We Need to Talk About ALL Deaths by Suicide—Not Just When Celebrities Die by Suicide

I am saddened by the two celebrities, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, that died by suicide last week. However, I am glad it has increased the discussion about mental illness and suicide. I wish people would discuss the severe epidemic of mental illness and suicide before celebrity suicides occurred, but at any rate we are talking about it finally.

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After listening to people speak about mental illness on the news and other places, I have come to the realization that most people do not have a clue what mental illness is. Too many people have said that these two people who died by suicide had everything going for them and had everything to live for and yet they were not happy.  These comments make me think that people really don’t get it.

Mental illness is not a choice. Mental illness is not a character flaw. Mental illness is not always determined by life’s circumstances. Mental illness is not caused from negative self-talk. Mental illness is a brain disease. Trauma can increase the likelihood that you may develop a chronic depression, PTSD or other mental illness but it is not an absolute determining factor. Everyone is different.

Mental illness is not determined by the kind of life you live or what you look like or how much money you have or don’t have. So, why are so many people surprised that these two celebrities had sorrow, pain, heartache, mental illness, depression and died by suicide? There are no “looks” that people with mental illness have or people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts have.

What do people think mental illness and people who die by suicide look like? Do people think that people who have suicidal ideations look and act differently—like someone or something in a horror movie? What are they expecting to see? There is no look.

I guarantee you that most people who are suicidal are going to hide that from you. Having suicidal thoughts is not something you freely share with others. You don’t want others to know. Stigma prevents that and inhibits our ability to do that.

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The suicide hotline numbers are very important and crucial to display and post everywhere, but people need to know that is not enough. We must be honest that many people who have severe mental illness symptoms and are suicidal are very ill at that time and are incapable of making a decision to pick up the telephone to call the number or ask for the help they need to survive.

When people are suicidal their brains are usually lying to them for many different reasons. Suicidal thoughts can be triggered from PTSD, medication side effects, severe depression, an elated mania, a psychotic state, they hear voices and many other reasons. There are many contributing reasons why a person becomes suicidal.

The huge problem is people who are suicidal believe the lies their brain is telling them. The perceptions about their life becomes misconstrued. Their perceptions of reality are blurred. Sometimes they may have reached an elated mania or a psychosis which means they are not themselves and are not in their own reality. Their brains are telling them lies that become their truth and the only reality they know.

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You cannot see brain disease. Just because their reality becomes abnormal does not mean their appearance and mannerisms will change. They can change but sometimes the changes are very slight. You need to pay close attention and do not ever assume there will be obvious signs you can see or should have seen them.

Sometimes people who are suicidal plan ahead of time when they will end their lives. They will not tell you and they will not show signs because they want to hide it from you. Sometimes they have suicidal thoughts off and on for years. Sometimes they have suicidal thoughts that they thought they could fight and they have for a long time but one day they lose the battle. The suicidal thoughts became too strong and overtake their mind and desire to live anymore. Sometimes they have an elated mania and are happy before they decide to end their lives. They may hear voices or think God is telling them it is time and this brings them happiness.

That is what happened to me before my last suicide attempt. I had been fighting severe suicidal thoughts for months. Often a person, especially in a manic state, refuses to believe and accept how sick they are. They think they can keep fighting whatever is happening to them. Before my last suicide attempt I had an elated mania episode and felt very happy. God told me it was time and I was ready. After I survived my suicide attempt and remembered the moment I took my handfuls of pills the reality of that moment is very scary because there was a powerful force that was out of my control. It overpowered me. Too many people say it is a choice but for me it was not.

People need to stop saying suicide is a choice because sometimes it is not a choice. The mental illness can overtake the person’s mind at the time and there is no reality to stay in because they lost their own reality. You can’t see this shift in reality or severe suicidal thoughts that are occurring inside a suicidal person’s mind.

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Suicide is very scary, but people need to know the realities and the truth. Sometimes there is no mind over matter. There is no more mind that matters. I want people to be aware of the many possibilities in the mind of someone before a suicide attempt. I know it is depressing and hard to hear, but it’s a very hard truth people must speak about and people need to listen to. It is imperative if we want to save lives and end the increasing suicide epidemic all over the world. People need to listen and know the painful truths surrounding it. It is time to end stigma and it is time to stop suicide.

Another untruth I want people to stop thinking and saying about suicide is that suicide is a selfish act. That is hogwash and the ignorance annoys me. Most people I know that have died by suicide or are suicide attempt survivors thought people would be better off without them. They are being selfless not selfish. They wholeheartedly believe people would be happy that they were gone. They think people would be better off without them. They feel like they are and have been a burden to others. They think they are helping loved ones and the world by ending their own lives. So please stop saying suicide is a SELFISH act. When you say things like that it is stigma and it hurts and negatively impacts the families of people who died by suicide and suicide attempt survivors.

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According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 44,965 Americans die by suicide every year. For every suicide, there 25 suicide attempts. On average, there are 123 suicides per day in the United States. There are more deaths by suicide than car accident deaths per year. These statistics are from data from 2016 and the suicide rates are increasing at alarming rates today. According to the World Health Organization—WHO, it is estimated that one million people die from suicide a year. This is an epidemic that needs immediate attention.

People do not seem to pay attention to the alarmingly increasing rate of suicide until a celebrity dies by suicide or mentions they have a mental illness. Something is grotesquely wrong with that picture. Please pay attention to everyone. No one is immune to mental illness or suicide. Please listen, look, see, read, inform, talk about it, help others and love others. This is an emergency. Stop the stigma. It will save lives.

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Please stop telling people to “just get over it” and “don’t be so emotional.” We need to be emotional. We need to stop hiding our emotions and pretending we are okay when we aren’t. Hiding our feelings and who we really are is hurting people. Stigma prevents people from seeking help and getting the help they need to live good lives. Stigma kills. Stop stigma and prevent suicide. Do not wait for another celebrity to die by suicide. Help everyone now.

Everyone who has a mental illness and everyone in the world needs to have people support them, care for them and be their eyes for them. People need to look out for each other, but especially people with depression and other mental illness. I say look out for everyone because some people have mental illness but have not been diagnosed yet. They may be in denial or afraid to tell people the truth about their feelings and pain. Unfortunately, stigma puts up a wall between people’s ability to seek help.

Tear down that stigma wall one brick at a time. Start yesterday.

~Written by Susan Walz

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Copyright © 2018 Susan Walz | myloudbipolarwhispers.com | All Rights reserved


45 thoughts on “We Need to Talk About ALL Deaths by Suicide—Not Just When Celebrities Die by Suicide

    • Thank you for sharing that information. I didn’t know that and to be honest I had to Google who he was. It seems like his family was more private. Three suicides already this year and it is only half over. I pray those three are the last and there won’t be any more. Sadly, there were at least three celebrities that died by suicide last year as well. Have a happy, healthy and fabulous weekend. Hugs, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading and for the reblog. I think a reblog of my posts is one of the best compliments I can get. I appreciate it and appreciate your help by sharing and spreading the word about suicide and suicide prevention and ending the stigma. Thanks again. Hugs, Sue


  1. Thank you for this excellent post. Shared it on twitter.

    It needs to be read widely in a society where talking about mental health issues is still a taboo.

    Yes, that “Suicide is an act of cowardice ” rhetoric is so misleading.

    It is sad when otherwise compassionate people– believe in this lie. 🙁

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for reading and for sharing it on Twitter. I appreciate it greatly. Stigma of suicide and mental illness is big and ugly and cruel caused from lack of awareness, FEAR and lack of understanding and failure to show compassion hurts suicide survivors and suicide attempt survivors and those living with mental illness who often have suicidal thoughts. I agree with all your words. Hugs, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You wrote so many good points here! One that really stuck with me was, “Sometimes there is no mind over matter. There is no more mind that matters.” I had a depressive episode recently and kept trying to just THINK what I had to do, and realized I couldn’t even get that far. I had no will, even though I knew I should.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with all your words. You made some great points. I know what you mean and I hate when that happens. It recently happened to me as well. I am not sure if it was anxiety or a mixed episode but I was stuck unable to move-frozen within myself. I could not will myself to “snap” out of it (whatever “it” was). Sorry you had to deal with that. Thank you for sharing your recent episode as it helped me know I am not alone. I just recently experienced a very similar situations. BTW I enjoy your blog posts on The Bipolar Writer. They are very good. I am going to try to find more time to reply sooner to my comments and add more comments to other people’s posts. Hugs, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful, heartfelt article that shows the author really cares about each and every person out there with depression and suicidal thoughts. My cousin committed suicide in 2005 after a long battle with depression. She was one of those people who always seemed happy and positive on the outside but the reality is, she was incredibly good at hiding her pain, as many with depression are. I was deeply affected by the suicide of Chester Benington from Linkin Park, also, because I was a huge fan of the band and still can’t believe he’s gone. i totally agree with the comment in the article that suicide isn’t selfish. The person isn’t thinking ‘I know everyone will probably be upset but I don’t give a fuck’, they’re thinking they’re a burden on their family and friends. I know because this is how I felt during a recent bout of depression and had I not sought professional help I might not be here today. Incredible article. Thank you xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am so sorry for your loss. I was also greatly saddened by Chester Bennington’s suicide. I loved him and I think it bothered me so much because I know that kind of pain. I was saddened for the pain he had endured. I know that pain too well that leads a person to want to die by suicide and it hurts me to know others suffer as well. Every time I hear of someone dying by suicide it impacts me. I loved his music. His music touched my heart. I could relate to his music. I liked how honest he was even though he could not bear the entire truth probably because of stigma that needs to end so we can save lives. I am happy to know you agree with me that suicide is not selfish. I think it is cruel when people say it is. Thank you again for your wonderful feedback and great insight and kind words. It makes me very happy that you liked my post. I hope you continue to be well. Hugs, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much for this powerful post! I do not suffer from mental illness but many in my family do. In order for me to help them it’s very important to listen and learn from their perspective. Your insights are very helpful and i will continue to do all I can for my family. I look forward to God’s Kingdom when all sickness, sorrow, pain and death will be done away with (Revelation 21:3,4), and we’ll be able to see again the loved ones we’ve lost to suicide in the resurrection (John 5:28,29). Thank you for empowering me with knowledge to help those who are in need.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your words and wonderful feedback. Thank you for being a mental illness advocate. Your family and many people are very blessed to have your support. It is very helpful to feel supported and loved during the mental illness journey. Your family is blessed to have you. You are welcome. It is my pleasure to help in anyway I can. Hugs, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi ☺️, I just wanted to say what a wonderfully written piece about a very hard subject. Living with depression is extremley hard and it is a battle lots of people will have for their entire lives. I am a survivor and until a few yrs ago I was doing well and had managed to regain some normalcy in my life, sadly though a few yrs ago I was abused which totally came from no where, u would or should expect.I now feel like I’m in free fall and yet again in a battle with my depression which I am doing everything in my power to fight, although I admit, it’s not easy, but with the love of my partner, who has seen it all before, I will do my best to beat. This article really hit home to me and I can’t thanku enough for writing it. It’s so true that it is a selfless act, you are trying to protect those you love and save them. Please, if anyone is feeling as low to be thinking about suicide please get help, there is lots out there. I’ve had lots of it over the years and I know without it, I wouldn’t be here now. Love and peace to all x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you so much for writing this. My dearest friend has struggled with suicide for most of her life. I love it when people aren’t afraid to talk about it. So many are. Keep writing! You are making such a difference! The world is a better place because of you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am sorry your friend struggles with this horrific and painful illness of suicidal thoughts and ideations. I pray she will receive proper treatment and care and will not have to have suicidal ideations to fight through anymore. I pray for peace for her. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. I am honored and privileged to be able to write about suicide and be mental health advocate. I pray I can help people in many ways. That is my passion. Your kind words are beyond beautiful and mean the world and beyond to me. Much love and hugs, Sue


  7. I do think it’s still important though to cover the celebrities who die. I think that there is a false mindset that money or fame exempts you from mental health issues, but the Kate Spades, Chester Benningtons and Anthony Bourdains of the world show otherwise. Now I don’t think that others who die from suicide should be neglected either, but I think it’s important to know that suicide really doesn’t discriminate.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: We Need to Talk About ALL Deaths by Suicide—Not Just When Celebrities Die by Suicide — The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog – Underwater In Chains

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