Sunday, October 17, 2021


  Understanding someone that is suicidal is hard unless you know where they are coming from. Just the other day I was asked, “Why did you let it get to that point?” But how are they supposed to understand that you just don’t want to be a burden to anyone? You are scared of judgement?

No one wants to admit they are struggling, because no one wants to admit they are “weak.” I would hide behind a fake smile and a messy ponytail and dry shampoo. You hide behind a facade so people don’t see you slipping into darkness. They don’t see you barely holding your head above water.

This is when reaching out is vital. The earlier the better. For me I traveled further down the rabbit hole. The further you go the more you close off from everyone. Stop caring about your appearance. Stop caring about the dishes, laundry. You make excuses, miss appointments. You fear judgement though, the judgement that people won’t believe you. Or say that it’s not that bad. You have no reason to be depressed.

So many people, myself included, hide how we are feeling. Hide from the judgement, the looks, the talking behind our backs. The stigma of mental illness makes us hide. In a world that expects everyone to be fine, no one wants to admit they aren’t. And no one wants to believe that others are struggling.

“What do you have to be depressed about? People have it worse than you. You have such a wonderful life. She’s just doing this for attention.” I have heard all of these before, about me or others. This is why I don’t open up, I hide in myself, I am so scared that people will think less of me. When in reality we should be opening up to each other.

The more we open up and find our voice, the more we can fight the stigma. No one should be judged for coming forward needing help. Instead they should be taken seriously. Help them find a therapist, take them to the ER, or doctor. Whatever they need, take them seriously. If they have reached out to you then they trust you.

Let me say that again, if someone reaches out to you and says they are suicidal, then they trust you. Don’t break that trust by dismissing them. If you suspect someone you know is suicidal then ask them. Ask if they are thinking of hurting themselves. At the very least, they will see someone cares, someone notices them. And that might make them seek help.

If you have never been suicidal it will be hard to understand why someone can get to that point. But look around at all the judgement. This huge stigma. People calling people liars, fakers. We believe in things like the flu, strep, broken bones, but when it comes to our own brains people act like nothing can go wrong.  

Mental illness is not black and white. There is plenty of gray area with mental illness. Like fingerprints, no one is affected the same. One person could completely shut down and the next might keep up appearances to avoid admitting anything is wrong. 

This is why we need to be kind to each other. You don’t know what is going on with each other. Just because someone has a smile on their face, or looks like they have the perfect life on social media, does not mean they aren’t battling something invisible to you. Being kind to someone could change their whole day.

Mental illness and mental health are not something we should joke about. We need to take each other seriously. Listen to each other. Together we can join our voices and put an end to the stigma of mental health. Even if that means making others uncomfortable. Make mental health a priority.

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