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Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade Die Of Suicide: How To Spot Suicidal Tendencies And What To Do About It

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Deaths due to suicide are on the rise in the United States. The U.S. CDC indicated that firearm is the most common method of suicide, followed by hanging and poisoning.  ( Holger Langmaier | Pixabay )

Celebrity chef and host Anthony Bourdain passed away on June 8 at age 61. The authorities ruled his cause of death as suicide by hanging.

Bourdain was filming in France for a TV show, and he was reportedly found unconscious in his hotel room.

"Tony came raw to the picture, he came with his history of his own demons, he didn't hide that he had these terrible problems with alcohol, with heroin. And yet, that's what made him so relatable," said CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour in a tribute dedicated to Bourdain.

A few days before Bourdain's death, American fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in her Manhattan flat. Medical examiners reported that suicide is the cause of her death.

Spade's husband, Andy, and her 89-year-old father Frank Brosnahan were both shocked by her untimely death. They told reporters that Spade was taking medications to help her deal with anxiety and depression, but she did not show any suicidal signs.

Suicide Is A National Epidemic

Suicide incidents in the United States increased by 25 percent from 1999 to 2016, according to the latest report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Suicide is among the top 10 leading causes of premature deaths among Americans aged 10 and older.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, CDC's principal deputy director, said that using firearms is the most common method of suicide, followed by hanging or suffocation, and then poisoning.

How To Spot Suicidal Tendencies

Suicidal feelings have no single cause as there can be various influencing factors like substance abuse and untreated depression.

Signs of suicidal tendencies can often get unrecognized, which hinders family or friends from saving the life of an affected loved one. An editorial published in 2003 in the British Journal of Psychiatry cited three distinct characteristics of people with depression who are suicidal: sensitivity to life events like defeat, sense of being trapped, and lack of rescue factors leading to feelings of hopelessness.

The authors further explained how suicidal individuals think about their present situation.

"Williams and Pollock (2001) have convincingly argued with regard to the second characteristic that the sense of being trapped is associated with trait-dependent deficiencies in problem-solving skills, which in turn appear to depend upon deficits in autobiographical memory," said the study authors.

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, a nonprofit organization operating in Minnesota, said that it is crucial to provide psychosocial intervention to a person who exhibits signs of depression that can lead to suicide. Strong family and community connections also help the individual manage depressing events.

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