Rock Star Suicides: Let’s Stop Talking About “Demons” and Start Talking About Illness

From the Huffington Post….

My latest article in the Huffington Post talks about Chester Bennington from Linkin Park. Here is the opening:


As a society, we can recognize the symptoms of artists who are depressed and get them into treatment instead of raising up their tortured art and then wondering why they die.

Rock star suicides are nothing new. I’m reminded of Ian Curtis, Micheal Hutchence, and Curt Cobain. I recently wrote an article about the death of Chris Cornell, and sadly, I now write about the death of Chester Bennington of Linkin Park.

Once again, the world has lost a vibrant, young, and seemingly “have it all” kind of man. I want to first share my sadness at the loss of yet another person who simply didn’t need to die, but this time my heart [ Read More ]

Chris Cornell: When Suicide Doesn’t Make Sense

Sometimes, people commit suicide and we are able to make some sense of why it happened. It’s scary and upsets our world, but on a basic level we think we understand. Robin William’s suicide comes to mind. He had a history of depression and his health was failing. Oh how we all wish he could have found more help, but I don’t think it was as much surprising as it was devastating and sad for the millions who loved him when he died.

Then there are suicides that make no sense. The idea doesn’t fit with how we see the individual’s personal life or fit with how they describe their life in public. The partner or other loved ones are shocked and usually vehemently deny that the person was acting suicidal. Society likes [ Read More ]

The Kickstarter for Hortensia and the Magical Brain is Live!

Hortensia and the Magical Brain introduces a therapeutic poetry technique that helps parents, caregivers and health care professionals lovingly talk with a child and create an open and healthy conversation around early onset mental health disorders. The poems cover the mean and nasty, scary and suicidal, angry and elated, sad and over the top thoughts and behaviors children with mental health concerns regularly experience.

Let’s shine a light on these NORMAL mental health symptoms and teach kids that they are often a result of brain chemicals that can be fixed though lifestyle changes and if needed, medical help.

This is a beautifully crafted, hard back book that was created for kids whose brains aren’t always on track. Just like mine!

Please visit our Hortensia Kickstarter page to read more about this amazing book. Pledges start at $1 and everyone receives a fun reward as a thank you!

Julie [ Read More ]

Depressed with Bipolar Disorder? Suicidal?

rainbow phoenixAre you having a tough night? Here are a few words of hope from someone who has been there… and back. I’ve spent a large part of my life dealing with severe depression. It was relentless from age 19 on. I also had hypomania during this time but thought it was the REAL ME! But the vast majority of my symptoms were from depression.

I’ve been so depressed I’ve rolled in a ball on the floor saying out loud, “I will not kill myself! I will not kill myself!”

Bipolar disorder filled my head with untrue thoughts and feelings that made me feel like a leaf blown in the wind for more years than I want to remember.

Maybe you are going through something similar as you read this. Here are some words of hope [ Read More ]

Radio interview with Rock and Roll Stations- what a difference in our mental health stations!

You are going to love this interview! Here’s a radio chat interview I did with the Moose Morning Show on Robin Williams. I’m trying to be balanced when talking about Robin Williams and suicide. I want to respect his memory and help others with depression and bipolar disorder find stability during a tough week.

Lazer 103.3/KAZR-FM’

Twitter: @Lazermoose

Yes. A rock station talking about mental illness. I was SO impressed with their questions and their commitment to fair reporting of mental illness. Wow! Kidos! Julie

morning moose


Robin Williams


Robin Williams has died from apparent suicide. This is a tough one. For ALL of us in the mental health world. Let’s keep perspective. This is a tragedy, but depression has symptoms and suicide is one of them. Most of us have been there. His pain was stronger than his ability to see any hope in the future. It’s what depression does to all of us. This is NO different than his dying from another illness such as cancer.


I ask that all of us who have or care about someone with a mental health disorder pass on the information that suicide is not shameful. It’s not a dirty word. It’s the outcome of an illness. Rest in peace Robin. We have been there and some of us make it out and some of [ Read More ]

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