If you didn’t know, the WiFi on my laptop isn’t working for some reason and it might be awhile before its fixed, and because my laptop isn’t working, I wasn’t planning to blog until its back on and running. But there’s an important issue I can’t ignore and must address immediately. Earlier today, I made a joke on Twitter, now deleted because the person I quoted deleted theirs, regarding the recent suicide case at Taylor Lakeside Uni.
First off, I was wrong and in the spur of the moment made remarks that in hindsight were made without regard for those who truly suffer the struggles of depression. Also it was a joke, which I didn’t mean and neither did I consider it to be that big of a deal. If you were in anyway affected by my tweet, I’m sorry. And for those who responded to my tweet, I would like to thank you for taking the time to let me know where you’re coming from. None of it was lost upon me. I have no love for a fixed position on most things. I am always eager to learn something. I promise that I will dig in and educate myself on this and do my best to evolve. Again, thank you.
I’m going to share below a something that someone told me which made a lot of difference and a few of my thoughts.
I think its in a humans nature to think of the bad side first. Suicide from anyone’s POV, everyone knows it’s a bad and stupid thing to do but people do it anyway. Like, alcohol, drugs, gambling and cigarettes. But when it comes to depression, people are really sensitive to the subject because we don’t know what the person went through.
Take Cory Monteith for an example: he died from drug overdose but lots of people forgive him and RIP him anyway because he’s a public figure and supposedly he did something right with his life thus it doesn’t matter the way he died. But some random unknown person died from being a drug addict, yet people will bash the person to death even though he died the same way as Cory.
You can’t help what people think. You didn’t do anything bad. You just voiced out your opinion without thinking about it. So did LOTS of other people. EVERYONE voices out their opinions on Twitter, it’s just a matter of it becoming an issue or not. And you know that you didn’t mean anything by it but other people don’t.
I believe that public figures articulated some very real and strongly held beliefs that those who commit suicide and struggle with mental illness are weak, selfish and lack courage. That they should “pull themselves up by their boot straps” and “just snap out of it.” And that they don’t deserve our sympathy because “they did it to themselves’. And maybe that’s the cause of my thoughts, opinions and how I see things.
In today’s culture, we hold our celebrities as up as role models, emulating their taste in clothes, music, homes, political causes, art, cars, food, reading material, and lifestyles. Their opinions are regarded by many to be the gold standard regardless of how ridiculous, misinformed or irresponsible they may be. These celebrities do not only echo public sentiment, they create it. Just consider Kim Kardashian and her empire.
Most mental health professionals would agree that suicide is too often a result of mental illness. I agree there’s no “stupidity” involved when a disabling illness drives a person to take his or her own life. The shame and stigma that stem from these commonly held messages can cause a great deal of damage, which was something I never considered before because all my thoughts were centered on it being a choice.
Bruce Levin, psychologist and author of several books including Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic wrote that people with mental illnesses “do not need positive-thinking or condescending advice, which assumes inaction stems from ignorance, creates only more pain. Instead, people need compassion, love, and various kinds of support.
There are also people who’s opinion on suicide are such as:
“I will not even begin to defend my feelings toward suicide. The belief that life is not worth living is wrong. Because a mentally ill person is incapable of judgement does not make the act of suicide any less stupid or selfish.” -Lythgoe
Maybe its the fact that he has lost two people to suicide and perhaps his experience has impacted his misguided beliefs.
The concept that mental illness is a disease which twists reality and affects the way one thinks, perceives and remembers is one that is not often discussed. Blame towards the victim and a lack of understanding is what keeps so many alone with their secrets.
In my opinion, I still believe suicide shows a form of wrongness because there’s no problem in this world that can’t be solved. You’re not alone in having problems, just remember that. Also, it shows how selfish that person is because your problems might be ‘solved’ but what about your family, parents, siblings, friends? They should at least mean something.
Thank you for reading.