If you read my recent post, The Importance of Raising Mental Health Awareness, you’d know that I was furious when another person suggested that I was faking my illnesses and that, by raising awareness, I was essentially doing more harm than good.
Whilst this person apologised (which I both appreciated and forgave; whilst it wasn’t a nice post, we all make mistakes), it made me start thinking of some of the myths, judgements and misconceptions this blogger expressed, and how so many people share similar beliefs.
I have no intention of naming and shaming anyone when discussing these myths, and whilst this is a direct quote (although I won’t be naming the source), I’m sure it’s something similar we’ve all seen before.
“SJW’s [sic] are moving onto mental illness .. [and] are romancing it on social media platforms. [Why] are they being this way?
“Attention. When all these social justice whiners, upper middle class girls tell you they have a mental illness, and she knows the struggles, I have to laugh. [Your] therapist is probably telling you you have these [mental illnesses] to get more money out of you.
“Therefore, Upper [sic] middle glass girls with Twitter PTSD, living in your nice expensive flat, and many job prospects. Try living in the under classes.”
Whilst I plan to deconstruct the entire comment I just mentioned, I first want to focus on the main, reoccurring myth in this post: the idea that mental illness is something that can’t happen to the wealthy.
And that isn’t true.
As I’ve mentioned several times before, depression and anxiety (among other mental illnesses) can happen to anyone, and there’s not always a reason.
There are so many reasons why someone can suffer from depression (or anxiety).
Just because someone appears to have the picture-perfect life doesn’t mean they do.
Money doesn’t buy happiness and it certainly can’t cure depression.
Look at Marilyn Monroe.
Anna Nicole Smith.
I could go on, but my point is pretty fucking clear.
All the people listed have been wealthy, at least at some point.
All have suffered, or still suffer, from depression.
Some have even taken their own lives.
These people have, or had, extensive wealth, and I would imagine unlimited access to psychologists and different therapies that we possibly couldn’t even imagine.
Wealth isn’t a factor, and insinuating that being wealthy means you can’t have a mental illness is fucking bullshit.
It’s also dangerous as it also makes assumptions about other people’s financial well-being. Which is often impossible to tell, and is sometimes relative to your community. (Meaning you and your family may appear richer to others within your community, but that doesn’t mean you are rich.)
Secondly, I don’t know anyone that has a mental illness who wants the illness, let alone romanticises it.
I know I’d be much happier if I could take a magic pill and not be depressed or suffer from anxiety.
Raising awareness is not the same as romanticising mental illness.
Thirdly, raising mental illness isn’t about attention. However, those that suffer from a mental illness need to speak out to raise awareness.
Our depression and suicide rates are far too high to ignore.
Fourthly, psychologists aren’t evil people. They don’t want to take your money. They want you to get better.
Thanks to my psychologist and my medication, I rarely have depressive episodes anymore, and I’m able to control my depressive “moments” better.
Fifthly, what the fuck is Twitter PTSD!? Seriously!?
The important take-away from all of this is that money doesn’t equal happiness and being poor doesn’t equate to suffering from a mental illness.
Originally published on The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise.
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