Clinical depression. That's what Kate Spade's husband Andy reported that his wife had been struggling with for several years.
Winston Churchill called that the "Black Dog."
Lawyers likely refer to it as an occupational hazard.
I label the suffering The Monsters of the Mind.
Of course, Kate had plenty of company.
According to the National Alliance for Mental Health, one in five adults- that is, 43 million - experiences some kind of mental illness each year.
Of them, one in 25 - that is, 9.8 million - endures a condition severe enough that it plays havoc with their lives. To halt that confused state of being, some will take their own lives. The noise in their heads drowns out other kinds of messages such as of hope.
At the time, suicide might seem to be a solution, not impulsive behavior. In Kentucky, from 2010 through 2013, a dozen middle-aged lawyers committed suicide.
In my family there is a suicide gene. The darkness can fall quickly. Just as Andy noted, there is often no clear signaling that those in pain will try to take their lives and succeed. My hunch is that those who are determined to end it all make it their business not to let anyone know the monsters have the upper hand.
What I have learned since my first depression at age 11 is that treatment which provides long-term relief may not exist.
On "60 Minutes," two "tech" approaches were featured for some kinds of clinical depression - ECT and MST. Both involve inducing a seizure. Unfortunately, too many balk about trying them out. I sure won't. And for my family members and friends, the good outcomes from ECT were temporary.
I have decided that I'm responsible for searching for what will be effective at the time (mental illness can change over time). I can't depend primarily on the medical community or Techville.
In my late 50s, I began creating "pain patches" for my depressions. Four years ago, what I came up with was relocating from the careerist New York Metro area. So far, the monsters haven't found out where I am.
Contact Jane Genova firstname.lastname@example.org.