Yet another tragedy w a highly successful figure where you hear -“he never showed any signs.”
We were tweeting about this earlier today when the news broke, & a lot of the feedback was about – “the mask.” Many were bringing up the “happy mask” ppl put on, bc they’re afraid of the stigma of ppl knowing they are going through something challenging, when they’ve been so successful at everything else. But, I’m gonna bring up another angle/factor…bc it happened to me:
Bc of the lack of education/awareness on this topic, many successful ppl DON’T even KNOW, that they have stress & trauma mounting inside them as ticking time bombs. They aren’t putting on a mask. Instead, the passion for the thing they are doing: whether it be sports, the law, accounting, entrepreneurship, being a parent, etc., is so great (& I mean genuinely great) on a daily basis, that they compartmentalize, don’t think about/worry about/work on their MH, nor past experiences…& before they know it, one more additional stressor or event happens (ie, a piece at the base of their Jenga tower is removed), & their entire tower topples over.
Yes stigma is a major issue, but so too is lack of education/awareness, tied together w believing that burying ourselves in our passion all day, everyday (bc we love it & it feels “good”) is enough to keep us healthy. It’s not. We must practice STARR practices, daily, to cleanse & maintain our MH. You can’t will your way through this, like you do other things. Successful ppl think they can fix anything by “muscling thru.” This they can’t. It catches up to you!