Interesting discussion on this podcast episode about celebrities opening up about mental health issues, and whether it’s a good or bad thing.
I do believe, overall, it helps any time someone is willing to talk about dealing with mental health issues. But, there are definitely some things to think about, especially as Gabe and Michelle talk about how much society starts to look at something like depression as just part of being an artist.
The whole episode is an interesting discussion, but that one thought really rang a bell for me. It actually matched up with something I had been thinking about. As someone who works in the technology industry, I’ve seen the “studies” of successful, brilliant people, how they wear funky socks, and tend to be eccentric. And then I’ve seen people who I don’t think really are brilliant at all, but they start doing eccentric things, wearing funky socks, etc. so that they can feel brilliant. Or maybe they are just trying to convince other people that they’re brilliant. I don’t know, but it occurred to me that they really had it backwards.
There’s a real danger when we see successful artists and start to associate their mental health struggles with their artistic talent. One, that we’ll start to see mental illness as no big deal, or worse yet, a good thing. That we will find young people wishing to be depressed and not understanding the reality of mental illness. As Gabe points out later,mental illness is an extremely serious issue. For every one person who gets help, has the support necessary to get healthy, and overcomes their issues to succeed, there are dozens who don’t have any of that, and don’t get healthy.
So yes, I don’t mind anyone, celebrity or not, bringing attention to mental health issues, but we all need to recognize the things that make their recovery possible, and we need to do better at creating that kind of support for everyone!
How do you feel about it?