Stan Collymore became the darling of twitter recently by tweeting a Cúpla focail as gaeilge. Collymore seemed intent on endearing himself to the Irish tweeting public for whatever reasons within his own mind, which is perfectly ok no problem there. Some people seemed intent on redeeming Collymore though by implying he was depressed at the time of his vicious assault on Ulrika Jonsson. Sinead O’Connor became tabloid fodder once again after her 4th marriage ended after 16 days making Kim Kardashian’s marriage look perfectly normal. It was the subsequent debate that kicked off afterwards that irked me. Sure he is depressed, Sure she is depressed…….
The general public in recent years have become more aware of what depression is and how it affects people, and how to help those that suffer with depression. This past year alone I have seen more mental health awareness drives than I can remember….. Or maybe noticed….. A lot more needs to be done judging by recent discussions.
Stan Collymore kicked Ulrika Jonsson in the head as she lay on the floor because he was a vicious thug with anger issues not because he was depressed as some people inferred. Personally I have deep loathing for men who use violence or bully women. People may say he has redeemed himself through his mental health awareness drives , that is neither for you or I to judge, ask Ulrika see what she says.
People inferring that Collymore used violence because he was depressed are wrong and by doing so further stigmatises those that are suffering from depression by inferring there is a correlation between violence and depression. No such link exists. It is a sad fact though depressed are more likely to attempt harm to themselves.
Sinead O’Connor’s bizarre behavior in recent months has been put down to depression also. While that may in fact be in the case, only a trained mental heath professional can give an informed opinion.
I, like many others know people that suffer from depression that go about their everyday lives being brilliant mothers, husbands, parents and partners. Wonderful, wonderful people that are neither inclined to score some dope with an addiction counsellor or feel the need to get married 4 times and subsequently get divorced after 16 days of marriage. Once again people inferred that O’Connors behavior was perfectly normal for someone that is suffering from depression “obviously she is depressed” was one comment I came across. Once again a stigma and misconceptions are attached to being depressed.
Some of the most brilliant people I have known in life have suffered from depression. Kind, caring, brilliant people. Wonderful parents to their children, Friends that can be relied on, Professionally above and beyond competent and reproach.
This week sees the beginning of the First Fortnight festival . It aims to challenge mental health prejudice and misconceptions through the arts. I gave 2 example of of misconceived notions of depression. There are a many more out their…… Normal political ranting will resume soon with my political predictions for 2012 or whats left apparently the world is ending this year.