June 8, 2018

It’s Been a Sad Week | On Mental Illness

Metal Illness, Depressionimage source

It’s Been a Sad Week | On Mental Illness

This past week has been a rough one. When I first heard about the death of Kate Spade, I sat there in complete and utter shock. So many thoughts running through my head: how much pain does someone have to be in to take their lives? To leave a little girl behind? I felt completely heartbroken for her and her entire family.

Then, this morning, waking up to the news of Anthony Bourdain sent me into such a state of sadness. From the outside, someone who truly seemed to have it all: fame, success, wealth, someone who traveled the world, was at the top of their craft, etc.

None of that means a thing when you’re suffering from a mental illness.

Before I had Nate, I’ve never really suffered from depression but during my dark period of PPD, I got a glimpse of what that really felt like, even after the miracle of becoming a mother. I remember thinking, “Now I get it and I don’t wish this on my worst enemy.” 

Mental Illness is a real disease. It’s not someone who is sad or someone having a bad day or week. In the past few years, I’ve had two friends who lost their siblings to suicide. They’re still left to put the pieces of the puzzle back together, but one of them said she had zero clue her brother was depressed.

If you’re struggling, look for help! Don’t suffer in silence. If you don’t want to speak to a friend, find a therapist. If you don’t love your therapist, find another one. Get the help you deserve. Remember: It’s not you, but your disease.

For non-sufferers, let’s show up for those who need it.  Let people know you’re there for them and offer whatever assistance you can. This is a crisis that we can actually do something about.

We need to talk about this more. Too many suffer in silence and that needs to change!

If you’re suffering, please call 800-273-8255, and someone will be glad to talk to you. Or text TALK to 741-741, if you prefer texting.



  • Jandrew

    I had suffered silently with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. It was not until a life event shattered my facade that I was able to ask for help . Now I have medication , a great therapist, and a life . Don’t wait like I did reach out . Thanks , it’s a sad time .Jandrew
    Dress The Part

  • Trina Powell

    This is very near and dear to my heart. My mother suffers from anxiety and depression and has since I was a little girl. I thank GOD daily for giving her the strength to go through day by day as I know sometime it can be hard. This is a great post and hope people suffering with mental illness will see and keep the number given handy.

  • Milena

    Hello Helena,

    I was on a conference these past two days, and one Speaker was: Kodi Foster, he told us about his app its called stndby and is totally free – especially made for people with all kind of problems – trough the app people are less ashamed to talk about their problems than talking to one face to face (https://www.stnd.by )

    I though maybe you want to check the link and if you think its worth to share on you stories so i gets more popular and actually helps people 🙂

    greetings from Austria Milena

  • JO

    Thank you so much for being so honest. Having it all (materially speaking) doesnt mean a thing when you have a mental illness. It doesnt make you less. Just reach out.

  • Fatou

    The reality of it is saddening.

  • Mary

    The suicide of these prominent people really hits home for me. I lost my father to suicide 10 years ago. We knew he was unhappy, but never thought he would take his own life. Time as healed us but when I hear of another person taking their life, I am sad for the family and friends they leave behind. I know the pain and hurt and guilt. Stopping the stigma of mental illness and making people feel empowered to get help could save so many lives. My heart goes out to the family left behind.

  • color picker

    Thank you for sharing the post. Mental illness is such a terrible disease,

  • Chloe

    This is such an important conversation to have, thank you for sharing your story xx

    Chloe x

  • docdivatraveller

    I have suffered from PPD and I can really relate to mental illness! Such a thoughtful post!

  • Sel

    I remember the day that a young female engineering student came to visit my home. My son and her were working on a group project for university. She was from Africa (I cannot recall the country). She said that what really struck her about Western countries (Australia in this case) is the number of people suffering from unhappiness/depression. She found it surprising that in a country where there is so much wealth, opportunity and no war that people were struggling. She comes from a poor family (was studying on scholarship), her country was ravaged by war and opportunities that exist in Western countries do not exist in her native country. But, she said that in spite of her people having very little, they are genuinely happier. She did say that people in her country live surrounded by community and extended family whereas in Western countries we live a more isolated and independent existence. Maybe that is the key to mental health – to live amongst a caring community as the burdens that life brings are easier to weather surrounded by others than on your own.

  • Alicia

    I’ve been reading a lot about our body and toxicity. You would be surprised how so much of every day “normal things” are causing so much damage to our brains. I read an amazing article on alcohol, but sadly no body wants to accept that as a reason for mental health issues because of the fact that its such a big part of “social life”. I’ve seen it in my family so I believe it. Many relatives were social drinkers which led to alcoholism then eventually on meds for “bipolar disorder and “anxiety”. We are not digging into the root cause of these diseases.

  • Sel

    Hello Alicia, I agree with your comment. Personally, I think that the foundations for physical and mental health are quality air, water and soil. Sadly, all three foundations are polluted and depleted of life sustaining nutrients. One cannot be truly healthy if the very foundations for our health are compromised. Add to that the Frankenstein food that is produced and consumed and we are slowly becoming people with “broken brains”. The human body is a remarkable creation and able to withstand a great deal, but it has a limit and once that threshold is reached we suffer either physically or mentally. As a Mum I am concerned for our children and what sort of state we will leave this planet for our children.

to the newsletter