A writer for “This Is Us” and Jim Carey’s “Kidding,” Jas Waters, was found dead in her home in Hollywood, California this week. The Los Angeles Medical Examiner has released the cause of death as suicide by hanging.
The body of the 39-year-old writer and former news broadcaster and journalist was discovered earlier Tuesday. Representatives for Waters at Rain Management Group said their client died “within the last week,” according to Fox News, when the announcement was made of her passing.
Not much more information is given in the death report that is available publically on the medical examiner’s website, other than that the case is closed.
In Waters’ Twitter Feed She Tweets Several Times About Having Severe Anxiety Which Was Made Worse by the Pandemic Lockdown
Often it’s the case when successful people take their own lives that many can’t understand why. They were beautiful, talented, successful, and had money. Yet none of those things are enough sometimes when battling mental issues, as was seen in other high-profile suicides like Robin Williams, Antony Bordain and Kate Spade.
According to Waters, she was experiencing “nearly debilitating” anxiety. She tweeted often about trying to deal with her crippling anxiety by cooking lots of different dishes, which she would post photos of on Twitter.
She said one day she kept from “spiraling” by doing yard work and said, “that’s today’s victory.”
In Late March Waters tweeted about how the time at home due to the coronavirus lockdown will be a new opportunity to get things done. Yet throughout April and into May, her tweets show signs that she was struggling with being alone with her thoughts and her anxiety.
Waters’ last tweet was on May 8, nearly a month before she took her own life. It said, “Some shit just changes you.”
While there is little information about why Waters took her own life at this time, according to the National Institutes of Health, “Anxiety disorders, especially panic disorder and PTSD, are independently associated with suicide attempts.”
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that 18% of Americans live with Anxiety.
“It’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder,” the ADAA writes. The condition is said to be caused by a combination of factors including life events, genetics, brain chemistry and personality.
Waters Had an Unconventional Upbringing Growing Up in An ‘Old Folks Home’ But Has Said Her Struggles Growing Up Helped Shape Her & Contributed to her Success as a Storyteller
Waters said she grew up in a nursing home raised by her grandmother. In 2018 she told Shadow and Act, “Listen, I was raised in an old folks’ home. I never had a traditional life; I never had a safe, cookie-cutter, predictable, affirming life. From the moment I got here, the rules didn’t apply to me. If the basic rules of raising a kid didn’t apply to me, then nothing else really applies to me. So I just had to figure it out.”
She told them that of all the things she learned in life, “The most life-altering is learning that I was adopted. I was able to literally turn my head to the side and things made sense that I was trying to make sense of my whole life.”
Waters said her unconventional upbringing — growing up sleeping on a fold-out couch next to her grandmother in an “old folks home’ to being a successful writer on several hit shows and movies made her think “God had this plan for [her] life.”
The grounding is just remembering where I came from, where I started and who I am. Last year for Thanksgiving, I went home to Chicago, and I drove over to the old folks’ home that I grew up in. I remember being a kid and losing my key in the elevator shaft like once a month, being yelled at by the old folks because I was running everywhere, and them teaching me the right way to do laundry. I have a profound sense of gratitude because the unlikelihood that a little girl sharing a bed with her grandmother would be where I am now is slim to none. God had this plan for my life, so I know that it’s bigger than me, and I have to respect it.
Fans expressed their grief on Twitter at hearing the news that Waters took her own life.