Friday, 3 January 2014

Educating Eamonn Holmes

When I heard that This Morning was covering the subject of post-Christmas and New Year depression and mental health I was intrigued to watch, to only be made a fool out of…

I am very happy when media debates the subject of mental health, it increases the knowledge and awareness of the subject whilst challenging the stigma and discrimination.  I believe programs like My Mad Fat Diary and the BBC series It’s a Mad World have done a fantastic job in doing so.  But when I tuned into This Morning on the 3rd January 2014 to hear Eamonn Holmes laughing, saying that those with Generalised Anxiety Disorder ‘are not happy unless they are worrying’ and that all you need is to have a laugh I was left feeling embarrassed, a fool and a laughing stock to the nation.  Like millions of others I am debilitated by my anxiety and depressive episodes, to have somebody belittle the subject and make it humorous is an insult.

I hope Mr Holmes will read this, as I have a few pointers to enlighten him on:
  • Mental illness is a REAL disease.  You would not laugh at someone who has diabetes or chronic back pain, so why those with a mental illness?
  • Depression is not cured by simply laughing it away, if that were the case millions of us would not be left debilitated by it.
  • People with Generalised Anxiety Disorder are certainly NOT happy if they are worrying, it’s the complete opposite, WE WANT TO STOP WORRYING.
  • Telling people that they will not recover from bereavement is giving them negative false hope.

I hope This Morning will revisit the subject of mental health in the future as it is very important.  All I ask is that the discussion is approached with more sensitivity and accuracy.  Whilst I understand that good humour is helpful, there is a time, a place, and a better way of doing it.

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