Trigger Warning: There are several mentions of suicide and mental illness.
(Photo: Getty Images/Quinn Lemmers for Yahoo Lifestyle)
There is no secret to the link between genius/creativity and mental illness. In history Vincent Van Gough, Albert Einstein, Patty Duke, Sir Isaak Newton, Kurt Cobain, Robin Williams, Demi, Lavatto, Michael Phelps, and way too many more to list.
Unfortunately, this past week two very talented members of that list took their own lives – Designer Kate Spade and Chef/Story Teller Anthony Bourdain.
While I don’t know a lot about Kate Spade, what I have seen of her collections are very creative. I am just not a fashionista LOL. However, just the fact that she was so troubled she felt the need to take her life tears at my heart – I have been there and I survived and I don’t care if a person is “famous” or not, their life HAS meant something to someone.
Anthony Bourdain was definitely a character. He lived hard and was more than a little rough around the edges. I remember watching him on the chef competition show “The Taste” and read somewhere that he was likened to the “Simon Cowell of the food world”. He had his opinions of what was good and what wasn’t. However, he was a master of good food and traveled all over the world in search of it. I read his book “Kitchen Confidential which showed the harsh reality that is the restaurant/food business.
I understand the loneliness of mental illness. I also know the temptation of suicide as a way out of the pain. I think the difference isn’t that I have people who care about me – They did too. The difference is that as a regular person I have been able to let people know what happens to me. However, in the world of celebrity, no matter what type, the stigma of mental illness has been even harder to shake.
I am so proud of all the people who are now openly speaking about their struggles.
- Because I know it will help those who look up to them feel they too can be open and honest.
- Because it will help them not feel so isolated and that they no longer have to “act normal for the cameras”.
RIP Kate and Anthony and all others (famous or not) who felt this is the only way – it isn’t.