Ned Vizzini, author of “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” died Thursday night after a committing suicide. He was 32. He wrote “It’s Kind of…” in 2004 after his stay in mental facility when he was hospitalized for depression. This book was a lifeline for many who read it- they’ve credited Vizzini’s words in helping save their lives. Soon, a movie based on the book was released (it’s a terrific, starring the hilarious Zach Galfianakis). Once the success of the both the book and movie versions of “It’s Kind of…” blew up, Vizzini wrote for teen dramas such as MTV’s “Teen Wolf” and nationally published magazines and newspapers like the New York Times. He is survived by his wife and two-year-old son. Vizzini is from Brooklyn, NY.
“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” is one of my favorite books (when the movie came out, I watched it three times along in the theatre). I picked up the book after my own stint in a mental hospital when I committed myself for self-mutilation, severe depression and extreme anxiety. I identified with the main character, Craig, and his thoughts about life and ending it. I read a lot of books about a character’s stay in a mental facility. Most of those books were written by people who were using only their imagination to describe the situation- they didn’t actually experience what it is like to be in a hospital. But “It’s Kind of…” was different. Vizzini described MY experience; from the racing thoughts to rooming with a narcoleptic to drawing time with the arts therapist. He knew how I felt. The book’s comforting and I still have my copy on my bedside nightstand. When I read the headline last night about his death, my heart broke and I cried a little bit. I’m not so sure why Vizzini decided to take his life but I hope that he knew that he positively affected so many. My thoughts are with his family.
Depression hurts. It stings. It’s something I deal with on a daily basis. Everything in my life reminds me of this chemical imbalance in my brain. But I fight it with the love I have for myself and my future and with the support I get from others. Even though depression and other mental health issues are still considered taboo and so many hate discussing it, we need to start talking about it. Suicide should not happen, especially with people who are so talented and have so much more to contribute to the world. I think about the holidays and how they can be rough on some people- I know. I’ve spent plenty of Christmases and New Year’s Eves blue and alone. I hope you, dear reader, will never experience the boughs of depression and if you have, my heart and soul go out to you. Do me and the rest of the the world a favor- grab the closest person to you and give them a big hug and tell them that you’re there for them. They might just need to hear it and feel your warmth.
Merry Christmas, everyone. I appreciate you taking the time to read 20Something this year. I love you all.