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My Tributes to Beloved Twitch Who Sadly Ended His Life, Leaving Us With Hard Questions

Condolences to lovely Allison, three kids, friends, and colleagues for the tragic death of Stephen Boss at age 40 on 13 December 2022

By Dr Mehmet YildizPublished about a year ago 7 min read
My Tributes to Beloved Twitch Who Sadly Ended His Life, Leaving Us With Hard Questions
Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

It is difficult to write a piece like this for anyone as it can bring tears to those with broken hearts. I have been watching the performance of lovely Twitch since 2005. His shows have become an essential part of my entertainment life through the virtual dance world.

I watched his every show in the "So, you think you can dance" competition, where I explored his talent in around 2005. When he married his beloved wife, Allison Holker, who has been another all-star dancer, they always inspired me with their remarkable art as a couple. I believe Allison would be the most affected by Twitch's death.

Unfortunately, Stephen Boss, known by the nickname Twitch as a reputable dancer, choreographer, and DJ on the Ellen Show, died at the age of 40 due to suicide on December 13, 2022.

When I read the RIP news on Social Media, I couldn't believe it initially. I thought it might be a prank by people who desire to top up their social media credits. But authorities confirmed that he lost his life because of a suicide attempt.

According to news and social media messages, three days after celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary, Twitch left home with an Uber taxi and shot himself in a hotel room for unknown reasons. What we know so far is a suicide note to vaguely alluded old challenges he faced.

Suicide is the most emotionally laden word in my vocabulary. The more I read and hear about this mysterious word, the more complex the phenomenon gets in my mind. It depicts our mental vulnerability.

Why someone joyful, talented, healthy, wealthy, and so much loved by others would attempt suicide?

No one knows the answer to this challenging question. The reasons behind Twitch's choice are unknown at this stage. Even his beloved wife, who is the closest to him, seems to have no idea.

Twitch was in his prime age. He was only 40 when he decided to end his life. He married one of the most talented women in the dancing world and had three beautiful kids.

In addition to his admired dancing career, Twitch also had a job in the famous program of the celebrity Ellen DeGeneres who sounds more heartbroken than anyone else for her beloved colleague.

His boss, Ellen, and his wife Allison's tears on media touched my heart, showing how much he was loved and appreciated as a husband and worker.

The human mind is a mystery. Our knowledge is not even a drop in the ocean yet, even though some of us think we have mastered it. No one would know what another human would go through in his mind.

You might ask what can motivate humans to end their lives.

As mentioned in this Frontier paper, "Suicide is the outcome of a process starting with the experiences of unbearable pain or hopelessness, passing from suicidal ideation and planning to possible para-suicidal behaviors or actual attempts."

So the keywords for suicidal attempts are hopelessness and pain. It is relatively easy to suspect those with open suffering, such as from addiction, grief, and significant hardships in life, might choose suicide.

However, it is paradoxical that sometimes seeing people with the brightest smiles might be suffering mentally and a desire to end their lives.

Twitch was one of them, in my opinion. We will never know the secrets percolating one's mind. His closest soulmate, Allison, even seemed to have no idea what was in Twitch's mind to make this sad decision ending his life and leaving others in grief.

According to Medical Doctor Alex Lickerman, people commit suicide for six reasons. They include being "depressed, psychotic, impulsive, crying out for help, having a philosophical desire to die, and making a mistake such as oxygen deprivation to get high."

As I mentioned in my previous articles, one of the most common reasons for suicide is severe depression, usually triggered by addictive behavior and anhedonia.

Even though it is a challenging condition, the good news is depression is treatable by qualified healthcare professionals if patients and their loved ones seek timely help and collaborate.

Since 2005, depression has significantly risen globally. 700,000+ people die due to suicide every year, mainly caused by depression. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15–29-year-olds, according to WHO.

After the depression, psychosis tops the list and looks even more complex. As Dr. Lickerman informs, "psychosis is treatable, and usually must be treated for a schizophrenic to be able to function at all. Untreated or poorly treated psychosis almost always requires hospital admission until the voices lose their commanding power."

Impulsivity is usually caused by drug and alcohol abuse as these substances change the mood and affect the decision-making process of those who suffer from mental health conditions.

Some people with unbearable physical or psychological pain raise their voices and indicate their intention, but people around them might not take their claims seriously.

Then in desperation, they attempt to end their lives with conscious effort. This situation is something we need to be more empathic and compassionate about.

The next conscious one is philosophical reason. These type of people have no mental health conditions like depression or psychosis but deliberately wants to end their suffering by making an intentional decision. Usually, the leading cause is hopelessness, such as from a terminal illness.

And the accidental ones are due to a lack of knowledge or experience in deadly experiments. It is a matter of education and motivation.

So an assessment of these six reasons can give us valuable clues about the mental status of a person. Each reason requires different protocols by qualified healthcare professionals to assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent reoccurrence.

If we see people have symptoms indicating these three reasons, it will be helpful to take responsibility to offer help by informing professionals, their loved ones, friends, and colleagues.

Any damage control as early as possible can contribute to preventing a suicide attempt.

I will never forget when I helped a friend's suicidal attempt in secondary school after a traumatic abuse from the teacher.

When I saw this friend in the bathroom taking a bottle of medicine and pushing his throat, I immediately rushed to the principal's office and begged him to call an ambulance.

Fortunately, the paramedics arrived timely and recovered his life after taking him to an emergency department of a nearby hospital.

Ironically an educator caused such undesirable suffering for a teenager, unintentionally. But as a 14-year-old boy, I perceived this 40-year-old teacher's mistakes. He was a brilliant maths teacher but lacked empathy and compassion for his students.

What can we do?

Our words and behavior can influence others. Therefore, when communicating, we should always put ourselves in their shoes, listen carefully, talk gently, and behave nicely.

Empathy and compassion can improve the lives of others while improving ours. We are all connected by invisible links as part of the collective consciousness.

Being physically healthy and fit is a fundamental requirement for overall health and well-being. However, it does not guarantee one's mental health. Therefore, we shouldn't judge people from their physical looks.

Instead, we need to look beyond appearance and observe mental cues. Some people can hide their mental conditions behind great looks, sweet words, and beautiful smiles. Our intuitive power can guide.

The tragic end of Twitch's life inspired me to pen this short post to share my tribute to his honor and create awareness for my readers to help their loved ones, friends, colleagues, and community members who might live with suicidal risks.

We all can make a valuable impact on others' lives with our empathy, compassion, care, and timely support. Therefore, we should urge those who are close to people struggling with pain and hopelessness to check them and take timely action.

I'd like to end my story with guidance from NIH's National Institute of Mental Health informing us about suicide prevention, "If You Know Someone in Crisis, call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.

The Lifeline provides 24-hour, confidential support to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Call 911 in life-threatening situations. If you are worried about a friend's social media updates, you can contact the safety teams at the social media company. They will reach out to connect the person with the help they need.

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Service members and Veterans in crisis, as well as their family members and friends, with qualified Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA) responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text messaging service.

Dial 1–800–273–8255 and Press 1 to talk to someone or send a text message to 838255 to connect with a VA responder. You can also start a confidential online chat session at Veterans Crisis Chat."

I believe there are similar services in other countries where you might check helplines from your country's resources.

Thank you for reading my perspectives. I wish you a healthy and happy life.

I also wrote a tribute to the tragic death of Shinzo Abe.

I share similar stories on EUPHORIA, which is my personal publication for health and well-being stories. The original version of this article was published on another platform.

If you enjoy writing and storytelling, you can join Vocal as a creator to find your voice and reach out to a broad audience. I also write on Medium and NewsBreak.


About the Creator

Dr Mehmet Yildiz

I'm a writer and published author with four decades of content development experience in business, technology, leadership, and health. I work as a postdoctoral researcher and consultant. My background is at https://digitalmehmet.com.

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