Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Former Disney Star Lee Thompson Young Commits Suicide

Fans, coworkers, and industry people alike were shocked to hear that 29-year-old Lee Thompson Young apparently ended his life on Tuesday, August 19. Unlike other stars who passed too soon, Young’s death had nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. There is no overdose to report and no reckless lifestyle that resulted in his untimely end.

However, those close to him report that Young struggled with depression and that this and other factors may have been an influential part of his final decision.

What Lies Beneath

Young was described by a source to E! Magazine as “gentle and unassuming.” He wasn’t typical as compared to his peers in Hollywood despite his early success in the industry. Another source told the magazine, “He was the opposite. Lee loved to travel and was always the first to tell everyone to take a breath and enjoy the beauty of life.”

So why then would someone who seemed so grounded make such a devastating decision? Most are still confused, but some wonder whether or not it had something to do with his recent conversion to an Africa-based religion called Yorùbá. Those who believe that his intense passion for his religion, as denoted by the constant wearing of white prior to his death and a recent trip to an African village—both reportedly decisions made in connection to his religion—may have influenced his decision, pointing to a saying in the religion, iku ya j’esin. This means “Death is preferable to ignominy.”

However, the National Mirror reports that Araba Ifayemi Osundagbonu Elebuibon, a chief priest of Osogbo and a religious icon in Yorùbá, says that the practice of suicide is not supported by the religion and that, in fact, its practice is believed to be a punishable offense in the afterlife.

Addressing Suicide in a Loved One

If you believe that someone you care about is seriously contemplating suicide or that their behavior indicates that they need mental health treatment, do not ignore the issue or wait for them to attempt to take their life. The earlier you intervene, the more likely it is that they will get the treatment they need to find a better path and learn the coping mechanisms that may save their life.

If you believe that your son is suicidal or that he is struggling with depression, we can help. Contact us at Muir Wood today to learn more about how we help young men re-engage with their lives in a positive way and build a brighter future for themselves in recovery.