Milly Smith runs an Instagram account that is dedicated to bringing awareness to mental and chronic illnesses. She also uses the account to preach the importance of self-love through images of her own.

Although Smith is a mom now, she almost didn’t make it past 14-years-old.

On September 4, Smith posted an image of two photographs side-by-side. The pictures depicted two different sides of Smith, but each version of herself has one thing in common: she was suicidal in both:

Tw: talk of suicidal tendencies. . “You don’t look suicidal”… I remember these words coming from the Dr’s mouth right after I’d just told him that I was having thoughts of suicide. I remember in that moment my 14 year old self felt invalidation, dumb and embarrassed; something no one in that mindset should have to feel. 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? Those words nearly cost me my life, that judgment, those stupid stupid words. . I remember the night just last year that I spiralled and overdosed in my living room. I remember thinking to myself “I can’t get help, I don’t look suicidal, I don’t fit the bill, they’ll laugh at me”. I remember thinking I must have looked the part, must have been wearing the suicidal costume properly when I woke up in Resus as all around me were concerned, worried and sad faces. By then this could have been too late, i might not have been there to see those sad faces if my partner hadn’t of saved my life. . This, this is the danger of thinking mental health has a ‘face’,a ‘look’. This is how stigma, ignorance and judgement towards mental health/suicide affects those who are poorly. . In both these photos i’m suicidal, perhaps not in the same way but on both of these days I had suicidal thoughts racing around. . Stop the judgment. Stop the stigma.

A post shared by Milly Smith ??☀️? (@selfloveclubb) on Sep 3, 2017 at 11:05am PDT

In addition to the images, Smith told the story of the first time she reached out for help.

She was 14-years-old and had told a doctor that she was having thoughts of suicide. Sadly, the doctor’s response was far from the reaction she had hoped to get. Instead of helping, the doctor simply passed judgment.

Smith explained:

“You don’t look suicidal.”

I remember these words coming from the doctor’s mouth right after I’d just told him that I was having thoughts of suicide. I remember in that moment, my 14-year-old self felt invalidation, dumb and embarrassed; something no one in that mindset should have to feel. 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?

She admitted that the doctor’s words almost cost her her life.

Depression doesn’t have a face. You can’t look at someone online or in person and grade their depression. Depression twists, grows and turns. . Somedays I do my make up, I smile, I leave the house and have coffee, take cute insta snaps of Eli. Somedays I lay on the bathroom floor screaming “please” in a desperate will for the pain to end. . Somedays I can talk to friends online for hours, help them, chat about crap with ease. Other times I avoid messenger like the plague, I leave messages for weeks, months or forever and think about shutting myself off from everyone before they have a chance to shut off from me. . Somedays I dance in my pants around the house, cleaning everywhere and laughing with Eli and Rishi. Somedays Rishi takes unpaid time off work to care for me, keep me safe and lay with me whilst I stay in bed motionless and afraid. . Depression doesn’t have a face Depression can’t be measured. If someone is struggling, they are struggling. . You can function with depression, some days you wouldn’t tell, other days it’s like what you see in the movies. Be kind ?

A post shared by Milly Smith ??☀️? (@selfloveclubb) on Aug 11, 2017 at 12:31pm PDT

That night, Smith lost control and overdosed in her living room. The attempt at taking her own life is what finally caught the attention of professionals:

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

I remember thinking I must have looked the part, must have been wearing the suicidal costume properly when I woke up in Resus as all around me were concerned, worried and sad faces. By then this could have been too late, I might not have been there to see those sad faces if my partner hadn’t saved my life.”

And although Smith was finally getting the help she needed, she hopes that by sharing her story it will help break down the stigma that surrounds suicide and mental illness.

Honesty time. I’m lost. . I feel like so many of you look to me for guidance/ helpful posts and quite frankly I’m totally lost in what I’m doing on this account, in my life and just with myself in general. . I’m at a weird and awkward stage in my life of not knowing who I am, what I’m doing or where I’m heading. . I feel like a bit of a fraud, a bit of a stranger in my own head. I achieved what I set out to achieve with this account, I dreamt of a day I could help just a handful of people see their worth and I feel as though I have smashed that. I’m at a bit of a dead end with creativity, words and meaningful messages. . I need my vibe back (whilst also knowing it’s completely fine and normal to feel this way) Has my account helped you? If so, leave me a comment down below on how ❤️ . Top once again from @downattheriver

A post shared by Milly Smith ??☀️? (@selfloveclubb) on Aug 31, 2017 at 11:37am PDT

She explained:

This, this is the danger of thinking mental health has a “Face,” a “look.” This is how stigma, ignorance and judgment towards mental health/suicide affects those who are poorly. In both these photos i’m suicidal, perhaps not in the same way but on both of these days I had suicidal thoughts racing around.

Stop the judgment. Stop the stigma.

Mental illness doesn’t look a certain way, and it’s important for those feeling depressed or having thoughts of suicide to continue to seek out help. The number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

Leave a comment

We are excited to announce Dearly has joined forces with Mama’s Uncut. Helping Mom’s across the United States answer questions on life’s big challenges.

DEARLY JOINING FORCES WITH MAMA'S UNCUT