Kate Spade and Anthony Bordain

It is very sad and tragic that two prominent people who seemed (outwardly) to have so much to live for decided that they didn’t want to stay… but as someone who has suffered from chronic major depression for most of my life, I can’t say I’m surprised by either Anthony Bordain’s or Kate Spade’s suicides. Our society is much more comfortable dealing with physical illness than mental illness. And maybe the fact they they both seemed to have “everything” in the guise of outward success made them even more reticent to seek help. Because our society is so judgmental about mental illness, they might have feared what would happen to their brands or Q-scores if it got out that they were seeking help for depression or any other mental disability. I’m not famous and I had the same fears when I was at a regular job and having to leave work to go to therapy appointments. I feared that my supervisor knowing that I was seeking help for my chronic depression would hurt my chances for promotion, for getting good assignments and for even keeping my job at all. (The ironic thing is that my supervisor’s bullying was the reason I slipped into a depressive episode. Go figure.) My fears were not unfounded, since I’d seen people that had physical disabilities drummed out of our department. I wasn’t taking any chances. The stigma is real… the struggle is real. Let’s work together to end the stigma. 

I believe one of the ways to help those who are in crisis, suffering from mental health issues and considering suicide is to fight the stigma. One of those ways is to arm yourself with what to do when someone you love is in crisis… Be the one to speak up with love, to let them know you know they are struggling, to tell them that you are there for them and to help them get professional help. If we don’t speak about it, it festers. If it festers, it grows in the dark and it kills. Let’s try to rip off the bandage and let light and air in…

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call 1-800-273-8255



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