In case you didn’t pick up on the vibe of this entry yet, there’s going to be a lot of “F-words” in this one.
With all the attention surrounding the recent celebrity suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I, like many other suicide widows, have something to say about it.
When I first read the news stories I was disgustingly unsurprised by the comments people were posting. They were similar comments I heard in whispers at Sean’s funeral or that were said outright to my face.
“She had a child, how selfish an you be!?”
“What could he have possibly had to be sad about?”
What. The. Fuck.
That was my first thought. Followed by a lot more “fucks”.
It sickens me that as more and more people continue to kill themselves, the rest of the world watches from the side lines and remains ignorant to the fact that mental illness does not discriminate.
Sean didn’t kill himself because he was sad.
Sean didn’t kill himself because he was selfish.
Sean killed himself because he was sick.
Lemme say it louder for the people in the back.
PEOPLE. THAT. KILL. THEMSELVES. ARE. MENTALLY. ILL.
Please, if you take ANYTHING away from reading this blog- let it be that.
For years Sean had been depressed and while he tried to stave it off, he left it untreated and the burden became too great.
But don’t you dare say he was selfish.
Sean was the most loving, giving person I ever knew. It’s just that somewhere along the line he forgot to stop and take care of himself too.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who you are in the world- rich or poor, famous or not- mental illness does not discriminate.
Because I’m on my second glass on wine right now (and overall lazy) I’m just going to copy and paste some pretty fucked up statistics on mental illness from the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI). Please pay special attention to the statistics in bold and feel free to click this link to read more fucked up stats of mental illness and treatment (or lack thereof).
Prevalence Of Mental Illness
- Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.1
- Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.2
- Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.3
- 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.4
- 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.5
- 6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.6
- 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.7
- Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.8
Consequences Of Lack Of Treatment
- Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.15
- Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.16
- Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions.17 Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions.18
- Over one-third (37%) of students with a mental health condition age 14–21 and older who are served by special education drop out—the highest dropout rate of any disability group.19
- Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.,20 the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–1421 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.22
- More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.23
- Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide.24