Is Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade’s death a lesson on mental health?

The death of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade seems to have raised an alarm about mental health. While it took many by shock, others started a series of discussion around depression and suicide.

Written by Anjali Jha | New Delhi | Updated: June 10, 2018 10:55:08 am
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Chef Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade’s death sparked many sorrowful reactions — both, in the online and offline space. The news of such iconic personalities committing suicide is highly disturbing — especially, when they had a fruitful career and inspired people to lead life their way. Just a while ago, DJ Avicii’s death too raised many concerns around the world. While some fans were completely stunned, it did make sense for those, who have suffered from clinical depression or have understood the struggle at some point.

Spade attracted fashion connoisseurs towards her quirky and refreshing style. With her colourful collection of bags and shoes, she successfully etched a picture of enthusiasm and positivity. Meanwhile, Bourdain taught people all across the globe how food could unite them. His work was incredibly magnificent and earned him many awards too. Hence, many people can’t stop wondering what made them end their lives.

According to an article published in scientific journal PLOS OneSo, the death of actor Robin Williams in 2014 spiked 10 per cent suicides in the United States. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 18.6 percent of Americans suffer from anxiety and 6.7 percent live with depression.

Considering the stigma that surrounds mental illness, it’s reasonable to assume that these numbers are actually higher. Dr Samir Parikh, Director of Department Mental Health & Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare Ltd says that depression is growing to be the largest mental illness, according to the latest WHO reports. “Anyone who feels depressed for more than two weeks should straight away look for professional help. Because that’s what you would do for viral fever and diarrhoea, right?”

Generally, people who suffer from such mental illnesses are not vocal about their thoughts and fear getting judged. People suffering from depression also have a low self-esteem along with loss of interest and pressure in life. “One has to first understand that depression is a treatable medical condition so don’t hesitate to consult a mental health professional. Meanwhile try to eat healthily, get some exercise, practice meditation and share how you are feeling with your family or close friends,” says Dr Shyam Bhat, the trustee of Live Love Laugh Foundation.

If people inculcate a loss of interest or don’t get an adequate amount of sleep, they have more suicidal feelings. Shamantha K, counselling psychologist from Fortis hospital, says that getting a pet dog or a cat is also helpful as it instantly uplifts the mood. The patient should also talk to their friends and family for help.

How you can be a warrior if you are feeling depressed

* Seek help. There is no shame in reaching out for help, confiding in a friend, parent or sibling. Find activities to divert your mind like sports or blogging, which will also help you vent out feelings.

* As important as it is to seek medical help when you have physical ailments, talking to a mental health professional about your problems must not have any stigma too.

* Disorders are diagnosed when an individual’s daily life is hampered. Their routine is hindered when stress overrides the problem. Once you have understood this, seeking help from a professional becomes a must to help you readjust to life.

* Depending on the severity of the depression, medicines are prescribed by a psychiatrist — which can control the mood swings.

* Inculcating good habits will greatly impact your mental health and fill your life with positivity. Being consistent and persistent will help — even though it may be a little time consuming.

* Be supportive to your friends and family. Talk whenever needed and whatever the situation may be. Build a relationship based on trust. Help them channelise their life. Make them realize they matter and are cared for.

When Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone came to terms with the fact that she was suffering from clinical depression right after having a blockbuster hit at the box office, many fans were shocked. However, she braved against mental illness by bracing your condition and trying to change it.

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