In this piece for The New York Times, suicidologist and psychotherapist Stacey Freedenthal tells her story of having struggled with suicidality and discusses the importance of disclosing her own experience as a mental health professional.
“In recent years, several high-profile mental health professionals, such as the psychologists Kay Redfield Jamison and Marsha Linehan, have come forward about their personal experiences with mental illness and suicidality. And more and more people who survived suicide’s assault have begun to share their stories in blogs, social media and videos. I have always been too scared to join this conversation. But knowing my silence made me stigma’s accomplice also felt hypocritical.
The openness of others inspires mine now. I still feel scared, but perhaps it can comfort people with mental illness to know that many professionals who appear to sit on a high horse of happiness, in fact, sit with them.”