The darkness of Saoirse Kennedy Hill: 22-year-old wrote of her struggles with depression years before her tragic death
Hill had written a piece in The Deerfield Scroll, the school newspaper of Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts in 2016 elaborating on her battle with depression
Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter, 22-year-old Saoirse Kennedy Hill, who reportedly died on Thursday, August 1, from an apparent overdose at the family home in Cape Cod had spoken about fighting depression earlier. Hill had written a piece in The Deerfield Scroll, the school newspaper of Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, in 2016 explaining her battle with depression, according to a report by the New York Post.
"My depression took root at the beginning of my middle school years and will be with me for the rest of my life," she had said. "Although I was mostly a happy child, I suffered bouts of deep sadness that felt like a heavy boulder on my chest," she said.
"These bouts would come and go, but they did not outwardly affect me until I was a new sophomore at Deerfield." She spoke about how she isolated herself and was "pulling away" from her friends and loved ones and lagging in school work.
"We all know that some people find winter at Deerfield lonely, dark, and long," she explained. "During the last few weeks of spring term, my sadness surrounded me constantly. But that summer after my sophomore year, my friend depression rarely came around anymore, and I was thankful for her absence." But the sadness came back.
"My sense of well-being was already compromised, and I totally lost it after someone I knew and loved broke serious sexual boundaries with me," Saoirse said. "I did the worst thing a victim can do, and I pretended it hadn’t happened. This all became too much, and I attempted to take my own life." She returned to school in the fall but couldn't handle the stress — which is when she decided to get help.
"I went to treatment for my depression and returned to the valley for my senior year," she recalled. "I didn't care that students thought that I had left because of an eating disorder, or that I had been bullied, but it concerned me that my teachers and advisors didn’t know what I had been going through. Even though it was helpful for me to discuss my struggles with all of those important people in my life, it was still uncomfortable, and it was hard for me to take the initiative." She also mentioned in the piece that her school's faculty did not know how to talk about mental illness.
"Many people are suffering, but because many people feel uncomfortable talking about it, no one is aware of the sufferers," she wrote in 2016. "This leaves people feeling even more alone. We are all either struggling or know someone who is battling an illness," she said. "Let's come together to make our community more inclusive and comfortable."