Josh Seiter, a contestant on Kaitlyn Bristowe's season of "The Bachelorette," has sadly died at the age of 36. His death comes just days after he openly discussed his struggles with depression and anxiety on social media.
"It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share the tragic news of Joshua's unexpected passing. As all who knew him can attest, Joshua was an incredibly bright light in an increasingly dim world," Seiter's family wrote in a statement posted to his Instagram page Monday. His grieving family also said that "his fearless voice and indomitable spirit helped thousands of people in their darkest moments feel just a little less alone."
"Although our heartache at Joshua's passing pains us beyond measure, we find comfort in knowing that he is finally at peace," Seiter's family added. While the exact cause of his death was not disclosed, his family did make reference to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in their statement.
Seiter had appeared on the ABC show in 2015 during Bristowe's season as the main lead. Unfortunately, he was eliminated during the first week of the show.
As reported by The Sun, Seiter was born on August 14, 1987, in Chicago, Illinois.
He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and subsequently pursued a Juris Doctor degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Seiter openly shared his experiences of grappling with mental health challenges with his 456,000 followers on Instagram.
"Surviving depression and anxiety one day at a time with a smile," he said in his last post on Thursday.
In a July 2021 post he had pinned at the top of his page, Seiter wrote, "I'm Josh Seiter, and I'm a suicide attempt survivor. I battle OCD, Bipolar Depression, and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), but I refuse to give up. What did you survive?"
His Mental Health Issues
On July 22, Seiter was introspective in a post on his social media platform. In this post, he revealed his ongoing struggles with feelings of worthlessness, delving into the specific issues that were causing him distress.
'Some of my biggest insecurities revolve around gaining the approval of others," he said. "You see, at heart I am a people pleaser. I am constantly trying to win the approval of others."
He speculated about the underlying reasons for his feelings, mentioning his upbringing and homeschooling while adding that he "didn't have many friends" as a child.
"The 'Why?' doesn't matter so much as the 'How?' How are we going to stop conditioning our self-worth on the acceptance of others?" he said.
"The answer to that question only came after I was open and honest with the world about my mental health struggles. It does get better."
Seiter, who turned to exotic dancing to financially support himself while attending law school, made a memorable entrance on "The Bachelorette" by removing his shirt and playfully asserting that his ego would be wounded if he didn't progress to the next stage. He later contended that this first impression was influenced by the show's producers.
Kaitlyn Bristowe emerged as the chosen one — a result that left Seiter feeling disheartened.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, he confessed that he had reservations about being on the show if Bristowe was selected, as he did not find himself attracted to her.
He candidly confessed that his intention for being on the show was not centered around seeking love, a recurring narrative in almost every season of the franchise. Instead, his aim was to advance his career as an exotic dancer.
"It was mostly about kind of, like, exposure and getting my name out there more," Seiter told the outlet. "That whole finding a wife thing to me was kind of a ludicrous idea."
Seiter later went on to date women from other reality shows like "90 Day Fiance" and "Love After Lockup."
Earlier this year, he revealed that he identifies as pansexual and announced his romantic involvement with David, a fellow exotic dancer.