but the soldiers ????

I am a couple of months late from Mental Health awareness week but I wanted to bring forward this whole stigma towards mental health in digital and social media, following on from a ranting twitter thread I wrote.
I feel like it is definitely important to talk about the density of people’s views towards mental health sufferers.

I saw this picture on Facebook with the caption “Makes me sick every time I hear the media talk about how @lamarodom is “battling” for his life. There’s ACTUAL soldiers and Marines who battle for their lives everyday.”

Before anyone thinks it is supposed to be a supportive, socially stimulating post, lets analyse it.
Firstly, the caption. Don’t know who the person was who posted the pictures but plenty of my Facebook friends were sharing it and I really think it was anything but respectful. I understand just as much as anyone that there are ‘ACTUAL’ soldiers and marines who fight for their country (out of choice) and I do respect them as people, but as someone who doesn’t 100% support the military because it is an imperialistic organisation that does more bad than good (more so the Americans than the British), I still know there are so many brave soldiers that have lost their lives or been terribly injured for selfless acts that obviously need acknowledgement. BUT, what does make me sick is seeing them unnecessarily compared to something they have NO correlation to.

Mental Health Sufferers ≠ All Soldiers

Drug addiction, depression, PTSD, anxiety, suicidal thoughts; all of this causes suffering and hurt in a human being and deserves its share of media recognition. Many soldiers and marines would understand this.
The picture on Facebook quotes Lamar ‘took drugs in a whore house to get high, press updates every hour of his recovery.’ This is how to media works. Its never going to change in this way. Learn this. I took journalism for a year at University before dropping out (lol) and I learnt journalism is the second most hated profession after politicians, for obvious reasons, but without the news and media, no one would know anything that is happening in the world.
But despite this, a man, who also happens to be famous, almost died, and people are complaining about it…

I know the world is sick to death of the Kardashian’s and any thing else related to them but the reality of it is, you can’t and won’t escape them anytime soon so understand that this is how it is. (Advice: don’t follow the DailyMail)

Lamar Odom is an American former professional basketball player. As a member of the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA, he won NBA championships in 2009 and 2010 and was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2011.

Born on November 6, 1979 in Queens, New York, Lamar Odom used basketball to help him through a traumatic childhood. His father was a disabled veteran and heroin addict, so he was raised by his single mother, Cathy Mercer who died when he was just 12.

In 2006, Lamar’s son Jayden Odom died when he was just 6 months old.

In 2013, he split from his wife of of 6 years, Khloe Kardashian.

In 2015, his best friend Jamie Sangouthai died from a ‘suspected’ overdose.

Now at the end of 2015, he is a 35 year old retired NBA player, is struggling with divorce, drug addiction, depression, anxiety and demons, and people are going to dismiss his “battle” because of the soldiers!?

It’s like the Caitlin Jenner thing all over again. I personally don’t like her but when she first came out as transgender, everyone was talking about the soldiers and pictures likes the Lamar one were going viral,  and there’s literally no correlation or link, just dismissive, transphobic behaviour and rumours.

Mental Health Awareness week is in the month of May, but we still 100% need to ‘stamp out the stigma’ that revolves around it.

If you did take the time to read this till the end and still agree with the picture posted on Facebook, the Marine’s name is Kyle Carpenter and last year he received a medal of honour for his bravery and his selfless act, and is only the 3rd Marine from the Afghanistan and Iraq war to receive it, who you will also see made a remarkable recovery that was documented. (and made me cry a little bit.)

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Jamie McIlhatton

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