Skip to Content

Like Tommy Raskin, I Concealed my Pain. Suicide Prevention Requires Professional Help

– Thomas Bloom Raskin Cause of Death –

Thomas Raskin, a 25-year-old Harvard law student, committed suicide on December 31. Continue reading to learn more about the case of suicide.

The Story

Thomas Raskin, a 25-year-old Harvard law student, committed suicide on December 31. He left a brief note for his family that read:

“Please accept my apology. Today, my illness triumphed. Please look after one another, the animals, and the world’s poor in my name. Tommy, please accept my heartfelt condolences.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Sarah Bloom Raskin, his bereaved parents, memorialized Tommy in a lengthy Medium post, introducing many of us to their brilliant and much-loved son.

They wrote that Tommy “had a perfect heart, a perfect soul, a riotously outrageous and relentless sense of humor, and a dazzling radiant mind.” He also had a secret that eventually took his life.


The Raskins named the disease that killed their son at the end of their statement. His depression was “a kind of relentless torture in the brain for him,” and “despite very fine doctors and a loving family… the pain eventually became overwhelming, unyielding, and unbearable.”

A friend forwarded the Raskins’ message to me because she knows I’ve been an advocate for openness about not only mental illness particularly depression, which I also suffer from but also the national suicide epidemic, which claimed nearly 50,000 lives in 2018.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the annual suicide rate increased by 35% from 1999 to 2018, with men nearly four times more likely to commit suicide than women.

Many researchers believe that these figures are underreported because of the stigma associated with suicide. It took a lot of guts for the Raskins to come forward.

When, the day after Raskin buried his son, the grieving father found himself caught in the Trump-fueled insurgency at the U.S. Capitol.

There the congressman was present because he believed it was his duty to count the electoral votes and confirm Joe Biden’s presidential victory, the family showed even more bravery.

An unnoticed burden

As much as I was saddened by Tommy’s death, I was also perplexed as I read comments on his public Facebook page because some posts promoted incorrect ideas about depression and suicide.

“People suffering from mental health problems (pull) a shroud of secrecy over their lives in the hope that people don’t find out how they’re really feeling,” one blogger wrote for a mental health campaign a few years ago.

Indeed, depression causes us to become secretive, concealing our pain and our risk. In February 2018, columnist Steven Petrow was in downtown Los Angeles.

One person commented that she wished she could have been there for him as if she possessed a superpower that could have saved him.

Tommy was not alone; he had a swarm of family and friends who adored him. According to the Raskins, their son was “enveloped in the love not only of his bedazzled and starstruck parents but of his remarkable and adoring sisters.”

Unfortunately, that was not enough to save him.

Illness Compels you to Act

Another troubling discussion began on Tommy’s Facebook page, beneath a post he made 10 days before his death.

Encouraging Georgia voters to vote in the Senate runoff elections on Jan. 5. Someone couldn’t understand how he could commit suicide while looking forward.

A different friend responded that it made perfect sense for those suffering from depression that it could take over unexpectedly.

That second friend’s post is all too familiar to me. I wrote a column for The Washington Post three years ago with the headline, “I wasn’t suicidal, until suddenly, terrifyingly I was.

” Something went wrong while I was attempting to taper off my medication under the supervision of a doctor, and I went into a free fall.

“I couldn’t find my emotional or physical balance,” I wrote. I spent about a month treading water in a vast sea of hopelessness.” I was fortunate not to be near a cliff or have access to a firearm.

Kirsten Powers

Americans are depressed and suicidal because our culture is broken. On my worst day, I went to a local bookstore and read to a group of queer kids.

August, a photo from that event appears in my Facebook memories. I’m wearing a polo shirt and shorts and am smiling, but appearances can be deceiving.

I really wanted to wrap my arms around any of the other participants, especially those I didn’t know well and ask for assistance. But I couldn’t because it would be too embarrassing.

So I understand Tommy urging Georgians to vote while fighting a life-or-death battle with his illness. No one would have known the difference if it hadn’t been for the illness.

Suffering from Depression

If you suffer from depression, I urge you not to be ashamed of your condition and to seek help when you need it. I can advise friends and family members to be aware of the warning signs of suicidal ideation.

But here’s what I learned: that moment when I wanted to take my own life was fleeting, and if the scales had tipped just a tad more, no one would have been able to stop me.

It took a psychiatrist to help me gain control of my illness and persuade me that I would not always be on the verge of death.

I wish someone could have persuaded Tommy Raskin of this as well. His parents described him as “a radiant light in this broken world,” and it’s a tragedy that he died so young.

Read Also:

FAQs on Thomas Bloom Raskin Cause of Death

1. How old was Tommy when he Committed Suicide?

Tommy was 25 years old when he committed suicide

2. When did he Commit Suicide?

He committed suicide on New Year’s Eve, 2020

3. Does he have any Siblings?

Yes, he has siblings

4. Is it True that he was Battling Depression?

Yes, it is true he was battling depression

5. Which University was he in when he Committed Suicide?

He was at Harvard University where he committed suicide

6. What was his Course of Study?

He was studying law

7. Are his Parents Alive?

Yes, his parents are very much alive

8. What are the Names of his Parents?

His fathers’ name is Jamie Raskin, and his mothers’ name is Sarah Bloom Raskin.

9. What was the Message Tommy Left Behind?

“Please pardon me. “My illness triumphed today, Please look after each other, the animals, and the world’s poor in my honor. All my love, Tommy.” was the message he left behind.

10. Was he a Graduate of Amherst College?

Yes, he was

I wish someone could have persuaded Tommy Raskin of this as well. His parents described him as “a radiant light in this broken world,” and it’s a tragedy that such a light was extinguished.

However, depression operates in the dark, and its tricks create secrets that are sometimes not revealed until it is too late.