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To think that these people are not really speaking out about mental health

(22 Posts)
Pebbles1989 Fri 21-Apr-17 19:16:23

Let me start by saying that I think that being more open about mental health is a great idea. A lot of people at work are fundraising for Heads Together and that's brilliant.

However... So many people have "spoken out" about mental health but not really done so. I haven't seen a single person who's said: "I've had depression/I'm bipolar/my daughter has anorexia" etc. Mental health problems are so common that statistically, some of the people speaking out must have had them.

Instead, it's all things like: "My wife is a great support to me" or "I find yoga really calming" or "A close friend of mine has had depression."

AIBU to think that these sorts of bland statements are actually reinforcing the view that it's not acceptable to be open about mental health issues?

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Fri 21-Apr-17 19:35:55

Alistair Campbell has been open about suffering depression for years. Prince Harry has said he had to have counselling. I forget his name but there was recently a news presenter on tv with his daughter speaking about their experience when she suffered anorexia.

So I think yabu

JamesDelaneysHat Fri 21-Apr-17 19:41:44

It's still scary for people. At the moment the media has to focus on 'accessible' stuff that doesn't alienate people. They can't show reality of severe mental illness - psychosis, schizophrenia, chaotic lives and repeated hospital admissions. It would scare people off, so talking about a bit of yoga or mindfulness isn't perfect but it's a start.

BarneyRumbleton Fri 21-Apr-17 19:43:57

Stormzy, Professor Green, Stephen Fry, Lady Gaga. They've all spoken of their own experiences.
Can you be specific about which people you mean OP?

VinoEsmeralda Fri 21-Apr-17 19:45:19

Bryony Morgan is another great example!

VikingLady Fri 21-Apr-17 19:46:58

Do you mean celebs, or friends/fb friends? Because I find the opposite.

EastMidsMummy Fri 21-Apr-17 19:47:20

Who is Bryon Morgan?

TheFairyCaravan Fri 21-Apr-17 19:49:53

Zayn Malik has spoken out about his mental health. Denise Welch has been speaking out for years.

Did you watch Mind Over Marathon last night OP?

FormerlyFrikadela01 Fri 21-Apr-17 19:51:57

I agree with JamesDelaneysHat

Depression, anxiety, eating disorders are more media friendly i think because most people can empathise to a certain extent. Particularly with depression and anxiety i think the majority of people can see how the could happen to anyone.

The more severe and enduring mental disorders though like psychosis and schizophrenia happen to other people. They are very scary and imagining it happening to yourself, or someone you know is hard. Bipolar used to be like that but i think there is a lot more acceptance of it now.

BadKnee Fri 21-Apr-17 19:52:38

I both agree and disagree. I hate the fact that "mental heath" is used
interchangeably with "mood" and "state of mind" as if everyone has mental health problems the minute something doesn't go quite their way or they need an excuse to avoid doing something they would rather not.

BUT I also know that the more dangerous, scarier, less "pretty" mental health problems are still swept under the carpet. I don't think the stigma has gone at all. It is a huge factor in homelessness, unemployment, violence, anti-social behaviour, relationship breakdown and physical health problems not to mention the more obvious suicide and self harm cases and yet that's not as palatable as nice, clean Prince Harry saying he was depressed when his beautiful, popular mother died.

I'd like to see real money behind mental health and real solutions /coping/treatment for people and their families and less of the "I can't do overtime as it is not good for my mental health"

Ktown Fri 21-Apr-17 20:00:48

It is a sanitised and controlled presentation of mental health problems.
If someone is broken and a mess and unable to eat and sleep they look just terrible. All the celebs look great so I suppose it is difficult to visualise - I kind of see what you are saying.

Pebbles1989 Fri 21-Apr-17 20:02:00

I'm talking mainly about people at work. I'd have so much respect for someone in a senior position who admitted to having had a mental health problem but nobody has.

JamesDelaneysHat Fri 21-Apr-17 20:20:28

Maybe they haven't had mental health issues?

Feckitall Fri 21-Apr-17 20:36:19

I get what you mean OP. I was thinking about the royals and lady gaga publicity which is fine but it needs putting into practical action.
It needs heavy investment in mental health to get acceptance both financially and publicly. Housing, support and treatment are needed in large amounts.for example A young man with mh issues is generally left to it and then falls into the criminal justice system which also isn't set up to cope.

Pebbles1989 Fri 21-Apr-17 20:42:36

I find it vanishingly unlikely that none of these people (about a dozen) has ever had a mental issue of any sort.

Also, if they were talking about, say, cancer, they'd openly say if their son, daughter or spouse had had it. But when it's mental health that turns into "someone close to me"!

Pebbles1989 Fri 21-Apr-17 20:43:03

*Mental health issue, not mental issue! blush

JamesDelaneysHat Fri 21-Apr-17 20:56:29

I hear what you're saying, but really, people aren't obliged to reveal anything about themselves if they don't want to- that includes physical or mental health. Some people are just private. I understand that people are more likely to talk about physical illness but even then, it's likely to be a sanitised version. Cancer is still.talked about as being a 'battle' which i hate. People won't want to tell you about their piles or prolapse for example. There is shame attached to some areas of the body/bodily functions. Humans are bloody weird and complicated.

LynetteScavo Fri 21-Apr-17 21:02:45

Several people where I work openly talk about their mental health problems. None of them are in senior positions. That could just be coincidence, or that I'm not close enough to senior staff for them to tell me, or that mental health issues stop people reaching their full potential, or many other reasons....

Almost all my closest friends have at least one child with a mental health issue. A generation ago parents wouldn't have even recognised the problem, let alone discuss it with friends. I do think we are making progress. I remember my grandmother saying her father was depressed, but at the time the word wasn't used.

dangermouseisace Fri 21-Apr-17 21:17:02

I admire Frank Bruno for being open about his mental illness. He's about the only person whose story I could relate to- the messy part of MH…hospital admissions, varying quality of care. I found that a lot of the discussion seems to be geared towards people who are 'coping'…maybe only just…That's a good thing in that people are saying it's ok to ask for help even if you 'look' like you don't need it. But it does mean that people who are very unwell, or who have serious and enduring mental health problems can feel even more alienated. It also means a wealth of unhelpful 'helpful' suggestions as people who know you've been ill think if you just do mindfulness/get a job you'll get better and that taking drugs that have side effects and make you fat is a cop out/not necessary.

stumblymonkeyreturns Fri 21-Apr-17 21:31:37

FWIW I work in The City in a well paid job and am completely open about having bipolar disorder and have even done an event where I gave a talk about it.

stumblymonkeyreturns Fri 21-Apr-17 21:33:02

I very nearly got to be in the latest Stephen Fry documentary, met with the Director and everyfink but sadly the Beeb said no sad

justmeee Fri 21-Apr-17 21:35:10

May they don't want to? People hide all sorts of ailments and conditions.

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