ImagesThe tragic passing of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have highlighted a real need for all of us to think about the people around us. Life is so fleeting and valuable, and people are just so fragile. We owe it to ourselves to watch out for others.      

Both Bourdain and Spade are thought to have suffered from depression, a very common form of mental illness. Depression comes in several forms, like major depression, situational depression, postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, seasonal affective disorder, psychotic depression, and bipolar depression, but knowing the warning signs of depression in general may save a life of someone you know or love. 

If you or someone you know seems to have lost interest in things, doesn’t seem to enjoy things anymore, feels down or hopeless, has bouts of excessive crying, has trouble falling asleep or sleeping too much, always feels tired, has poor appetite, over-eats or has a significant weight change, feels like they never achieve things, has difficulty concentrating, has changed speech patterns like rapid or slow speech, or thinks about death or hurting oneself, you or they may be suffering from depression.  

Lots of things can contribute to depression, but stress seems to be a major factor.  Stress can be a healthy contributor to our life if we learn to deal with it and adapt strategies to cope with it. It is when stress seems to overwhelm us that problems occur. 

Once diagnosed, depression is highly treatable with medications and various other interventions. It can’t be treated, however, until it is recognized and diagnosed.

If someone you know seems to be depressed, please talk with her or him and offer support and suggest professional intervention, and if you feel depressed, please seek support and help. Help should include properly trained professionals, but can also include family or friends.

It’s important for a depressed person to get to someone who can help, like a mental health professional, physician, clergyman or other person who can assist in getting proper diagnosis and treatment. Please contact your healthcare professional immediately if you are feeling hopeless, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).


Remember that depression is a very treatable condition when caught early. Stay alert to those around you, and to your own feelings and symptoms. It could save a life. 

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