There’s no arguing that 2018 has been a year of trends – from the everpresent rise of Beyonce in the form of Beychella, LGBT representation in films, characters and tv shows occupying space across all of mainstream media and the unavoidable “In My Feelings” challenge. However, much like its preceding years, 2018 has also taken the lives of a number of high-profile celebrities, namely Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain and Avicii.
Spade, a fashion designer, became renowned for the Kate Spade handbag which was the centerpiece of many a woman’s closet through the 90s till today. Bourdain, a travel documentarian, journalist and chef, won the world over with his CNN award-winning show, Parts Unknown in the later years of his life. And who could forget when Swedish house DJ, Avicii rose to fame with his Etta James sampled hit “Levels” in 2011 and continued releasing hits with artists such as Wyclef Jean, Rita Ora and Aloe Blacc. What do Anthony Bourdain, Avicii and Kate Spade have in common? They were conduits of happiness to those on the receiving end of their talents.
What else makes these three unique talents similar? They all suffered at the hand of depression and ended their own lives as a result.
As sad as it may be for the world to lose such talented people – a world famous chef, designer and DJ are but an infinite fraction of the number of people who lose their lives to suicide everyday. According to a 2016 study, 23 South Africans lose their lives to suicide on a daily basis. As much as it is known it needs to be pointed out that depression cannot be removed from suicide. It should also be mentioned that while women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men, men are more likely to commit suicide than women. Depression statistics among South African men have increased in recent years and it is time for men to find strength in vulnerability and in seeking help from friends, loved ones and professionals.
If there is one lesson from the live of these three celebrities it is that depressed people might not always look depressed and as a result we should be trying our very best to check up on those around us (as well as ourselves) so as not to fall into, or deeper into, depressive thinking.
If you or anyone you know might be struggling with depression and anxiety, you can contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG):
For counselling queries e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact a counsellor between 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday,
Call: 011 234 4837 / Fax number: 011 234 8182
For a suicidal Emergency contact us on 0800 567 567
24hr Helpline 0800 12 13 14”