I was boringly scrolling through my Instagram feed when I fixed my gaze on a picture by Pete Souza featuring Barack Obama. However, it bore a different caption than usual: it shared the news of Anthony Bourdain’s death.
He took his life and I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock, even though I had only marginally followed his work. This man seemed to have it all but turns out, having it all doesn’t mean anything. When the mind takes over, we all lose to it.
Mental health is a huge topic lately because of all the suicides regarding both public figures and regular people.
I don’t know about Italy’s statistics, but my experience with people very, very close to me has shown that this kind of pain can potentially leave you and your dear ones alone, marginalized, very little understood and taken care of.
Whether one hurts inside to the point of considering taking their life or leads an existence struck by diseases like bipolarity or schizophrenia, the harsh reality is that there are no quick fixes.
Mental health is not merely a matter of reaching for positive and happy feelings. It is way deeper than that. It goes as deep as not finding a magic pill to help you, kind enough words to soothe you, hard enough words to shake you, public institutions to look after you.
Moreover, too many families live with the stigma of not being able or willing to acknowledge the issue, which prevents them from seeking proper help.
And even if these families are ready to act on it, they are too often left powerless, in lack of adequate tools to deal with mental health problems, prey to endless, stupid, maddening paperwork and bureaucratic nonsense.
So they just try to cope the way they can, out of love, respect and common decency.