Milly Smith Shares Side-by-Side Photos to Show 'Being Suicidal' Isn't Always What You Think


When someone dies by suicide, the grief that follows often comes with shock. How could a person who seemed so [fill in the blank here] kill themselves? These deaths often teach us that suicide does not discriminate. There is no “type of person” who takes their life, and the signs of being suicidal might not be as obvious as we think.

To show that being suicidal doesn’t have a “look,” Milly Smith, who runs the Instagram account @selfloveclubb, posted two pictures of herself struggling with suicidal thoughts. In one, she looks more “classically” depressed. In another, she’s smiling and wearing makeup.

Tw: talk of suicidal tendencies. . “You don’t look suicidal”… I remember these words coming from the Dr’s mouth right after I’d just told him that I was having thoughts of suicide. I remember in that moment my 14 year old self felt invalidation, dumb and embarrassed; something no one in that mindset should have to feel. I left feeling confused, what was I supposed to look like? A bottle of pills in one hand and a suicide note in the other? Those words nearly cost me my life, that judgment, those stupid stupid words. . I remember the night just last year that I spiralled and overdosed in my living room. I remember thinking to myself “I can’t get help, I don’t look suicidal, I don’t fit the bill, they’ll laugh at me”. I remember thinking I must have looked the part, must have been wearing the suicidal costume properly when I woke up in Resus as all around me were concerned, worried and sad faces. By then this could have been too late, i might not have been there to see those sad faces if my partner hadn’t of saved my life. . This, this is the danger of thinking mental health has a ‘face’,a ‘look’. This is how stigma, ignorance and judgement towards mental health/suicide affects those who are poorly. . In both these photos i’m suicidal, perhaps not in the same way but on both of these days I had suicidal thoughts racing around. . Stop the judgment. Stop the stigma.

A post shared by Milly Smith ????????☀️???? (@selfloveclubb) on

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When Smith was 14 years old and struggling with suicidal thoughts, a doctor told her she “didn’t look suicidal.” This comment made her feel invalidated and ashamed.

“This is the danger of thinking mental health has a ‘face,’ a ‘look,'” she wrote. “This is how stigma, ignorance and judgment towards mental health/suicide affects those who are poorly.”

Smith is known for busting stereotypes on her Instagram, which has over 163,000 followers. In the past, she’s posted about her chronic illness, the physical side effects of medication and about how depression doesn’t have a look.

You can read her full post about being suicidal below: 

“You don’t look suicidal”… I remember these words coming from the Dr’s mouth right after I’d just told him that I was having thoughts of suicide. I remember in that moment my 14 year old self felt invalidation, dumb and embarrassed; something no one in that mindset should have to feel.

I left feeling confused, what was I supposed to look like? A bottle of pills in one hand and a suicide note in the other? Those words nearly cost me my life, that judgment, those stupid stupid words.
.
I remember the night just last year that I spiralled and overdosed in my living room. I remember thinking to myself “I can’t get help, I don’t look suicidal, I don’t fit the bill, they’ll laugh at me”

.
I remember thinking I must have looked the part, must have been wearing the suicidal costume properly when I woke up in Resus as all around me were concerned, worried and sad faces.
By then this could have been too late, i might not have been there to see those sad faces if my partner hadn’t of saved my life.
.
This, this is the danger of thinking mental health has a ‘face’,a ‘look’. This is how stigma, ignorance and judgement towards mental health/suicide affects those who are poorly.
.
In both these photos i’m suicidal, perhaps not in the same way but on both of these days I had suicidal thoughts racing around.
.
Stop the judgment.
Stop the stigma.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Lead photo via SelfLoveClubb on Instagram

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