A woman who felt ugly comparing herself to beautiful women on social media was found hanging in her wardrobe.
19-year-old Shante Stephenson from east London, who was an aspiring actress, hanged herself. It was said in the Walthamstow Coroner’s Court in April 2019, that she had low self-esteem about her career but especially about her appearance.
Shante is said to have been constantly looking at social media sites and comparing herself to other women and her peers.
Shante was severely depressed, and is reported to have made an attempt at her life in 2017, a year before her death. She was admitted to “Impart”, a mental health crisis team at Waltham Forest NHS Trust.
She was supposed to be delivered medication the day of her death, the medication was 2 days late.
The court also heard that she attempted suicide at age 12 after an argument she had with her family.
Dr William Travers, a consultant psychiatrist with the Impart home treatment team, met with Shante last year in July 2017 when she tried to commit suicide by overdosing on a drug.
Dr. Travers told the court about the incident:
“It [the overdose] seemed to have been triggered by an experience she had performing a role in a theater show case, she didn’t think she performed it well, and she was dwelling on it, replaying it over and over in her mind. After it she had spoken to her friend and reported a feeling of hopelessness during the phone call – that is when she developed the idea.”
Dr Travers continued to tell the court that Shante told him she frequently compared how looks with women on social media and didn’t feel beautiful, and she would tell friends how she wanted to lose a lot of weight, though her weight was normal.
On June 4th 2018, she attempted suicide again. Within the same month, psychiatrists decided Shante did not need the crisis services as they evaluated her as
“positive, optimistic with planning and had no suicide thoughts”.
And within that same month, she was discharged on June 22nd, 5 days before her death. On June 27th, Shante’s father found her hanging in her wardrobe after a friend, who was staying with them, came home from church without her.
The coroner ruled that the situation was “Tragic”, it could not be known what would’ve happened to her had she gotten her medicine on time.
Astrid Duminy, the crisis team manager at North East London Hospital Trust said:
“I don’t know exactly what triggered Shante’s suicide, all I know is that Shante’s job situation was playing on her mind – I might be just grasping at straws. There isn’t any reason for anyone to berate themselves or have any lingering sense of responsibility.”