Beautiful 21-year-old Olivia Popham from Texas has died by suicide after losing her battle with depression. Olivia had two children and was seemingly raising her two toddlers alone. Olivia would often vent to social media in which she stated several times that she was tired, overwhelmed, and was contemplating suicide.
Instead of coming to her aid and trying to see what they could help, people “reacted” to her post by hitting the like, love or care button. Her posts were shared 27K times. When I read the comments beneath the story, I became sickened by the lack of compassion and sympathy people had for this once vigorous and beautiful soul. I couldn’t fathom some of the things people were saying, as if depression was a choice and she fundamentally chose to lose her battle. I come to realize that some people are just mean and heartless.
Depression is very real and those who have never experienced it, should be beyond grateful that the situation isn’t their cross to bear. Further, people should not cast judgement on what they don’t understand. What many don’t realize is, not everyone has the same endurance, so if Olivia felt this was her only way out, apply empathy and say a prayer for her and her children left behind. But don’t attack or vilify her because of a decision she made in her most vulnerable mental state.
One of the main reasons people suffer in silence is because people say the most cruel and hateful things and those who are suffering don’t need to be ‘kicked’ when they’re already down. People should try uplifting and supporting someone that they see is in a dire need, even if they don’t personally know the person. A little compassion for Olivia may have gone a long way, but instead, people chose to ‘share’ her pain by exposing it on their own social media sites as if suicide is a fluid option.
Suicide is to be taken seriously and not mocked. Had someone stepped in, maybe just to encourage her, talk to her to provide guidance, give resource information, offered to pay for a babysitter for a weekend or lend an ear for support or a shoulder to cry on, maybe Olivia’s story would’ve turned out to be positive in nature or a motivating feel-good story.
As a community and human beings, we must begin to take the cries and threats of suicide more seriously. You never know what the next person goes through and endures on a regular basis; therefore, we shouldn’t make a conscious (or unconscious) decisions based on uncertainty. Approximately 1 million people in the U.S. die by suicide annually- which is equivalent to 139 people per day and one person every 10.9 minutes.
In essence, Olivia’s death by suicide is up for no one to judge except our higher power. We must be mindful of the comments made about those who lose their mental, psychological, and emotional battles, because any one of us could be filing those shoes one day and praying that we aren’t judged. That said- let's begin to normalize helping those who enter into dark spaces, instead of making a mockery out of them or spatting mean and derogatory comments that would exacerbate an already sensitive issue.
It costs NOTHING to be kind... ❤
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