Scoot: Anthony Bourdain dies of suicide...Why?

June 08, 2018 - 11:24 am

The theme song from the movie M.A.S.H. is wrong - suicide is NOT painless.

News this morning that iconic celebrity chef and globe trotter Anthony Bourdain was dead at the age of 61 from an apparent suicide was especially shocking following the suicide of fashion icon Kate Spade just days before.  Two people who appeared on the surface to have it all dead from suicide brings to light the complexity of suicide.

We all hurt when we hear about teenagers committing suicide at a young age, and we wonder why would anyone do that with their lives ahead of them.  Now we hurt because of the suicides of two celebrities who appeared to have everything to live for.  And the fact that Anthony Bourdain was 61 and Kate Spade 55 brings us face-to-face with the reality that suicide is not reserved for the young and impetuous. 

Robin Williams’s death in 2014 was a stark reminder that fame and fortune are not the antidote for suicide. 

For those of us who watched Anthony Bourdain on his CNN show “Parts Unknown,” news of his suicide contradicted the image we had of a man who was living life to its fullest.  Anthony embraced cultures around the world and brought them into our lives.  He absorbed the cultural foods and drinks around the world.  He even showed us sides of American cities we might never have known about.

His job was to travel to exotic places, enjoying the unique food and drinks of each culture.  Most of us are shocked that a person in that position would end his life.  But we also learn that the facades we see with people are not necessarily a reflection of what lives in their hearts and minds.

The suicide rate has increased across the country from 1999 to 2016; and in some states, the suicide rate is up over 30%.  Many of the suicides over this period of time were with people well into adulthood. 

Life can be hard.  Life is not fair.  Most of us have had moments when the frustrations of life and little hope in the immediate future have led to thoughts of just not wanting to deal with it anymore, but there is a huge difference between feelings of desperation and actually ending your life.

Maybe the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade will remind us that it is more complicated than being frustrated and feeling hopeless; suicide is the result of depression that lives deep within a person and is sometimes unnoticeable to even those who think they know someone is fine.

The signs of being suicidal are not always obvious, but you can see some here.  If you are struggling, there are resources. Another person could put the prospects for your life and the hopes of a future into a perspective that no longer makes suicide an option.

You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

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