Kajouji's video diary shows path to suicide
A student from Brampton, Ont., who threw herself into Ottawa's Rideau River in March 2008 struggled with an unplanned pregnancy, a miscarriage, a crushing breakup, and escalating mental health problems in the months leading up to her death, her video diary shows.
"Yes, I am depressed," Nadia Kajouji tells the video camera in one video blog entry relating a conversation with her doctor. "'I have postpartum mood disorder, clinical depression and insomnia.' 'So have you thought about suicide?' 'Yes, I've thought about suicide.'"
The diary entries obtained by CBC's Fifth Estate show Kajouji's deterioration from a bright, happy, ambitious 18-year-old first-year Carleton University student to a desperate young woman who was encouraged by a predator in an online chat room to take her own life.
Kajouji disappeared from her dormitory room on March 9. Her body was found in the Rideau River on April 20.
In one of her final blog entries before her death, a haggard Kajouji sits in a dark room, her face partially obscured by shadows, and describes how she can't even bring herself to go to class. She fears she will lose the semester, she says.
"I can barely string together a cohesive sentence or two," she says. "Like when I'm speaking, I can't put that down on paper and write a test or an essay. I can't function and that was what the doctor said we should focus on: getting me to function."
It is a stark contrast from one of her first entries, in which she puts on a fashion show for the camera, saying she wants to make an "upbeat" blog showing she's not "depressed and not mopey and weepy."
Over the course of later entries, her identity protected by an eye shade, she relates how she became pregnant after a condom broke and the morning after pill didn't work. She describes how having a miscarriage took away her ability to choose whether she wanted to keep the child.
She later struggles to get help to deal with her insomnia and suicidal thoughts. She complains to the camera that her doctor won't prescribe medication to help her.
Parents not informed
Kajouji's parents said they had no idea their daughter was suicidal. Only after her disappearance did Ottawa police tell them she had been taken to hospital in an ambulance the previous November or December after threatening in the Oasis restaurant on campus to slash herself with a razor blade, her father Mohamed Kajouji told CBC.
They also learned that other students in Nadia Kajouji's residence had called campus security to alert the university that she was suicidal, said her mother, Deborah Chevalier.
In Ontario, confidential medical information can be released without consent if it would reduce or eliminate the "risk of serious bodily harm" to an individual.
Chevalier said she's upset the university took so little action.
"Like if they're not going to intervene and advise us at the very least, and they're afraid to put her on sleeping pills because she's suicidal, why not put her in the bloody hospital, where she can be monitored and given sleeping pills and get some sleep and then monitor her from there?" Chevalier asked in a recent interview with CBC. "Of course, I'm angry about it. It's a very difficult thing to deal with."
Carleton university declined an interview, citing "privacy obligations."
The transcripts of Nadia Kajouji's online chats show that in the weeks leading up to her death, she was encouraged to hang herself in front of a webcam by someone going by the name "Cami D."
Police believe the person Nadia was communicating with is a male nurse in Minnesota. Cami D. has been linked to at least eight other suicides in several countries.
Kajouji wrote that she ultimately chose to make her suicide look like a skating accident to make it easier on family and friends.