Woman shares selfie from the day of her suicide attempt to make a very important point
Milly Smith, from Hull, England, goes by the username 'selfloveclub' on Instagram. She has been using social media as a platform to talk about mental health before, but has come out with some brave and crucial honesty about her own issues with mental illness.
The 24-year-old blogger and mental health advocate has shown an openness regarding these issues in the past, and has posted many body-positive posts about the necessity of self-love, but has recently revealed that she suffers from borderline personality disorder, a condition that makes it difficult to regulate emotions, often resulting in severe mood swings and self-harm.
As revealed in an Instagram post, Smith has felt suicidal since she was a teenager. At the time, however, her claims were dismissed by her doctor, who told her she "didn't look suicidal". These comments have affected her for a decade, and it has been a long journey to understanding her disorder.
As she says in this post, the comments made her feel "invalidation, dumb and embarrassed; something no one in that mindset should have to feel". Milly shows that the way you look doesn't necessarily reflect how you feel inside, even when it comes to something as severe as suicidal thoughts.
Now, in a new post, she displayed this fact in a simple but extremely effective way. Just seven hours before a suicide attempt, she was feeling happy enough to take this selfie, unaware that she would be hospitalized by the end of the day.
Speaking to Today, she elaborated on the message she provides here:
"It took a ton of courage to go there and I was in a very vulnerable state. I was crushed and felt invalidated and alone.
"I wanted to break the stigma. Suicidal tendencies are still such a taboo and I wanted people to know they can talk about it, that it’s not to be ashamed of and they’re not alone."
Jessica Ribeiro, an assistant professor of psychology at Florida State University, studies whether we can determine suicide risk using algorithms to predict the behaviour. She explained that that there are some common symptoms, such as self-harm or previous attempts, but otherwise it's not an exact science.
"It is hard to predict if someone is going to die by suicide. Depression is something that is often referenced as a risk factor for suicide. Ninety-six percent of the time, people with depression don’t kill themselves"
"Depression and suicidal tendencies will differ from person to person," Smith said, "The stigma is a problem because it leaves people feeling they are not worthy of help if they don’t fit that 'look.'" She now sees a therapist and takes medication for her condition, and continues to use the platform to speak up on these issues.
If you need further proof to the fact that suicide doesn't have a 'look', you need to only see this video shared by Chester Bennington's widow taken only 36 hours before his death.