Written by Taylor Nicole.
The summer of 2014 hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in serious treatment for my mental health. I was at my lowest of the low. And just when it seemed like it couldn’t get any worse, my hero, Robin Williams, died by suicide. I was a wreck. My hero, the man with a similar diagnosis to me was gone. I had spent the summer learning more about him, idolizing him. He meant so much to me, and just like that, he was gone. I mourned the loss of my hero deeply. I lost a lot of faith the day he died. You see, for me he was a beacon of hope; proof that it gets better. I was shocked by his death, and so was the rest of the world. For days it was all my friends seemed to be posting about.
She was greeted with mockery. I was disgusted.
That summer was also the year Amanda Bynes had her breakdown. Amanda Bynes was the subject of a 5th grade research paper for me, and another childhood hero. I always loved Amanda Bynes’s movies and television series. She was one of my favorite comedic actresses. I expected with Robin Williams suicide that people would be sensitive to her breakdown; instead she was greeted with mockery. I was disgusted.
If my friends couldn’t respect a celebrity and her mental breakdown, what would make them respect mine?
The truth was, I just had my very own breakdown, similar to Amanda’s and in some ways just as public. I expected my friends especially to be understanding with her breakdown. Instead she was the subject of memes and hateful posts. If my friends couldn’t respect a celebrity and her mental breakdown, what would make them respect mine?
I’ve survived suicide attempts and humiliating breakdowns.
I’ve been on both ends; I’ve survived suicide attempts and humiliating breakdowns. One didn’t deserve more sympathy than the other. They were both part of my mental illness; one thing that drove me to do very extreme, but similar things. The truth is I needed just as much support and love when I was feeling one way than I did the other.
Mental illness isn’t pretty. It’s an ugly monster, and can easily destroy a person. We need to show love and support during breakdowns and the ugly side of mental illness to avoid losing another soul.