An interesting article went viral this week, comparing the media coverage, and public gawking at Amanda Bynes seemingly bizarre behavior, and Robin Williams suicide.
A quote I want you to read from the piece:
If it is indeed true that Amanda Bynes has both bipolar and schizophrenia, she faces an uphill battle. These are both diseases with high mortality rates, and devastating symptoms that are difficult to treat. And while she faces these illnesses, the entire world is watching. To have the audacity of laughing and poking fun as she struggles with these painful disorders is truly disgusting.
It’s all fun and games until someone dies, as was the case with Robin Williams. When celebrities have very public “breakdowns,” we find them entertaining, sensational, intriguing. When celebrities die from these illnesses, however, we grieve for them, celebrate their lives, and profess our sympathy for their struggle.
Amanda Bynes may be battling two illnesses that could very easily kill her. Why is she not receiving the same level of respect, tact, and compassion that we afford those who have already died at the hands of these same illnesses?
Are we only deserving of dignity and respect if we die?
I think this goes back to something I’ve written before.
When you do not see someone as a real person, it’s easier and easier to treat them in a less than humane way.
Perhaps it’s the death that brings home the reality that the “crazy celebrity” is an actual person, not a side show for our own entertainment. Unfortunately, we see this sort of behavior every where. Celebs, athletes, politicians, etc. aren’t real people with real lives, and potentially , mental health problems. They are non-people, the other. No one feels compassion for the other, so maybe we should admit that they are just as human as we are.
In the immediate aftermath of Robin Williams’ suicide, his daughter, Zelda, left Twitter and other social media platforms after hearing from the worst of humankind about her father’s mental health problems. Now she is back and speaking out in hopes of ending the sort of stigma that created those previous comments.
So please, let’s help stop the misconceptions & support those who need our help,” she continued. “Healing the whole starts with healing minds. No matter what the misinformed say, you can’t simply CHOOSE to make mental illness go away. It is NOT cowardly to suffer or seek help.”
To end her discussion, Williams opened up about her father’s own journey.
“Lastly, my dad openly fought depression his whole life, both in general and his own,” she concluded. “No matter what anyone says, it is a FIGHT. Fight on.”
Fight on indeed, for all of those who need support, not ridicule.
It’s been ten days since UK TV Channel 4 screened two programmes with abuse themes: their fictional flagship soap Hollyoaks screened the culmination of their second male rape storyline in the show’s history, which has recurred after 16 years, sadly second time around it wasn’t as effective.
Later in the same week they redeemed this with the real-life documentary Paedophile Hunter in which a Youtube vlogger and his production team gathered evidence of online grooming and confronted those groomers before presenting the evidence to police. The main contention was the fact that he only uploaded five minute edits to Youtube though, whilst the police got the whole recording every time. It caused wide and varied debate although that was the only follow-up.
Whilst the soap was fictional clichéd rubbish this documentary represents a return to form for Channel 4’s documentary strand even though it wasn’t in the branded Cutting Edge series. You can watch both programmes at www.channel4.com with approximately three weeks left to view them in the 30-day catchup window (to see the Hollyoaks trial which took the whole week look for the omnibus edition of Saturday 4th or Sunday 5th October).
After the 30 day catchup window UK viewers would need to make an account to view the documentary at the Channel 4 site although they have done a deal with Youtube as well to allow programmes to be seen for longer. If viewing this post from December 2014 then search on the programme titles at Youtube.com if Channel 4 no longer host them.
Tracie has an interesting story about how she wouldn’t ask for help as a new mom, even when it was clear that she needed it.
More importantly, she also lists some great resources where you can reach out and get help, whether you are depressed, a victim of sexual assault, or suspect a child is being abused.
As Tracie, and many of us, learned, we all need help every now and then.
It’s not necessarily about childhood abuse, but i found the story of Mackey Sasser, a catcher with the New York Mets who’s career ended after he simply couldn’t throw the ball any longer highly interesting. It wasn’t until much later in life that he saw a specialist in the physical effects of childhood trauma that he began to get past the occasional inability to control his throwing motion.
Mackey Sasser was an exceptional catcher for the New York Mets in the late 1980s and early ’90s. He could hit. He could manage a pitching staff. He could nail you trying to steal second base. But one day, there was something Sasser couldn’t do. He couldn’t throw the ball back to the pitcher. Suddenly the most basic act for a catcher was next to impossible for Sasser. What happened? This film explores the mental side of the game and shows how a childhood trauma can come back to overwhelm a professional athlete, and how confronting it can lead to recovery.
You can watch the full story on the Grantland Website.