When I heard the sad news that Stephen Laurel Boss “tWitch” died by suicide it didn’t seem real. The guy with the biggest smile, always helping others, a loving father of two children, and a large network of friends. Stephen had several projects lined up for 2023. He is not the picture of what you think a suicidal person looks like.
That’s the point.
If you want to see what suicide looks like, look at the person next to you. There is no way to know what a person is going thru. We all have mental health needs throughout our life, if we don’t have crises large and small we aren’t living.
There is a line between needing temporary mental help support ( Situational Depression) and having a Mental Illness. An example of Situational Depression could be losing you’re job, a bad break-up and let’s not forget those who’ve lost a love one.
A Mental Illness is an imbalance of the brain, and we still have so much to learn about the brain. I have found Mental Illness make sure you have a good support system with friends, family, Psychiatrist, and Therapist. I believe the right Psychiatrist and Therapist can change your life, I’ve been with my Psychiatrist and Therapist for 30 years, and they are lifesavers. Good medication management is essential, being non-compliant with your medication, can throw you unbalanced.
If you run into me, You would see I am happy to see you, I would chat it up at dinner, life is only going up. Finances are good, and thinking about my husband’s retirement. All good.
When our paths cross again, you will see the same happy person. Only this time I’m having a crisis but you can’t see it.
If I were dealing with a severe dark depression, my mind would be ruminating on all the issues repeatedly amplifying the anxiety. The more you think about something you convince yourself that the problems can’t be solved, and there’s no light in the tunnel, the worse your crisis will become. This is when I tell my husband it’s time to call my doctor or meet him at Psychiatric Hospital.
I could see you a third time, be that face you saw at lunch, everything looks fine, not giving you any indication of a problem, and then kill myself an hour later. You never know and you’re not guilty.
Show kindness to others, and remember no matter what the package looks like doesn’t mean that is what’s inside. If someone looks off their game, have a chat about what’s going on and what you’ve noticed. Try to keep it casual, maybe open up with something generic. Then gently say what you’ve noticed changes in their personality and how can you help. Say how can I help, not what can I do to help. If they put you off, keep an eye on them and keep trying to help. If think they are a danger to themselves, harm to others, or suicidal. Be more aggressive and get them to the hospital if nothing else.
I will be brutally honest, if someone is determined to commit suicide, they will. Hopefully, with encouragement, from friends or family members you can get help before they hit “there’s nowhere to go”.