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What to Remember If You've Been Impacted by Celebrity Suicides This Month

I woke up this morning to the news that Anthony Bourdain had killed himself.

This following the news of Kate Spade’s suicide on Tuesday.

I’m shook and also concerned about how you all are feeling out there.

I knew of both of them, of course. Who among us doesn’t know their names? I didn’t own any Kate Spade back in the 90’s or 00’s, but “Parts Unknown” has informed more than one of my trip itineraries and was a show I loved.

I’ll admit it: I felt shocked and sad when I read about Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.

I feel sad whenever I hear about a celebrity suicide — or suicide of any kind — and this week I also feel concerned about the impact two celebrity suicides back-to-back may be having on some of you.

I wanted to hop online and remind you:

If you’re struggling with depression and suicidal ideations, it does not mean their path will be your inevitable outcome. Just because they took their lives does not have to mean you will.

If you’re struggling and think, “Geez, with all their money and fame they still couldn’t beat the thoughts,” remember that depression is indiscriminate across economic privilege and that your lack of fame or riches doesn’t necessarily predispose you more to taking your own life.

Remember, we don’t know the full context of what was at play for them. We don’t know if they were in therapy, or getting help, or letting people know what was going on for them. We don’t know if they were on meds or stopped taking their meds. We just don’t know. And if you can and are taking your doctor-prescribed meds, going to therapy and opening up, keep doing that. Do what you know works for you.

It can be, I think, demoralizing and defeating to see two celebrities take their own lives. You may be having the thought, “We lost two more of our own.” You may feel a sense of defeat in yourself about coping and dealing with your own self-harming thoughts. If this is the case, it’s a signal you need to ramp up your support and self-care this week. So please don’t ignore that signal!

Please, if you’re struggling with the news of the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain and/or struggling with self-harming thoughts, reach out for help.

Therapy is wonderful, but if you can’t afford it, can’t make it in or even can’t find a way to access some of the great online therapy platforms out there, please plug this number into your phone:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

The line is confidential, available 24/7 and staffed with people who can support you when you call. And you don’t have to be in crisis to call. You can call to talk and receive emotional support.

I know that weeks where suicide make the news can be tough if you struggle with depression or have a history (or present) of ideations and self-harming. I wanted to let you know that I see you, that I get it, and to remind you that just because two people went down this path does not mean you will.

Take care of yourselves, my friends. And keep prioritizing your mental health.

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Lead image via KANSAS CITY STAR and Anthony Bourdain’s Facebook page

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