This week has been a somber one on the contrary of the beautiful weather we have been experiencing here in the Low Lands. Monday started with my husband receiving a text that his football mate (age 35) passed away. He ended his own life due to depression and a broken relationship.
Tuesday, succesful US fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead of apparent suicide due to depression in her apartment. She was 51 years old. The day after Dutch queen’s sister, Argentinian psychologist was found dead in her Buenos Aires home. Inés Zorreguieta, 33, suffered from depression and anorexia nervosa.
During lunchtime last Friday, news broke that US celebrity chef, tv personality and author Anthony Bourdain, 61, was found dead of apparent suicide in his hotel room in Strasbourg, France. Bourdain never hid his past being addicted to hard drugs. He drank and smoked throughout his TV-series.
I don’t know all four of them personally but I feel the need to write about how important it is to find balance in our mental and physical health. Most of us focus on getting/maintaining physical health. In a number of cases this could lead to strong mental health. However some of us are more vulnerable for mental issues. While it is normal and better to get professional help. Taking care for your mental health is normal, just like physical health. There is unfortunately still a taboo regarding mental illness.
After Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, both high-profile figures, people have started to spread awareness online. Stories and experiences dealing with depression, addiction and other mental illness are passing the timeline until the very hour I am writing this post. What I have been noticing also that most articles in the media end with information of hotline for suicide prevention. This is a good cause. Genuinely I am wondering now how this awareness spreads offline.
I have had colleagues, friends, relatives who battled burnout, depression, eating disorders. Based on what I have heard from them there are personal demons one needs to battle in a very dark place. When someone we know fight a mental illness, what we can do is reach out. Offering a listening ear, accompanying to a session with a therapist or just taking care of them. If they ask you to leave them alone, respect that. Monitor how they are doing with mutual friends. Let them know you are there for them.
Featured image is from Freepik.