Warning: This article will speak about suicide and mental illness, if this topic is triggering for you, it might be best to click away. If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, please check out https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call their number at 1-800-273-8255. If you are need of resources, scroll down to the end of the article at the bulleted section.
Yesterday the news broke that fashion designer Kate Spade had died of suicide. In an email penned to her older sister according to CBS News, Kate Spade had been suffering from bipolar disorder and it had just finally caught up with her. Kate Spade did in fact leave a suicide note that was addressed to her daughter letting her know that it was not her fault.
Police believe the tipping point for Spade was after her husband has decided that he was going to seek divorce. According to Page Six News, her husband would have the details as to why she came to the decision to end her life. In the note to her 13 year old daughter she wrote "This has nothing to do with you. Don’t feel guilty. Ask your dad"
Mental Illness is a hard battle to fight, it's a silent battle that so many people are fighting alone. According to The National Alliance on Mental Health, 1 in 5 adult United State's residing adults are living with mental illness, while 1 in 5 youth aged 13-18 will be impacted by a mental illness at some point in the childhood.
With numbers like this we need to end the battle with mental health. The reason we lose so many adults and youth every year to suicide is because society has the stigma that people that live with a mental illness are dangerous or a lesser human. It is possible to live with mental illness and be a normal functioning member of society. I live with severe anxiety disorder, to the point I used to pass out from anxiety attacks. My doctors believe that my mental illness went undiagnosed for 10+ years. The reasoning why? Because there was no proper education or way to speak about mental illness. I didn't know that most people didn't live in a constant state of distress and paranoia. One day after learning more about mental health, I realized something was wrong. I brought it up to a doctor and now I am fully medicated and speak with a counselor on a regular basis to help with coping mechanisms.
When I began to tell family and friends that I was diagnosed with severe anxiety the most two common responses were "you're just going through a stressful time" or "you shouldn't be telling people this, they are going to think you're crazy." Both of those answers are contributing to the stigma against people who live with mental help. The chemicals in my brain are off, my doctors are fairly sure I was born this way. There is NO solid way for a doctor to test where my anxiety came from, but through family history and the situations throughout my life, they believe I was born with anxiety.
The first way to end the stigma is to talk about our mental health. Mental health is JUST as important as our physical health, and if us speaking openly about what we are going through can save a life is worth it.
Please, if you believe you may be suffering from a mental illness or someone you love may be, reach out. Not every single person is at risk of suicide, but you never know who may be. Let us show some compassion towards the people around us because you never know who may be fighting a silent battle.
- For statistics on mental illness, check out NAMI.
- If you are a parent who believes their child is living through mental illness, check out helping your adult child through mental illness, or parenting a child with mental illness.
- If you believe you may have mental illness and need help locating resources, please contact your local doctor or health clinic. If you live in Portland, Oregon the Portland Police Bureau has a local resource page. If you are at immediate risk of danger or suicide, please call 911.
- For more resources or to talk to someone free and anonymously call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
There are plenty of resources to #BeWell, thanks to Well Being Trust, you can find A MULTITUDE of resources including how to help loved ones open up, talking to your kids about mental health, and a digital tool kit for teens all in one easy page RIGHT HERE and HERE!