Hearing that Bollywood actress, Pratyusha Banerjee committed suicide is tragic. What’s worse is hearing another Bollywood actress, Hema Malini, tweet harsh sentiments about it. Tweets such as “All these senseless suicides achieve nothing,” “One must learn to overcome all odds and emerge successfully, not succumb to pressure and give up easily,” and “The world admires a fighter and not a loser,” don’t help people who are depressed. Reading her tweets, I asked myself, “Where was Malini when Banerjee was suffering?” Did she offer to help her? Did she guide Banerjee to areas where she can get help? I don’t view the tweets as something malicious but as tough love. The thing is “tough love” doesn’t necessarily work in situations like these.
It’s easy to sit back and say, “Hey that person who committed suicide was weak.” I had suicidal ideation, but I’ve never been at the point where I committed the act. Researching and watching videos on people who have been through suicide attempts, I’ve learned that the people want to die for different reasons. There is a famous Golden Age Hollywood actor named Charles Boyer who overdosed on Seconal because his wife died of cancer two days earlier. Other people want to die because they are suffering from a terrible sickness and want it to end. Critics might say that Boyer and the critically sick were weak in their inability to deal with their suffering. People sympathetic to their plight may say that life isn’t worth living if you’re wasting away emotionally and physically.
Yes, if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, get help. I’ve had suicidal thoughts and the best thing that could have to happen was going to therapy. I expressed my feelings and my therapist taught me coping mechanisms when dealing with difficult times. If someone you love has suicidal ideation, listen to them; don’t try to brush it off by giving them positivity. Positivity is a wonderful tool, but like with many other coping tools, there is a time and place for it. Even if the person contemplating suicide seems like they are begging for attention, play it on the safe side. Using suicide as a way for attention is unhealthy and belies an underlying issue.
By http://www.bollywoodhungama.com [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons