If you can see it, it sounds like it died.
The only way to get anything at all of of a dead is to send it out to a service for recovery. Expect to pay big buck for such a service, like $$$$.
Hence the reason I always suggest you should implement a good and tested backuop procedure. No matter how much the bacup cost it is always cheaper then the service is.
You can try Safe Mode:
After the Mac is completely shut down, push the power button and immediately after the startup tone, hold down the Shift key. The Shift key should be held as soon as possible after the startup tone but not before.
Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple icon and the progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear).
There should be a message that says "Safe Boot." After the Mac is completely booted, try restarting and see if the issue is gone.
But I think you're going to have to buy recovery software and if that doesn't work, then you'll have to send it to a data recovery professional.
So I booted in Safe Mode, now I can see my hard drive. Bought Disk Warrior and it's busy doing what it has to do. Will keep you posted.
I've encountered another problem though. My Mac isn't detecting my external HDD. I can see it in Disk Utility but I can't actually navigate my external. I know there's nothing wrong with that.