The recent spate of suicides making headlines serves as reminders to live more fully, according to Oprah Winfrey.
“Every death, not just Anthony Bourdain, not just Kate Spade, not just people who are famous and names that we know … every death is here to teach us how to live better,” the OWN and “Super Soul Sunday” creator told Extra.
Spade, the famed fashion designer, took her own life June 4, while celebrity chef and journalist Bourdain died by suicide on June 8.
“Every death is here to remind us of our own life and the value of it,” Winfrey, 64, added. “So what will come of these deaths in sequence like this, the suicides, is a more open desire to talk about it. There are lots and lots of people who have not been forthcoming because they are ashamed still of talking about mental illness in their family and mental illness in people around them, but it is serious and it is real.”
Spade’s husband, Andy Spade, said the fashionista had suffered from depression and anxiety for years, and that she was battling “personal demons.”
In Bourdain’s case, he was said to have been “regularly suicidal” after his first marriage ended. And in his final months, the world traveler was reportedly “exhausted.”
Winfrey added the constant demand to keep up appearances, even virtually, can sometimes contribute to mental illness.
“I actually think social media and society in general have made it worse for people, because everybody is trying to maintain a standard that cannot be held,” she said. “So I think it’s an open door for conversation for all of us to get better.”
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