This week has been a harsh and shocking reminder about the dangers of depression. In the space of a few days, we lost to suicide two cultural icons who both symbolized success in their own unique ways- fashion icon Kate Spade and the chef, author, traveler, TV show host, and master storyteller Anthony Bourdain.
Kate Spade symbolized modern female success, both professionally and personally. Her bright, whimsical, and feminine creations began the paradoxical yet wildly successful idea of “accessible luxury.” For many of us who love fashion, her handbags and wallets were a symbol of entering adulthood.
Her fellow New Yorker Anthony Bourdain ripped off our blinders and exposed the human condition through food, travel, writing, and storytelling. In reality you might be eating a frozen microwave dinner alone in your apartment, but with his shows you could travel the world and feel more connected. Viewers of the show felt like they knew him, and like they were tagging along on all of his journeys. He brought the world together, at a time when we’ve never been more divided.
To use his own words, “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.” He was also a strong advocate for Latinos in the food industry, and visited the Texas/Mexico border for one of his shows.
You never really know what is going on in someone else’s mind. An outward appearance of success, vitality, and cheeriness could have no correlation to what someone is feeling and experiencing on the inside. It is a shock and a reminder to us all to be kind to our neighbors, and treat everyone with respect and understanding.
A report released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control shows a sharply increased rate of suicide in the United States for the past few decades, and also explains the contributing factors. If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255).
The McAllen Public Library can also be a resource for more information and for social contact. Social isolation is a contributing factor to depression. We offer a wide variety of free public programs every month at the library, or you can also just visit us to relax, browse the shelves, and enjoy a book and cup of coffee around other people.
You can learn more about depression with these books in the library’s collection:
- I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the secret legacy of male depression, Terrence Real
- Lost Connections, Johann Harari
- Depression: The ultimate teen guide, Tina P. Schwartz
- Superhero Therapy: Mindfulness skills to help teens & young adults deal with anxiety, depression, & trauma, Janina Scarlet
- Depression is Contagious, Michael D. Yapko
- You Are Not Alone: Words of experience and hope for the journey through depression, Julia Thorne
- Understanding and Overcoming Depression: A common sense approach, Tony Bates
- Dealing with Depression: Understanding and overcoming the symptoms of depression, Caroline Shreeve
- Ending the Depression Cycle: A step-by-step guide for preventing relapse, Peter J. Bieling
- Against Depression, Peter D. Kramer
- The 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques, Margaret Wehrenberg
- Dancing in the Dark: How to take care of yourself when someone you love is depressed, Bernadette T. Stankard
- Turning Your Down into Up, Gregory L. Jantz
- Mayo Clinic on Depression
- Beat the Blues Before They Beat You, Robert L. Leahy
- Breaking Free From Depression: Pathways to wellness, Jesse H. Wright
- Beating Depression: The journey to hope, Maga Jackson-Triche
- When Life Goes Dark: Finding hope in the midst of depression, Richard Winter
- Healing from Anxiety and Depression, Daniel G. Amen
- Standing in the Shadows: Understanding and overcoming depression in black men, John Head
- The Depression Sourcebook, Brian Quinn
- Beyond Blue: Surviving depression and anxiety and making the most of bad genes, Therese Johnson Borchard
- Take Charge of Your Emotions: Seven steps to overcoming depression, anxiety, and anger, Linda J. Solie
- The Chemistry of Joy, Henry Emmons
- Anxiety & Depression Workbook for Dummies, Charles H. Elliott
- The Deepest Blue: How women face & overcome depression, Lauren Dockett
- Healing from Depression, Douglas Bloch