By Dr. Dean Aslinia

Over the past decade, as a mental health professional, I have sat through hours of excruciatingly painful counseling sessions with many. Some hopeless, beaten, ashamed, tired of life, and contemplating suicide. Others heartbroken, devastated, and shocked by the abrupt death of their loved ones through suicide. Trying to make sense of what went so wrong. How they didn’t catch the signs. Sometimes blaming themselves for the arguments and disagreements they had with them over the years. Wondering if those contributed to the last decision of their loved ones. I have had to help students, interns, and colleagues work through their doubts of “did I do enough? or did I do all that I could?” in light of a client’s suicide. I have had to console mothers and fathers over the suicide of their children, and so many other painful events. You would think, by now I should be desensitized to these tragic and sad stories. However, they tear a piece of my heart each time! This morning I woke up to the news that Anthony Bourdain had taken his own life. Now, I didn’t personally know Tony. But his amazing show, Parts Unknown, had the genius of combining the universal human experience of eating and food, with culture and travel! He had captured audiences from across the globe! He had friends in every continent, he had traveled the world more times then most of us will fly a plane in a life time! Yet, at the end, none of the fame, money, adventure, connections, could overcome the internal pains he carried inside. Pains no one will ever know. He now leaves behind loved ones, friends, and fans, all questioning why? The only thing I have ever been able to tell loved ones is that, the why no longer matters. It was a final decision they made, and because we loved them, we will need to come to accept and perhaps respect their final choice. With that said, if you have thought about ending your own life, please know you are not alone! Please know I and many like me have seen , felt, grappled, experienced, and understood the pain! I get the impulse decision sounds like the best idea. But please know, even the darkest of nights must come to an end, and the light will shine again! 800-273-TALK