Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Hey Look! I'm Cool Because I Care!
My name is Tim and I am a guest blogger. In contrast to the other authors on this blog my posts will be less about actual bipolar people and more a commentary on the social narrative and my thinking process. By nature I care little for what people think but if anyone at all reads this then obviously by contrast you value my thoughts. The suicidal passing of one of my favorite actors and comedians; Robin Williams, is tragic and well publicized in this ever media-centric world. People have responded in many different ways on Twitter and Instagram as well as on Facebook. Some think that he took the cowards way out and that suicide by definition is a weak and shameful thing to do. Others shame those who think so shallowly, and cite the extremism of taking one's own life in depression and desperation as a "brave" thing to do. I personally don't mind either of these viewpoints. The only group whose opinion incites a response in me is hypocrites who are shouting to the public as of just now, that depression and mental illness needs attention and care, understanding and empathy, and most of all tolerance. I find this ironic since the ones saying this show no such support in their everyday lives. Only now do they proclaim in the absence of a famous person, their knight's armor and holiness.
I'm bipolar, not just in context but in reality. I have as of today got back on meds after realizing I can't handle the everyday stress that more stable people deal with on a regular basis. Growing up (which I still have to do), my peers always used the term "bipolar" in a negative connotation without knowing what it means. Even today the stigma of having any kind of mental disorder is not a stamp of individuality, or a label that grants empathy. It makes you a freak. A ticking time bomb and a topic of gossip. No one thought that Robin Williams needed any help because, hey lets face it, his manias made him a really fun guy. Until I found out "what" I was and reflected on my experiences I never understood what "what goes up must come down" meant. Sure Robin did drugs and drank in excess but these things are considered "normal" in Hollywood and amongst us normal people. And his depression held no weight until it ended his life. Why only in the wake of tragedy is a battle worth fighting, when the tragedy could have been averted?
In America, reality television and media has a magnifying glass on everyone's problems. Usually harmless stuff like scandals and DUIs. So why is it okay to laugh at everyone's problems, but once they die it's a huge shame and we all offer condolences and preachy statuses about how we cared all along? If you care about battling depression in our country and communities, then do something about it ALL the time. Or at least not just when someone dies from it. If you want to support the cause in ending suffering of those with breast cancer, then don't wait until a loved one dies from it to act! Too long does society wait until the problems of the world touch them to actually give a shit. Don't wait for Robin Williams to die to try and help someone who is depressed or thinking of taking their life. The rope around their neck is no looser just because they were never featured in a movie.
Don't shame guys like me who are bipolar, and suffer from depression because then maybe we wouldn't hide it. If the sufferers didn't have to be scared of rejection and shame for what they experience then they could ask for help. And if we weren't all hypocrites then maybe, just maybe, we would help them. In conclusion, I'm not mad at anyone, I just wish we would all stand. Not just when it will make us popular, for following the trends and making political correctness a "fad". Don't pretend to care when it will boost your likes on social media and make you a saint. Actually care. Rest In Peace Robin Williams, you will be missed.