Michael Jackson’s fans shouldn’t self destruct

It was reported by Gary Taylor, president and owner of Jackson’s largest online fan club, MJJCommunity.com that at least 12 Michael Jackson fans have committed suicide. At this point there is no hard and fast evidence that Michael’s death was the causal event. But given the hysteria and grief surrounding his death, it is reasonable to infer that it may have influenced their suicidal behaviors.

Presently, not much is known about these fans, any mental health or previous suicidal histories. But given the millions of Jackson fans out there, the number of suicides is minuscule if not statistically insignificant. That being said, of course every life is precious! However, those 12 fans are probably different from the typical Jackson fan.

It is most likely that they may have been rabid Jackson devotees who may have suffered from mental health issues and were emotionally fragile to begin with. Most likely they may have been clinically depressed. Michael’s sudden and tragic death may have been the tipping point that pushed them over the edge. Because their lives were probably Michael Jackson 24/7 they may have felt they had no reason to live and wanted to join him in heaven.

Because of contagion (copy cat infectious) behaviors there may be more suicides. So it is important that parents closely monitor their children’s behaviors in the next few weeks, especially if they are MJ fans and have mental health issues and or depression. In addition they should be offered more counseling to discuss their grief concerning Michael’s death. Of course the same advice should be followed by the adult fans with the same histories and issues.

Michael Jackson was and is an icon to many. However he lived a tragic life full of pain and unhappiness. It is too easy for those extreme fans who have also suffered in life to over-identify with Michael’s issues, and completely give up hope for living. They should know that despite his pain, Michael wanted to live and they should too.

Perhaps the advice offered by the Reverend Jesse Jackson says it best; “This is a time when hearts are heavy. There is great pain but great cause to celebrate Michael’s life. It made Michael happy saying “We Are The World”. Don’t self destruct.”