I've always liked Bourdain so when he went to Phoenix and visited Alice Cooper at Alice Cooper'stown it instantly became my favorite episode! Here's a clip from YouTube...
Now, some other thoughts I have as I sit here...
Today the breaking news was that Anthony Bourdain was found dead in his hotel from apparent suicide. I really liked the guy's work.
I've heard the question twice this morning... what was wrong with Anthony Bourdain?
On my social feeds I see people talking about mental illness and mental disease and their thoughts on why people are so "Stupid" and "Selfish" to kill themselves. "Why didn't he reach out and call someone?" Other's assume instantly that he was off his meds or did it because he was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. They share the suicide help line phone number or the veteran's suicide hotline or offer for friends to reach out personally.
The simple answer to "what was wrong with Anthony Bourdain?" or Kate Spade who earlier this week committed suicide is... NO ONE KNOWS!
I can't speak for anyone but myself but here are my thoughts on the matter...
To those asking the questions:
The human mind is very complex. Every human on this planet is different. Reasons for doing something or a solution for something is different for everyone.
Meds don't work for everybody. Counseling doesn't necessarily work for everybody. Sometimes those things make the darkness worse.
When someone is going through a really dark period the LAST thing they may want to do or think about doing is to speak to anybody. Reaching out to friends or calling a suicide hotline or calling a therapist for an appointment is ridiculous.
Suicidal thoughts are like the thoughts of an alcoholic... they NEVER go away. If you get into a depression those thoughts are there. You don't get cured from them, you just learn how to deal with them.
If you want to help, be observant and just be there for your friends without being overbearing. They may have their 'happy face" showing but you'd see subtle signs if not obvious ones. Show love and kindness and understanding. Know that they won't reach out to you but they may let you in if you open the door and they know it is safe to speak. Know though that there may be times they just don't know WHY they are in that state of mind so don't push... just be available. Remind your friend that they are strong and the darkness will pass and give something positive for something to look forward to.
And by all means... don't be one of those people who have no understanding by saying ignorant things on social media.
To those who fall into the darkness sometimes:
Again I speak only of what I know for me... Try the meds, try the therapists but here is what I say...
Whether you are on meds or talking to someone or not doing either... You need to know yourself. learn what triggers the darkness. learn what it takes to get out of it and hang on to the fact that it is temporary. Knowledge about yourself is the key.
I have issues. I know when i'm going downhill I need to act on it... I cut off from everybody. I close doors... I sink myself into work. I play my special music. I paint. I write. I turn off and am alone but all the while I tell myself it is temporary. Don't do anything stupid. And then I come out of it and all is good. Depakote, Lamictal, Prozak, Lithium, Lamo, Seroquel, Xanax, Klonopin, blah blah blah... None of those worked as well as me just knowing me. It did take some things to get to that point for me but I got there. (I'll write a book if you want details!)
There are triggers that can put you in a funk. Learn and know those triggers. Sometimes there is no reason at all for getting into the darkness and it just happens but when you have that little bit of insight knowing that you are there take action with your happy actions. Drugs and alcohol will not help at all. That's a guarantee. That's the bad thing. When you start getting into a depression if you turn to alcohol or drugs or other vices it will make things worse. All those things do is make you feel like you are failing and that it is not helpful in getting through the down.
Life is a roller-coaster. If you are blindfolded and hop on a coaster you will be thrown around and come out with a messed up neck. But, if you have your eyes open and know to expect the ups and downs and all the curves then you can prepare as well as you can. You'll still feel it all but it will not be as bad because you can see what is next.
So much more I want to say but if you've read this far I'll let you off the hook. Just know you are not alone. I'll be another offering to talk if and when you want. Don't wait until you are in a depression and in the darkness to talk... do it now. I'm there with you and know what's up. haha email@example.com 501-217-5141 is my direct line.
And one more thought for everyone... quit calling it a mental "illness" or mental "problem" or mental "disease"... let's think of another way to talk about it. I can admit that, fine, it's a problem, illness, disease, whatever but do you think that makes people who have it want to reach out and talk to anyone about it? When that stigma of those words are gone then I bet people will be more open to talk about their issues and thoughts than knowing they are labeled with a disease or illness. :-P