Former Bachelor Sean Lowe tackled the heavy topic of reality stars committing suicide this week on his blog, citing show alum Lex McAllister and Gia Allemand‘s recent, tragic deaths.
“Lex McAllister, a contestant on the season of The Bachelor which featured Jake Pavelka, died earlier this month of apparent drug overdose. I haven’t mentioned her death, because — honestly — what is there to say?” Lowe, 32, wrote in his post on Monday, February 29. “I didn’t know her and I definitely didn’t want to speculate on why a woman would take her own life.”
Season 14 contestant McAllister passed away on February 16, at age 31, after overdosing on prescription pills. One of her family members said that she grappled with depression and bipolar disorder. Lowe also mentioned the death of season 14 star Allemand, who hung herself in August 2013, and season 5 Bachelorette contestant Julien Hug, who fatally shot himself in 2010.
“There are moments when the glittery, perfumed, hairsprayed, romantic facade of The Bachelor is penetrated by hard truths,” Lowe shared. “Three people from the Bachelor family committing suicide should cause us all to pause. But it’s not just the Bachelor franchise. An article in the New York Post article points out that ‘at least 21 reality-contestant suicides [have occurred] since 2004.'”
Though Lowe wrote that he’s no expert with suicide statistics, he had one resolute takeaway from the recent deaths. “1. Suicide is not the answer,” Lowe wrote. “When Robin Williams committed suicide, people immediately started writing glowingly affectionate things about his passing. Others struck back saying that suicide is wrong and that all the flowery praise being heaped on Williams might actually encourage more deaths. I think we can all agree that that killing yourself is not right, but there’s a time and place to point that out.”
“Suicide is not unforgivable,” the devout Christian continued, adding, “There’s hope for people who are sad . . . I don’t know how to address this issue without getting all Christian on you. Know why? Because the world doesn’t really offer much hope.”
The season 17 Bachelor acknowledged the allure of ABC’s famous franchise, but said it’s far from the real world. “I am no expert in depression, counseling, or psychology. But I do know that reality is sometimes not fun,” he concluded. “If you are on The Bachelor, eventually, the roses, limos, and the romantic helicopter [rides] stop. But even if you are a normal person with a regular 9 to 5, life will occasionally throw you a curve ball that you don’t feel prepared to catch. This might be the death of a loved one, a lost job, a scary diagnosis, a public mistake, or even an occupational embarrassment. Don’t give in to the darkness, even when the screen fades to black.”
Lowe also updated his post after publishing the original piece to acknowledge a very important point about suicide-related deaths. “I didn’t mean to neglect or ignore mental illness in my post,” he wrote. “Mental illness is a disease which ensnares tens of thousands of people each year and takes them to places which they would have never taken themselves. My sincerest apologies for not making my points more clear.”
If you or someone you know is struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).