Whenever someone well-known commits suicide, we often hear these 2 things in the media the most:
“It’s so sad they thought suicide was the only option.”
“I wish they knew just how much they were loved, and how many they inspired.”
These are assumptions. Here are some truths:
Depression and mental illness are not logical. Nothing about it is logical. We cannot apply logic here.
After sitting with lots of clients over the years who have attempted suicide, want to, or are trying not to, what I have learned is that sometimes depression makes people feel like the world/their families would be better off without them.
This of course is NEVER true, but again, nothing is logical about mental illness.
Let me be clear that I’m not suggesting this was true for people we know (those who are well-know or those in our personal lives) who’ve committed suicide. None of us actually know what was true for them.
The point of this conversation is for us to be careful not to filter their experiences through our own logic and not to make assumptions about suicide or mental illness.
Because this is exactly what contributes to so much shame and judgment around this topic.
And what we need more of when it comes to mental illness is openness and compassion. And connection.
We all have the ability to make an impact with this, and in our corner of the world.
What I DO know for sure is that no amount of money, influence, success, or achievement serve as a buffer for having a real human experience. But the more we can get comfortable and honest with talking about the pains and the darkness of being on this human journey, the more we do for each other.
Doing that lifts us up more than we can know. Because it makes us feel less alone and more connected.
And that’s a big part of this human journey, anyway – to feel less alone and more connected.