A longtime friend was in town over the weekend. We had a great time catching up on the various things that have been happening in our lives since we last had the opportunity to hang out. During the course of one conversation, the subject turned to the recent suicide of Anthony Bourdain, and I was reminded how much that particular case affected me. But it's not just him; there's been an epidemic of high-profile suicides, with the rate of depression--the leading cause of suicide--seeming ever on the rise.
With that in mind, I wanted to share something more personal that I'd generally only talk about with those close to me...and that is depression. According to ADAA statistics, over 16 million adults in the U.S. alone suffer a major depressive episode in a given year. Those same stats say that the median onset age is 32.5. That's about right for me, although it was triggered by a very specific stressor--divorce. While I've always, from way back in childhood, had a personality that makes me susceptible to melancholia, the major depressive episodes began with the disintegration of that first marriage.
There were some pretty dark days that included some not-so-pleasant incidents that needn't be recalled at this point. Needless to say, the cliché about writers and depression certainly held true for me, and I tried all manner of things to kick it.
But I didn't say all of that to whine. Rather, I summarized my battle with depression because I know I'm not the only one who has--and continues to--struggle with it. And, given the recent high-profile suicides, I wanted to reach out to any and all of my audience who might find themselves in the Camp of the Depressives and let them know that they aren't alone either.
If you're feeling like ending it all is the only solution, I want to let you know that The Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
Give them a call at: 1-800-273-8255
Steve wants to leave his old life behind, the life of killing and waiting to be killed. But when it's the family business, it can be a hard habit to break.