So as some of you know based off of the trending page on Twitter yesterday, fashion designer Kate Spade killed herself sometime this week.
She was 55 years old… successful as hell, from what the rest of the world could see. In our minds, she had it all, right? Why on EARTH would she want to kill herself?
Well, my friends… I’m going to tell you something that SHOULD be pretty fucking obvious, but that clearly needs to be reiterated- because apparently, the number of SUCCESSFUL people who commit suicide hasn’t made it clear enough yet…
MENTAL. ILLNESS. IS. A. FUCKING. ILLNESS.
It does not go away. Even if we somehow manage to move past it for a time and make ALL OF OUR DREAMS COME TRUE, it always catches up.
So the best things you can do for someone who admits to thinking about killing themselves or being said for no reason are as follows:
NOT remind them “how good they have it” or that “it could be worse”… chances are, they already know that and it’s just putting them in a deeper rut. Because they feel guilty about not being able to control their thoughts/emotions.
If they need to cry, LET THEM CRY… don’t try to say things that will STOP them from crying. You ever had a stomach ache and then vomitted, and you feel INSTANTLY better? Sometimes, a crying episode is just as effective as a good puke. Hold their hair, give them some water, and put them to bed.
Tell them you love them anyway. The WORST thing you can do to a person who tries really hard but STILL feels like shit about themselves is give them a reason to think they’re not loveable or valuable to you if they’re not succeeding. Because the moment they think they’ve failed- even if they haven’t- you could lose them. They start to feel like a burden, they isolate themselves, and then you find them dead at age 55 in their NY apartments.
Robin Williams, Chester Bennington, Alexander McQueen… all really successful people with so much to live for and everything to lose (from the outside looking in)… and yet, they felt like their only way out was to die by their own hand.
Like Mauro Ranallo has said many times since releasing his documentary, Bipolar Rock N’ Roller: If it wasn’t so damn shameful for people to talk about what goes on in their heads, even when they supposedly ‘have it all’, there would be a lot less people that do this.
The brain is a vital part of the body, and like any other part of the body, it can get sick. Chronically sick. Can people with mental illness become contributing members of society? Absolutely. No question. But not until their issues are effectively addressed.
Otherwise, get ready to see even more public figures dropping like flies.
Hate to be so blunt about it, but this is the reality of the situation. We could be doing a lot more to help people with mental illnesses. They’ll be more likely to reach out for effective help if we encourage it without judgement.
Anyway, that’s kind of all I have to say on the subject. If you think this will be valuable to someone- anyone- PLEASE pass it on.