Dr. Danielle Forshee, Psy.D., talks to Bustle on the importance of turning of the news at times
Dr. Danielle Forshee, Psy.D., a psychologist and licensed clinical social worker, tells Bustle that folks may want to disconnect from the news cycle because coverage tends to glamorize suicide. “Traditionally, it is contraindicated for any details pertaining to the method of suicide or details surrounding any suicide to be publicized on any media outlet,” she explains. “[T]his really means that the media is putting out there that somebody committed suicide, and giving information about all of the people around them who are sad, telling stories about the person and memorializing that person.” This, she says, can increase the risk of copycat behavior from people who are at risk. “Individuals who are at risk […] do so at times like this because of the glamorization of how the media is portraying the individual who committed suicide to the public,” she says.
All this means that if you’re struggling with seeing positive messages being shared about the person who is gone, that’s totally normal. But it is a sign that you may want to give yourself a break for a while. And if you’re comfortable, you should also reach out to friends and family, as well as mental health professionals. Forshee says that it’s important to be open about the emotions you’re experiencing after the fact, not only for your own good, but also because it may help loved ones who are also feeling impacted but may not know how to bring it up. “Talking about it is extremely important, because it may also help others who are secretly struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts to come out,” Forshee says.
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