“So let us be clear at exactly what is happening. A national newspaper has reported the struggle of an ill celebrity and a legion of social media users are now mocking him for exhibiting signs of that illness. Would they be quite so quick to do so if the illness was a physical one? If it was a sports star in a wheelchair, or with MS, or going through chemotherapy? I don’t think so. I certainly think there would be less jokes or pseudo-sympathetic photo-sharing lighting up the Twittersphere.”
This is what mental health stigma on the internet looks like. Mocking a public figure who is clearly struggling sends a message to all those people around you who are not public figures that the world would say the same things about them if they did something as crazy as asked for help.
And yes, that list of people very likely includes people close to you, who are afraid to tell you they struggle just the same as that guy you’re mocking.