Let me start by saying shows, movies, and books that talk about mental health are so important. It is a struggle though to get these kinds of forms of entertainment to talk about such serious topics in a way that doesn't glorify or beautify somethings so tragic.
You see I like aspects of '13 Reasons Why', 'Looking for Alaska', 'Impulse', and even 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower". They are books that help develop a tough conversation of an often misunderstood battle ground. And often yes, young people are affected by it.
But as a survivor of suicide, as one who has tried to take their own life...mental heath needs to stop being beautified. It needs to stop being accepted as a form of entertainment. It adds to the misconceptions, and the misunderstood experiences we suvivors have been through.
You see suicide is not a way out because popular kids don't notice you.
It is not about being some type of revenge fantasy. This is because it is mystical and trust me it is not normal, nor should it be accepted as normal.
You see suicide is one's personal end. It is not a tape for everyone to listen to. It is not a message in a bottle.
It is perpetuated often by actions, or experiences unpleasant to the one going through the vicious cycle. You see there are many reasons why a person attempts to end their lives, and it steadily grows. This is because for a lot of different reasons young people believe their lives are or cannot be be lived any longer.
It is an epidemic among countless populations, and we must stop trying to turn it into hit TV shows without approaching true, honest and important conversations about this taboo, topic.
We need to see less jokes made about real feelings people have about wanting to end their lives. About feeling like they do it for attention. You see this adds to feelings of invalidation and of shame. It often pushes suicidal thinking even farther.
People who struggle with suicidality come from every race, background, religion etc. It does not discriminate, and we must not alienate or mock those who struggle with it. We must try to find ways to identify the signs and stop inducing feelings of hopelessness they might feel.
Mental health isn't a joke. And it is a lot more common than people think it is. And as many as 1 in 5 Americans face it.
So we need to acknowledge that it is a reality. We need to understand this is a serious matter. It can't be handled poorly anymore. Victims, as well as survivors need to be validated. It is a serious matter because to many feel unsupported. Too many are taking their own lives, and we need to figure out why.
We need to think about why.
It doesn't need to be made into punch lines. It doesn't need to be glorified. The more we push the topic of suicide away, the more uneducated and unaware society becomes. They hold to what forms of media tell them instead of research.
Glorifying suicide and mental illness is harmful because many say the word "committed suicide" by mislead people in their reports. People who struggle with suicidality or even went through it with needed help.
They need acceptance for who they were as people and what they were going through.
Social media is present, and I understand stories get picked up. But please for the love of God stop making suicide seem like a fad. Stop saying things about victims that make is so people can continue to pass judgement.
No they weren't just "seeking attention". They wanted help. And felt taking their life (which for many is when they get to their final last point) was the way out.
You need to understand suicide can be prevented. People are trained on hotlines and crisis lines and centers to help those who are struggling. The issue is a lot of people don't know the signs. Aren't sure of how to help.
It is important that we move forward and try to stop glorifying this epidemic that we find ways we can help see the signs. That we can help those who are feeling helpless and stuck.
There is so much stigma and prejudice around people who have mental illness. So many lies floating around that are so damaging.
It is important we begin to take suicide more seriously.
It's time we find the resources, learn what we can to help, and say enough is enough.
Suicide isn't a fashioning trend on Twitter. It is a serious issue that needs people who can find preventive and educational care. We need to be aware of the triggers, and remember recovery is possible. But we also need to be aware of the messages we send.
No one deserves to be alone, and we must not add to the issue. We must save lives, and remind people they matter.
To see more from Amina, visit her here.