Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade suicides show how even those at the top can know the lows of depression by Jonathan Rottenberg

DÆDALUS Magazine

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Jonathan Rottenberg, University of South Florida

We struggle to comprehend the loss of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Sudden deaths are shocking. It’s doubly shocking when the deaths are by suicide. Sudden suicide by people who seemingly have it all: That’s a triple whammy.

Of course, as humans, we try to make sense of it all. We say depression and suicide can strike anyone. We cite U.S. statistics of a sharply rising toll of depression and suicide. We point out that what a person shows on the outside can mask deep pain on the inside.

These explanations are true as far as they go. They just don’t go very far. And they dodge the most nagging question: Shouldn’t having great money, fame, and power insulate a person from severe depression?

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As a psychologist who spent years researching…

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