The tragedy of Whitney Houston is that it represents another precious life tragically cut short.
What is it about creativity and talent that predisposes their hosts to addiction and an early demise? Perhaps it’s both the stress of the lifestyle coupled with the availability of prescription drugs. Perhaps even the people closest to them innocently buy into the myth that celebrities are larger than life and not affected by the ills that threaten mortal men.
Creativity has been linked to depression. History has numerous examples of gifted artists who ended their lives. However, the artists of the 21st century are taking their lives in a more passive way…via alcohol and prescription drugs.
This problem is not limited to celebrities. They are simply the ones that get the headlines. They bring attention to the problem. Thousands of families across this nation have lost loved ones to addiction.
More brain research is leading to better detection of mental health conditions which lead to addiction. After all, much addiction is the result of a suffering being in a futile attempt to self medicate.
Most people who die by addiction don’t want to die. As Salk saved lives with the polio vaccine, perhaps researchers will be a big part of the solution here. In the mean time, attention to mental health is critical. This is where it begins.