I have watched with sadness, the media’s opinions and reporting of the tragic deaths of both Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. No one on the outside, can really comprehend why such successful people who seemed to have it all, found it still not to be enough, unless you really comprehend the term depression.
Clinical Depression is believed to be a chemical imbalance in a person’s brain, that makes them mentally and physically feel that life is sad, sorrowful, joyless and painful. When clinically depressed, people can find daily tasks, such as even getting up or eating, more than humanly possible. These people may have nothing in their life to feel sad or despondent about. Although a clinically depressed person can also suffer situational depression as well, which may then become the trigger for suicide. What most of the media falls to explain is the difference between clinical depression and situational depression.
In life all of us will eventually suffer a loss, divorce, break up, death of a loved one, financial ruin, job loss. In many ways these are life events that even if we see them coming, often sink us into a deep grief and depressed state, we haven’t felt before. I personally know first hand, how devastating my divorce was in my own life. Even an optimistic person like myself, felt depressed to the point of not being able to sleep, eat or function. It was so shocking to me personally-to have never had any emotions like it before, I was very concerned that it may lead to death, or I may never recover from the dark cloak of depression, that on most days held a choke hold on me.
I have read a hundred articles about these tragic celebrity losses, and even though we are sharing suicide hotline numbers (helpful). We are also missing something huge in this messaging-our ability to help those in situational need. As non-doctors we may think we can’t help anyone with depression, which may be true, besides being there and lending an ear.
I though, believe we ALL can help any friends and family members experiencing situational depression, because knowledge is power. Instead of staying silent and not wanting to get involved in our friends, break up or divorce, grief, why aren’t we more open, supportive about sharing heartbreak with others? Why do we hide loss and grief as a shameful or terrible thing? Isn’t heartbreak a universal equalizer? It doesn’t matter what race, religion, socio economic level, how educated you are, how successful you are, heartbreak kills.
This is a statistical fact, military report year after year the 1# factor in male suicide is heartache- divorce, or threat of it. Year after year murder-suicide rates are over 80% carried out by significant others when threat of break up, or divorce occurs. We know when our coworkers, friends and family are going through relationship issues, divorce, we know if they have lost a loved one or job.
These are tangible things we all have the power to help in. We even as non-mental health professionals can reach out to these people, share our stories of overcoming loss, we can include them in our daily lives, invite them places, sit and listen to their heart ache. We have become so disconnected with others, we don’t want to get involved, the whole it is “non of my business” mentality, stops us from giving the help we actually can give, this is a real factor in situational depression that leads to suicide.
If you are going through any situation I also urge you to seek help, from friends, family members and health care professionals, there are far more people willing to help than you can imagine. Daily I speak with people suffering from heartbreak, people who confide their suicidal thoughts, there is always hope, always help, and you will with support and treatment and time go on to feel more joyful in life.
Don’t suffer in silence, and don’t allow your friends and family members to navigate their loss and grief alone, because we do all have the power to be that one hand that may save a life.
Suicide Hotline 1 800 273 8255