Mike Thalassitis had a life that most would be jealous of. Not only was Thalassitis good-looking, he also dated several beautiful women, and seemed to have a wealthy celebrity lifestyle that most could only dream of. But the reality TV star of Love Island was only 26-years-old when he committed suicide, shocking the world.
However, Thalassitis’s death does make fans wonder exactly what reality TV stars go through on a daily basis and how that type of stress may affect any ordinary person’s mental health. For example, if you look just about anywhere on social media to check in on a reality star, you’ll see plenty of trolling and harassment. So, the life and death of Thalassitis makes many question if people are really mentally prepared before going on reality TV shows, and if there should be some kind of support for the types of life transitions and harassment those that become reality stars undergo, according to The Guardian.
While many people assume that those becoming a part of the reality TV world know what they are getting themselves into, this is not always the case. While some shows like Love Island do a psychological screening prior to allowing people to appear on the show, there is little help for those same people once they are on the show, or after they leave the show. What these shows attempt to do is prescreen people to make sure they are mentally ready to participate, but there seems to be little transitional help.
Martel Maxwell: Tragic suicide shows celebrity #lifestyle isn’t always how it seems On paper, he had an enviable life. Beautiful girlfriends, designer clothes and attending the glitzy events that make headlines around t... https://t.co/kx6Czhun8A #society #entertainment #culture pic.twitter.com/UwzMyDBAdf— CelebStarzNews (@CelebStarzNews) March 24, 2019
Some reality TV stars have no problems dealing with the social media attacks, since everybody who has participated in reality TV has to deal with it at some point. However, not everybody is so well-prepared to handle what may start to feel like overwhelming character assassination on social media. Reality TV basically makes people famous overnight, and there isn’t much time to adjust. So, for some, it is difficult to get used to dealing with the vicious, critical social media comments, according to The Guardian.
Most fans don’t know how it feels to be in a media storm so suddenly, and how that can affect a person’s mental health. Utilizing some type of service to help those on reality TV understand how to transition from one point to the next would avoid tragic deaths like Thalassitis’s. Also, making it clear to new reality TV stars what they will sacrifice once they get involved in that type of television needs to become a standard. There are plenty of reasons why somebody would not want to get involved in reality TV, including the psychological strain of participation.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.