Facing the Ravages of Depression Together

By Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri, Medical Director

It’s been a somber time with the recent passing of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. But in our own lives, most of us have also been touched by the tragedy of suicide as a result of depression.

As some of you may know all too well, depression can also be one of the root causes of obesity. In turn, being obese can often ignite depression.

First and foremost, depression is a chronic medical condition that requires professional healthcare intervention—just like obesity.

I am not a mental health expert, but I am a caring person, a friend, dad, husband, neighbor and colleague. In all walks of my life, I’ve been thinking more often about people who may be battling depression in my own midst—and I may not even know it.

Teacher, physical therapist, son, business owner, mother, factory worker, fashion designer or television star—depression can quietly take hold of anyone–even those who seem to have it all.

It doesn’t make sense, but they say when it comes to suicide, there is no logic.

Each one of us needs to do everything within our power to help someone in pain–while we still can.

For those of us who may feel unequipped to help someone who is depressed, or we fear we may do or say the wrong thing, reach out anyway.

Someone I know personally who has struggled with depression for 30 years offered this suggestion:

“Posting the suicide hotline number is okay, but how about calling/texting/emailing someone you think may be struggling?

Just a simple ‘Hi, I’m checking in, I hope you’re doing okay.’

Repeat. Often. It matters–and it helps us more than you may realize.”

Continue to be hopeful every day. Remind those around you to do the same.

If you find yourself swerving too far off course, don’t wait for it to blow over.

Call someone, anyone.

If you are feeling hopeless or like you’ve slipped into a bottomless pit—

you’ve received a wake-up call that it’s time to call for back-up.

I promise you, help is out there and brighter days await you.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255