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The Big D - Depression

You can bet there is a reason two well-known people (Kate Spade & Anthony Bourdain) killed themselves this week. Both appeared to have what so many of us strive for, recognition in their profession, wealth, and the love of friends & family.

Art by Johnny Disher

It’s so hard to understand why they would take their own lives. I thought Anthony Bourdain was a very cool dude with his far-reaching travel and fearless consumption of unknown food. I also have a Kate Spade bag and so do my girls. I love her brand.

I can only surmise they must of both been struggling with emotional unrest. Which, of course, makes your whole life seem like shit. I’ve been there. It’s where you can’t get out of your own head, the self-doubt, and the worry that eats away at any sense of peace. If the agitation, and or sadness lasts for weeks or months, do not pass go, but go directly to your primary care physician and tell them your symptoms. I don’t know if Kate Spade or Anthony Bourdain were being treated for mental illness, but you would hope and pray these smart and talented people would know to get help.

I’m telling you, if you feel like crap way too much of the time, tell your doctor. It’s not a character flaw to be treated for depression and/or mental illness.

We need to address mental illness.

Medicine isn’t the only answer for mental illness. You must modify the way you think, and the way you take care of yourself if you want to have meaningful change in your attitude. I struggle with depression, and I currently take medication for it. Because of my family history, I was well aware depression ran in both sides of my family. (I do believe it’s hereditary) I knew my father’s alcoholism and depression were tied together. Before I sought treatment, I noticed my consistent agitation. I would be sad, restless, and easily irritated. My mind felt itchy and achy in some way, I needed some relief from the feelings.

This went on for a few months and then I took myself to the doctor and was prescribed depression medication. Initially the medicine made me tired, but it also soothed the sad, itchy and achy feeling in my brain. It was a HUGE relief. The consistent agitation I felt went away. Medication isn’t the only answer though. I do a number of things:

  • meditate daily to slow down my overactive brain,

  • yoga is also a fantastic way to get out of your own head and just focus on how your body is feeling,

  • counseling helps,

  • faith in God or a higher power, whatever you want to call it.

Fighting mental illness and depression is a whole body and mind battle. There isn’t a quick fix, but it’s very treatable.

If you broke your leg, you would go right to the doctor. Treat mental illness the same way. If you consistently don’t feel well, figure out what’s going on. Tell your friends and family and get the support you need. Mentally, how are you feeling or coping with life? Physically, how are you feeling? Take care of yourself! If you want to give a simple meditation a try, here is a link. If your diet sucks and you never exercise, that’s not going to help either. Give your body some decent, nutritious food to work with. Too much sugar negatively affects your mood.

I do believe EVERYTHING happens for a reason. So, I’ll get back to what I said in the first sentence of this blog. What is the reason for both of these well-known people to commit suicide this week? I’m sure this isn’t their individual reasons, but their actions will result in a large number of people asking why this happened. It’s time for everyone to understand mental illness isn’t something to be ashamed of, it’s an illness similar to diabetes in that it requires medical attention and consistent treatment.

May Kate and Anthony both rest in peace. The rest of us need to figure out how to help ourselves. As always, I share my experiences in the hope it helps someone else.

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