Passionate about understanding the human mind and improving it.

Success and Depression

America, the land of the free and the place of opportunity. We are blessed with endless resources to become successful. There is plenty of money to go around and plenty of issues that need solving, which means there is always a need for businesses. We take advice from fellow entrepreneurs on how to build a business from the ground up but we fail to ask how to keep our mental health in check. Depression among entrepreneurs is something that is often overlooked.
Kate Spade developed a billion dollar brand from the comfort of her apartment with her boyfriend Andy. It only took two years for her passion to take off and gain recognition in the fashion industry. Her hard work paid off making Kate Spade a highly respected and well-known brand. Unfortunately fame and money did not bring Kate peace. The day of her passing, many people were so shocked and confused. How could such a successful woman end her life? She had it all, how could she be depressed? These are questions that I can easily answer. Just because you are wealthy, beautiful or famous does not mean that you are immune to mental illness.
When I am experiencing a depressive episode I often find myself questioning why I am feeling that way. I remind myself of the roof over my head, my friends, my family, my stable job, etc. but it still isn’t enough sometimes. Depression doesn’t care about these things so it will make you feel the same way. Depression creates apathy. You lose interest in all things that would normally bring you joy. The light in your life is so dim, it’s almost impossible to see beauty in anything.
Kate Spade was incredibly successful but she was also suffering silently. There was pressure for her to maintain a happy-go-lucky image which meant she wouldn’t seek treatment for her illness. She once said, “I hope that people remember me not just as a good businesswoman but as a great friend—and a heck of a lot of fun.” It makes me wonder what kind of life she lived and if the people around her gave her the support she needed. Did people treat her like a friend/loved one and not just a business woman? There are so many questions that we have that will unfortunately be left unanswered. The only thing that we can do is to make more of an effort with the people around us. Ask your successful friend how they are doing. Are they feeling lonely? Are they feeling unsatisfied? We tend to have this belief that because someone is doing well financially they are certainly doing well mentally. As we have harshly realized this to not be true, we must encourage others and ourselves to be there for those in need even if it isn’t obvious that help is needed. We have to create a society that allows people to be open and honest about their struggles. No one should have to be ashamed of them because of the success they have built.