Recently, a Shanghai girl committed suicide after breaking up with her boyfriend and posted every step of the way there on her Instagram. That’s another that didn’t survive. The thing that really had me was the timeline. You can see, visually, the change in her posting personality.
It’s terrifying when you look at those images side by side isn’t it? If you went on her Instagram, you won’t notice a thing. The transition is so smooth and slow it’s a sudden hit when the tone changes. Like a frog in a boiling pot, it won’t jump unless the temperature jumped.
News outlet reported that followers of her page had not offered a word of encouragement. It’s not all their fault. Most people will never notice a person is about to commit suicide until the day they do it. Us, the ones who have faced death like this must never, ever blame others for not coming to our aid. We ourselves make it hard for them to see us. It’s unfair, it’s not right, but our screams are silent.
Part of the reason I started this blog and wrote about my BD was that I wanted to educate people, no matter how small the number, on the life of those with mental illnesses and those who took their lives. It’s not a nice topic to write about I admit, and I’d much rather talk about my stories and film projects, but these experiences are something that I can share. It’s a shoe that you understand only when you walk in it. The invisible tattoos under our skin.
Which reminds me, the thing that gets under my skin the most in situations like these are the comments from the aftermath. I want to hit these two points individually, but I also want to lighten the mood after the moody start. So here’s another list with tonnes of insults!
*The following comments are all actual comments made by real, living breathing people. No jokes there.
1: The Religious ‘If’ Pricks
Let’s face it, there’s nothing cool about that post. The fact that it got 37 likes is just disgusting. When it comes to coping with depression, I will admit that faith in religion is an option. However, it is not the option. It won’t work for everyone, and most importantly, Christianity is not the only religion that will work. I’m not targeting Christianity because I have a special hatred for it or anything, it’s just the most common and powerful religion there is on the planet right now. I just wanted to be clear with everyone that I hate everything equally.
The problem with the If Pricks is that they like to bring up a solution after the deed has been done, with no possible way of testing if such a option will work on the individual who needs help. Because you know, the person is dead. The solution will often relate with something they belief in, like religion or a lifestyle. They’ll then follow up by insistently defending their position and ideals to the point that it sullies the dead. Pray more. Eat vegetables. Get out more. The list is endless.
Rick Warren’s son, a Christian, committed suicide. Healthy people have committed suicide. And right above, we have an outgoing girl who just offed herself. When it comes to things like mental illness, a personal solution is not likely to work.
What to do Instead?
The person is dead. Offer her prayers or condolences to her family. Do what you want to do to send the message across that you feel the pain. Then offer help to others. The chances are that the next suicide victim is reading that very same article you’re reading, going through the comments looking for a way out.
Don’t make your reply about you. Don’t say, “I would never do this because I worship the flying spaghetti monster” or “I would have just went out with friends until I’m drunk and happy”.
The person reading it and the person that is dead, are not you. They have a different life, different friends and family. Maybe they’re introverted. Maybe they are devout Buddhist. Maybe they have 8 toes. Point is, they are not you. Make your reply open and neutral. Offer links to helpline. Offer your friendship across the faceless internet. Offer a listening ear (or a reading eye). You have happiness and will power the ones on the other side of the screen does not. Give.
And of course, anyone reading my blog going through the same thing or knows someone like that but are too afraid to seek public or professional help, email me at email@example.com and I will lend a ear (eyes?) and advice. I’ll also throw in some dick jokes to lighten the mood.
2: The Holier-Than-Thou
The first comment is relatively tame, but it is something I want to address. That ‘sick mental state’ is her lifestyle. When you’re depressed, that’s the one thing you can hold on to. When I was depressed, I continued to write and play games. Every day. It’s our anchor. Something you did before the depression that became a part of your daily life. Something you did to relax or have fun at. I can’t say I particularly liked the girl’s hobbies, but it is her own thing. And she did it all the way, up till and including her death. I wrote about my depression periods too. I have records of my suicide attempts in writing as well.
But the second and third comments are low. Those two people should not even be considered humans. You can hate a person, you can be a hit-man for a living, but you don’t mock the death of others. It’s like going to a graveyard and peeing on every tombstones. Death is it. It is it. You don’t come back. Mocking someone who can’t defend themselves in anyway whatsoever is more disgusting than eating Casu Marzu.
What to do Instead?
If you think the dead person is someone deserving of what happened to them, shut the fuck up. Seriously, no need to beat the dead with a stick. These comments are no better than the teenagers who goes around hobo bashing for fun. And yes, hobo bashing is a thing. It’s a sick, fucked up thing. Just like everything about comments like these. It only serves to make the posters feel better and adds absolutely zero good things into the world while hurting other people.