The tragic deaths of fashion designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain serve as a chilling reminder about the serious consequences of untreated depression as well as the steps we still need to take to stop the stigma surrounding mental illness.
First, let’s talk abut the stigma. I’m sure you’ve seen comments on social media like: “Why would two people who seemingly have it all commit suicide?” or “How could someone be so ‘selfish’ and hurt their loved ones?”
For anyone suffering from depression, or living with a loved one who is dealing with mental illness, these questions are not only ignorant but also insulting. And unfortunately, it’s misconceptions like this that can prevent someone from seeking proper help.
Now, let’s talk about the facts. Depression doesn’t discriminate. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. – and it can happen to anyone at any age. Most often, however, depression develops in adulthood. What’s more, people don’t choose to be depressed. Instead depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors.
Depression is much more than just having a down day or feeling a bit blue – it’s a debilitating brain disorder that can have a negative impact on your personal, professional and social life. Mental Health America surveyed some folks about what it’s really like to live with depression and people say it feels like:
- “You are a burden to everyone.”
- “Fighting an exhausting battle against yourself.”
- “A dark empty room with no escape.”
- “Hopeless. Like there’s no person or thing that can help you forget about everything that makes you sad all of the time.”
Depression and Suicide
Certainly people can experience varying levels of depression along with different symptoms. And, if left untreated, depression can lead to suicide, which is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.
Along with the news of Spade and Bourdain came a scary new statistics from the CDC: Suicide rates in the U.S. have risen 28 percent in less than 20 years – and “middle-aged adults had the largest number of suicides, and a particularly high increase in rates,” Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the CDC, told reporters.
If you or someone you love is struggling with depression and experiencing any of the following warning signs of suicidal behaviors, seek help right away. Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK.
- Talking about wanting to die
- Feeling hopeless, trapped, or in unbearable pain
- Looking for a way to kill oneself
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
Are You Struggling With Depression and Addiction?
Many people struggling with addiction also find themselves caught in the painful grip of depression. We understand the sensitive relationship between substance abuse and mental health problems and provide family therapy, outpatient rehab, at-risk programs, therapeutic consulting, crisis management, and recovery coaching for guests suffering with substance use and mental health disorders. To learn more about our co-occurring disorder treatment, call today: 305-595-7378.