Categories: Creative, Educational, Interesting
Tags: borderline personality disorder, depression, embed, instagram, mental health, suicide

Every year, millions of Americans suffer from a major depressive episode. Many of them are walking around in plain sight — working, going to brunch and posting memes on Instagram just like everyone else. You can’t always tell just by looking at someone whether they’re struggling with their mental health, and one body-positive activist in the U.K. wants everyone to know it.

When Milly Smith was 14 years old, she went to a doctor and told him that she felt suicidal. The doctor dismissed her and told her that she didn’t “look suicidal” — words that nearly cost her her life.

“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?”

Milly did go on to attempt suicide multiple times, and she thought to herself as she spiraled:

“I can’t get help, I don’t look suicidal, I don’t fit the bill, they’ll laugh at me.”

To prevent others from going through the same thing, Milly started a social media campaign that shows photos of herself side-by-side. These photos are proof that there is no such thing as “looking suicidal.”

Milly has borderline personality disorder (BPD), a condition that affects her ability to regulate her emotions.

In one recent selfie, she showed how her disorder can cause her mental state to switch in a mere moment.

The photo caption reads:

“Taken 7 hours before I attempted suicide. I had no idea I’d try to take my own life in the morning. I was smiling and loved the way my hair looked hence the selfie. Having BPD means that my mood can switch to suicidal in seconds over the slightest trigger.

Milly’s photos have gained a lot of attention. They resonate with many fellow sufferers of depression, and they’re starting an important conversation about the fact that mental health goes way beyond what’s visible to the eye.

If you’re suffering from suicidal thoughts, please reach out and get help. In the United States you can call 1-800-273-8255. You can also chat online at this link.