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Last week, Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, died by suicide.
When I heard the news, I spent the day listening to the music of the band that helped me deal with an abusive childhood and repeated trauma. I’ve thought about my own mental health journey and watching others I love struggle.
I thought about the moments when I wished I was dead. I thought about the one bend on the highway where I always think about just continuing straight. I thought about how depression feels like dying and taking depression medication makes you feel dead.
I thought about all the times my pain was at a 10 and I lied about it. I thought of all the people who I know want to be there for me. Those who love me.I thought of the countless people I’ve met, myself included, whose lives have been blown apart by the suicide of a loved one. The questions are always there.
I thought of the countless people I’ve met, myself included, whose lives have been blown apart by the suicide of a loved one. The questions are always there.
What more could I have done? What did I miss? Why didn’t tell just talk to me more?
How can someone go from smiling at you one day and then they’re dead the next?
I thought about what has truly been helpful for me. The things I’ve learned to do to help my fellow strugglers. Whether you know someone who is struggling with a mental illness or not, incorporating these practices into your life just may help someone choose to stay.
Pray for Eyes to See
Jesus Christ knows the suffering of every person you meet. He also knows how good they are at hiding their pain. Pray for the eyes to see the sorrow you can’t see on the surface. Pray for inspiration to serve those who need it. You may never know who you touch or who you change forever by acts of kindness. Fearlessly follow promptings. Never hesitate to act on a good thought no matter how small or large it may be.
Learn About Mental Illness
Educate yourself about mental illnesses. Learn about the warning signs. If you fear someone is in danger of harming themselves, reach out to professionals about how you can help. If you know someone who is struggling, ask questions about their experiences. Make sure they know you want to learn and better understand what they are going through. Help destroy the stigma of shame by talking openly about mental illness without judgement.
Support Self Care
Self-care is extremely difficult for many people struggling with a mental illness. Some can’t brush their teeth, shower, or do their laundry. Messiness and mental illness are closely correlated. Some struggle to go grocery shopping and or exercise. Some try to hide the bathroom at work to cry and get through the day. Support self-care in whatever way you can. Offer to do things together, like grocery shopping or laundry. Be patient with co-workers and offer some flexible scheduling options if you can. Avoid telling people they look tired or sick. Offer genuine compliments and support when you notice someone achieving and working hard.
To read the full article on LDS Daily, click here.