Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Elephant in the Room...Depression

Good morning. I hope that you had a great weekend and are having a a good week so far. All is well here but I have to be honest I am shocked and saddened by the passing of both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain .

I did not know either of these people except from TV, interviews and books. It seems they both had issues in the past with sucicdal thoughts in the case of Anthony Bourdain(which he mentioned in his books) and in the case of Kate Spade,  high anxiety. Aside from that I saw what everyone else saw, successful people traveling the world, creating great tv and beautiful designs,  and leading a fun, exciting life.  Apparently the reality was a little different than we thought because this past week they both committed suicide.

Today we are bombarded on social media by perfect lives, gorgeous houses, beautiful food, unbelievable adventures, perfectly dressed and fashionable people who are of course  fit and have perfect bodies. Trying to compete with all of that when you are 5-10 pounds overweight, your house is a mess, you lost your job, your kids are sick, you love sugar and hate to exercise can get anyone down.  Couple this with the negative news 24 hours a day about the economy, wars, school shootings, and its enough to make you jump in bed, pull the covers over your head and never get up.

Everyone has sad and bad days here and there and then there are those that suffer from chronic depression(clinical), bi-polar and other mental illnesses, the elephant in the room, the taboo subject.

Unfortunately, we live in a world in which mental illness is a subject that many do not want to acknowledge or talk about. Sometimes those that suffer from it feel as if they cannot talk about it because people won't listen or they will tell them to just "pick themselves up by their bootstraps and snap out of it." Other times people that do not understand it don't believe that it is an illness as serious as cancer and just as deadly.

There is help for those that battle mental illness but they need treatment, from a doctor, a therapist, sometimes medication and they need the support of family and friends. If you know someone that is suffering please help them get the help they need especially if they are talking about suicide.

I have witnessed first hand what mental illness and suicide can do to a family and it is heartbreaking. For many years my aunt who was diagnosed as bi-polar suffered, and then after many ups and downs she took her life by walking in front of a train. To say that the family was devastated does not even begin to describe the pain of those she left behind which included a husband, two sones and two young grandsons. I miss her, her kindness, smile, laugh, love of music and the love and pride she had for her sons.

As I said at the beginning of this post I am saddened by the loss of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain and my heart breaks for their families, especially their two young daughters. I just hope that the conversation started by their deaths continues and that it is finally ok to talk about depression, suicide and whatever else you are feeling and to know that someone is listening and is willing to help.

If you know someone who suffers from depression and are concerned they may be contemplating suicide here are the warning signs.

If you are suffering from depression please reach out, to your doctor, pastor, family or call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800-273-8255.


  1. I am so very sorry about your aunt. People need to pay attention to those we love, thankfully my husband was paying attention to me and I got some help. I didn't even know I was depressed so others need to watch and listen.

  2. I had a friend who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He ended his life.

    I have depression, but I'm lucky to have a good therapist. I have sessions with her every few weeks, talk for an hour, and it helps tremendously.

  3. Oh how I think about their young close in age and dealing with such a tragedy. As a mother, I can't begin to imagine how to now care for these babies. May God truly be with all families who this is all too real for. Such a meaningful post.

  4. I have had major depression since childhood. I take pills to combat it every single day and always will. I have been on that edge a few times myself. You are not yourself. You have entered a black hole and can't see how to get out of it. Too bad society still stigmatizes mental illness. So glad you wrote about this.

  5. Very well written. There are so many components that go into mental disorders. Some believe depression is simply sadness. They are angered that those who commit suicide leave behind good family, young ones. Depression is all about how the brain works, or doesn't work. Most feel the world, their families, their friends, are better off without them. I hate when these special, lost people are called selfish (as Val Kilmer did with Anthony Bourdain).

    I hope we learn from these terrible losses. The hotline is so necessary, and I am grateful to see it out there on newscasts and after written articles. Perhaps support groups can be started.

    Thanks so much for a very timely post, Elizabeth.



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