The recent spate of suicides by celebrities has taken on an identity that speaks to it. Anthony Bourdain, Verne Troyer and Kate Spade, all fairly young and in the prime of careers or notoriety have left an impressible mark on the entertainment world at large.
There seems to be an awareness now about the darkness of depression and the far-reaching effects it has on society, family and friends.
When we lose people like this we become more aware of the burdens of mental disability and depression. Suddenly there are long reports about their lives and the tell-tale sigs of their pending doom. The pain and anguish they felt prior to taking their lives is duly noted and was never really acted upon.
Stories in newspapers, TV and the Internet all revisit our own minds and remind us that this problem is not necessarily even hereditary and that we must watch the signs to help prevent this from occurring at the pace it has. Even a cartoonist did a drawing of him sitting at his drawing table with the suicide prevention number large on his pad and his comment: “Not funny”.
Yet it was someone whom I forget made a mention on social media that we seem to grasp the severity of the mental health crisis and made it a big deal, yet along many returning servicemen and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq are committing suicide daily and it hardly goes noticed.
Without sounding accusatory, does being a celebrity make it more valid an issue than the ordinary grunt facing the hardships of war we’ve sent off without thinking of what may be in store for him/her? Not only the reality of war that can terminate life in some roadside bombing or dusty enclave but the double jeopardy of the mental anguish, sense of biting fear that can overwhelm an individual who would not face these abnormalities, to begin with.
Where really is our sense of urgency?