What 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Gets So Right About Mental Illness

This week Crazy Ex-Girlfriend took on the fallout of a suicide attempt. And damn if it didn’t do an amazing job.

Rebecca Bunch took too many pills last episode but reached out for help just in time. And now Rebecca and her friends and family have to deal with what comes next. The show does an amazing job of tackling such a serious topic and did so with perfect gravitas.

Below, a few of the things that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend gets right.

Suicide Attempts Don’t Always Mean You Want to Kill Yourself

This is a hard one for a lot of people to comprehend, but a suicide attempt doesn’t always mean that the person wanted to die. Sometimes it means you feel like you’ve run out of options, sometimes it means you just want to end the pain, and sometimes it’s just a cry for help. In the case of Rebecca Bunch, she was just in so much pain that she just didn’t know what else to do. She had insulted all of her friends and felt betrayed by her own mother and was in a downward spiral. She didn’t want to necessarily end her life, just the pain.

The Right Diagnosis Can Free You… And Also Terrify You

Her whole life, Rebecca had been diagnosed as anxious and depressed, but neither diagnosis felt quite right to her. When her doctor announces that he has a brand new diagnosis, she rejoices, finally feeling understood. But when she finds out she had Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and inevitably looks it up online, she freaks out and skips therapy.

Finding out what illness you have can be a huge weight off your shoulders, especially if you feel you’ve been misunderstood in the past. It can feel like you’re finally on the path to recovery and everything will be alright. But it can also scare the living daylight out of you. Especially with all the misinformation on the internet, your new diagnosis can seem unmanageable.

Mental Illness Can Be Just As Hard on Your Family and Friends

As Rebecca starts her journey to recovery, her friends all try to deal with the fallout in their own way. Paula becomes controlling over her treatment, Valencia becomes obsessed with her new mental health “movement,” and Nathaniel doesn’t know quite how to react, especially as he comes to terms with his own mother’s suicide attempt when he was a child. Dealing with mental illness can be difficult for those around you, especially those who want to help you and just don’t know how.

Suicide Attempts Aren’t One Person’s Fault

The entire episode, Josh struggles to deal with Rebecca’s suicide attempt because he thinks it’s entirely his fault. But the truth is it had nothing to do with Josh.

Mental health setbacks are not caused by one person or one thing in particular, but rather due to a buildup of events, the wrong medications, serotonin imbalances, and other factors that can make your brain go haywire.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, you can find help on NAMI’s website here.

Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.