Not A Laughing Matter

Why You Shouldn’t Joke About Suicide

According to on the CDC, somebody commits suicide everybody 40 seconds (courtesy of Pinterest).

According to on the CDC, somebody commits suicide everybody 40 seconds (courtesy of Pinterest).

Lilly Wilt, Staff Writer

People joke about suicide and depression everyday. They say things like “I’m triggered,” “I’m so depressed,” and “I’m going to slit my wrists.” Or, they’ll put two fingers to their head like a gun and pretend to shoot themselves. They’ll make memes about suicide and depression. Teachers at this school have even made jokes about mental illnesses. This NEEDS to stop.

People don’t see how serious depression and suicide is. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, 1 in 5 teenagers aged 13-18 will have or have a serious mental illness. Also, 90% of teenagers who commit suicide have a mental illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24, resulting in approximately 4,600 lives lost each year. So, why do people still joke about it? Maybe it’s because they don’t have a mental illness themselves. They don’t know what it feels like to want to die everyday. They don’t know how hard it is to feel like you are drowning deeper and deeper everyday yet nobody notices or cares. They don’t know what it’s like to have to wear long sleeves everyday to hide scars. They just don’t know, so stop joking about it.

People also shouldn’t make jokes about being triggered. Let’s say Person A does something another person doesn’t like. Person B then exclaims that they are triggered. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a trigger is something that interacts with a body and causes a psychological reaction. For people who self-harm, a trigger can be as something as simple as getting pushed in the hall, getting yelled at by parents, or getting a bad grade. It triggers them to take that anger out on their bodies by cutting. A trigger for someone with PTSD could be hearing loud noises or seeing the person who caused them the emotional distress.

Take Youtuber Logan Paul, for example. New York Times says that on December 31, 2017, Logan Paul posted a video on Youtube where he went into the Aokigahara Forest, commonly known as the Suicide Forest. In his video, he showed a dead body hanging from a tree. He then yelled to the body “Yo, are you alive?” In his apology statement to his viewers on Twitter, he said “I didn’t do it for views. I get views. I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity. That’s never the intention. I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention…” If he wanted to make a suicide awareness video, then he could have NOT featured a dead hanging body in his video. Or, he could have NOT made a video in the Aokigahara Forest at all. Logan Paul is just one of those people who don’t understand how serious suicide is.

Suicide is a serious topic. People may not know what some people go through. A person could be standing right next to a suicidal persona and they make a joke about suicide. This may cause that person to want to kill themselves even more. Plus, it’s offensive to them. Stop the jokes, the memes, the videos, the gestures, the comments, and the stunts about suicide and depression. Instead, raise awareness for suicide.