Sharing – Facing Suicide: An Interview With My Sister

A couple of things I thought of while reading the interview linked below.

  1. Julia and her sister grew up in a similar environment, but have had different paths to recovery and healing. It was her sister who spent some time in inpatient care and is sharing her story, not Julia herself. That is normal. There is no one “right” way to heal from childhood trauma, nor is there one way it affects everyone.
  2. This quote stood out to me as well:

Seeing it as an illness helped me be compassionate towards myself instead of thinking I wasn’t smart enough or good enough.

One of the phrases that I see a lot in the mental health community is “mentally strong”, as in “Mentally strong people have these characteristics”. Personally, I’ve tried to avoid using the term very often because I don’t necessarily like what it implies about people who are struggling, that they are the opposite, or mentally weak. People dealing with depression, bipolar, and other mental health issues, are not mentally weak, or lacking in intelligence. They have an illness. That would be like someone getting food poisoning and telling them that their stomach is weak.

Are there people in the world who would do that? I have no doubt there are, but they’re wrong, and so are people who think that mental health issues are a result of not being smart enough, or mentally strong enough. Over the years I have met some incredibly smart people, some incredibly accomplished people, and some of them also have a history with depression and other mental health issues. Their intelligence and mental strength didn’t stop that.

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