Today, after hearing about Mr. Sushant, strangely, I din’t feel anything for almost an hour. After that, so many things came into my mind. What could be the reason? How are his family members going to take this? Then I thought, there is a reason why I didn’t react today!
People wrote various things today on social media platforms. “depression can kill anyone”, “depression is a silent killer and it cannot be identified”, “a person who appears normal also might have reasons to suicide”, and “at least now we all should start understanding the importance of mental health.”
As per 2015 suicide statistics, 15 people suicide in one hour. People reacted when it is Mr. Sushant. I didnt react. Because, I always live in a emotion that people experienced today for short period of time. I don’t even think anyone is going to do anything about mental health after 2 days. But my pain stayed with me before and stays with me in future!
I have seen people who ask me query questions, but show reluctance to take therapy just because entering into counselling adds a ‘mental health patient’ label to them. I have seen the family members of my clients who fight with my clients for seeking help and making attempts to empower themselves. I have seen people doing time pass, distracting themselves, praying, escaping, blaming and ultimately giving up! But nothing changed over years. Stigma and denial in society is suppressing people’s desire to seek help.
Then I got few more questions in my mind. Why most of the people reacted and bombarded social media with posts when they themselves can’t overcome mental health stigma? Some of my friends and relatives who showed reluctance to seek help made posts today on mental health. I read content of many posts and started thinking. What I could figure out is, response of most of the people is not empathetic. It is sympathetic.
Sympathy is keeping someone below us and showing pity. Empathy is keeping someone in a respectable position and trying to understand them. So, many people threatened their readers on social media by showing the suicide of Mr. Sushant Singh as worst case scenario and demanded readers to seek help. I couldn’t see any empathy in such posts. It is also possible that suicide triggered insecurity of people and as a result they shared their anxiety in the form of message! Some people must have tried to advertise their business by using incident just like how they hire actors to promote their businesses.
Such posts can only make scenario more worse because, even though everyone cannot decode psychology of each and every post, underlying concept can reach all minds. And underlying message is nothing but “I don’t have empathy”.
What I feel is
1. Mr. Sushant Singh’s suicide cannot be used as an example of worst case scenario to advertise for mental health.
2. If someone is really interested is helping people who are suicidal or work as mental health advocate, he/she has to work on topic “suicide” but not on Mr. Sushant Singh’s suicide
3. We have no rights to analyze / comment / judge / understand cause / discuss about Mr. Sushant Singh’s suicide! His and his family member’s privacy needs to be respected. He never discussed his issues with public. So public has no right to respond to this event.
4. It is practically impossible to shut our response. Instead of making posts to build mental health awareness by using a person’s death as example, what we can do is, focus on our self, understand what our emotions are and share them directly, but not as any mental health awareness message.