You only have to read the comments on social media to really grasp how much society has progressed in understanding mental health.

Despite the knowledge, research and information widely available to us and the advocation by many on mental health, we seem to have not progressed in understanding it.

Sadly, after the many cases of suicide and mental health breakdowns, many still hold an ignorant view of how it really works.

The most recent example was Demi Lovato, who sadly took an overdose after having a relapse following her battle with addiction. Whilst there has been many posts to show support, there are equally as many comments showing outrage and disgust towards her.

Some awful comments out of the hundreds I have read.

Demi isn’t the only one. There has always been strong criticism towards celebrities when it’s regarding addiction or mental health issues. Avicii, a well known DJ who was suspected of committing suicide, was equally ridiculed for his own health issues. Even further back to Amy Winehouse, who was slated for her addiction.

In recent months, many people expressed their anger towards Ant McPartlin, after he was admitted to rehab following an accident.

The reason so many people refuse to support celebrities in these cases is because of a common view that a person with so much money and fame would have “no reason to feel depressed” – a similar phrase that so many across the world have heard before. Despite our promise to be more understanding and open to mental health, when a case becomes global news we seem to demonstrate the complete opposite.

People also argue that we would never give the same affection to an average or homeless person in a similar situation. I for one agree with this and unfortunately it is true that so many of us who hashtag our support for celebrities would never offer the same gesture to the average person. However, whilst this seems like a valid point it becomes invalid for you to say when you show the same level of disregard to person because of their celebrity or wealthy status. You are as bad as them.

What I am meaning to say is you are still just part of the problem if you can only feel bitterness to a famous person who is battling their own demons because they have “no reason to feel depressed” – it’s pathetic.

And the point it really demonstrates more anything is what have you learned about mental health? That it can only affect those who have nothing or that it is self inflicted? Because if that is the case then you are completely wrong.

As I and many have said so many times before, mental health is something that can trigger in us all. Every human being is capable of falling victim to a vicious disease such as cancer. Our mental health is no different or more immune than our physical. It can be triggered at any time by a number of contributing factors. Some people are just unfortunate whilst others suffer it as a result of a traumatic event, or even stress.

In the case of Demi Lovato, I am not somebody who has followed her every move but her mental health goes way back before her drug addiction. Do not forget her 2011 hit, ‘Skyscraper’, which was about the bullying she endured and the issues she faced as a result. Additionally, Demi’s father was an addict and this was very troubling for her as I suspect it would be for many. We do forget this is a 25 year old girl who grew up on the TV screens and has lived most of her teenage and adult life in the spotlight. Despite the money and fame this life may bring, would it really be that cool? Or could it be lonely, treacherous and hard?

Part of being in the spotlight often includes the ability to stay relevant and for many, losing what they know best is an incredible amount of pressure.

I hope Demi makes a full recovery and I hope one day we really do show that we want to understand mental health.


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