Mental health is such an important part of our overall wellness, but it's often misunderstood — so YA author Adam Silvera’s Tumblr post on his depression is a must-read for anyone who has struggled with their own anxieties, has a loved one who does, or just wants to understand more. Adam Silvera is the author of the fantastic 2015 young adult novel More Happy Than Not, and Wednesday, he bravely sent out a series of tweets and a powerful blog post in which he opened up about his suicidal thoughts.
He begins with a trigger warning, urging anyone who doesn’t feel strong enough to read about his experiences to call someone that they trust instead, and providing the number for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. (It’s 1-800-273-8255, so please do call for help if you are suffering.)
For those who do feel strong enough to read and relate to Silvera, his blog post provides reassurance and solidarity. Even if you have never suffered from depression yourself, it is an illuminating read. When celebrities and role models speak out openly about their own struggles, it can do a lot to help our cultural understanding — and so Silvera’s honesty will bring us one step closer to more empathetic treatment of those suffering from mental health issues, from anxiety to OCD, depression to suicidal thoughts.
Particularly haunting in Silvera’s account is the fact that, despite having struggled with suicidal thoughts for almost a decade, he only called a suicide lifeline for the first time aged 25. Before then, he admits, “I didn’t want to call because I felt as if my reasons — which I’ll keep to myself — were stupid.” This, sadly, fits with the statistics. Men are four times as likely to die from suicide (though women do attempt suicide more often), and yet they are far less likely to call suicide lifelines; the gender role forced on men can make them feel that they are not allowed to be “weak” by asking for help. But, as Silvera explains, “if your “stupid” reason is eating you alive then it’s far from stupid.”
Hopefully, Silvera’s raw, moving, and encouraging article will resonate with people of any gender, and inspire them to ask for the support they deserve.
Image: Margot Wood/Soho