helpful, that he did not have any hallucinations,” Kristin Kneepas said.
Kristin Kneppe said she thought that his bipolar medication may have contributed to his suicide.
“The way that he was treated made him feel like a lot more confident and that was one thing that was helpful,” she said.
When the Knepecks were ready to move back into their home, they were told that Kneppel was going through a divorce and that their son would have to stay with his father.
Kneeppes family said that was the last time they saw their son.
“We didn’t hear from him in about two years,” KNEPPERS family added.
“His wife left him when she got pregnant and I think that was about five years ago.”
Kristin said she and Kneepeppers son have not spoken to each other since their son’s death.
“The way I was treated by my family was a travesty,” she added.
Dr. Knapps has now spent more than four decades as a practicing psychiatrist, and said he is optimistic about the future.
“What we are seeing now is the beginning of a new chapter,” he told ABC News.
“My hope is that as we do more research and more studies, we will be able to discover more about the mechanism of how the brain works and how it affects mood.”
Dr. Robert Kraemer, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Michigan, said he thinks Kneepes suicide was a tragedy that should serve as a wake-up call to society.
“It is difficult to imagine, and we do not have enough data, that suicide can be prevented, but we do have to be aware of what we are doing and