Mental illness is something that humankind has tried to understand for thousands of years. Even now, it’s estimated that one in every five adults struggles with some kind of mental illness. With a spike in recent celebrity suicides, it seems that there is an increased focus on mental health awareness. However, suicidal depression has been an issue for as long as humans have walked this earth. And, while we still may not understand everything about mental health issues, we do know that those who are struggling with chronic depression can get help. In this article, we aim to continue spreading awareness of suicidal depression by offering a tribute to those who have recently been lost to mental health issues, suicide, and addiction. Plus, offer insight to suicidal depression and provide means to help and support for those living with chronic depression.
Discovering what Suicidal Depression Is
Most suicidal deaths are of those living with chronic depression. While not every person living with chronic depression may experience suicidal thoughts or actions, many living with the condition do. Depression isn’t just being in a bad mood; that happens to everyone now and again. Basically, chronic depression is diagnosed when a person is in a depressive mood most days for over the timeframe of two years or longer. But, many people living with chronic depression may not seek help, so they are never diagnosed.
To others, suicide may seem like a selfish act. But, to those who have attempted suicide before, many state they didn’t consider taking their own life as a selfish act. Rather, they think that their loved ones would be better off without them. Additionally, that they’re a burden to those around them. While loved ones of the chronically depressed beg to differ, when one is in a depressive state, self-destructive thoughts can be hard to shake.
What Makes a Person Chronically Depressed?
Overall, it’s said that the number one contributing factor to whether a person may become chronically depressed is genetics. So, if a person has an immediate family member who struggles with depression, the chances of them struggling with depression as well are heightened. This suggests that depression is a biological occurrence. Furthermore, in medical experimentation, it was discovered that those diagnosed with chronic depression emit a difference in neurotransmitter signaling. Thus, a chemical disproportion of serotonin and other chemical components which are responsible for mood regulation is noted in these patients. This explains why psychopharmaceuticals work to help millions of chronically depressed patients regulate mood and prevent suicidal thoughts every day.
However, chronic depression is not only biological. It’s also affected by psychological and social factors. For example, those who have experienced extreme trauma in their lifetimes may be more susceptible to developing depression. Additionally, those who have developed a routine of self-harming thoughts and behaviors may also be at higher risk for developing depression. And, finally, those with other mental health issues (addiction, for example) can develop depression as a result too.
Chronic, Suicidal Depression Throughout the Ages
Chronic Depression and suicidal actions have been a pair since the beginning of mankind, it seems. And, even then, it doesn’t discriminate between individuals based on social standings or financial status. In fact, even some of the most powerful people in time have committed suicide including Cleopatra of Egypt, Roman Emperor Nero, and British/Celtic Queen Boudica. While these suicides may have been brought on by the fall of kingdoms and betrayal, it’s still important to note that even those with every power and the utmost riches can be influenced by depression and suicidal thoughts.
Throughout history, depression that led to suicidal actions has been attributed to a number of things. Some believed that angering the gods and demon possession evoked mental illness. Later, it was common for physicians to think mental illness was the cause of imbalanced bodily fluids. But, the ancient Romans had the best guess, as they believed depression was the result of a psychological or biological issue. Fortunately, today, rather than locking people up for mental illness including depression or conducting dangerous exorcisms, we have much less extreme methods to dealing with these issues. And, individuals can work toward a life free from the ever-haunting condition that is depression.
Recently Lost Celebrities to Suicidal Depression or Mental Health Issues
Sadly, while there is support and hope for people dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts, many don’t get the help they need. Instead, they may not even tell others about the constant inner battles they fight. And many succumb to their suicidal thoughts and take their own lives, leaving loved ones to wonder how long they’ve suffered in silence. Even those with, what seems like, everything in the world to lose. Recently, a number of celebrities have lost their life due to their personal battles with depression. Some of these individuals include:
Anthony Bourdain: A beloved TV host, travel extraordinaire, and world-renowned chef, Anthony took his own life at the age of 61 on June 8, 2018. He leaves behind an 11-year old daughter and a net worth of $16 million.
Kate Spade: At the age of 55, Kate Spade, a well-known New York fashion designer and female entrepreneur took her life on June 5, 2018. She left behind a husband, Andy Spade, a 13-year old daughter, and a net worth of $150 million.
Avicii: Swedish music superstar Tim Bergling, who went by the DJ name, Avicii, took his own life on April 20, 2018. He leaves behind a loving girlfriend and family at the age of 28. And, a net worth of $85 million.
Chester Bennington: At the age of 41, American singer and songwriter for the band Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, died by suicide. He left behind a wife, 6 children, and a net worth of nearly $30 million.
Prince: The reason behind the death of the beloved pop star, Prince, is still debatable. But, the autonomy report finds that an overdose of Fentanyl was the cause of his death. Whether or not his death was intentional, Prince left behind millions of fans worldwide and a net worth of up to $300 million.
Depression Isn’t About Fame, Fortune, or Money
Of course, there are many other famous individuals which seemed to have had everything who chose to take their own lives. But, one thing is for certain, fame and fortune did nothing to prevent the effects of suicidal depression. Often, people think depression means that a person is not happy. Yet, when individuals commit suicide, their loved ones often report their lost loved one had everything they could have wanted. And struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts regardless.
If we can learn anything from the recent deaths of these beloved celebrities, it is that happiness measures not in fame, fortune, money, and belongings. And, that no matter how much someone is worth monetarily, they may still be struggling with their own personal inner demons.
Getting Help for Suicidal Depression
Just like the rich and famous can struggle with suicidal depression, so can any other person. But, it’s important to understand when you or a loved one is struggling with this so that help is possible. If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, remember that you are not your emotions. And, that they are only temporary to the present moment. Additionally, YOU DO MATTER. To your friends, your family, your loved ones, and to this world, you are of value. And, the loss of you would cause grief and suffering for those you love.
The next time you experience suicidal thoughts, make a promise that you will get through this moment. Understand that your emotions are temporary and that suicide is not the only option, it’s just the only one you see at the current moment.
Suicidal Depression and Addiction
Often, suicidal thoughts or actions can be brought on by the unceasing cycle of addiction. Or, addiction develops by attempting to self-medicate the symptoms of suicidal depression. Those who are looking to rid their lives of either addiction or depression have to tackle the two simultaneously. This is due to the fact that they almost always affect one another. Here at Mountainview Recovery, we offer dual-diagnosis for those struggling with addiction and depression. Plus, we offer a number of therapeutic techniques. These aim to provide individuals with the tools they need to live a life with healthy thought patterns and routines.