The worst problem with suicide is that even the act of talking about it, just to discuss ways to prevent it, gets people thinking about killing themselves.
Recently, Gia Allemand, a former participant on the reality TV show The Bachelor committed suicide. The 29-year-old’s face is now on the cover of Us Weekly and other entertainment and celebrity magazines.
On the one hand, it does shine a light on the tragedy of suicide, the anguish of friends and family and the efforts to provide help to those with depression. On the other hand, it says that if you’re a minor celebrity with no future prospects for fame or fortune, people will remember you (and put you on the cover of their magazines) if you kill yourself.
To put it bluntly, Allemand’s 15 minutes of fame was already up. She was one of the last women sent home by The Bachelor during the season she competed and she had appeared on a few programs related to her stint on the show.
There are many complicated reasons why someone decides to take their own life when they haven’t been diagnosed with a terminal disease but those reasons are simply details.
The source of all suicides is suffering. For people who are physically healthy and in no danger of dying any time soon, the suffering may be from long-term depression, anxiety and other mental health issues or from a recent, traumatic event. Regardless, these individuals have concluded that causing their own death is the best form of treatment to the pain they feel.
The cause of that pain is also irrelevant. For someone whose sole purpose in life is to be a household name, the realization that you’ll never be as famous as you were last year and fewer and fewer people will remember you over time is a soul-crushing discovery.
Whatever the source of the hurt, if suicidal thoughts are the outcome, then those feelings must be met head-on. At that point, the discussion isn’t about suicide, it’s about pain relief. Giving someone experiencing suicidal thoughts ways to cope gives them hope that they might not always feel the way they do now. Sometimes, sadly, the cure can be worse than the disease and coping methods lead to substance abuse, where the pain is buried under drugs and alcohol but not
Not talking about suicide in public also buries the problem. There is no shame in considering ending your own life during a dark time. It’s human to wonder who will miss you when you’re gone. Getting help, however, takes courage — first, to admit that your suffering is in danger of consuming you, and second, to believe someone can help you past your pain.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by publisher Tim Shoults, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.