Kate Spade Suffered from Depression and Anxiety: How the Conditions Can Lead to Suicide
Kate Spade suffered from depression and anxiety before taking her life on Tuesday morning, confirmed her husband Andy Spade.
The designer, Andy said, was seeking medical help for her mental illness.
âKate suffered from depression and anxiety for many years,â he said in a statement to PEOPLE Wednesday night. âShe was actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease, one that takes far too many lives. We were in touch with her the night before and she sounded happy. There was no indication and no warning that she would do this. It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasnât her. There were personal demons she was battling.â
Depression and anxiety are a âterrible mix,â Dr. Kevin Gilliland, Psy.D., tells PEOPLE.
âWhen you have the two t ogether they are particularly toxic, and the symptoms are worse than if you had them alone,â he says. âItâs difficult to treat them both. Depression robs us of joy; itâs like weâve lost our color. And then, if you have an anxiety, your body is slowed down and your mind is sped up. If you have both those disorders, your mind stays active and itâs trapped in a body thatâs in prison.â
But, he emphasizes, not all people with mental disorders are suicidal.
âThe majority of people that commit suicide have a mental health diagnosis,â he says. âBut the vast majority of people that struggle with a mental disorder never have thoughts or plans to take their own life. One of our problems is that we often donât know we have a mental disorder that is severe, and we tend to withdraw and suffer in our own little world.â
Since mental illness sufferers may not be vocal about what theyâre feeling, Gilliland encourages the people around them to look for symptoms of depression.
âPsychologically they could sound or look hopeless, talk about insomnia or sleeping all day, anxious, or seem very different than how you have experienced them,â he says. âItâs not uncommon for people that feel that way to increase their consumption of alcohol or drugs, more than their normal use.â
Another warning sign is if the person is going through major life changes. Andy said he and Kate had been living apart for the last ten months, though they were not legally separated and had not discussed divorce.
âSignificant stressful life changes sometimes come before feelings of despair â" things like a career problem, the end of a marriage, or a physical condition are often seen in people that think of ending their life,â Gilliland says.
But, he says, it is surprising that Kate would take her life considering the support system she had in place.
âShe had family, she had a community, she had a job she loved by all accounts and she was even seeking treatment. All of those things are what we call âprotective factors.â She was doing a lot of very good things,â he says. âAnd while yes, being a mother leads to lower rates of people who attempt and contemplate suicide, thereâs not one factor alone that really protects us from doing that.â
Gilliland also adds that creative people seem particularly vulnerable to suicidal thoughts.
âCreativity, depression, and suicide have long been linked, so it may come as no surprise th at some of historyâs most creative individuals suffered from a mental illness,â he says.
If you think someone is considering suicide, the first step is to talk to them, Gilliland says.
âAsk them if they have had the thought or feeling like it would be better to âjust not be alive,â â he says. âExpress empathy for the person and offer to help them get connected to people that can help them with how they are feeling. Help them develop a plan to get help and follow-through with them until they get connected. People often donât know they are depressed or whatâs wrong with them and may need your help getting connected to the appropriate healthcare people that can treat their condition.â
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text âhelpâ to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreve ntionlifeline.org.Source: Google News US Entertainment | Netizen 24 United States