Facebook is something I use to keep in touch with friends in the dog world, sci-fi convention world and those I know who live overseas. But in the last couple of days, I have seriously considered deleting the app from my phone and avoiding it for a couple of weeks. The reason being the fallout from the Meghan and Harry interview with Oprah Winfrey.
While there are people on Facebook I have never met in person, I have great respect for them. But the last couple of days has shown me that some of the individuals I have come to respect have a very negative view on not only aspects of racism, but mental health too. As someone who has suffered from depression and tried to commit suicide, I can assure you that it is nothing that should be mocked or used against someone. Words can hurt and it doesn’t matter if the individual won’t read your posts, the chances are that you have someone on your friends list who has a mental health problem.
I’ve also become accutely aware that apparently wealth means that you cannot possible suffer from a mental health issue. You have financial security, a nice home, a loving family. How dare you feel the cold hard push of depression or suicidal thoughts. The fact is, depression can hit you no matter what your personal or financial circumstances are. You could be able to buy anything you want and still struggle to get out of bed in the morning because there is a constant nagging thought in your head of “What’s the point?” Constantly questioning your self worth and feeling as though you are the most worthless human being on the planet and those around you would be better if you were gone. Imagine having to live with those thoughts and then seeing someone you know post on social media that you have no right to have those thoughts or feelings? “Britain Get Talking?” I don’t think there will be a lot of people willing to share their struggles after the vitriol I have witnessed in the last few days.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, absolutely. But when that opinion is uneducated, dangerous and downright cruel, people really need to think before they hit the post button. I don’t care if you support the royal family or Harry and Meghan. What the interview with Harry and Meghan showed us is that speaking up about mental health is critical. It also shows that it doesn’t matter what you have or the resources at your disposal, help can be extremely difficult to get.
To say that I am bitterly disappointed in a lot of the posts would be an understatement. This piece may lose me friends, but to be honest, I would rather surround myself with people who support those who suffer from mental health issues and don’t judge an individual on their wealth. Wealth should never come into question when it comes to discussing mental health. ANYONE can have depression, anxiety and the many other issues that are out there.
Please be mindful of what you post on social media. As stated before, words can hurt and you never know how another person is feeling. Also, you may find out what they were going through when it is too late. You may not realise it, but you are adding to the already growing problem. What may be an opinion to you, could be seen as cyber bullying by another.
I’m going to end with a list of talented people the world has sadly lost through suicide. The one thing they have in common is that they were famous, wealthy and unfortunately, no one knew what they were going through until it was too late.
- Robin Williams
- Chester Bennington
- Caroline Flack
- Goo Ha-Ra
- Anthony Bourdain: His mother said, “He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this. He had everything.”
- Sulli Choi: She had struggled with panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and clinical depression; she also had been the target of vicious cyber-bullying before her death
- Chris Cornell: Had suffered from depression and had suicidal thoughts for many years before his death.