Megan Markle: The Liar Or Piers Morgan The D**k?
Meghan Markle's interview highlights why it is still so difficult to talk about suicide
Surely you've watched the interview by now?
The one where the American host Oprah Winfrey did with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Personally, I am not someone who is very interested in the royal family and what happens around it, but this time I was struck by a couple of topics that are not usually discussed no way near as much as they should in mainstream media, even in 2021: mental health and suicidal thoughts, any surprise though? Look at the infamous reaction of Piers Morgan...
Although we are progressing more and more as a society in talking about these issues, the repercussions of Markle's testimony on Sunday show that it is still very difficult to talk about these issues.
I must admit that at first, I did not pay much attention to the whole thing, I'm not a fan of the whole monarchy anyway, too archaic and old fashioned, and although I am no royal commentator (yes, that's an actual job - but looking at this video, I don't know why it is)
I do know that the situation between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Crown has been in turmoil for the past few years. Then I started to see (thank you Twitter) and read excerpts from the interview and that's when I really started paying attention. Honestly, I was outraged by some accusations of racism, although I was not surprised, what really blew my mind was when Meghan Markle confessed that she had serious mental health problems and even had suicidal thoughts.
Why do I think highlighting this is so important? Because no matter how much we think that awareness of mental health and mental illness is on everyone's lips, it is events like these that remind us that there is still a lot of stigmatization about the subject.
Yes, Princesses Can Be Depressed Too!
First of all, it is a big step for people with such a powerful voice and grand title to boot, to talk about their problems on massive platforms, in fact, the largest platform, the world stage, 17 countries were showing the interview live and you know the rest of the world watched the highlights. It is estimated that more than 49.1 million people have watched the interview so far. Usually, an attempt is made to avoid the S-word on such an occasion, yet there was no such pussyfooting here, Meghan, bravely might I add, made it very clear, she needed professional help to treat her mental health issues.
However, the uproar on Twitter that this sparked and the reactions of some celebrities like Piers Morgan reminded us once again that things haven't changed that much. Thousands accused her of acting everything, that it was all theatrical or just a vile lie.
Gosh, I hate Twitter as much as I love it.
But why in 2021 are there still people who don't believe in mental health and suicide?
Mental Illness Is NOT Interested In Your Bank Ballance Or Title
Do you know how they usually say that cancer is the disease that does not discriminate because everyone can suffer from it? The truth is that mental illness is exactly the same.
Yes, you would expect that a person with so many resources would have more access to professional services and help, but the cases of famous and wealthy individuals who have committed suicide or have gone through very difficult times are number in the thousands, it can even be argued that fame and fortune are usually a shortcut to mental health issues, so why should it be any different for Meghan Markle?
I assure you that if Elon Musk stopped brushing and flossing, his teeth would rot like anyone else's. Mental health is the same, you must take care of it. Even if you do, it is susceptible to being harmed by a devastating event or circumstances, which no one is safe from.
This is precisely why I think these conversations are so important, especially coming from celebrities. They show us that no mind is, safe, shielded by money or monarchy. We can all suffer from depression or suicidal thoughts if the right, or wrong, in this case - circumstances are present.
Awareness Is Simply Not Enough
Meghan and Harry spoke about how the UK press and tabloids significantly affected their lives and mental health. They pointed to racist and orchestrated attacks directed at them. After hearing that I was surprised that her situation was not even more serious, I mean, just look at this!
Oh, here's another one...
If you have any doubts about whether more conversations about suicide are really needed, we just need to review the reaction that all this has triggered. Many people dedicated themselves to attacking them even more and discrediting their words, I even read that “suicide is a selfish act” as if it were a choice. It really was a very bitter pill to swallow, to the point that I can't even make a joke about the people that makes these comments. and that's the ultimate catharsis for me. That's how bad I feel, folks.
So What Can We Do About It?
First and foremost: if you ever hear someone talking about their experience, never, ever, ever minimize their problems or their feelings. Never assume that depression is just a phase, that suicidal thoughts are for attention, or that mental illness is something you choose.
If you have a story to tell yourself, go ahead and do it!. There are many benefits to talking about our experiences, plus we will encourage others to share theirs and be part of their recovery as we heal ourselves.
If anything has become clear to me about Oprah's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markel, it's that I have a lot more in common with royalty than I thought, I just couldn't be depressed in a castle (that's the only joke, guys, I promise). And that it is not enough just to say that mental health is important, we must make it part of active conversations and encourage others to talk about their stories.
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