Kate Spade’s recent suicide has been the subject of widespread speculation in the news. How could it be that this attractive and successful icon of fashion would take her own life? After all she sold her business for billions. She was attractive, popular in the media and in the “right” social circles. She had everything to live for including a 13 year old daughter with whom she had a loving relationship.
The simple answer offered by friends and family was she suffered for years from depression. Depression is an epidemic in this country. One in six Americans report taking some form of psychiatric drug, while it is estimated that sixteen million Americans are severely depressed. We will never fully know what caused Kate Spade to take her own life however we do know that she was going through a potential divorce.
According to the experts, divorce, the loss of a loved one and leaving a home are the three most powerful stressors or triggers that can lead to a situational or clinical depression. Kate Spade left a suicide note assuring that her death was not her daughter’s fault. I suppose it is fair to say that her suicide was nobody’s fault; perhaps it was inevitable. However, it does offer a cautionary tale. Whether you are contemplating divorce because you see no other solution to your marital problems, or you are being told by your partner that they want a divorce, you are dealing with life altering, highly emotional issues. Divorce can offer a fresh start, and some view the prospect of a new beginning positively. However the prospect of divorce and the actual process can become extremely stressful. Divorce naturally leads to one taking account of physical possessions, the cost of living and triggers economic concerns and uncertainty. Even in those rarefied matters were economic concerns do not factor into the equation, Divorce causes us to take inventory of our relationships with our: children, families, friends and community. We also tend to take stock of ourselves. This inevitable introspection can easily veer sideways.