Misha Kessler was a sophomore in college when he felt his emotions spinning out of control. He was working 60-70 hours a week, not eating right or taking care of himself, and really needing to find a way to work through his growing anxieties about life.
“Logically and intellectually, I had a future,” Misha says, describing the feelings that led to a suicide attempt in 2010. “But emotionally, I was blind to it. There was nothing beyond this deep dark cloud that I was suffering under.”
In his most desperate days, Misha felt isolated and alone. The truth is-- he wasn't. According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide was the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds that year – just behind unintentional injury from things like auto accidents. In fact, suicide accounts for 20% of all deaths in that age range, annually.
And while it’s true that more men die by means of suicide, statistics show that suicide attempts and thoughts are even more common among women. For them, things like body image, the pressure to be perfect or to hold it all together can become all consuming. Then, disappointments and self-doubts give way to depression and despair.
Jed Satow had a similar experience in his sophomore year of college in 1998. His friends watched as he began withdrawing, skipping classes and getting less and less sleep. But his story came to a more tragic ending. After a break up with a girlfriend, Jed hanged himself during winter break at his family’s vacation home.
So many people loved him. So many people wish they could have reached out to pull him back from the impulsive act that ended his life. Jed’s parents, Phil and Donna Satow, created a foundation in his name to help improve mental health programming on campuses, and to prevent other college students from ending their lives prematurely by suicide.
In 2010, The Jed Foundation, MTV and actress Brittany Snow launched the Love is Louder campaign to get more people involved in conversations about issues like bullying, negative self-image and discrimination that contribute to the suicide deaths of too many young adults.
Love is Louder inspires people to take actions that will help them feel more connected, be more resilient, reach out for help if they need it, and be on the lookout for signs when friends and family members might need a lifeline.
This week, when you shop for a cause at Sevenly you can be a living reminder of hope to so many people in your world who need to remember that our darkest moments don’t last forever. And that love is louder than the pressure to be perfect… because we don’t have to be perfect to love and to be loved.