This article is based on a personal opinion and experience. The article follows the editorial guidelines and policy of WYF. Recommendations made in this article are meant to be general guidelines. In case you have any medical conditions, consult your doctor.
Everyone is wondering how something as tragic as tWitch’s death could have happened to someone so happy. It is for this reason that we need to create an environment in which it is normal and expected for people to talk about mental health. Suicides are three to four times more common for men than for women, and suicide attempts are on the rise, especially among Black men.
You’ll find almost every image of tWitch with a bright and warm smile – in the few photos where he’s not smiling, it’s usually because he’s dancing all the time. Many videos of TWitch are of him dancing, and he does it with remarkable skill and passion.
The young tWitch took his own life in his hotel room alone on December 13, 2022. Although he seemingly had it all — a family, a career, a partner — mental health does not care about these things. Anthony Bourdain and Robin Williams also appeared to have it all when they died, but he is not the first celebrity to do so.
A prominent voice on social media, Kevin, says that in his 20 years as a physician assistant/assistant, he has always been concerned that one of his patients or loved ones was suffering in silence and hiding their pain and hurt behind a beautiful facade, as Boss did.
I’m feeling so heavy with emotions right now, having lost too many people to mental health challenges like depression, addiction, trauma, and hopelessness – all of which took their lives – since I’ve lost too many people I love to mental health challenges like depression, addiction, trauma, and hopelessness – all of whom took their own lives. While battling their demons, people put on a smile, post fun videos on social media, play on sports teams, and get ahead at work – all the while they do so. It doesn’t matter if you can’t see the pain inside someone, it’s still real and overwhelming to them. It’s the reason tWitch’s death doesn’t make sense to a lot of people. His struggle may have been invisible in public, but it was a living hell inside. That’s why it’s so important to talk about suicide in a good way.
A psychiatrist like me, Gregory Scott Brown MD, says suicide is hard to predict. People who are depressed usually don’t see it coming until it’s too late. Sometimes they go to work, smile, and appear to be happy. But there usually are subtle signs that are worth noticing. You should check in on someone who talks about death often, spends more time alone, gives away their valuables, or stops talking about the future. Invite them to lunch, or ask them how they’re doing. If you listen to subtle cues, you might save someone’s life.
In order to promote productive conversations about mental health, we all need to play a bigger role, especially when someone we thought had it all together commits suicide. We should have these conversations in a compassionate and smart way, too.
As friends and family and as a society as a whole, we need to discuss mental health more openly so that no one feels like they must suffer alone. There is no way to ease the sadness of those who knew and loved Stephen Boss, but there may be ways to help others or yourself.
This kind, passionate man, whose tragic death took place at the age of 40, may have prevented many other people from dying in the future. Whenever we feel that someone is struggling with mental health issues, it is important for us to reach out and offer help. These struggles can take place beneath the surface and can be hidden by a smile. It is important that we all reach out to anyone we suspect may be struggling.
tWitch – You will be missed!