Woman's photos show why you should never say: 'you don't look suicidal'

Woman's photos show why you should never say: 'you don't look suicidal'
From Global News - September 6, 2017

When Milly Smith was 14, it didnt matter if she was smiling or frowningshe was still having suicidal thoughts.

This is exactly the message the 24-year-old student and blogger of the Self Love Clubb wants to spread: people with suicidal tendencies dont appear one way.

In a viral post on Instagram, Smith wrote about speaking to a doctor when she was 14, and how this professional told her she didnt look suicidal.

I remember these words coming from the Drs mouth right after Id just told him that I was having thoughts of suicide. I remember in that moment my 14 year old self felt invalidation, dumb and embarrassed; something no one in that mindset should have to feel, she wrote.

What was I supposed to look like? A bottle of pills in one hand and a suicide note in the other? Those words nearly cost me my life, that judgment, those stupid stupid words.

Last year, Smith overdosed in her home because she was afraid of this judgment again if she reached out for help.

This is the danger of thinking mental health has a face [or] look. This is how stigma, ignorance and judgement towards mental health/suicide affects [us], she wrote on the social media site.

The side-by-side shows Smith without any makeup sitting without clothes in one photo, and dressed up and smiling in the other.

In both these photos Im suicidal, perhaps not in the same way, but on both of these days I had suicidal thoughts racing around.

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The face of suicide

With over 22,000 likes and 500 comments, Smith says she didnt expect this many people to relate.

It made me happy to know how many people its reaching, but also sad at how many people are out there hurting, she tells Global News. I want to break down the stigma and ignorance surrounding mental health problems. One in four of us are affected, and yet theres still so many misconceptions about mental health problems/suicidal tendencies.

She adds this continues to be a problem because most people have one perception of what someone with suicidal thoughts tends to look like.

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Many are from what we see in the media, we use the word depression in place of sad or upset and people begin to create this image of a depressed person crying, staying indoors etc., she continues. This is backed up by films and TV [series] showing depression very one-dimensional too.

Social media users react

Online, hundreds of Instagram users thanked Smith for sharing this important message.

Living with suicidal thoughts

Where to get help


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