In the last few months, the news was flooded with the suicides of two celebrities. I have this habit of checking up on celebrities who have mental illness. Are they ok? And if they are, somehow it makes me feel like I will be ok too. I figured if they can do it with the burden of their celebrity status, certainly I can face my own issues as well. However, on the flip-side, I can also understand how difficult it must be to deal with their mental illness under such media scrutiny. So as someone with mental illness, do their suicides affect me? The simple answer is “yes.” After hearing the news, I felt sad and distraught. I felt like someone on my mental illness community had fallen.
Whenever I hear about a celebrity suicide, I always want to know why. Did they get help? Did they have the support of their friends and families? Certainly, with their wealth and power, they could have anything they wanted, whether it be the best psychiatrist or the best treatment. However, as many of us know, mental illness doesn’t discriminate and money doesn’t buy happiness. So I understand. As someone with mental illness, I can empathize with what they were feeling and I can understand why they did it. But why? Why did they? I was so desperate to truly understand their desperation, I even tried to conjure up those suicidal thoughts I used to have. However, I realized that when you feel more stable, those feelings can’t just be accessed like a switch anymore.
Over time, I have also found that it is better not to continually ask why. Mental illness is an illness. No can completely predict the outcome of a person’s battle with it. And that’s it.