Mental illness may not be a completely alien idea today, thanks to how people, especially public figures, have finally started addressing the issue and raising awareness among people.
Awareness campaigns exist, and so does the stigma surrounding mental illness. Even today, people feel uncomfortable talking about mental illness for fear of social abandonment. This means there are those who may be suffering from mental illness, say depression, but wouldn’t seek any form of help or treatment for the same.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 300 million people are living with depression today. Depression has been deemed the leading cause of disability or ill health worldwide.
Depression can also cause other health risks like substance abuse or suicide – a glaring example of which is how these celebrities succumbed to depression and committed suicide:
1. Chester Bennington
Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington left us shocked when he committed suicide on July 20, 2017. The 41-year-old singer was suffering from depression. Bennington had always been quite open about his battle with alcohol addiction and depression. In an interview with The Mirror, which turned out to be Bennington’s last, the singer had said, ”I came to a point in my life where I was like, ‘I can either just give up and fucking die or I can f**king fight for what I want’.”
Chester Bennington. Photo: Reuters
Grammy-nominated EDM star Avicii was found dead in Muscat, Oman, on April 20, 2018. According to reports, the musician had committed suicide. The star had also been battling alcohol addiction for years. Soon after his death, his family revealed that Avicii ”really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace”.
DJ Avicii. Photo: Reuters
3. Kate Spade
Fashion icon Kate Spade committed suicide on June 5, 2018. he 55-year-old fashion designer had reportedly hanged herself, leaving the world shocked with her sudden death. Spade suffered from debilitating depression for years but she refused to get medical help, the fashion icon’s sister Reta Saffo recently wrote in an email to a newspaper.
Kate Spade. Photo: Reuters
4. Anthony Bourdain
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was found dead in a hotel room on June 8, 2018.The chef, who was also a gifted storyteller and writer, committed suicide, confirmed CNN. The chef’s struggle with depression was brought to light in an episode from his show Parts Unknown, where he is seen speaking to a therapist. ”Things have been happening. I will find myself in an airport for instance and I’ll order a airport hamburger…Suddenly I look at the hamburger and I find myself in a spiral of depression that can last for days.’I feel kind of like a freak and I feel kind of isolated,” he had said.
Anthony Bourdain. Photo: Reuters
Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, according to WHO, and depression is one of the major causes for the same. For a disability that has become so commonplace and detrimental, it’s time we start breaking away from social stigmas. It’s time we tell the world that depression is an illness as any other and has to be cured.