Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Is Mental Illness "Fashionable"?





I'm sorry Mr Oddie, but I am going to have to stop you right there.

"Celebrities make mental illness fashionable"?

I disagree, and here is why I do so.

Firstly, I am yet to see a celebrity talking about how they lost 30lb on the mental illness diet and have never looked back, or that their hair and skin is so shiny and glossy because they use...Mental illness.

Instead what I am seeing generally, is people in a position to be able to use a platform that they have been granted to help stamp out the stigma attached to mental illness. If someone is suffering in silence from a mental illness, then they have been let down. Because despite the attempts of places such as Asda, Thorpe Park, Tesco and Amazon, Mental illness is slowly becoming less of a dirty word.

But that doesn't mean we are there yet. Which is why every time someone speaks up about their experiences with mental illness, I say a little thank you for their courage, If someone who is a role model to others, stands up and says, "You know what, I too am like you, I have experienced things that are dark, scary and every day I battle my demons to keep on going" then how on earth is that making Mental Health fashionable? That is just showing someone that they are not alone, someone out there knows exactly what they are going through, and either they are still struggling, but keeping going or they are showing that there is hope, things can improve, and yes, maybe a celebrity will also slip back into a previous depression or other mental illness but when they are open and honest and sharing these issues then other people will hopefully have less shame.

I feel sad that Bill Oddie does not feel this way too. He also says has stepped back from his work with a bipolar charity and feels that people have made a career out of mental illness,

People like Stephen Fry and Ruby Wax and others with a platform have also, in my opinion saved a lot of lives by sharing their stories.

He says normal people cannot relate to celebrities having mental illness?

I beg to differ

I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Let me know.


Big Fashionista x x x
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6 comments

  1. I thought Bill Oddie was all right, but he's obviously a bit of a bell end. Anyone who shines a light on mental illness is doing a good thing. End of.

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  2. This article upsets me a bit. Anyone who experiences 'mental illness' would feel that it is not something you want to shout from the rooftops like 'oh hiiiiii have you heard I have the latest fashionable album on REALLY loud right now'. Fashionable? To be ill? Hardly Mr Oddie.

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  3. It's not making mental health issue fashionable, it's bringing awareness and openness to a condition that has been far too long misunderstood. It's helping those who suffer realise they aren't the only ones, it's helping bring money to much underfunded and cut services and I for one think it's anything but fashionable.

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  4. Absolutely think it's wonderful when celebrities or anyone in fact speaks up about mental health issues. It's such a taboo subject and shouldn't be. It needs to be normalised as it's an illness like any other. Celebrities speaking out about their experiences help to do so, and I don't at all think they are doing it for any other reason than that. I doubt Bill would say public figures who discuss other illness such as cancer, are making such "fashionable". I've written about my experience with mental illness on my blog, which was hard as it was something I had kept from people I was close to, not because I was ashamed, but because it was something you don't want to admit to yourself, let alone talk about when you're in the depths of it. But speaking about it has actually helped me get through it, knowing support is there, and that I can be of some small comfort to others who may be suffering alone. Well done to Stephen Fry and Ruby Wax for talking about it, even if their experiences just touched one person and made them feel less alone or change someone's views on it, then it was worth it.

    Vanessa xx

    The Other VW

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  5. For fuck's sake!

    Mental illness doesn't discriminate between wealth, status or any other demographic factor. It's an illness. A clinical illness. So yes some celebrities might suffer with mental illnesses just like 'normal' folk. But that's the issue isn't it? Odie is implying that celebrities are like another creature or species - an 'other' being different from the rest of us, which is utter nonsense. Every celebrity is a HUMAN BEING. They are as fallible, vulnerable and prone to illnesses as every other human being on the planet. The only difference is that they have the voice and platform to raise awareness about things that are wrongly stigmatised by society.

    I'm not going to call Odie an idiot. I feel like he might be suffering too and he might be handling it badly. It was a poor choice of words and huge shame that he needs to step down for his charity work. But that is his decision. I just wish that he hadn't used his celebrity status to speak such potentially damaging words about an illness that already so stigmatised.

    There is nothing cool or fashionable about a mental illness. And I can't imagine anyone who suffers from it would think so.

    (p.s. sorry for the swear. sometimes you just need to let it out - hopefully the rest of my comment was eloquent enough to make up for it.)

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  6. I can make a career out of my mental illness? Shit why didn't anyone tell me?????

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