Artwork by Zoe Shier
Sigh, welcome to yet another instalment of the series ‘Shit depressed people have to hear.’ I sort of have a love and hate-relationship with this series. I’m annoyed that it has to exist but at the same time it’s always going to be easy to write it as long as people continue being dickheads about mental health so it kinda works out.
Anyway, on with the programme.
As it happens, I follow a lot of mental health advocates and bloggers on social media. Not only am I able to hear about other people’s experiences but to see how they are doing in their work to raise awareness which ultimately aims to remove stigma surrounding mental illness.
One of the things that I’ve been seeing lately has been advocates talking about the backlash they’ve faced after talking about their experiences in public. People have had their diagnoses questioned, told that they are making money off the back of their illness and that they are just seeking attention.
Let’s take a moment and imagine someone saying that about someone speaking about their physical illness. Equally disgusting behaviour which occurs aplenty but I can’t help but think that these winners are the same people who ask ‘why don’t you just get over it?’ from someone with depression.
Also, I know that the internet is not exactly a positive place but I can’t help but find taking the time out of your day to give someone a hard time about their current or past period of ill mental health, time which could have been used donating blood, doing charity work or trying to break your personal record of twiddling your thumbs, just beyond even pathetic. What in the Lord Buddha’s name is wrong with you?
I agree, we live in at times a very attention-seeking society but think about this even for half a second: WHO wants their poor mental health to be their *~climb to fame~*? Oh my god you’re so right, every time I reached out for a kitchen knife to make my arm look like I had been wrestling with a fucking cheese grater all I could think about was all stacks of money, millions of twitter followers and movie roles I would receive. Oh shucks, you had me all figured out!
Also, what’s wrong with profiting from sharing your story (which none of the people I’ve seen being targeted do btw) anyway? As far as I know, we all need to eat. Oh yeah, the mental people are supposed to live off air and positive vibes. Or ‘collecting disability’, like one person so eloquently expressed but they deserve their very own rant. So the act of being open about an incredibly personal and sensitive subject should go without any recognition whatsoever. There is no way this person could be doing this for, I don’t know, helping other people? Apparently no.
“You must be loving the attention,” one of the comments in a newspaper article written about a mental health advocate declared.
“YoU mUsT bE lOvInG ThE AtTEnTiOn. I post smart one-liners on mental health articles where a person talks about their experiences in public because they MUST be doing it for the attention! I am spewing shit from behind my screen name because I’m a pathetic twat who instead of going out and doing something useful with my life has a go at people who try to help others because nobody has come down to my mum’s basement and asked ME to talk about MY life in a newspaper!”
Or something along those lines. I might be paraphrasing just a little here.
I for one speak about my mental health in public and dear internet troll, you’re absolutely right! Of course I’m doing this for the attention, as my life goal has always been being branded as mentally ill! How did you know? Not that keeping this blog might eradicate my future employment opportunities altogether, as all it would require was for some prejudiced knobhead to have the final say after my interview.
I was also seeking to reap millions of pounds off the back of my debilitating mental health condition as well but now you have gone and unearthed my evil plan. Had it not been for pesky internet warriors like you, I would’ve succeeded!
Honestly, just go give a rim job to a fucking cactus once you’re done. If you truly have NOTHING better to do than upsetting people who have had a hard time, I’d advise you to give your mum a call so you can ask her what exactly went wrong with you because hurling anonymous abuse on the internet will be the most valuable contribution their child will ever make into society, unlike the ‘fruit loops’ they choose to bully.