“Out”ing of another kind

October 24, 2009 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment

I was passively listening to Good Morning America last week while I was getting ready for work and heard Glenn Close talk about her sister’s mental illness. The interviewer, I have no idea who it was, asked Glenn how she felt about being “outed” for her sister’s mental illness.  Are you kidding me? This is a horrible way to perpetuate the idea that having a mental illness of any kind is something to be ashamed of, hidden, and never discussed.  Tom Cruise started this firestorm when he attacked Matt Lauer about postpartum depression indicating it as a non-entity (many new moms loudly disagreed and thank you for doing so). And now we have someone on Good Morning America indicating its shameful to share if you have depression, anxiety, or anything similar and if you do, you shouldn’t have.

Why all the labels and their negative connotations? I have talked about labeling before, though more from a personality assessment perspective, but this really bothers me.  Why is it bad that someone has anxiety or depression?  There are many types of depression (and anxiety too) by the way but most think of clinical depression. That is one, but there is also situational depression.  When I think about situational depression, I think about the book Eat, Pray, Love. The main character ends up going on a yearlong adventure to escape, cleanse, and become whole again after a particularly ugly divorce.  This is not a bad thing. Something and someone she believed in died, in a sense, and she is sad and mourning that loss.

I have had my own bouts with depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. I am not, nor will I ever be, ashamed or embarrassed that I have been through these states and sought help from them.  In fact the times when I felt shy about it when I have shared this and gotten the pity look, like I was now irrevocably broken.  I was not as open to getting the helps I needed. But as you get older, you want resolutions, you want help, you want answers.  I was insightful enough about myself to realize things weren’t working quite like I wanted and even sometimes even saw what I was doing that I wished I was not. But I could never quite make the changes needed or make them stick for longer than a second or two.  I needed help to change my mindset and my behaviors and I thank the wonderful people who have helped me on my journey back to me. I have often shared how seeking help gave me the ability to take what I knew about myself and dig deeper within to move forward.  And this from someone who rarely asks for help!!

Don’t always listen to those in the media or “out there” in the world. Sometimes, they aren’t right. Sometimes they are. You have a right to make up your own mind to agree or disagree.  Alcoholism, cancer, anorexia, mental illness, and more. None need be a dirty word.

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Entry filed under: Miscellania, Relationships, research, Saturation, television, thoughts, well-being. Tags: , , , , , , .

To Kindle or Not to Kindle – Follow-up The No Impact Man

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