I have been hearing things and reading articles about celebrities suddenly starting to ‘come out’ about their mental health issues. I’m not sure about their decision to be open about their mental health problems. They may think that they’re helping in the grand scale of awareness and acceptance. However, they are actually adding other potential issues. Kerry Katona had a valid point about her publicist telling her constantly to say she had an awful childhood or other experiences that made her behave as she did, just don’t say mental illness if you don’t want career suicide basically.
Unfortunately, it is like that in any industries where you’re constantly ‘seen’ by others. I do not like how it is because I know that in the media or entertainment industry they’d rather you be a naturally bad person, opposed to a ‘mad’ person. I have came across some horrendous attitudes from others within it. I’m open about my diagnosis and what it entails. I would probably have done a hell of a lot better in the media industry if I hadn’t been open about that side of me. That is something that I never really considered when I was younger. And, if I could have my time over again then I’d probably not tell people about my disability or share aspects of that side of me with others. It’s too late now. I just cannot erase the fact that I’ve been open about my issues and probably lost out in many aspects due to that choice which I made as a teenager.
The perfect image that a lot of us create is far from the truth. The perfect image doesn’t really exist because it’s fakery like most of the things we see on television and in magazines. We chose the image or the perspective that we wish to see. There is always a bias to how we want to present things. I wasn’t surprised when the likes of Mariah Carey came out with a Bipolar diagnosis. She’s been known to be a little on the extreme diva side. That condition is all about ‘extremes’. There is literally no in between. It’s either up or down for those with Bipolar. I don’t want to insult anyone who has it here because it’s just an observation of people I’ve met with the condition. They can be self absorbed and quite selfish. I don’t think they mean to be like that but the aspect of being high or low simply over takes everything. That high or low is too intense to be able to focus on anything else. I can relate to the aspects where the thoughts and wishes that the person has over takes everything else. I’ve been like that in my life. In some respects, there are times when I still reach that point.
I am concerned that celebrities doing this could have a negative impact on the mental health issues being recognised and understood. I am afraid that it will become a form of wide spread labelling, where no one is seen as their name, but just a mental health label to basically describe their personality. I wouldn’t like to be referred to as the girl with PDA or Asperger Syndrome within a group of others. I’m Em, Emma or Emma-Lucy (not many people actually call me my full hyphenated name -apart from in certain circles, and I’ve also had people call me Lucy because they say I look more like a Lucy. I’m trying to say that I’m not just a condition and I no longer wish for this to define me. I do not want this to be the kind of fall out from celebrities coming out with their mental health problems.