I am sure that most of you saw or heard about the death of Kate Spade. Another well-known individual, Anthony Bourdain, also passed away this week. The really sad thing about these deaths is that they both died by suicide. I am sure that being famous has its own type of pressure, the kind that I can’t even begin to understand. And, since I have always been a “glass full” kind of gurl, suicide is a hard concept for me to understand.

There are a lot of reasons that people take their lives but the main one seems to be depression. Depression’s definition is: feelings of severe despondency and dejection. I am sure that is an accurate definition but I believe it goes so much further than that. I have never been depressed and I have not actually known anyone that suffered from depression, so my feelings are simply based on what I have read from others.

Imagine a world where you don’t care if you get out of bed in the morning. Nothing feels good, tastes good, and you feel like nobody loves you. Nothing you do is ever good enough so why would you even bother?

You or I could point out plenty of reasons to get out of bed and I could tell you hundreds of things that are going good in your life. But, when someone is truly depressed, it is not a matter of mindset. People can be cruel because they don’t understand what a person is going through. Well-meaning friends might think they are helping when in fact, they can be putting more pressure on the person.

Sayings things like, “Suck it up buttercup,” “You are being overly sensitive,” You’re being selfish,” or even “there are lots of people who are worse off than you” doesn’t help and can even add more pressure. Even if you are like me and don’t really understand depression, you can still be supportive. It is a matter of showing empathy, grace, kindness, and friendship. Try simply saying, “It’s okay,” “I love you,” “How can I help?” “I am here for you,” or “You are not alone” might be of some help.

I am not saying that therapy or medication shouldn’t be used, I am saying that support and friendship should be in ADDITION to those things. Be kind and supportive of things we know nothing about.  Talk to someone in pain, listen closely, pay attention to warning signs, and urge them to get professional help.

When someone commits suicide the people around them usually carry guilt around. Why did this happen? Why didn’t I see this coming? “I didn’t think they really meant it.” My heart aches for the family and friends of those touched by such a devastating loss.

Psalm 34:18-19

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;

If you, or anyone you know, are struggling with suicidal thoughts please go to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. It has warning signs to look for and a phone number to call if you want to talk.

I hope you have a blessed day!


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    • Elizabeth Bienvenu Reply

      Good message Tania. You never know what someone is going through. Check on your love ones often.

  1. My father committed suicide 53 years ago and I still miss him so. We didn’t realize how troubled he was. He was only 46.
    It is so hard to understand the mind.

    • Tania Reply

      I am so sorry, Connie. That is so young. We think that talking about mental health is hard now, I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for him that long ago. I am sure that he did his best to keep the illness from you.

  2. Sharon Ferguson Reply

    Thank you for bringing awareness to Mental Illness. It’s a disease the same as diabetes, cancer, etc most people really don’t understand that it’s not a character flaw or weakness but a chemical imbalance in the brain and in some instances requires a lifetime of medication and therapy. My father threatened suicide many times but my mother tried to keep his condition a secret out of fear and embarrassment. He finally put a gun to his head in front of me and pulled the trigger. Thankfully, the stigma of depression is not what it use to be, opening up conversation and awareness to help those that are suffering and their families. Thank you again Tania for using your platform to raise awareness.

    • Tania Reply

      Sharon, you are right about awareness helping. People need to understand that it is not something they are choosing, depression is a clinical disease and getting help is essential. I am so sorry that you had to witness your father’s suicide. I can’t even begin to imagine your pain. You have heard me talk about the book, Girl, Wash Your Face, and in one chapter she talks about the death of her brother. He also committed suicide and she is the one who found his body. Years and years of therapy has helped her to deal with all of the issues that arose from the tragedy. I hope that you also found some help to guide you through the trauma. You are in my prayers.

  3. my mother suffers from depression and has for years. I called her yesterday and it was a struggle for her to talk. She has highs and lows, yesterday was one of the lows. It is hard when you call her on the phone, she has caller l.d,. and she never sounds happy that I am calling, in just the way she answers the phone.

    • Tania Reply

      Sandy, I am so sorry about your mother. It is probably not that she doesn’t want to talk to you, it is more likely that she doesn’t want to talk at all. Please go to the website in my blog and read over all the information. You can even call and talk to someone if you are really concerned that she could be suicidal. Just keep being there for her, maybe you will be able to break through the barrier.

  4. Among people ages 15 to 34, suicide is the second leading cause of death in the US, according to the CDC. We cannot talk about this subject enough — and offer our help and love to those who need it. Thank you, Tania.

  5. Charlcy Green Reply

    Oh Tania, that is so timely and so right on! Thank you for sharing your heart. So many need this kind and caring word.

  6. This blog is so much more than a fashion blog. Kudos to you Tania for a well worded commentary on an important issue.

  7. Ramona Puckett Reply

    Thank you for this post. I have been trying to make sense and there’s not any. I can’t imagine the pain they are in so I am praying for them and their families. Please, if you are suicidal, thinking about it, please call 1-800-273-8255. We love you and want you to be around.

    • Tania Reply

      Ramona, there is no way to make sense from this. I just keep praying for those who are left behind to try and pick up the pieces.

  8. Thank you for your wonderful words. I agree 100% with you!! May God continue to bless you now and forever.

  9. kim granzella, Napa, California Reply

    I agree with Karen, this is more than just a fashion blog. I thank you for your kind words about depression, and unless you have been through something like depression, it is very hard to comprehend and understand. There is help out there for this and I hope anybody reading your blog that resonates with feeling lost, or worthless will call and get help.

    Again, Tania, thank you for your insight and compassion for others that suffer and might not have the courage to come forward and get help. Just someone reaching out to another with genuine and real empathy, will make this world a better place to live in.

    Kindness does matter and true empathy does matter too!

    I enjoy all you have to share and show us GURLS on your blog. I truly do.

    Thanks for your inspiration and for I guess just being you!

    • Tania Reply

      Thank you so much, Kim. Having empathy for others, especially about things that you don’t understand, doesn’t take a great deal of time but it can mean all the difference in the world. I know that I am guilty of being too wrapped up in my own little world and I need to just take a minute and listen to what is going on around me.

  10. depression knows no broundries, The stigma of depression often prevents one from seeking treatment especially when they appear to have a wonderful life. it’s true that the ones left behind are left with unanswered questions and guilt. 😥

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