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AIBU in thinking Theresa May is massively lacking in empathy?

(59 Posts)
hellowembley Tue 10-Jan-17 18:28:14

Theresa May & fellow tories going on about improving mental health services for the past few days. She goes on Radio 5 Live this morning to do an interview about it. The presenter's final question was along the lines of 'maintaining mental health is important for everyone... what do you do to care for your mental health?' - giving the PM a massive in to display some humanity and empathy, i thought. Her response... 'i'm one of those people who just gets on with it.' I mean....

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 10-Jan-17 18:29:31

So should she have lied then?

Sirzy Tue 10-Jan-17 18:30:34

But if it isn't something she has personally struggled with then how else could she answer?

Some people are able to just get on with it.

helpimitchy Tue 10-Jan-17 18:32:56

Very nice I must say hmm

I have functional depression and I just "get on with it" as well, but I still get depressed and life is shit when that happens.

She'll have had a right cushy upbringing, so she can't judge angry

HallowedMimic Tue 10-Jan-17 18:33:22

Well lots of people do just that.

Theresa May might reasonably be expected to answer for policy, but she isn't compelled to discuss her private affairs.

It was a wishy washy question anyway. I can honestly say I don't take steps to pro actively 'care for my mental health'.

hellowembley Tue 10-Jan-17 18:33:57

Well I don't struggle with mental health problems either but I still think everybody has strategies for happiness and stress relief.... right? Regular exercise maybe? Or talking to friends and family, whatever. 'I just get on with it' doesn't show much... common humanity with the people her government say they're targeting help at.

Sirzy Tue 10-Jan-17 18:34:27

I don't think a "cushy upbringing" protects you from mental health problems

harderandharder2breathe Tue 10-Jan-17 18:34:46

I get what you mean, it's the implication that those of us who can't simply get on with it are just not trying hard enough. It's like my manager telling me I need to go for walks when I'm struggling to even get out of bed and I want to die.

"It's not something I've really struggled with myself" is a perfectly valid answer that I think would have been more appropriate

hellowembley Tue 10-Jan-17 18:35:43

I am not defending 5 Live's questioning... the Today programme it ain't, but I don't think it was meant as an intrusive question

Katy07 Tue 10-Jan-17 18:38:40

I don't think you can judge her for not wanting to discuss something that's personal. Her faith is important to her but she doesn't feel that it's right for politicians to go on about religion so she doesn't discuss it in detail - no doubt her faith is part of how she cares for her mental health.
To be honest I doubt I could come up with a decent answer just like that but I know that I do have ways of coping.

Fallonjamie Tue 10-Jan-17 18:39:36

She was asked a shitty question which was inviting her to publicly talk about personal issues. That doesn't mean she doesn't have empathy.

And lots of people do just 'get on with it'. It doesn't mean that the people who are unable to are deficient in some way; just that people are individual and have varying degrees of impairment and difficulties.

helpimitchy Tue 10-Jan-17 18:39:44

I don't think a "cushy upbringing" protects you from mental health problems

No, but you're more likely to suffer from mental health problems if you've been abused, raised in poverty, have had a poor education, poor nutrition, unemployment, drug/alcohol abuse and a degraded environment. I highly doubt that Theresa May has experienced these things, therefore, she's had a head start on many of us and probably a pretty cushy life.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Tue 10-Jan-17 18:41:29

Being a politician doesn't mean that you have to have empathy. Judge her for what she does or doesn't do but it was a stupid question which had no 'good' answer - if she had even hinted that she had issues, people would be saying that she couldn't do her job

Cherryskypie Tue 10-Jan-17 18:41:34

I've had a 'right cushy upbringing' and 20+ years of depression.

Looking after your mental health is much like looking after your physical health. You can exercise and eat well. You can find ways to manage stress.

Katy07 Tue 10-Jan-17 18:41:43

"It's not something I've really struggled with myself" is a perfectly valid answer that I think would have been more appropriate
But maybe she has struggled in the past and her way of coping was just to get on with it? We don't know. Some people don't like taking medication. Others don't do talking therapies. It's all about finding what works for you individually. For some people they just have to focus on work or whatever their daily routine is. It doesn't mean they lack empathy.

LiviaDrusillaAugusta Tue 10-Jan-17 18:42:17

And in what other job can you get intrusive questions about your MH?

Fallonjamie Tue 10-Jan-17 18:42:18

There is no background that protects people from abuse. It occurs in all sectors of society.

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Tue 10-Jan-17 18:43:10

but some people do just get on with it?

her response for her own issues? you know maybe being in high profile cabinet postion and now pM is one of the ways in which she does this by keeping busy?

2014newme Tue 10-Jan-17 18:43:13

She goes hillwalking.

specialsubject Tue 10-Jan-17 18:43:57

how she looks after her own health is no-one's business and is utterly irrelevant. Stupid question puts her in an impossible position.

I'd be more concerned about the random crap her oppo came out with today!

Sugarcoma Tue 10-Jan-17 18:45:20

Given the woman has diabetes I suspect she has her down moments just like the rest of us (it's a debilitating condition) but she's under no obligation to discuss them publicly.

And the thing about diabetes is that you really do get very mentally down about it and then have to pick yourself up and get on with it because it's chronic so what choice do you have - so to a fellow sufferer her words make a lot of sense. Just because you don't personally understand what she's going through doesn't mean she's lacking in empathy.

Katy07 Tue 10-Jan-17 18:45:38

No, but you're more likely to suffer from mental health problems if you've been abused, raised in poverty, have had a poor education, poor nutrition, unemployment, drug/alcohol abuse and a degraded environment. I highly doubt that Theresa May has experienced these things, therefore, she's had a head start on many of us and probably a pretty cushy life.
Sorry but I completely disagree. I've not been abused, I had a comfortable upbringing, had a decent education, reasonable diet (we'll ignore the flapjack I made this afternoon), had (decent) jobs, never abused drugs or alcohol... But I have suffered from depression when I was younger and I struggle now with my autism & OCD. So how does that fit in??

SuburbanRhonda Tue 10-Jan-17 18:45:49

I think the problem with someone like her saying, "I just get on with it" is that it feeds into the idea that anyone can and should do the same.

She could easily have said thankfully, it's not something she's had to deal with, but she could imagine that having loving family and friends around you would help, as well as knowing where to get help when you need it.

I agree that she missed an opportunity to show some insight and empathy there.

SaucyJack Tue 10-Jan-17 18:48:32

I guess her PR advisors hadn't scripted for that question.

Awks.

hellowembley Tue 10-Jan-17 18:50:32

To me the phrase 'get on with it' implies people struggling are not trying to get on with it... i thought it was an odd way to respond. Along the lines of being asked 'what strategies do you have for managing money' and replying 'none! I'm too fucking rich to worry about that'
The presenter wasn't asking about specific past or present mental health problems but how she maintains happiness generally... don't think it was an unreasonable q.
But maybe i have misinterpreted Theresa and been too harsh. Ok i am being unreasonable!

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