As details spill about Kate Spade’s depression and suicide, I am both sad and sickened, for it could have been me.
Since mid-life, I have battled depression.
Our move to Indy from Michigan, where I lost family, friends, and full-time ministry in BSF as a teaching leader, triggered me big time. Coming into unknown territory here was more than I could handle.
At age 40, I lost touch with reality.
My poor family didn’t know what to do to help me.
We started with PCP and immediately to a psychiatrist who recommended hospitalization.
As Bob and our daughter checked me in, the staff person asked if I were suicidal.
“I feel like it, but I would never do it.”
That was a get-in-free ticket to lock-down.
At age 40, hospitalization in the Stress Center in Indy was the only way of helping me. For ten straight days, I watched a crazed lady run naked through the unit as nurses chased. I screamed bloody murder my first night because I couldn’t go to sleep…the sixth night in a row. I curled up on a sofa in an infant position as I saw Bob and our daughter go through those opening doors…and running after them …the doors didn’t open…the guys in white told me, watching every movement.
The only good part of the day was when my pastor, Russ Blowers, came to see me. Gently, he held my hands and prayed for me.
The second time I was hospitalized was after my birth mother rejected me. Attending the psych unit for only half days, I was startled to see people on IVs. When I asked why they were in the unit, the explanation was that they were dying.
Oh, my gosh….DYING of depression?
How could that be?
At one point during the last depression, the doc had prescribed meds for me. Going to the drug store, I listened as the pharmacist told me there was way more in the bottle than I needed.
At that very moment, I thought…”I could kill myself.”
I thank God that I was aware enough of the signs of suicide that I immediately called our dear friends. Bob was not home….away on business trip.
They immediately ran to help….and held me until Bob got home.
Today, I am depression free, but since I’ve experienced it, I know that it is possible to return. My doc says it is highly unlikely, as both depressions were caused by painful circumstances.
Thinking back also, I am grateful for the knowledge gained while on the counseling team at our church. Full knowledge of what was happening to me came as a result.
So, could have Kate Spade have beaten depression?
Only God knows.
May her family and friends find comfort.
I am sure they all tried to reach her.
Here are tips…from my experience only…that may help you help others or yourself:
- Look for signs of lethargy…inactivity. Bob would kiss me goodbye and I would be sitting in the same seat when he got home.
- Slowed speech….I could barely speak when hospitalized.
- Find good psychiatrist…yes, psychiatrist! (I couldn’t stand the one I had in the hospital, but switched later. The tipping point for my decision what that Dr. T was respectful of me and my journey.
- Eating and sleeping habits change drastically.
- Isolation preferred.
- No interest in normal activities.
- If someone has told you that they feel suicidal, ask if they would make a pact with you not to carry out the plan until they call you first.
- Remember that depression can cause death.
- Call 911.
Don’t be afraid to ask or say:
- You don’t seem like yourself….are you feeling okay?
- Do you feel suicidal? If they are depressed, it is very appropriate to ask if the person feels suicidal. You may be the key to them getting help.
- I will not leave you alone.
Remember that depression is no respecter of persons. It can happen to anyone…including Kate Spade, you and me.