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Take depression seriously

The recent deaths of fashion mogul Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain have renewed the national interest in suicide and depression, those two unfortunately common conditions which no one likes to talk about.

Add to this the recent federal report which found Indiana’s suicide rate increased more than 30 percent between 1999 and 2016.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control say suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.

This is the depressing reality we all must face.

The stigma surrounding mental illness and depression has not yet faded from the mainstream. The symptoms – laziness, anxiety, lack of ambition and hopelessness – are often seen as character flaws. But the reality is that clinical depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, not lack of character. Telling those who suffer from depression to count their blessings will not reverse this imbalance. Therapy and sometimes even medical help are needed here.

Neither the rich nor the poor are immune from depression, anxiety and loneliness. The affliction hurts people of all faiths, nationalities and economic backgrounds. No amount of success can ward off the disease, but friends and family can form a support network to help loved ones navigate their depression and anxiety.

Friends and family can help by encouraging those with depression to seek professional counseling and providing emotional support.

If you know someone who may be suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255).