These thoughts feed off of our minds, poisoning our outlook on ourselves and our lives. This attached stigma, this ignorant mindset in others, it leads to our lips remaining sealed. This toxic secrecy leads down one path, suicide. Silence kills.
Last July, Chester Bennington took his own life. Now, those of you who are Linkin Park fans now that Chester took his personal battles and morphed them into inspired lyrics. While you could feel the the pain that he felt, you could also feel the underlying hope as well. Chester’s death sparked a movement like no other. It’s a shame though that society’s eyes only open, that their attention and concern with mental health is only grasped when a celebrity takes their life.
I am a fan of Linkin Park, as a teen and into adulthood, I would listen to certain bands/ artists whose music numed my own pain. Linkin Park is one of those bands. Chester Bennington is still one of those artists. He lives on within his lyrics.
“In this farewell
There’s no blood, there’s no alibi
‘Cause I’ve drawn regret
From the truth of a thousand lies
So let mercy come and wash away
What I’ve done…” -Linkin Park
Now you all know that I love music, I also have a love for food and fashion. As a kid I would draw outfits on the side of my class assignments as I was waiting for the other students to finish their work. I also loved watching the Food Network, I’ve been a foodie since I was a youngster.
Two legends that inspired me are now gone, both by suicide. Just last week fashion icon Kate Spade took her life. Kate had been struggling with depression for years, she even tried to seek help, but was quickly silenced. Kate was told that if it were to get out that she was depressed and getting treatment for it that it may cause a whirlwind of bad PR. Kate being an iconic figure in the fashion industry lead to her staying silent about her mental illness. Silence Kills!
A few days later and Kate’s heartbreaking death still fresh, news of another legend gone hits social media. Anthony Bourdain too took his own life. Anthony was a global chef who changed the food industry in ways no one else could. He too struggled with depression and he too stayed quiet about it. Just like the family members and friends of Chester and Kate, no one saw any of what happened coming. Each of these amazing souls seemed happy and full of life, even right up until their deaths.
See, some of you out there blindly believe that depression, anxiety or suicide are “attention getters” or “fashion statements”.
Depression, anxiety and suicide ideation are not simply states of mind that we can control. Telling us to stop thinking or feeling those ways Doesn’t Work. These mental states are not switches that we can flip on and off. Assuming that we “act” depressed, anxious or suicidal to get attention is false as well.
Depression, anxiety and suicide ideation are serious mental illnesses. The main reason so many of us continue to keep our lips sealed is due to the fears of being judged by others who don’t understand, being made to feel ashamed by others ignorance. Your status in the public eye doesn’t matter, we are all human, we all matter. The stigma leads to secrecy that leads to suicide.
Can you hear me now?