This post was initially supposed to be about my anxiety ( hence the picture )- it’s something I have been wanting to talk about…until I heard the news about Kate Spade’s passing.
KATE SPADE, man.
What a name- a powerhouse, an iconic brand, a trailblazer in fashion, one that lives on the arms of women around the world. Always cheerful, cheeky & with a pop of color. Kate was a businesswoman, mother, wife, sister, boss, creator, tastemaker, influencer, VISIONARY. She set an example of what it means for a woman to design her own future.
She seemed to ‘have it all.’
But her suicide shows us something different- a peek into mental illness. A bitch of a disease. Depression is a life-threatening illness just like cancer or heart disease.
One that’s invisible to the naked eye. It sort of reminds me of tear gas, you know- you can’t see it or smell it until it’s too late. Especially if you’re on the outside looking in. It’s something that we feel ashamed to talk about- ashamed because as a society we judge.
From my personal experience depression & anxiety creep up on you in a way that’s truly crippling.
Over the past two days, since Kate’s passing, I’ve been scrolling through Facebook & Twitter seeing so much bullshit. Of course there was sincere, meaningful posts but there’s a lot of hurtful ‘theories’, speculating on why Kate Spade took her life. I find it disrespectful & to be frank, just poor taste to be speculating on someone’s death when you’re a COMPLETE outsider looking in. Remember that old saying: “don’t throw rocks at glass houses?”
Perhaps it’s really difficult for some people to grasp because she seemed to have it all. Or maybe suicide scares people to the point of saying awful things?
You just never know what someone is fighting internally.
Regardless, there’s a real problem here. And the problem is that people are not talking about the problem: mental illness a disease– not a choice.
A very real, crippling disease that does not discriminate. No amount of wealth, success, or perceived happiness prevents you from it. Well-known celebrities like Robin Williams, Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Mindy McCready, Alexander McQueen, Junior Seau, to name a few, are all icons who have committed suicide. From the outside looking in, their lives appeared flawless- again, like I said- it’s an invisible, bitch of a disease. You know what I mean here, you always hear “oh he/she seemed so happy- they were always laughing.”
The disease takes mothers, fathers, children, friends- it’s truly horrific in so many different ways.
And meanwhile the ones left behind are left to wonder “what could I have done differently.”
Maybe the reason I am extra sensitive is because my mother, a beautiful, vibrant, talented, creative, woman took her life when I was 18 & my sister, Faye, was 13. I saw firsthand someone who struggled- someone who hid a secret. Then we were left to pick up the pieces. After her death I felt like I had to justify depression to so many people- to explain something that is ACTUALLY a chemical imbalance. Instead of trying to become educated on mental health, I felt like some people automatically deemed my mom as selfish, without the full picture.
Which is crazy-!!! But this is exactly why mental health is swept under the rug: because of the fucking stigma. Because people believe it’s too taboo to discuss. Because some are scared to admit any kind of weaknesses because of society’s expectations.
So where does that get all of us?
More people feeling stuck, alone, helpless.
As a blogger in today’s world it’s important to take a stance. Especially when you have a platform & community full of women like you guys. So I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you’re reading this: asking for help is NOT a weakness.
You know me at this point- so you better believe I mean this when I say this: asking for help is bold. It’s commendable. And it’s something we, as people, should be comfortable with. We should most definitely not feel shamed or embarrassed.
I am sad for Kate. I am sad for her family. And in my experience when something like this happens the most productive way to handle it is to open up the conversation- stop with the taboo-ness of suicide. Be kind. And also, to remember what an incredible impact Kate Spade made. She represents a strong woman who built an incredible brand & family. She was sick but it doesn’t define her whole life.
Instead of brushing the problem under the rug we should all open up a productive conversation when it comes to mental health. MORE kindness, treatment, awareness, & compassion. I for one, am putting away my broom- for good.
Let’s renew the mental health conversation- it’s time.
Thanks for listening, lauryn X
+ If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, The Suicide Prevention Lifeline has 24/7, free & confidential support for people in distress, prevention, & crisis resources: 1-800-273-8255.
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32 replies to “Mental Health: Asking For Help Is Not A Weakness.”
This is the best post you’ve ever written
Such sad news and such an important topic. I remember when I was experiencing depression, I never talked to anyone about it, and just brushed it under the rug. Years later, it crept back up and I finally broke down and told someone about it. I began seeing a therapist and it was one of the best decisions! It has made me a much more positive person and it’s nice knowing I can let everything out to someone. <3
Well said. ❤️
Such a good post and I’m sure it wasn’t super easy to write. You’re so, so right though that we need to remove the stigma of mental illness AND make it easier for people to seek professional care for their mental health just as we (kind of) do for physical health.
Sending love to you Lauryn as always!
briana | youngsophisticate.com
Very well said.
Lauryn, this post honestly made me tear up. You are such an amazing blogger not just because of your incredible voice or valuable content on health/wellness/beauty but because you truly take a stand! We need more conversations around mental health, no one should have to suffer in silence and yet, so many do. Thank you for approaching this difficult topic in a tactful & meaningful manner <3
I love this post!
I love this post so much. And yes to all the bullshit and opinions out there .. mental illness is real and until you struggle or know someone that does, you truly don’t understand. THANK YOU.
This is truly an amazing post . Thank you for sharing this.
I love this so much. Thank you for putting this out there. It is SO important to talk about. I just wrote about the importance of talking about mental health on my blog as well. I used to work in the drug and alcohol treatment field and could not be a bigger advocate for removing the stigma from mental illness. Thank you for using your influence to talk about this ?
Couldn’t agree more. Starting therapy was the best decision I’ve ever made. The world is so obsessed with physical health, I don’t know why we don’t place just as much emphasis on mental health. After years of anxiety, learning how to be happy and calm feels 10000000x better than that post-workout high. Like I have no idea why everyone isn’t in therapy. It’s improved every aspect of my life!
Thank you for sharing this! Mental illness has hit my family and its important to talk about, get rid of the stigma! ?❤
“it’s only an issue when you don’t talk about it~dentedego”
Mental Wellness and awareness must become the national narrative of today. This is a disease and not an illness that needs to be addressed no different then Cancer. @marielhemingway Running from Crazy(documentary) is a great place to start for information. Such a wonderful, important post for ALL by you Lauryn. XO
Thank you so much for this. When you posted about your mother a few months back, I realized I needed to get help. I have suffered depression in phases for my whole life and I’ve always been afraid to admit it. Most of all, I’ve had crippling anxiety, the type where I can’t get out of bed or something so so minor can set me off into a panic attack that makes me feel like I will die and will physically restrict my breathing.
I recently opened up to my family about this. They said they knew, but they had never brought it up with me. I wish they had, I might not have felt so alone and I would have sought help sooner. I dont blame them, they thought they were helping by not acknowledging it. This conversation is IMPORTANT. People need to have it with their loved ones, on both sides of the equation.
Thank you, Lauryn, for being such a light. Thank you for having the conversation and for being so open. <3
Thank you for sharing this! So frustrating when others just tell people with depression or anxiety to simply think different! It’s harder than that.
This was beautiful. Thank you
Thank you so much for sharing!! I myself suffer from severe anxiety and have experienced depression before. It is not easy but with the best people around you and supporting you through the tough time, it makes it a little easier
Thank you so much for this post. I agree there has been too much speculative bullshit on social media about KS’s suicide. There needs to be more conversation about prevention rather than talk after the fact.
My friend started a foundation to cope with the passing of our friend who succumbed to his OCD and took his own life. We do amazing things for people and it’s main goal is to spread awareness, break down the stigma and start the conversation. We have a podcast called “Doming out” and can be found on iTunes, please look it up and help us end the stigma. Thanks for writing this post and being authentic about this conversations it is so important.
Yes!!! I love how real the blog is becoming. Chances are most people at least know someone suffering from depression or anxiety but it’s not spoken about. Thank you for using your platform to be real and vulnerable. It’s why I will ALWAYS be a skinny confidential reader and supporter.
This is so powerful! Thank you so much for getting into these topics (I want to hear about your anxiety post too). Like the post about your mom, I think you should keep it up for a week because it is something that deserves to be front-and-center for awhile.
I just wanted to say thank you for this post.
My mom took her own life three months ago, shortly after my dad died from a heart attack. Losing both my parents (whom I were very close to), has left me completely depressed and filled with anxiety.
I struggle daily to talk about it though, and raising awareness about the sensitivity of this topic, is highly appreciated.
Lots of love, as always.
Such an important topic to talk about. Never easy but much needed.
This post was so timely with everything going on with Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain today. My heart breaks for them and their families. But like you said, Let’s not forget their entire body of work, it should not be forgotten because of what happened in the end. Thank you for empowering those who need encouragement to ask for help. It is certainly not a weakness.
Thank you for posting this, Lauryn. All the love.
Truly loved reading through this, thank you so much for sharing! xxx
So true, Lauryn! Thank you for using your influence to speak this truth into society- my husband struggles with depression and mental illness and I experienced firsthand how the disease silently killed many areas of his life because of shame & so this is so important for us all to support those with mental illness and remove the stigma. Thank you!
I love this post. Keep spreading the word!
Having constant pain and ignoring it i have learned the hard way that i could have fixed it with proper method if i just asked for help. This article is really helpful. Thanks!
Wow. I think I need to start by saying I have so much deep respect for your ability to be so transparent. I know without a shadow of a doubt your mom is so crazy-proud of you. I love how you have been able to shed some real light on the topic and be so vulnerable. It does take SO much strength.
I lost my best friend to suicide and get unreasonably angry when people use terms like “selfish” and “stupid” when it comes up. How can we be so compassionate in other areas but be so arrogant in others?
Anyways, thank you for writing this. This may be your best post yet.
A powerful post. I really appreciate you sharing this message.