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Depression, the silent killer.

Mental illness .jpg

As mental health disorders continue to be diagnosed at an alarming rate, it has become evident that those who suffer are often compelled to initiate self harm to relive them of the symptoms.  As it stands, mental illness is the only known disorder that carries a stigma of shame, guilt, and societal judgment so great that often the only recourse for relief is suicide.  Until we as a society can show the same compassion and empathy towards mental illness and addiction that we do towards other diseases, we will continue to lose our children, parents, friends, and idols to something that is more times than not, preventable. 

The following  remarks were penned by a powerful advocate and someone who truly cares,        Ms. Katy Peiters-Haslar. 

"There are a lot of great posts, articles, and other sentiments out there right now in the wake of the suicide-deaths of two very prominent public figures. The outpouring of support is great, but I wonder if those who have never experienced a clinical depression, the jail of addiction, or extreme anxiety understand WHY this tragedy happens, especially to people who seemingly "had it all." 

As I was watching CNN's special last night on the life and career of Anthony Bourdain, it occurred to me, as I listened to the myriad of friends and co-workers who spoke about Anthony, that the common threads in their sentiments regarding his suicide - we are baffled, we are shocked, we didn't see it, we didn't know he was hurting, it came out of nowhere - speak to the pervasive and hopeless truth of people's mental states: we never truly know what someone else is going through. And that's our fault as a society for perpetuating the stigma that mental illness is taboo, uncomfortable, or self-inflicted.

To those of us who have faced some of the same demons Bourdain had - clinical depression, extreme anxiety, feeling like your thoughts are tormenting you, and addiction - we know all too well that one minute we can be feeling just fine, and the next minute, our brain is hijacked by one of the many mind ruminations that get caught in horrible loops in our thoughts and derail our sanity and ability to think rationally. We lash out, or we crawl in our hole, or we do something to kill the pain. Sometimes, that thing ends our life. I would never say I wasn't devastated by the news of Bourdain's suicide, but I also will never say that I'm shocked or surprised - by ANYONE's suicide, quite frankly, sad as that is.

Our feelings that it will never get better, everyone would be better off, and we can't stand another minute in this human body, in this pain, are very real to us and virtually undetectable if we're among those who try to keep a "stiff upper lip." Maybe we aren't good at asking for help. Maybe we've been shamed before for our thoughts and feelings. Maybe we've done a lot of stupid shit while we were in pain and have isolated ourselves by our actions. Maybe that stupid shit has driven people away, making our case even stronger for our worthlessness. Or maybe we just don't possess the knowledge of how to reach beyond the mental anguish to someone who can help. And we're convinced we don't even want to. 

And maybe those who've tried to help us before got tired of getting nowhere, so they stop. And who can blame them? But we blame ourselves for yet another failed relationship, yet another person we've let down and sent away. One of Anthony's friends quoted him as saying something like - he has many friends, but really no friends. While those speaking on the subject couldn't seem to comprehend this thought, I know I can, and I know many of you can. We push people away, or our brain tells us we're unlovable as we are, so we put walls between who we really are and our friends so they don't see the real us. God forbid they see the crazy. 

Crazy. It's a word we throw around a lot in our culture to describe people. There are "people who do violent unspeakable things' crazy, (and I'm not talking about them), and then there are people who are clearly flailing in their brains and are desperately clinging to people while also vehemently pushing them away, saying and doing strange things crazy. And frankly it's sad to call those people crazy without realizing that label could be the thing that pushes them to an act of desperation. 

I've heard acquaintances who are trained therapists, who should know better, call a person in their social circle "crazy" because of addictive, depressive, or anxious behavior. A "crazy ex girlfriend" or "crazy ex husband" - - how many times have we heard that? Granted a lot of mental health professionals would never say something like this...but some of them would. If the very people we rely on to understand this plight and help us into the light could use such language to describe someone's obvious struggle with 'being ok' - what hope do ANY of us have for the greater population of untrained folks to understand?

This stuff is complicated, not easy to understand if you've never been there, but not at ALL surprising, if you understand that head space at all, when someone finally succumbs to those unrelenting, punishing thoughts. 

My heart goes out to Kate Spade's people, Anthony Bourdain's people, and to all of you who are in that head space right now but don't know what to do, and to your friends and family who truly care about you and worry about you. Shit, I don't know what to do to make it right for you either - but keep trying. Please keep trying. As trite as it sounds, we are all in this together. Much, much love to you all.- Katy" 

For more information on mental health or addiction please visit  or call 1-888-883-8433

If you or a loved one are struggling with suicidal ideations, please call the National Suicide Hotline today at 1-800-273-8255

Labor Pains : Can Being Overworked Give Birth To Depression?

By : Ethan Bickelhaupt 

By : Ethan Bickelhaupt 

In the age of millennials, conceptually standard 9 to 5’s are almost considered archaic thanks to the increasing number of young entrepreneurs, bloggers, tech wizards, budding media moguls and social media (savvy) savants. In today’s workplace, time clocks are almost irrelevant as round-the-clock work is typically standard, almost required, in order to meet the demand of the current competitive marketplace. All of this in an attempt to further meet the demand of massive global consumerism. While seemingly faux pas in its plight, irony has a way of making itself evident in that many of those working such feverish hours are finding enjoyment in it. Part of it may be that in some vocational venues, today’s “office” isn’t much of an office at all. Workers today are given the freedom to work when they want, how they want as long as they meet their deadlines. In one place of employment you might find a gym, full on cafeteria, an arcade, even a daycare, all perks put in place to encourage “creativity” and allow an atmosphere conducive to developing “effective workers”. Sure seems like the ideal job to have, but even when surrounded by such frills and freedom, is there a point where you working a job transitions into a job working you, even while taking pleasure in it?


Rumor has it that within today’s highly competitive workforce lies a group of individuals whose drive and determination, while seemingly noble, have led to the unfortunate, treacherous path of workaholism. Yes, as one of addiction’s many deplorable minions, vocational extremism has been known to rear its ugly head from time to time among those who, for one reason or another, find it necessary to tirelessly put in more hours than is required from their respective place of employment. And while being diligent and dedicated to one’s work is an admirable trait, there is nothing beneficial to being overworked to the point of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. There is a danger to workaholism that can lead to depression and in some cases contribute to other forms of addiction. It goes without saying, that being a workaholic isn’t limited to those who simply “enjoy what they do”. For many, like those struggling with other addictions, it can be used simply as a way to escape what some may feel is an unhappy life, even if for a brief moment. And like those addicted to other vices, while seemingly beneficial to their immediate needs and desires, a price is being paid that no amount of overtime can match.


According to an article in The Fix, like drug and alcohol addiction, “work addiction could be a way of escaping from other issues” and “a new study out of Norway has found that workaholics are more likely than non-workaholics to suffer from anxiety and depression, among other psychiatric disorders.”  Researchers in the article have also found that “Taking work to the extreme may be a sign of deeper psychological or emotional issues.”  Finally, the article cited a study from the British Medical Journal (January 2015) which reported that those who work more than 48 hours per week are more likely to drink dangerous amounts of alcohol.” ( These reports suggest that at the very least, there is some merit in trying to determine whether or not one befits the title of a workaholic and that if they find they are one, determine the root cause of the issue so that it may be addressed accordingly. Having the appropriate knowledge can help to quickly obtain the proper response and treatment. And that is something worth working for.


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For more details on this study please visit: