J.C. Schildbach, LMHC
The Chris Brown Suicide Assessment Scale is a simple tool, consisting of only two questions:
- Have you ever attempted suicide?
- Are you dead?
If you can answer “no” to one or more of the above–well, congratulations! You’re not suicidal. And you never have been.
If your answer to both questions is “yes”—well, sorry you didn’t get the help you needed. But, really, how were we supposed to know there was a problem if you weren’t going to actually kill yourself?
Brown revealed his mastery of the clinical subtleties of all things suicide in this insightful tweet from last week:
For a bit of context, this expression of Brown’s mental health expertise was aimed at singer Kehlani, who apparently posted a photo to Instagram from a hospital room where she was staying after a suicide attempt.
For a bit more context, Kehlani’s suicide attempt apparently had something to do with Internet trolls attacking and disparaging her for her personal choice in partners—after Kehlani left Cleveland Cavalier’s player Kyrie Irving to return to previous boyfriend Party Next Door.
For even more context, until I saw a news item on Brown’s tweet, I had no idea who any of these people were—aside from Brown, who I know primarily as the guy who physically assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna back in 2009.
Apparently, Brown is friends with Irving, and thought it was somehow supportive of his friend to mock Kehlani’s suicide attempt. Irving, for his part, has indicated his support of Kehlani, while not saying anything about what an ass Brown is.
Say what you will about Kehlani posting a photo from her hospital bed, but the story was already coming out, and she had every right to relay whatever information she wanted in whatever format she chose. After all, it was arguably Kehlani’s choice not to publicly explain her love life that led to the previously-mentioned trolls deciding it was ok to tear down a 20-year-old woman for her choices in men. And, for all we know, whether she had floated an explanation before she was seen in public with Party Next Door, she would’ve been maligned anyway.
Now, when I first saw Brown’s tweet, it initially seemed that this was just Brown declaring his willingness to stigmatize those with mental health issues, while providing just one more example of how proud we the people are to declare our support for such ignorance (just check out all those “likes” and “retweets.”) And to be sure, the tweet is definitely built on a demonstrable falsehood that people who attempt suicide are just a bunch of pity-seeking fakers.
But when you take it in context of Brown’s other tweets on the same subject, where Brown, for example, accuses Kehlani of direct messaging a lot of men, and states that Kehlani and Party Next Door “look like they have stank sex” (really, Chris?!?—do you spend a lot of time picturing the kind of sex your acquaintances have?), as well as his own assertion that he was just showing support for his good friend Irving, then it becomes apparent that this is Brown just engaging in more of his own, garden-variety misogyny…the same kind of misogyny that led an army of Internet trolls to attack a 20-year-old female for having the audacity to choose one boyfriend over another…the same kind of misogyny that led to Brown’s felony conviction for assaulting Rihanna.
Strangely enough, in the aftermath of Brown’s assault case, despite stating that he is not a violent person, he was repeatedly kicked out of various anger management programs for violent behavior—behavior that Brown’s lawyers have attributed to Brown’s struggle with Bipolar Disorder.
It may very well be that Brown has Bipolar Disorder, and that it could play into his various legal troubles. But it is rather odd that he thinks a young woman who attempted suicide was in complete control—in the sense that she faked a suicide attempt, harming herself in a bid for sympathy—while he has attempted to get his own behavior excused based on mental health concerns that have allegedly left him with a lack of control over the things he’s done to threaten and harm others.
But apparently there are plenty among us who are much more willing to forgive a young man for viciously beating on his girlfriend, and then refusing to live up to the terms of his punishment—whatever the reason—than we are to forgive a young woman for ending a relationship, and then trying to end her own life.