Depression doesn’t discriminate

June 12, 2018 | by Denise Elsbree, LCSW

On the outside, she appeared to have it all.

Kate Spade, 55, had a successful, self-made business empire, a daughter, a new project to work on. She was likely one of the last people anyone expected to be depressed.
So it was even more shocking when news of her suicide came out.

Following her death, her husband, Andy Spade, issued a statement saying he and Kate were separated, and that she had struggled with depression and anxiety for many years and sought treatment. He had spoken with her the night before she died, he wrote, and she sounded happy.

Several days later, another star died by suicide. Author and television personality Anthony Bourdain, 61, seemed to have the best of everything — fame, riches, a daughter, a relationship, and his own show on CNN that allowed him to do something he enjoyed — travel the world as a celebrity chef.

In the days after his death, his good friend Michael Ruhlman told CNN he was “stunned” by the news, adding that he thought Bourdain was happy and in love.

Being rich, famous and successful has no bearing on your mental health.

Sobering statistics

Everyone heard about Spade and Bourdain. But there were many others who died by suicide the same week. On average, there are 123 suicides every day, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States.

The same week that Spade and Bourdain died, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report stating suicide rates have been on the rise across the country.

Sadly, researchers found that half the people who died by suicide didn’t have a known diagnosed mental health condition at the time.

Too many people experiencing a mental health crisis feel too ashamed to reach out for help.

It’s time to erase the stigma once and for all. It’s time to help each other.

There are some warning signs of suicide to watch for. Shift your focus to the people around you. Start noticing what they do and say.

A great way to determine the mental state of someone you care about is through conversation. Listen to what they say – really listen. Ask them questions. Spend quality time with them.

Get trained in Mental Health First Aid, which equips people to identify and help someone who’s facing a mental health crisis, such as depression or suicidal thoughts.

If you or someone you care about needs help, don’t hesitate to reach out. Get 24-7 confidential support for you or others in crisis or distress through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255.

Another resource: Linden Oaks Behavioral Health Hospital’s 24-hour Help Line, 630-305-5027.

Linden Oaks Behavioral Health specializes in treating depression. Find out how we can help.

Related blogs:

Never a reason: talking with your teen about depression

New show sparks controversy over teen suicide

Depression can take a toll on your body, too

Postpartum depression can happen to anyone (even you)

Has a serious or chronic illness got you depressed?

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