~Part 3 in the Self-Deception Series~
Suicide is always unexpected (as it should be) but for celebrities, it’s especially so. We assume that they have access to all the resources and ego boosters that would keep them from the pit of despair. That’s obviously not the case.
There is so much shame and stigma associated with mental illness, yet it is so prevalent in our society. There is hardly anyone who does not have a friend, relative or co-worker who suffers from mental illness; the most common being depression. Research shows that nearly 1 in 5 people suffer from depression every year in the U.S.
I suffer from mental illness and so do many in my family. It is hereditary. Luckily I did not require medication for several years. Not until my second cancer diagnoses 8 years ago did I truly feel the weight of depression. I have my highs and lows. Most days I’m okay and there are days when I’m great. The key is that I’m able to admit that I’m not happy all the time and I don’t need or expect to be.
To quote the lovely Mrs. Adrienne Bosh, “It’s time to remove the stigma that comes with admitting you are not ok. At some point in life, we have ALL been “not ok”. It’s time that we all collectively work on better understanding one another, on better supporting one another, on extending a hand in a time of need, on taking time to ask those around you “How are you?” And actually wait and care about their response”.
It’s time we work on providing more words of encouragement or love. And it’s time that we each become more honest with ourselves and others as to when we need the extra support or just a patient ear to listen.
Other Posts in Series:
- Revisiting the Pain of Mental Illness in America (Huffington Post)
- National Institute of Mental Health — Be Informed
- Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Suffer from Mental Illness Every Year (Newsweek)