This week, fashion icon Kate Spade, committed suicide in her New York City apartment. She was found by her housekeeper, hung by a scarf, leaving behind a suicide note addressed to her 13-year-old daughter. Kate Spade's suicidal death brings attention to the mental illnesses she battled over years. According to reports, her husband shared Kate struggled with Anxiety and Depression. One might ask--Wow, she seemed to have it all--fame, fortune, and freedom. What happened? It's a tragic ending similar to other brilliant, creative minds such as Ernest Hemingway, Robin Williams, Chester Bennington, Sylvia Plath, Alexander McQueen, and now, Anthony Bourdain.
Behind the mask of success and glamour, Kate's world was probably filled with feelings of unworthiness, shame, sadness and deep despair. Maybe, Kate could no longer see the flickers of hope and light in her life. For one experiencing the depths of Depression, darkness replaces light, and what is left is an infinite, vast, and inescapable prison. People who contemplate suicide think that they are a burden to others, and that life would be better without them.
Many people in our world are living on edge. Just take a look at the news--it's a constant stream of gloom, doom, and fear-mongering. We live in a world where appearances can be deceiving, especially where true connections are often frayed and disconnected in an uber-wired society. Social media platforms like Facebook often captures the highlight reel of a person's life, but behind the scenes, there lies is a different story. The person next to you--friend, neighbor, colleague, or loved one--may be suffering with immense pain. Many of us have learned to mask fear, sadness, isolation, and despair. Instead, we can smile, laugh, feign happiness, and say "I'm fine," "Things are great." "Samo samo" and move on. Cultural norms have enabled many of us to become masters in masking our feelings. The experiences that cause us pain have been pushed down and buried often in far reach from those closest to us.
Anxiety and Depression are mental illnesses that often share high comorbity or co-exist with one another. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, nearly 40 million people are affected with some of Anxiety affecting almost 1 in 5 adults in the United States. In addition, Mental Health America Depression tends to have affect people in their "prime working years" in an article on Depression in the Workplace.
The good news is that Anxiety and Depression may be successful treated with a treatment plan that may include individual psychotherapy, group support, appropriate medical interventions, and building a support network(s). Mental Health America shares that, more than 80% of people suffering from Clinical Depression can be successfully treated.
Here are Resources and Related articles.
- Suicide Resources
- Depression In the Workplace
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- The Co-morbidity of Anxiety and Depression
- Kate Spade Worried What People Would Say If They Found Out Her Secret: Depression by John M. Grohol
What I know with clients I have served over the years is that Anxiety and Depression can affect anyone--it does not discriminate based on gender, age, color, creed, and/or socio-economic background. Anyone who has the capacity to experience the human condition of pain and suffering may be vulnerable to experiencing symptoms of these illnesses over years. As a Therapist, I specialize with clients who experience Anxiety and Depression, please continue to READ MORE.