'Austin Powers' actor Verne Troyer dies after battling depression for years

"Depression and Suicide are very serious issues. You never know what kind of battle someone is going through inside. Be kind to one another. And always know, it’s never too late to reach out to someone for help."

This was posted in a statement on actor Verne Troyer's social media following his death on Saturday, April 21.

Although the cause of his death has not been officially released, it appears that the "Austin Powers" actor lost his life to suicide. Just weeks before his death, Troyer, 49, was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning and for threatening to kill himself. Troyer's friends did what friends should do in that situation — they called emergency services to report that he was "extremely upset, drunk and suicidal," according to the Mirror.

Although his friends did all that they could, he was reportedly placed on life support at the hospital in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, sometimes the ending isn't a happy one and, sometimes, no matter how hard you try to save someone's life, you just can't. As the statement on Facebook states, "Over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much."

Troyer, a native of  Centreville, Mich., started his career in the mid-1990s as a stunt man for movies like "Baby's Day Out," and, in 1999, his life changed forever when he was cast for the role of Mini Me in "Austin Powers." Suddenly, the two-foot-eight man was thrust into the limelight and, even when wearing sunglasses or a hat, would still be recognized on the streets by fans. This man, whose parents wondered if he would be tall enough to open a door for himself, "went on to open more doors for himself and others than anyone could have imagined. He also touched more people's hearts than he will ever know."

Sometimes it's the people who help others the most and live their lives to make others laugh and smile who are struggling the most internally. His co-star Mike Myers told The Hollywood Reporter, "Verne was the consummate professional and a beacon of positivity for those of us who had the honor of working with him. It is a sad day, but I hope he is in a better place. He will be greatly missed."

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged white men. American Association of Suicidology President Julie Cerel told NBC News, "Men notoriously don’t seek help. ... And as people are aging and at a place in their lives where the world isn’t looking the way they want, men especially don’t know how to reach out and get help or express that they’re feeling pain."

There are programs out there aimed at combating this epidemic. For instance, Man Therapy was created by Denver-based ad agency Cactus and the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention as a tool for men to examine their own mental health and find resources to treat it. The campaign encourages men to reach out for help and to talk about their feelings. According to the website, it's a "myth instilled in male culture since the Jurassic Period" that they should keep their feelings to themselves.

"In reality, it's very important for guys to talk about their feelings, because keeping them bottled up only makes them worse. It's time men start sharing their feelings with their friends and family members."

Duncan Lindsay, assistant community editor for the Metro (also a white male as shown by his head shot on the website), reacted to the death of Troyer in a more personal way as he too suffers from depression.

"I have made two attempts on my own life. And I have considered suicide a third time, only to be pulled back from the brink by the thought of never again seeing those I love," wrote Lindsay. "Men, there is no shame in feeling sad, hopeless or scared. Speaking out was the best and bravest thing I ever did. And I am still here now because of it."

For those who are considering suicide or know someone considering suicide,  please reach out for help from family, friends, a licensed professional, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. As Lindsay said, reaching out for help does not make you weak. Contrary, reaching out for help is the strongest, bravest thing you can do. You may not feel like it right now but you have so much of your life left to live, so much left to do, and so many people who love you and need you to keep on living.

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