The suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain last week led some Oklahoma state lawmakers to share their own struggles with depression to underscore the fact that anyone is susceptible.
“There is no profession and no walk of life that is free from depression,” Rep. Monroe Nichols, a Tulsa Democrat, said in an interview Tuesday.
Rep. Cyndi Munson, an Oklahoma City Democrat, said depression crosses all lines of gender, race and class and that she has seen it in friends and colleagues who are, by all appearances, very successful.
“I want people to know what you see on the outside is not necessarily what’s going on inside,” she said.
Munson said she decided to reveal some of her struggles on social media after two Democratic colleagues, Reps. Emily Virgin, of Norman, and Forrest Bennett, of Oklahoma City, wrote of theirs on Twitter late last week.
In one of his posts, Bennett wrote:
“Because a few of the people closest to me know, they check on me. Because I know, I check on myself. I stopped ignoring it and let me tell you, it was the most empowering thing I could’ve done. I’m okay. I’m no less capable because of it. The stigma is the worst part about it.”
In an interview Tuesday, Bennett said that was the first time he had discussed depression in such a public space. He said he had talked to a high school class about it recently and that, afterward, a student with bipolar disorder told him “you made me feel like I can lead a normal life.”