When you hear about the suicide of people like Kate Spade or Anthony Bourdain, you have to stop and think why? They seemed to have it all. They seemed happy and had money and no worries. If it can happen to them….
We don’t know what goes on in the minds and lives of celebrities, but we should be more in touch with our inner circles. We all have the ‘strong friends’ who are there for everyone else, have their shit together, good marriages and great kids and even obedient pets. But guess what, depression and suicide don’t discriminate. Did you know a depressed friend can put on a mask around you and lead you to believe that not only are they ok but they are fantastic? It’s not so obvious. Now, I’m not saying that your strong friends that seem ok are hiding depression. But they might be and you should be on the look out.
Your funny friends are at risk too. Being funny is not the same as being happy. So many comedians over the years have succumbed to depression and used humor and laughter as a mask to cover their depression. It’s like they are being funny to help themselves get out of their depression. Unfortunately that doesn’t always work. So many creative, intelligent and funny people have taken their own lives. Most family members didn’t see it coming. And yes there were sometimes addictions to drugs and alcohol that contributed to their depression.
No one can really know what is going on in the mind of someone that is depressed. Some, just snap out of it easily especially if the depression is linked to a short term situation. Others are chronically depressed. It can come and go. Some are thinking of ending their lives while others stay worried that they may lose those around them or feel as if something bad is going to happen to them personally. It’s a struggle either way and not easily understood if you haven’t dealt with depression yourself.
We often think people are selfish when they try suicide. Or think they are just looking for attention. Try to see it differently. In their minds, to leave life would mean their loved ones would be better off. (Sounds crazy right but that is how they feel). If someone is trying suicide for attention, they are really reaching out for help. Also hard to understand. Remember the mind of someone with depression is a very delicate and frail state. Try not to judge. It’s harder for them to go through this than it is for you to understand.
With the world being so insane right now, social media and instant news (or fake news) and people telling you what to do, how to feel and what to stand for, it can be way too much for some of us, including our strong friends. So reach out to your strong friends and ask how they are doing. Write down the suicide hot-line number: 1-800-273-8255. Use it or help someone use it. Send a card to someone telling them you are thinking about them. Do whatever you can to be present and available.
Lastly, if YOU are suffering from depression or think you may be, tell your friends. Ask for help. Call the hot-line. Don’t suffer in silence. You are needed. You are wanted and you are loved! Message me if you are not ok. I’m no doctor, but I know what depression is and have suffered through it myself.