Anthony Bourdain Suicide: What Happened?

Anthony Bourdain died suddenly of an apparent suicide in Paris according to his friend who found him unresponsive. At 61, the storyteller, chef, and TV star left behind a legacy of exploring the world – and for a lack those “Parts Unknown”. As an emotional intelligence expert who specializes in helping business leaders, I have been asked, “What happened?”

There are many reasons why someone could commit suicide. Shame, guilt, grief, hopelessness are just a few examples. None of us will know for certain as we attempt to explain what could have gone through the mind of Anthony Bourdain minutes before his passing.

The Specific Reasons For Suicide Often Vary

When I think of the loss of Anthony Bourdain, I am reminded of a story of a client who came to see me. Her niece committed suicide. As a intuitive, I was also able to hear the messages from her niece to explain the reason for her passing. This person’s niece hanged herself, like the recently departed Kate Spade who also recently committed suicide in her New York City apartment.

My client was devastated by the passing of her niece. She wondered, “What happened?” and “What could I have done differently?”

In the reading, I remember the niece not wanting to show her face – like many people I have connected to who have killed themselves that I read. It is my symbol for the shame they felt as a result of their actions. What we learned from her niece was that she struggled with self-esteem issues, particularly of her appearance. And that she was so deep in depression that she just wanted the torture to end. She did not have a great relationship with her parents. As a result, she would often escape to find solace from the discord.

And then, there was another story where a friend’s ex-girlfriend commit suicide with a shot to the head. When I spoke with him, I was able to connect with her. She said that she felt like she was an old maid and would never get married. She believed that nobody would love her and take care of her. And, that she still carried the grief of losing her mother some years back. For her, there was no hope of realizing her dreams. No getting back what she had lost.

Depression Is Most Often Responsible For Suicide

Then there is my story of postpartum depression. I remember the depression getting so bad that I turned to my husband and said, “I understand why people kill themselves now.” The look of horror on my loving husband’s face will never escape me.

What happened was a severely depressed man hurt himself beyond repair. He hid it by saying and doing all of the right things to not set off any alarm bells. He withdrew from work and flung himself back into it – perhaps out of not knowing what else to do to shut out the voices. Heavens knows how many clients of mine work themselves into burnout because they simply don’t know any other way.

What happened was depression. This is something Leslie Inc. talks about all of the time. Because we know how disruptive and damaging unhealed depression and anxiety can be on the mind. Someone with all of the mental strength in the world cannot outrun depression. The only way out of depression is through it.

What does that mean?

Going Through Depression To Avoiding Suicide

Getting through depression means facing down those scary thoughts and visions. You know, those visions in your mind that you think are real but are not? Those negative voices that say you will never make it through. We all have them. We can’t work around them. Nor can we ignore them. They must be faced down head on. In essence, it means acknowledging all of those false beliefs that we’ve programmed into our minds out of survival. It means stopping and taking a moment to ask our soul, “What do I  really need?”

Depression simply means that the bodymind is exhausted. It needs deep rest and total rejuvenation. In an episode of The State of Happiness podcast, Senior Herbalist at Dragon Herbs Gabriel Donovan mentioned in our “Herbs For Mental Health” episode a curious fact about the body and how we can push it past the point of no return. He said, according to Chinese medicine, that our shen energy system that supports our spirit and sense of “groundedness”. It controls our ability to nourish ourselves and has a major impact on our bigger picture. When depleted, we are unable to see past today and overcome a deep depression.


There are ways to recover but not without rest, recuperation, and a careful attention to how we build our lives through our mind. We must nourish our bodies, minds, and spirits. And, we cannot have mental health without all three of these reaching alignment. In my Edgar Cayce article  for the Association of Research and Enlightenment I explained how I overcame depression through the direction I gained in the readings. He, too mentions, that body, mind and soul component must be fully healed to recover from depression.

What Happens Now After Anthony Bourdain’s Suicide?

The operative question is What happens now? We cannot get Anthony Bourdain back. We can continue to raise essential awareness about mental health. The fact that our physical health is completely died with our spiritual and mental well-being.

In a curious turn of events, we posted a podcast episode the day before his passing the story of a  Jen Murphy.  She is traveling freelance writer and editor who was pushed to a mental breakdown due to the unrelenting pressures of her previous job. We at Leslie Inc. cannot stress enough how real and common are the struggles of mental illness in the professional realm.

Where to start? Talk about it. Be open about you experiences. Be real about what you are feeling and thinking. I shared with the Decision Hour podcast ways to begin talking about emotional health and mental illness. It is never too late to get help. Because, where there is life – there is hope.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255

Which Leslie Inc. Guide Pack Goes Best With This Episode?

While you’re here, seek complementary health care with a Leslie Inc. guide pack. The Star Gazer Guide Pack is a perfect solution for those suffering from depression and panic attacks. After a decade of guiding professionals through emotional imbalances, I have finally designed the Star Gazer Guide Pack to help break through. Take the Happiness Assessment to be absolutely sure this Guide Pack is right for you.

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Leslie, Inc. offers solutions for finding happiness through one-on-one coaching, mindful leadership retreats, and digital products. If you’re ready to GET HAPPY, check out Leslie’s guide packs. Take the Happiness Assessment To Find Out Which Life Area Stresses You Most.

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Leslie Juvin-Acker

Leslie Juvin-Acker is Chief Happiness Officer of Leslie Inc. Since 2008, she has been coaching executives and business leaders all over the world. She is an expert in emotional intelligence and helps professionals tap into their own imagination to find solutions for personal and professional happiness.

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