Humility. Sadness. Wonderment.

We Will Never Really Understand.

It was a wake up week for everyone.  Two people of great stature, success, and fame decided that it was time to take their lives.  One a designer who parlayed her talents into creating a worldwide brand.  The other, a culinary legend who had the presence and talent to show us the world through travel and food.  I am not diminishing the sadness of other suicides, merely pointing out that this past week may have made the cause of suicide a top of mind subject.

Anthony Bourdain openly discussed his previous substance abuse and mentioned that at one time he was a “very unhappy soul”.  Like millions of people, Kate Spade sought out help to fight depression.  Early indication of tipping points with both were relationship issues.  I guess that it is easy for many to wonder how and why a bad relationship would lead to someone taking their life, but statistics show that this issue may be the leading cause of suicide.  Other documented reasons for suicide include crisis and the inability to cope, substance abuse, and financial problems.  From my point of view, these documented causes, dovetailed with the “live up to the Jones’s syndrome”, ever-ending family and friend comparisons, and the lack of connection to others may put people over the top.

Reality:

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • In one southern state, suicides take more lives than homicides.
  • In a seventeen year period between 1999 to 2016, suicide rates increased in almost every U.S. state- some states as much as 30%.

Suicide has unfortunately touched all of us in one way or another – and all of us ask why or “how could they do that to their loved ones”.   When the subject of depression comes up, we usually tell our family and friends to “get over it”.  At a minimum, this week has told us that being happy and content with life has nothing to do with fortune, fame, and glamour.  I have no answers to prevent suicide, but at a minimum, it may be time to reallocate the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on physicality and focus on mentality.  I have faith though I am not religious – but I am pretty sure that we were not created to be miserable, or in Anthony Bourdain’s case be unhappy souls.  If you need help, get help.  If your relationship has gone sideways, fix it or move on.  There are many avenues to pursue for help so don’t wait for a family or friend’s intervention.  If depressed, take some time away from tennis, yoga, bar class (whatever that is), and Pilates and go get some mental health help. If you have family or friends that seem disconnected and distant, reach out to them early and often. Don’t wait and wonder – just make it happen.

Many other top of mind topics  were on my list for today.  I will leave today’s take alone.

Gary

 

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