This morning news broke that Anthony Bourdain had committed suicide. Earlier this week Kate Spade committed suicide. This has truly been a horrible week and I am heartbroken. I am heartbroken for Anthony and Kate that their pain was so great that didn’t feel they had any other options. I am heartbroken for their families and friends that have lost a loved one. And I am heartbroken for the world that we have lost such talent.
Every time a famous person commits suicide there are a rash of social media posts about how we have to destigmatize mental illness. I have posted it myself a few times. I talk a good game about how there is no stigma and no shame in mental illness. That makes me a hypocrite, because I hide my own mental illness. I have treatment resistant major depressive disorder. I have never before spoken those words to anyone other than my husband or a medical professional. I was ashamed. I was afraid that people would think I was weak. So I put on my happy mask and talked a good game about ending stigma.
In hiding my own depression I have contributed to the stigma. No more! Today I stand up and openly say that I have depression. There is no shame in that. If somebody thinks that I am weak because of it, then that isn’t somebody I want in my life anyway. If a future employer hesitates to hire me because of it, that isn’t a company I would want to work for.
So, now my secret is out there. It is a secret no more. And I feel hella strong right now.