SELF – What Chris Brown Got So, So Wrong About Suicide

Photo: Twitter

Photo: Twitter


Chris Brown’s latest rant targeting Kehlani Parrish’s failed suicide attempt is the kind of insensitivity, if not ruthless bullying, that too often surrounds people who attempt to take their life. Is this really the case, and why? What should you do if someone you know or love is in trouble with depression, and wants to end their life?


I was pleased to weigh in on what Chris Brown got so wrong about suicide, what suicide is really about, and why attitudes like his can be so dangerous. To read Korin Miller’s post for SELF, click HERE.


There’s also a mistaken belief that suicide success is easy; therefore anyone who is unsuccessful must not really want to die, licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., tells SELF. “Not only is successfully killing oneself difficult to pull off, it is also emotionally very challenging,” she says. “As desperate as someone might feel, actually ending ones life isn’t easy or straightforward, thankfully.”


People who attempt suicide rarely do so to make someone else feel anything else like guilt or shame, Clark says. Instead, they’re looking to relieve their own pain. “Suicidal behavior always happens in the context of acute or chronic mental illness, meaning that someone is never in their right mind when they take any suicidal action,” she says. “Holding a mentally ill person to rational standards is therefore unreasonable. A suicidal person needs help, not tough love, or bullying.”


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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD