If you have vitiligo and are thinking about suicide please this number: 1-800-273-8255. If you want to talk to me, Keith Evans, know that I would love to talk to to you anytime. This is my mobile number: (650) 918-7779. So please feel free to call me. Also, if you would rather talk online, we will arrange a time to talk: email me at keith @ ihavevitiligo . com.
Please note: I am not a trained professional and this website is merely a forum for individuals to get together to discuss their experiences with vitiligo.
I was checking my analytics today and I saw that someone had typed into google “i have vitiligo and im thinking about suicide.” This stopped me in my tracks. I have had vitiligo now for several years. I deal every day with the difficulty that vitiligo brings. It is hard to have vitiligo. It is depressing. It degrades your self-confidence. And I have let this disease stop me from going outside, from going on dates, from wearing shorts, from wearing sandals and from living my life as I want.
But this is not all that vitiligo has done for me. Vitiligo forced me to confront the ways in which is constructed my own self worth. I had to question the foundations upon which I developed my sense of self. It is easy in modern day America to be obsessed with looks. It is easy to be consumed with looking good. It is easy to be vain. Vanity runs rabid in this country.
And then you get diagnosed with a disease that has no cure and only gets worse with time. You get diagnosed with a disease that disfigures you more and more as you age. Your doctors give you no real hope. People look at you differently. You look at yourself differently. You worry about how people look at you. You get scared about how people will treat you.
People do look at you differently. People do notice. People do comment. I have heard from people in high school and primary school how mean people can be, how kids and teenagers do ostracize each other because of dermatological difference.
Willis commented on a post:
“I wish I had your optimism, I’ve been having vitiligo since elementary school. At first it didn’t bother me because I didn’t know what it was nor was I interested, but as time went by it kept spreading all over and kids kept asking me what happened to my skin. That was when I was a real outgoing person, now I just isolate myself from people I don’t know and always wear long sleeves to cover the marks on my arms, but I can’t hide the ones on my face. I lost my confidence and motivation to do anything. It’s even hard to go to church without little kids having to yell out “mommy look at his skin!!” It’s really dificult being in public and having this disease… :\”
I just isolate myself from people…it kills me to read that.
“I have a patch of vitiligo near the bottom of my lip, and I’ve had it since I was in 5th grade ( about 11 ] and my lips are what you can say ” discolored “. I also have some patches only my right foot, and since I’ve fallen I have a patch on my left knee which is taking what seems to be taking forever to heal. I used to have tiny dots on my wrists, but they’ve gone away. I am dark skinned, so it shows more than anything. Who knew what this would bring me to? Now all i have to tell myself is expect the unexpected. Anyways, this sucks because I’m only 13 and have thought about suicide so many times that I can count :/ But I’ve told myself if I end my life, all my hopes and dreams would be drained. Think about all the people I would hurt, my niece keeps me motivated she’s only 2 and I want to be there to see her graduate, college. I cry everytime someone makes fun of me, I’ve been called bleached skin, Michael Jackson, and more. So many little things, but they hurt the most, and make my self esteem lower. I try to let it not get to me, but when I get home all hell breaks out. I don’t talk to anyone. I try to tell myself they’re just ignorant.. but it doesn’t help. There’s one other girl in my school that has Vitiligo, but I only speak to her at basketball practice. I sometimes want to start a conversation with her during the day, but I just don’t know how to. We have different personalities, but she’s the only other person that knows what it feels like to be in my shoes. Although for her she has a big circle patch on her forehead, and on her arms and legs. Her inner beauty shines through. She has the perfect smile, I guess one day I will talk to her. But probably not anytime soon.. Sometimes when people ask me, “What’s that on your lip,” or “What happened to your lip?” I just say nothing, but if they still continue to question me, I make up something dumb like It’s my allergies. Now, I give up, I’ve decided to speak up and say I have Vitiligo, it’s not contagious, if you still wanna talk to me; I’m here, if not.. It was nice meeting you. I believe I’m a nice person, but I guess now people judge you on the outside, before even saying, hello. I hope one day to meet someone with Vitiligo, or even many people; so I can just talk, because right now it seems no one understands. Mostly because where I live, there aren’t many people with the condition. But I feel like everything happens for a reason, and I am special in my own ways.”
Vitiligo breeds shame, embarrassment and it is damaging.There is no getting around this. For people with vitiligo every day is a struggle. But there is more than shame and embarrassment and damage. There is life! There are friends and family and lovers and food. I love food. I love friends and my family. They are precious to me. They are sustaining.
My friends refused to allow me to dwell on the negative effects of vitiligo. My friends refused to allow me to draw conclusions about my attractiveness. Would the opposite sex find me attractive with my disease? Yes they would and they do! Yes people will meet me and like me and enjoy my company. No, my dermatological difference will not be a marker of my inferiority. It is me. I am beautiful regardless of the variations in my skin tone.
When people talk about suicide and vitiligo I think about the difficulty that I have faced and I understand that question, that question that is called the only real question of philosophy. To be or not to be?
I would ask anyone that is wondering whether or not to continue living to reach out to the other people that live with vitiligo and talk to them. Ask them how they manage to live. Ask them how they find love. Ask them how they manage to get through each day having fun and looking forward to tomorrow.
Life is full and wonderful and vitiligo is part of my life. Have you thought about suicide? How do you deal with your vitiligo?