Celebs and others tweet depression stories after Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain suicides

Photo: Getty Images

In the wake of the suicides last week of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, Debra Messing has opened up on Twitter about her own struggle with depression — and many others are following suit.

“When I was in the midst of crippling depression 15 years ago no one knew — except my husband and my [therapist],” the Will & Grace star revealed through a tweet on June 8. “I was working hard making people laugh, doing photo shoots, constantly moving. I disappeared from friends & family. I’d say ‘Sorry I’ve been MIA, working non-stop.’” In a second tweet she continued, “When they heard the sadness in my voice I’d say ‘Oh I’m just exhausted.’ Thankfully I could afford a [therapist who helped me] out of that abyss. We MUST make mental health services available to every American. It can literally mean the difference between life and death.” She concluded with the hashtag #mystory.

She then asked the Twitterverse to join in.

“I shared my depression story. If you would like to share yours so people who are struggling today don’t feel so alone please tag #MyStory.” She also took to Instagram to explain further, writing, “I’m sharing #MyStory because we need accessible, affordable mental health services for all Americans. I’m also posting this with the hope that people who are struggling today might feel less alone. If you have a story to share, please tag #MyStory.❤️”

Debra Messing opened up on Twitter about her own battle with depression. (Photo: Getty Images)

And, boy, do people have stories to share. Since then, the hashtag has blown up, as people from all over the world have taken heed and shared their own stories about mental health struggles. It’s safe to assume that she started this movement in response to the suicides of Spade and Bourdain, since they gave the appearance of stability. But their deaths have spurred conversations about how there’s really no knowing what someone is going through privately.

Messing is clearly trying to lift the veil on this topic so that changes can be made and people can get help. “Depression must be destigmatized,” she wrote. “Those suffering need affordable, accessible mental health services. If we want 2 address #gunviolence we must also make mental health a priority in our country.”

Now many people have been sharing their stories. “I’ll be off Twitter for some time. The #MyStory tweets and Anthony Bourdain’s tragic suicide have forced me to really grapple with how I’ve been mentally treating myself and how I’ve been living my life, and I realize that I need a reset. I’m grateful to everyone who follows me,” one user wrote. “I suffer from depression, anxiety, low self esteem. There are times I feel loneliness. I’ve been called a drama queen and been told I always focus on the negative. Growing up I didn’t feel like I belonged and would often stay home from school and pretend I was sick. #MyStory.”

Some stories do have happy endings, offering hope to those suffering. “I almost got my head blown off. Suffered a nervous breakdown and still have PTSD. I had the bottle of pills in my hand, ready to take them. My mom caught me and saved my life. #MyStory,” someone shared.

Noted another: “After coming out to my conservative mormon family when I was 15 and being disowned and shunned by everyone and being in such a dark and lonely place I took a handful of pills my mom found me rushed me to the ER I woke 2 days later and realized there is a life out there #myStory.”

Other celebrities are also joining in on this major conversation.

“I will have to tend to this relationship with depression and anxiety for the rest of my life. I am gutted to see people take their own lives because it means they feel alone and hopeless. But things can change. You are not alone. Hope is mercurial too. Keep seeking it. #mystory,” Sara Bareilles, who co-hosted the Tony Awards on Sunday, wrote.

“#MyStory after I was born my mother was sent to a hospital for shock treatments they diagnosed her w/schizophrenia she became an alcoholic,” Andie MacDowell revealed.

“I struggled with depression, asked for help. Lived on antidepressants for two years, not too long ago. Admitting this to the world is hard. May #MyStory give you hope and strength,” Selenis Leyva shared.

After seeing the success of the hashtag, Messing added, “If you feel alone, read the #MyStory thread. You are seen.”

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is open 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.

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