In today’s society, raising awareness of mental health is something that becomes more and more apparent each day. However, one thing that I have noticed for quite some time now is the fact that we have created an ideal image of what a person suffering from mental health looks like. To elaborate, this could be understood through a social media frenzy that took place between R&B singer Summer Walker and the media.
If you’re anything like me, then you too are in love with R&B soul music, and Summer Walker is an artist who is able to generate just that. Although her music is undeniably great and relatable, there are a lot of stigmas associated with her name. Summer recently disclosed that she suffers from social anxiety, while later expressing that she feels nothing other than an urge of unsettlement when she’s doing meet-and-greets with her fans or even when she’s on stage performing. However, because of the way she portrays herself on social media, her followers are finding her statements hard to believe. This ultimately led to her becoming cyberbullied by individuals creating what was thought to be funny memes of her, sending hateful messages and even mocking her health issues. The sad part about all of this is that Summer is not the first celebrity and definitely won’t be the last celebrity to find themselves getting disrespected. This is because the media often labels and decides what is and is not acceptable. A-list celebrities like rapper/fashion designer Kanye West all the way to singer Demi Lovato are just two of the many examples that became victims of cyberbullying due to their mental stability.
Now, I’m not saying that you must be an advocate for every single celebrity who suffers from mental illness issues. But what I am saying is to use these individuals as an example and apply them to your own life. This can easily be done by developing a sense of awareness for the people you love and most importantly for yourself. Being able to identify various symptoms of what may be identified as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, eating disorders or even trauma-related disorders (just to name a few) can save a person that you hold close to your heart from having to battle through it alone. Becoming aware of yourself when you aren’t feeling your best is important while seeking help to correct the problem could potentially save you from a lifetime of misery.
If you haven’t taken anything away from this article, understand that although society has reached a place in time where mental health awareness is the topic of discussion, it is important not to discredit individuals from being victims of it. No matter how much money someone may have, how beautiful someone may be or even how happy someone may seem, you never know what that person may be going through behind closed doors. Practice living with not only an open mind but an open heart, by allowing your hands to be free so you could be of a helping hand to another.