Touched By Suicide: On Mental Illness

No matter how much it seems to be happening all around us, suicide is still one of those taboo topics we don’t really want to speak about. It’s almost as if we feel that by speaking about it we are accepting that it can possibly affect us. And truth is, it does. One way or another suicide has touched all of our lives. Whether it has been subtly with somebody you would see around the neighborhood or in a strong getting the wind knocked out of you kind of way with losing a loved one, or having a friend confide in you that they have contemplated the idea of suicide. Whichever which way you look at it, suicide is not something that we can just decide to not truly acknowledge in the hopes of it becoming something that happens but never happens to us.

Suicide is a lot of thing, that’s for sure, but selfish isn’t one of them.

Touched By Suicide | Mental Illness | Depression | Suicide Isn't Selfish | #Depression | #mentalillness | #suicideawareness | #suicideprevention |

Many times hidden behind beautiful smiles and bright souls, never letting you catch a glimpse of the demons they are fighting. Other times, the signs are staring at us right in the face. But even then, most don’t want to call this mental state a disorder. I certainly don’t know enough to dive into medical terms or facts so that’s not what I’m doing. I’m writing in the hope of shining a little light.

Faced with somebody who confides in you about having suicidal thoughts, it’s easy to yell at them, cry, and tell them how selfish that would be, to ask them to think of their loved ones, or to point out that they have a great life. You have to realize that this is them asking you for help, so the last thing you want is for them to feel you are judging them instead of  understanding them. Knowing the right words to say is difficult but here are 10 things to not say to a suicidal person.

I have seen far too many people go by way of suicide. Some that I personally knew, others that I saw around and others who I watched on the big screen or admired for their happy brand and for making me fall in love with their handbags. "Knowing Katy, this is how she would want to be remembered. She had a light that words can’t capture but touched everyone she came into contact with. She was exceedingly kind, beautifully sensitive, insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known. She was effervescent. Hug your loved ones extra tight today." This was the poignant caption with which Rachel Brosnahan, Kate Spade’s niece, paid tribute to her on Instagram along with a video of her dancing along.

For all the Manny’s, Anthony’s, Fifo’s, Mauricio’s, Jason’s and Kate’s that have gone too early because they thought this was their only way out, we need to do more to understand that depression isn’t just being sad. It’s a mental disorder that even when everything seems perfectly great on the outside, it just might not be that bright and beautiful on the inside.

If you’re feeling down, speak to somebody. Speak to your friend. A family member. To a friend’s family member. To me. Call 1-800-273-8255. Text 741741 and let it out. Ask for help. In different times of our lives, for different reasons, we all need help and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s part of what makes us human. And don’t forget to spread Mas Amor.

You may also enjoy: 15 Ways To Show Gratitude & Spread Love.