Anthony Bourdain dead at the age of 61

I was very sad to read today about Anthony Bourdain committing suicide. I liked this guy. His shows weren't so much about food as they were about the common people and how they lived. He wasn't full of himself and he went everywhere. In a world full of social justice crap, he was a breath of fresh air. One of the good guys. I will miss him.

Agreed, I like watching his travel show.
Obviously he had issues just like earlier this week with Kate Spade.

I really enjoyed Bourdain too. The way he truly connected with the people in the destinations he travelled to.

Depression is a terrible thing.

A friend who I last saw in March had cancelled getting together with me at the last minute a couple of times during the month of April. He texted me around May 3rd wanting to get together on Saturday May 5th. I replied I was going to be too busy on the Saturday getting ready for my cruise I was flying out for the next day the 6th - but would touch base when I got back.

When I got back from my cruise I tried messaging him a couple of times over the next couple of weeks trying to get together over Victoria Day weekend and the weekend after that. No reply - which was unusual for him.

Days later I found out he had committed suicide on May 5th - the day he had wanted to get together with me.

Talk about having guilty feelings.

I have only found out since he had struggled with bipolar disorder for years. I had no idea. He always seemed to be so happy go lucky. Always smiling. Always seemingly upbeat any time I saw him.

So sad - so shocking.

You just never know sometimes.

Pat, have you heard Bourdain had depression ? He certainly seemed like a pretty upbeat guy and was even jovial in spite of the recent 'Newfy' thing that was utterly ridiculous. I have a few Newfy and not one holds offense to being called a Newfy. More like a badge of honour. They call me names too... anyway it does seem strange about AB. I know that people can hide it from others. Are we sure ? Was he diagnosed ?

Sorry about your friend but don't feel guilty even though it's hard not to.

That is so tragic TP.
I just heard this saying the other day after the KS suicide, "Be kind, for everyone you meet are fighting a battle you know nothing about".

Thanks Dan and ArgoT. It was a rough couple of days when I first found out - but the guilt feelings have more or less passed. It is just so sad.

As for Bourdain - yes he had openly talked about his battles with depression.

Wasn't sure he was being serious at first when he says a bad hamburger makes him depressed for days.

To be that effected over food choices shows that maybe his obsession with food was unhealthy .

Most likely in the wrong field with that type of swings of emotion over food.

If he wasn't serious then I was taken in by the segment linked .

Thanks Pat. I did not know this. It's very recent and I don't delve into the personal lives of celebrities anyway.

Pretty sad all around.

I've never heard of him nor Kate Spate but RiP to them both. Very sad for people that "have it all". Seems a lot of successful people in the business/entertainment world lately are committing suicide. What is up with this? :-\ :-\ :-\

Feel for you TP.

...great Zeus’ beard Pat that’s a terrible thing to experience...I hope you have support to help you process whatever you are feeling...

I don't watch a lot of TV but when I do, I like to watch the odd food /cooking show. I like food and I like to cook. I first read about AB in a mag in a doctor's office. Later I started watching him in his first food show. He was different and he ate and cooked different. He went places I've never seen anyone go. I knew he had drug problems, he said so on the show. He kicked the habits. He called out BS and he praised the truth. I like this guy !

Very sad week with the deaths of two very talented icons in their fields. One of the consistent themes for those who suffer from depression is the depth and breadth that even basic things can impact them.

I've heard the illness described by depression sufferers as a 'mind storm'.

Definitely see that the mind wants perfection on their own terms .

Then the chemicals released in the brain attack the mind to a deep overwhelming hopelessness .

Drugs and alcohol can bring this on to someone not suffering with mental health problems but they will feel what someone suffering with chronic depression feels temporarily .

Not sure enough research is being done on it as the brain can be altered with something like food , light , urine tract infection etc … .

For two people who from the outside are living the dream and look like they have a life blessed with abundance it is a shocking ending .

It's such a complex problem. At the end of their life - the suicidal person who succeeds in taking their life truly believed in their heart and mind that are solving a problem and ending the pain, where in actuality all they have done (by committing suicide) - is transferred their pain to someone else. Nothing is gained or solved, rather it has only been made worse. Suicide may possibly be the most selfish decision a person can make.

I believe the challenge ahead of us all lies in humanity's ability to recognize and empathize and support those suffering from these severe levels of depression, while simultaneously and willfully (and hopefully successfully) rejecting the atrocities of suicide. All while supporting those suffering from the 'mind storm'.

It's possibly the most complex human problem in front of us. There is a history of depression and some suicide in our family, and I've learned and observed psychiatric professionals confront the depressed person's feelings quite aggressively: They ask how is he or she going to do it? What kind of knife or weapon or pills etc? What would the scenario look like? Who do they think would be the first to discover their body? What do they think this would to their friends and family whom they leave behind etc etc. Tough questions to hear the answers from - but possibly very successful in helping the depressed person grasp the reality and consequences of their actions or plans. Less fluff and more (very) frank discussion. My advice to anyone who knows someone with this level of depression? Ask them these tough questions, in the most calm and compassionate way possible. The depressed person might realize they are being heard, and that others DO realize and possibly understand how severe their crazy thoughts are. If they begin to feel that they aren't totally alone in their damaged mind, they may begin to value living more than they value dying.

My thoughts and prayers go out to anyone affected by this illness - it's a horrible burden.

Val Kilmer thinks so too but do we know if the person depressed is thinking sanely enough to know what they are doing ?...... What I think is one of the most horrible parts of depression is the contradiction. You never can tell by the person's outward actions. We always hear " He/she seemed perfectly normal !" The shock really affects those left behind.

I believe the only way to help a suicidal person to think sanely about what they are contemplating - is to lead them to the conversation about what the results of their actions could do. Ask them the how/when/why/where of their suicidal plans. I believe this will foster some respect for the depths of the suicidal persons thoughts and feeling, and help them realize that others do understand how severe their thoughts are, maybe even just a little bit. It can begin a process of support that focuses on genuine, frank dialogue with that person - vs simply feeling sorry for someone living with this and thinking we are helpless to intervene. We aren’t. We can help more.

We also must keep in mind that the person we see at school or at work or on TV etc - is not the same person when they are all alone. We all wear a persona to some extent. The depressed person however, wears a much more and very elaborate, complex persona - possibly just to exist/survive. Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade were incredibly successful and well loved people. Yet that wasn’t nearly enough to alter their mind storm. Who we see isn’t necessarily all that they are.

Another element in all of this is the rampant misuse, abuse, and in many cases - wrongly prescribed psych meds. These themselves carry a high risk of damaging psychiatric or physical side effects. A neurologist once told me that in order for a proper psychiatric medication recommendation to be made - the doctor should be seeing 5 or 6 consistent behaviours or symptoms of depressive illness from the patient. Otherwise the wrongly prescribed psych med will create a new chemical imbalance all on its own (thus the disclaimers about suicidal thoughts being a side effect of many, many meds). In reality, a 16 yr old girl or boy who is upset because of their boyfriend or girlfriend situation is being handed random psych meds prescriptions by GPS everywhere, all because our society loves taking a happy pill. We are losing our ability to deal with and face genuine, true emotion and just work thru it. Instead, we think something is wrong with us or others if we/they feel down or sad. These are normal emotions, and not necessarily permanent for the vast majority of society. Psych meds are grossly over prescribed and in my opinion - is fueling the increased levels of suicide in society today and taking many lives in some cases of people who don’t have any mental illness at all.

The brain is a very sensitive and complex organism, which we should be fighting to protect - vs trying to alter with chemicals without due diligence prior.

I agree Iconic and I keep reading and hearing the words you also wrote ' just work through it.' That's what all of us do on a daily basis. Maybe some have a harder time, I don't know, I am not judging but if they do and medicine can help, once you find the proper meds, they will help. Many people are still here due to the proper meds. They do work.

I agree Dan - the right meds - when really needed - do help and have saved lives.

I suspect though that much like doctors have overprescribed antibiotics over the years - making many of them useless today because the bacteria have become antibiotic resistant - we may be at a point where doctors are over prescribing anti-depression drugs as a ‘quick fix’ to what ails you too. Instead of letting the body (the mind being part of the body) heal itself through natural means.

And all that over subscribing of all these chemical medications - with all the side effects they can have on some people - undoubtedly the overuse of meds has a role in many of the health issues people face today.

I’m amazed how many pills some people I know pop. Maybe I’m lucky - but I’m 58 years old, am on no prescribed medications and usually I pass the expiry date on bottles of Aspirin or Tylenol before I get half way through a bottle - whereas some people I know seem to have to run to Shoppers Drug Mart every couple of weeks to buy another bottle of painkillers because they can ‘feel a headache coming on and I’m almost out’.

I watched the show a couple of times... and it seemed like he was enjoying what he was doing, too bad the demons he was dealing with got the best of him. RIP

There quite a few pill pushers as I call some MDs. I've got one for a GP. To me throwing pills at a patient is a lazy way to doctor and we also have the pill takers so both sides are guilty of misuse...... I've always hated taking meds but in the last 10 years I have been on prescribed cholesterol pills. I'm trying to get off them but my problem is genetic. No matter what I eat, unless I eat like a rabbit, I will always have this problem. The pills help me keep the buildup of cholesterol to a minimum. I doubt I could do it on my own so this is an example of meds working properly. The side effects of the drug is much preferable than the effect if I don't take them.
Many times the patient will have to take different meds to determine which is most suited to them and their needs.
Sometimes not taking a pill is as bad as taking the wrong one.

Also I truly believe I am alive today because my wife got me started on a daily low dose aspirin every day since my 30s.