Okay. Rant time. When a celebrity or tv personality dies or commits suicide, the rule is that you have to have given a toss about them prior to it happening, you can’t just care afterwards. And this is sparked mostly by Charlotte Dawson’s death. Going to be honest, pretty much don’t know her, never watched anything with her, and therefore am not on Facebook talking about how upset I am by it. Philip Seymour Hoffman on the other hand, I love his work, and so was genuinely saddened by his passing. That is the rule, just so everybody knows. If you liked her for something she had done, then I am not aiming this at you, that is totally fine, you can be shocked or upset, or whatever you want, but if you had no idea who she was before, you don’t get to say something “heartwarming” on Facebook for attention.
Events like her death start conversations that suggest it was the fault of cyber bullying, social media abuse, but no…that contributed to it, surely, it’s never nice to see someone saying awful things about you whether directly or indirectly, but it was the underlying mental illnesses. I understand that for a celebrity it’s to a more concentrated degree, constant, anonymous, from all angles, but I don’t want people to use this as another spark for a giant media firestorm about cyber bullying, because…you know, turn your computer off, get off social media, block people, ignore it, just don’t give a crap what lifeless idiots have to say about you when they don’t even know you. Easier said than done as are most things, but I think it’s good advice to remember. And yes, this is coming from someone who has been abused over the internet.
What is important is focusing on mental health. I feel like there’s still a lot of people that either don’t know much about illnesses like depression, anxiety, compulsive disorders, and so on, but also people that do not consider them to really be illnesses but simply something sufferers need to “get over”. Feeling upset and having a continuing, debilitating mental condition are not the same thing. It’s normal to feel emotions in reaction to certain situations, but when it becomes abnormal, you have a problem. If anything is to come from celebrity deaths, and I guess others, which are usually teenagers on Twitter, that are publicised, is that mental health is a serious concern. I know there are many organizations and efforts that go towards helping people cope, finding them professional assistance, giving suggestions to loved ones on how to care for these individuals, self-help forums, and specific websites and phone lines for youth, the elderly, the disabled, etc. There are resources out there, but maybe highlighting them and approaching the topic from a different point of view will work more effectively.
If someone dies, whether famous or not, and the cause of which is a mental health issue, do not just post a status about it, ask people you know if they are okay, especially if you know people that suffer from depression, anxiety, phobias, compulsive disorders, check that they are doing alright, offer your support. Even just saying, I am here for you whenever you need (and meaning it) can mean the world, you don’t always need to talk it out with them. But make sure you don’t just post a generic status about your view on mental health. Don’t say to all my friends and family I love you, I hope you are all ok, if you could say that same thing to specific people that might really need it. R U OK day (an initiative towards creating awareness around mental health) should be every day. And I’m not trying to be a dictator, I’m not saying…”right now go and ask every person you know if they’re feeling ok, if they need help”, I’m just saying, statuses and reminders to the whole are good, but so is dropping a line to certain people, especially if you know they’re in a time of need. And to anybody who has a mental health issue, remember that you are allowed to tell people, and ask for help. Doctors, psychologists, friends, family, partners, the internet! There are so many good forums to go onto and chat with people that will understand where you are coming from. It’s not easy, at least from personal experience, but it’s beneficial.
So to anybody reading this, are you okay?
Have you asked someone else that same question today?