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January 13, 2012
by Davey Wavey

Eric James Borges: Rest in Peace.

A month ago, 19 year-old gay filmmaker Eric James Borges recorded a video for the It Gets Better Project. In it, he talks about overcoming his own struggles (he was rejected by his biological family) and his suicide-prevention work with The Trevor Project. He comes across as a an intelligent, strong young man with a lot to offer our community.

With so much promise, strength and the availability of resources, it seems impossible that Eric James did the unimaginable. On Wednesday, he took his own life.

We don’t know that Eric James committed suicide because he was gay or because his family rejected him. But we do know that LGBT individuals are several times more likely to commit suicide than their straight peers. And each time this happens, it’s as though a piece of our collective soul is snuffed out. I can’t help but feel that, as people like Eric James continue to fall through the cracks, we’ve failed them. And to think that the pain of staying in this world was greater than the pain to leave it, my heart is broken.

As I really don’t know what else to say, watch a short film that Eric James uploaded to YouTube. May he rest in peace.


  1. Thank you for picking up this story Davey. I knew EricJames and had worked with him through the Trevor Project and some other support events for the community. He was a deep, sensitive and caring person. Our community is at a great loss without him. I am struggling with how to go forward. In this part of the country there is a lot of hate, and we work so hard to reach out to young people who are isolated and struggling. But we have failed to help someone who was directly connected to us. Feeling sad, frustrated, and despondent.

    • Tucker, I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how difficult this must have been for you all and can certainly see how you must feel as if all that you guys have poured your heart and soul into has somehow come to naught. All that being said, I also wanted to say that I truly hope that these feelings you are struggling with abate as we as a community and society need you all so very much!

      I lost my 19 year old son Ryan last January to intolerance here in Southern Idaho. Where we live is also deeply steeped in hatred and ignorance and our LGBTQ kids have a very, very difficult time growing up in this environment. My son Ryan was a light to many of those kids prior to his passing as well; he helped countless kids here come to terms with their sexuality and held their hands to give them strength enough to come out to their parents so that they no longer had to live a lie. His death was really unexpected as well, so much so that 10 days before he died he helped present a suicide prevention program to other LGBT youth in the area. We were inundated with messages after he passed away from all of the kids he helped and they all said basically the same thing, that being “your son touched my life in a way that no one else ever has; he gave me the courage to not live a lie”.

      Sometimes it’s hard to see how this can happen with a community member who’s been working on the forefront, trying to teach love instead of hate and give hope to other community members so that they might hang on for another day. We often don’t realize that people like Eric or my son who reach out to others to help are often doing so as a means to ease their own personal pain.

      We had a difficult time here as well at first but with a little time, we came together as a community in honor of my son using the tragedy of his death as a catalyst to undertake something larger and on a much grander scale. In the memory of the love and light he tried to share here before he died, I founded a non-profit organization called “Ryan’s Rainbow Connection” and helped to form a community advocate group for LGBTQ youth. This is a link to a recent article about our progress in the area:


      I do not mean to imply that I could ever possibly know entirely all the pain you must be feeling but I couldn’t help but see the similarity between their deaths even if Ryan’s reach was not as far as your friends…I just simply wanted you to know that I believe that out of the ashes, something amazing will rise if you all can just hang together through this for a little while. Let his death be the catalyst for you all to continue on fighting the good fight and possibly even find a more significant way to make an impact.

      I just know that we need all of the good people we can get and keep in this fight right now; I believe this to be THE civil rights movement of our time and it’s because of organizations like yours that we have come as far as we have. Thank you for all that you’ve done and for all that you will do in the future, in honor of your friend. Much love and light to you~

  2. Rest in peace

    • Why rest in peace when he is dead already? It doesn’t make any sense, he’s dead not alive with any feelings.

  3. Awww that’s so awful to hear. Even in the above “It Gets Better” video he seems so sad :( RIP – this maddness HAS to stop.

  4. This is heartbreaking. Such a fine young man who seemed to have developed the strength to survive in this difficult world. It seems that he gave it all he had and yet something finally
    pushed him over the edge. I hope that some day his family, who should have been by his side on this, will come to regret their actions. No one should have to endure what he went thru. Rest in peace EricJames and know that we all love you.

  5. I guess “It gets better” isn’t always true. I’ve seen several of these posts where someone is saying, “it gets better” followed by a notice that he took his own life. Very sad indeed. I would point out the obvious, you or I can’t control what other people say and do, but we can control how we respond to that. I know it is very hard to establish great self esteem when everyone around you is telling you differently. The problem is, we begin to believe all that crap and then our self esteem goes down the drain. When you are down and out, the only way out isn’t to kill yourself, but rather find within your own self the spark of your own beauty and greatness. Fan it, pay more attention to it than the crap around you, cultivate good feelings within yourself which aren’t based upon external requirements. Gradually, your little spark of beauty and greatness will grow into a flame and shine brightly, but until then take care of it, shelter it from the storms of hatred and ctiticism so that it has a chance to grow. Killing yourself, is not the solution. Loving yourself and believing you can overcome these obstacles is. Hard, yes, but you can do it.

    • Jerry, thank you for an awesome message. I was trying to put something like that into words and you did it for me. Bravo!!

    • Thank You Jerry. You are right on. Said better than I could have
      said it. Kudos to you.

    • I would like to add: We are ALL in this together. You are not alone. There are people ready willing and able to help you, know you and love you. If you don’t look for them, you won’t see them because they are normal people who seem to be hiding in the crowds. There is that saying, “Ask, and it is given, knock, and the door will open…” Once you do, you have to have the courage to accept it and go through the door. Be brave!

      I don’t know any of you personally, but I love every one of you!

      Thank you for being and caring!

  6. this is heartbreaking.The Trevor Project needs to watch very closely and follow-up what happens to all involved-same with Eric James-its probably very complex-we probably dont know key details.could this suicide have been avoided?who really knows.but there seems to be a pattern-and it needs to stop-i still believe-It Does Get Better-lets watch over each other more closely-very closely.Eric James-we love you so much-may your soul-rest in peace.

  7. Hello!
    I’m Alexandre, from Brazil. I’m 23 years old and I’m gay. Well, I want so say something for all that gays like me that feel rejection. We are Success guys. Forgive me for my English…it might have some mistakes but I believe you will understand me. A friend said it to me once: “Man you are gay and you are succes for that.” and another friend said: “Being gay isn’t the biggest question in your life, but it’s one of them. So from now and for the rest of your life pay attention in all the aspects of your life and don’t think that being gay is a big problem.” from that day until now I’m feeling more powerful because I know that I’m not a victim and I’m a Succes.

    Love your self and everything will be well in your world.

  8. I`m sad and sad and sad. I don`t know when I can stop crying.
    Now it`s too late. I´ll never be able to say him how impressing, lovely, sensible and helpful he is.
    All I can do, is tell all this to YOU, all people.
    Dont`t throw your live away.
    Although I`m female, 45 and straight, I know it can be very hard. I know.
    But I want to tell you: There are people that would like to help you.
    And there are places in the world, where you don`t need to hide or lie or be afraid.
    Gay live can be free, happy, relaxed, satisfied. You can find people who like to be your families.
    Don`t go, before you tried to find out!

    • It’s so good to hear this words from someone who is straight. Thank you.. it really touched my heart

    • Hey Alex!
      I am “Anonymous” from above.
      Thank you so much for your reply.
      I mean what I say.
      If I can only help one of you, give hope and some love -I`d be very very happy.
      I live in Germany.
      I can see what it`s like, because I know some, mostly young gays pretty well. I try to give them a place like home. I do, because they deserve it. To be loved and accepted, just like they are, because they are wonderful boys.
      And there are more people like me.
      Please write me a mail,if you need some support.
      It can be great to have someone somewhere else :) far away.
      I wish you all the best!

  9. Eric’s story just broke my heart.
    I am a mother of 2 boys, 12 and 8, and the thought that a mother can reject her child because of who he/she is, is utterly unimaginable to me. I simply cannot even begin to comprehend how it could be. Why would it make a difference in a mother’s heart? What creates a rift in her feelings towards her son? Why? I do not – do not understand – with my whole being, I do not understand how. And why?

    Supporting gay youth is imperative. However, there should be a movement to “educate” parents as well. Parents of homosexual AND heterosexual children. I do no think it’s just a “gay issue”. It’s simply an issue; the way preserving earth is an issue. Parents influence their children’s perception of the word. If the parents are tolerant, chances are the children will be too. I know it first hand. I cut short all the giggles and whispers I heard from my kids, and their friends too. In my house, I do not accept any disparagement, denigration, judgment of anyone because “they are, or look different” (whatever that means). It’s a rule, a way of life. My kids abide by it and carry it with them in their world, to their friends, teachers and acquaintances.
    Apologies to all if i come off as naive. In any case, if there is an organization that works toward helping parents understand, I would love to know about it.
    PS. Also, Jerry, I love your comment. You are right in everything you said.

  10. Beautiful film,Beautiful person.
    Puts me in mind of Joan Baez:”When will they ever learn?”

  11. How depressing. This world sucks. RIP, kiddo, RIP!


  12. It doesn’t help when we have bullies in both gay and straight communities tearing us down. It’s so hard to find comfort when everyone is putting you down. Sure it gets better when youre new to the gay community, but once you’ve been fully accepted into the community it’s not too long before your gay brothers and sisters start tearing you down just as much. We need to find a way to stop all this hate, it’s not helping anyone

    • @Mike:
      Great,Mike !!!!!!
      It’s wonderful to hear from someone brave enough to speak the truth!! THANKS!!
      F-ed up world,isn’t it when one has to be brave in order to tell the truth?

  13. First, R.I.P. Eric James, my prayers are with you. I think alot of this going on is the kids are listening to how alot of our Politicians are talking about gay is a choice, we got 2 of them running now for president. They are getting there thoughts thru there religon, gay is not by CHOICE, and no way can they prove it, we are born this way. As for parents who abandon a child because he or she is gay are really the fault of things like this and they are the ones who should love them reguardless of what they are. As I said I am gay and been this way knowingly from about the age of 5, so how is it concidered as a choice, what 5 year old knows what the difference is, I knew I was gay like I said at about 5, in them days people didn’t really understand what it was all about and it was hard for anyone to reallly come out so we stayed in the closet. As for choice, well I tried to go straight got married had children but knew it was wrong living a lie, I gave it my all but was not happy with it, I did break up and found the person who I was mean to be with, we were together for 45 years until his passing, our life was like any other married couple, LOL, I get a kick out of the straight people that have the impression that because we are gay that is all we do is in the bedroom having sex, WRONG, we have things to do just like anyone else in life, going places just like the rest. So this is from a gay man who is in his 70′s, don’t let any one tell you it is by CHOICE, The Politicians need to do alot of work on educating there selves, then straight people are straight due to choice, I think not they were born that way. With me being gay in them years we were very lucky that both sides of our families accepted us as we were and loved us. There are more married men in our congress and senate who are living closeted lives than we still don’t know about but as time goes on they get caught. I hope some parents read this and give there child the love no matter what they are, you brought them into this world… Thank You for reading…..

    • Thanks for that statement of how your relationship was – just as valid as any hetero relationship and that is true! We are valueable and precious because we are living breathing human beings with love to give. We feel, think, love and live = we are very precious, all of us!

    • @fldeano:
      Thank YOU,fldeano!

  14. Unfortunately, this is a tragic reality– I feel as though this world just got a bit dimmer, and hope to never have to read any more like this. PEOPLE, YOU REALLY ARE WORTHY!! I decided after reading this, that I am going to make it a point to reach out to one person online per week who may need someone to talk to. Maybe if we all did that, someone will get a personal message of hope and love BEFORE they end up like this. Let this story inspire us all to reach out….

  15. Very tragic and heart-breaking. And maybe not as surprising as might the thought based on the video made by Eric James. Throughout the video, I looked for a spark that might suggest Eric had truly found meaningful peace and happiness in his life, lending credibility to the words he spoke, It never showed up. He was tragically unconvincing in his message. It doesn’t always get better, at least not within the time-frame of greatest concern to most young people, and we can never stop staying alert to signs of depression among passionate/troubled young men such as Eric.

  16. I lost my brother to suicide nearly 3 years ago. Since then I have been involved with The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Trevor Project. I was so unbelievably moved by the It Gets Better project. My heart breaks for this loss of light and life. I mourn for his family and friends. Suicide is never the answer. People care. You are loved.

  17. Jerry and Verica’s comments are so inspiring. Thank you so much.

  18. I’m grateful and encouraged by the Trevor Project and the “it gets better project”. I hear people say that “you are beautiful, you are valueable”. This is very true! Every human being is very precious and valuable because we live, breath, feel and have love to give! Most LGBT people have trouble believing that because of how we grow up and are treated. We learn self loathing through those who should be providing an emotionally and mentally healthy environment to grow up in. Bigotry and prejudice prevents this from happening in our lives. The vast majority of us having reached adulthood will never have the opportunity to grow up healthy as it was denied to us. There must be the opportunity for these people to have a place to go where as much of the damage incurred growing up can be repaired. An enormous undertaking no doubt. Unless an avenue of restoration is provided we will see a continuation and increasingly so of these terrible and heart wrenching acts. Its difficult to see people who make an “it gets better” video and then hear about them taking thier own life. Something is missing. What is the answer? Can we find it and put it into action so this terrible, sad waste will stop? I am older and grew up taunted in school years ago when there was not anything like “it gets better” I contemplated suicide often. Only a greater fear stopped me from going ahead with it but, I was miserable as could be. When I saw this young man and now know that he took his own life, I think “a wonderful precious human being has been destroyed by hatred. A hatred he learned all though his childhood and young life. What a tragic waste and loss to everyone, including himself.” Then I think “how could I have ever contmeplated suicide? I know that getting away from the hatred is paramount and finding love and acceptance is just as paramount!” We need to be very real and sincere about our expression of love to hurting LGBT people! You never know who is hurting and whose life is a living hell because of this hate filled world we live in. We must put shallowness, false pride and exculsionism out of our lives and out of our community if these suicides are to stop. We must know that real value of a person and focus on that!, if not we will see this continue!

  19. may James finally find peace that he seemed to be looking for. I wish that straight people just once had to go through something like this. Then they would never bully any one. Its sad to think in a world that is so vast and beautiful that some one would do something to push someone snuff out their own life force because there is nothing so rare and beautiful then each human soul.

    • @Justin:
      Beautiful comments,Justin,
      But the hard fasts are that everyone,regardless of sexual-orientation,race,nationality,or class does
      “have to go through this”.Competitiveness,aggression,hatred seem to be part of our human[or is it animal?] nature.I’m reminded of a labor leaders’ meeting a few years ago:One of the delegates,was an angry black man,who railed on about discrimination against/oppression of black people.A gay delegate pointed out that gays face the same kinds of hatred.The black man replied:”If you’re gay,you don’t have to tell anybody.But(holding up his hand),you can’t hide this.”
      Conversely,if those negatives are part of our nature,so are love and compassion.To continue Sartre’s”Hell is other people”,so is Heaven.

  20. I’m quite certain this is the first time I cried over a YouTube video.. even though my usual stance is people should not need religion, I’m quite aware that most religious people are not as destructive as his parents seem to have been. … I’m just so sad for this much too short life.

  21. Today is my birthday and I am celebrating who I am. I know I am a good person, I know I have a big heart, I know I have compassion & love for others. I know I am worthy to live in this world and those who know me are happy to be a part of my life.
    Everyone should be able to feel this way. Everyone should feel wanted and loved. Everyone should be happy to part of this world we all live in.
    Why is there so much hate out there, I will never understand.
    My heart is heavy today to learn that another young man has taken his own life. Another red balloon to send adrift into the vast sky.
    Where have we gone wrong? How do we as a community stop this from happening? There is lots of support out there but it still doesn’t reach everyone.
    I have joined a local PFLAG and my 1st meeting will be this month. I don’t know what I can contribute but I feel I must be there to offer support or help to anyone that will listen.
    I don’t know what to say…this is a sad day for our community.
    I love all of you out there..stay strong.

  22. First: I am so sorry that this happened to such a bright and promising young man and may he rest in peace!
    Second: No matter how bad you think your life is, there is always someone out there that has had it worse! I was adopted because I had an alcoholic mother that never wanted to have me, in the first place, so she adopted me out and a short time, after I was adopted, my adopted mother died and then is when the abuse started. I was mentally, physically, and sexually abused by my adopted father and I ran away from home at the age of 15 and have lived on my own since then. I was homeless for quite some time and I thought the world was against me, so I trusted no one! I managed to get myself back into school and though I wasn’t out of the closet, I was ridiculed, teased, and taunted, all through high school and I attempted suicide 3 times my senior year because I thought I was the only person on the planet that was going through this. Soon after high school, I left and moved to a big metro area and I thought I finally found where I belonged because I met, and fell in love with, a wonderful guy that was murdered in our 5th month of our relationship. Again, I met someone and we were together for 3 years before he died from AIDS, which I knew nothing about back then (in the early 80′s), then I met my 3rd lover and we were gang raped and my lover was murdered and I was left for dead, but I somehow managed to survive. Then in 1997 I was diagnosed with AIDS and I was very close to death when I was diagnosed, but I pulled through that, too. I am now 47 years old and I have no biological family, that want to acknowledge that I exist, but I met one of my old friends daughters when she was 18 and she immediately took me into her life as her uncle and now she is married and has 2 little boys that call me GUS which is short for Great Uncle Scott and they love me like I was their own family! I am single and have been for over 10 years, but my point is that it may have taken me about 35 years to find my place in this world, but I never gave up and I WILL SURVIVE! I’m not trying to get pity from this! What I am doing, is sharing my story so that others will be able to see that no matter how rough it gets for you, there is always someone else, a little worse off and you can make it through the rough times, just hang in there and love yourself enough to hang in there, because sometimes the only persons love you need, is your own! My life was horrible, in the past, but I am in a place that is wonderful, now! Keep your chin up and be proud of who, and what, you are and reach for the stars and hang on for the ride of your life, because… IT GET’S BETTER!!!!!

    • @Scott:
      Bravo ! Scott!!!
      Your story is so tragic/heart-rending that it is hard to believe,but,of course is true.What an inspiration!!
      Infinite thanks….If only everyone could know what you know:That this life,despite it’s hardships,and despite any religious beliefs we do,or don’t have,is beautiful.Even a suicidal[not for sexual reasons] friend of mine knows that love is immortal.

    • Scott, You are so beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story with us. How inspiring. You are a Gay Superhero! JR

    • Thank you Bill(Guillermo3) and Jolly Roger for the very kind responses to what I posted and I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read and respond!
      I am NOT a licensed therapist, or counselor, but I do want to extend an ear to ANYONE that feels that they have nobody to turn to, or nobody that is willing to listen, or talk to. I may, or may not, have some good advice for you, but I am definitely willing to listen, and hear, you! So if you feel all alone and want someone to chat with and share your story, or just shoot the breeze and have a laugh, or two, feel free to contact me and we can go from there. I started an email account, specifically, for anyone that wants to contact me. My email address for this is… ImjustmeScottiB@aol.com . I wish you, ALL, love, joy, and happiness, because we, ALL, deserve it!

  23. Rest in Peace to you my friend.. I just want to share my life here in the Philippines. I am also a gay.. but being is my choice and i chose to be like this. My family accepted who I am and they are so proud to me. I do hope that there is a big reason in yourself why you did that in your own. I am so sad for this very tragic and controversy issue about us lgbt…you should not kill yourself. but you did unfortunately.. :’( ..



    With Love and Care,
    Maranja Park

  24. It is my greatest hope that all those out there who have challenges before them remove, from the infinite menu of options and solutions in life, the idea that suicide is a way to solve problems. It should not even be on the option list. Read Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth or The Power of Now for a start. Develop coping skills before you get to a point of emotional overwhelm. Develop a support system of friends. Find free sources of counseling in your community such as Alanon (you can say you know an alcoholic, who doesn’t? lol and get unlimited years of counseling). Learn that what people say has more to do with them than you. People can call you all kinds of names, but it speaks to their own inner turmoil, NOT yours. And don’t forget you have a penis or vagina…play with it and give yourself a boost of endorphins whenever you want…lol Visit nature as often as possible and be present to how beautiful this earth is and how much you have to explore out there! Find things to love about yourself, everyone has something…pretty eyes, a cute smile, an artistic ability, a love for animals…and begin to remind yourself of those things. Take weekly time to list things that you are grateful for. Write them down so you can look at them when you feel blue. The more things you build in yourself that make you strong gives you resilience for the hard times.

  25. Giving speeches on lived experience isn’t easy, especially when there has been struggle and pain involved. I know because I too experienced some of these things Eric describes, but only some, and I know too, because I have stood in front of a room full of strangers and shared my story. Public speaking isn’t easy. Reliving pain and torment isn’t either.

    Unlike Eric, I had a buffer of time between certain events transpiring and beginning to share my story for the benefit of others. Even with distance, recalling pain isn’t easy. Listening to Eric’s video, above, I wonder if there had been enough distance for him, or if the wounds were so fresh that recalling them never allowed them to properly heal. This would go some way to explaining the tone of his voice. Remember, he wasn’t sharing happy memories.

    For those who knew him, all I can say is that you witnessed him blossom into himself and helped him to see the positive potential life had to offer.

    I hope Eric has now found the perfect peace he was seeking – R.I.P.

  26. Poor guy, no people should have to kill themselves because of either of the reasons.


    And omg i really hope he made something better than that short film. I don’t know if he was drunk or what, but omg i have made something better in school than that. It was almost like he making fun of the art of making movies. He was prob a good person but he is not a film maker he is a B film maker.

    • Denny,

      You wrote “Poor guy, no people should have to kill themselves because of either of the reasons. ”

      Nobody has to kill himself for any reason. This kid chose to do it. Everyone who kills himself or herself has a choice. Whether they see it or not is another matter.

  27. What I hate about these situations is the fact that his family who claim to be “Good Christians & religious moral people” can vent so much hate on their own children that they end up killing themselves. This man and many others didn’t need to die if only the ones close to them would give them positive support and love at their time of need. Eric shouldn’t have to miss out on what life offers just because of the views of others. My message to any gay youth is don’t hang around in your town if those you love treat you this way, its better to leave and find a new life where you are welcome and loved even if it means ditching your biological family. You have a right to live your life happy and fully to the end and nobody should think they can take that away from you.

  28. How sad, tragic and what a waste of a life when he seemed to be getting on with his life which seemed to finally be getting better! We must eradicate homophobia and ignorance. I have so many gay friends and luckily they are so loved because they are special to us all. I can’t believe that in today’s world many still think of being gay as a disease instead of normal people like each one of us. Who are we to judge what it normal or not…if his parents were Christian then they too should believe that God created each one of us and wanted us this way…God does not make mistakes they say so…..why can’t we understand or at least accept that we are all unique and different and that’s what makes each one of us so beautiful. Don’t ever give up or give the satisfaction to all those people who make others life so miserable and difficult!!! Wish all the gays in the world happiness, joy and peace of mind and peace in their life!

  29. Very sad & tragic indeed. A common thread to these coming out videos seems to be an absence of joy within the individual. Maybe a predictor of a latter tragic outcome? Too bad & too sad. :-|

  30. My heart is broken. He left us too soon. His pain is now over, but we must carry on.

    If anyone is reading this feeling lost and alone, know you are NOT ALONE. You are loved and worthy of that love just by virtue of your existence. Carry on with us and you will feel that love someday.

  31. Those of you who have experienced hatred and rejection in your lives and survived it are far better in expressing wprds of hope and encouragement to others than I could possibly hope to achieve. Eric’s story and others like his leave me saddened and angry. I am sad to hear anyone has to experience such acts of discrimination and angry that others who witness those acts allow them to occur with impunity. What good is religion if, in the process, we lose our humanity? The fact that a mother could turn on her own child is simply incomprehensible to me.

  32. there needs to be a universal sex education program on sexual diversity…what harm can it cause anyways? I mean…in international schools it work pretty well, i think education is first and Borge’s videos that he left behind is a treasure we should share and use to do what in life he couldn’t. Share it! Don’t let his good fruits go to waste!

  33. Some people just can’t cope with being gay and the rejection that it involves. Despite what DW may personally feel, I don’t think most gays would choose it over being straight. Who really wants to be part of a minority that can never really assimilate? You can tell me all about how the challenges of being gay build character and strength but I don’t believe it. It just wears you down. Few gays are stable so for most it just means a a string of relationships and then getting older and suffering discrimination within the gay community. As I said, some just can’t cope. It’s very sad.

  34. Only allow people into your life who accept you for who you want to be, rather than who they want you to be.

  35. Mental illness is a steadily rising epidemic. With nearly half of all Americans set to receive some form of diagnosis for a mental disorder, it’s hardly something that can be glossed over.

    Mental health, however, is in a highly compromised state due to all forms of societal changes and technological advances over the last century.

    In this modern age, many simple truths about human nature are overshadowed by our demanding lifestyle, and our propensity to gravitate toward forms of instant cures and gratification.

    Take clinical depression, for example; a fairly common and recognized form of mental illness. The high-stress environment of a modern lifestyle, combined with a lack of personal fulfillment or gratification will quickly lead to where many others have gone, a dark and seemingly endless pit of emotional distress.

    It’s normal to have doubts, fears, and anxiety. But how are problems generally dealt with today? Either through the use of dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, (which are interestingly linked to higher rates of depression and suicidal behavior) or by suppressing the emotion with some form of entertainment or escapism.

    The truth is that because many people are not diligently tending to their mental health, they are easily becoming more distressed. Stress is a huge killer, and reducing stress is crucial. Proper diet and exercise alone can keep stress levels down.

    Taking a break from mindless entertainment media also works wonders for those who feel emotionally distressed. Too many television shows, video games, and movies have been found to alter your mental state to a point where you are more likely to feel overwhelming levels of emotional stress.

    People follow these things in an obsessive manner, but subjecting yourself to its ceaseless mental attack stops you from having a chance to actually relax and collect your thoughts properly.

    What’s more is that people live in an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, without much value for human contact and stimulation. Sometimes, you need to simply talk and connect with people. Talking out problems and concerns often allows you to properly orient yourself to deal with them.

    • @Brandon:
      You’re so right,Brandon,
      Knowing you have a problem is a godsend.Talk can help,and obviously be attempted:Problem is that often depressed people feel others’ concern & wanting to talk as extra burdens.It’s not only rejection,discrimination against one’s sexuality,or the contemporary fast-paced,stressful lifestyle,but a host of other causes as well,the miserable economy being a major one.
      It is infuriating that some right-wing yahoos have already reduced affordable access to mental health care,and want to reduce it more.

    • @Brandon
      Your thoughtful post reflects my own thinking on the subject. As a society, we are entertaining ourselves to death and we are conditioned to think that instant gratification leads to a fulfilling life. I am also concerned that the social media, while it allows people to connect over long distances, is a poor substitution for face-to-face communication. As we have seen, some misguided individuals use it as a means of self-entertainment by taking their angst out on others. Even here on BTI, regrettably.

      The American Psychiatric Association has come under criticism from within the psychiatric community for proposing to add ever more diagnoses to the latest DSM revision. Some in the profession want to medicate every human condition. I suspect they are encouraged to do so by the pharmaceutical industry, which stands to profit handsomely from the additions.

  36. @Mosaic Dave:
    Mosaic Dave,re your comment to Denny:
    I have to wonder,M.D.,is you’ve ever experienced severe depression,or know anyone in that terrible state.Yes,one chooses/decides to kill him/herself ,but too often that decision seems logical:Depression has it’s own Illogical “logic”. I currently have a friend who is very depressed,in part because of years of under-,or mostly unemployment,and because of the woeful state of the world.He strongly believes that leaving a world he hates is the rational answer,and considers friends’ concern to be selfish.Fortunately,he is seeing a cognitive therapist,and that seems to be helping.

    • Bill,

      I agree wholeheartedly. At one time in my life I was there. I thought suicide seemed like a perfectly reasonable way to end my problems. I count myself blessed that I was and am able to see myriad possibilities for having what I want for myself and for my life. Instead of living by accident (as I used to) I live on purpose and at cause. And I know that anyone who wants to learn how can do it if they want to. If I can anyone can.

      I’m glad that CBT seems to be working for your friend. I went through most of my 20s depressed and wandering blindly through my own life. I hated myself and was destroying myself on several fronts until I found something that worked for me and pointed me in the direction of where I am today. I hope your friend sees his way past all this and finds himself able to live a life that he loves. It really is the most wonderful thing in the world.

  37. This is heartbreaking! That poor guy. You could see how much pain he was going through in his “It Gets Better” video. My heart goes out to his close friends.
    RIP Eric. :(

  38. rest in peace, so sad
    such a beautiful man

  39. I would like to have known EricJames. Not that I could have done anything to prevent this tragic loss–I’m sure he was surrounded by loving friends who must feel bereft and helpless. But anyone who could make the films he did was obviously an extraordinary person. The world is a better place for him to have been in it, and will suffer that he was not in it longer.

  40. Wow, what a tragic moment in all our lives, one of our family made the choice that life was better not living. Truely tragic. What I am asking myself is what can I do to help prevent this from happenening again. What can all of us as blog buddies do to put the word out that we are here for one enother. I charge each and eveyone of you to do some brainstroming to figure out away to turn this very negative situation in to a lesson that we all can learn from. We are all beautiful people less pass it on.

  41. @Scott:
    Thank YOU,Scott for your response to my response!!Actually,I mentioned yours and another BTI poster’s comment to the depressed friend I mentioned.He called me this evening,partly because he said he would,but mostly,I’m glad to say,to talk.Contrary to my perceptions,he says he’s as badly off as ever.He wanted me to know that he is working on his depression,by seeing the therapist I mentioned.I told him that I very much know and appreciate that.He also said that while a lot of people think that suicide is the easy way out,he knows that it’s not__encouraging sign,I think.He also expressed several times his appreciation for my support.
    Scott,though his depression is not about sex[he's not gay_wish he were!],would you be willing to talk with him,if he’s willing?If you are,,thanks,in advance.Please respond here or via my e-mail:billhooper4484@yahoo.com.

  42. Rest in Peace, may you be safe, loved and at peace with the world, i am sorry but it has to be said, his parents should be descusted with themselves, they sentenced him to death and i hope they never forgive themselves to what they did to him, such a great and down to earth guy betrayed by the people who gave him life and through no fault of his own

  43. I’m so sorry to hear this news. What a brave, intelligent, sensitive young man he was. His loss is a loss for all of us.

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