So unless you live under a rock, you know that Demi Lovato was hospitalized a few days ago due to an overdose and after a few days in the hospital she has now entered rehab. If you’ve been following Demi, you know that for years she has been struggling with drug addiction. Now why do I want to talk about this today? Well, let me get to it.
Our almost 2-year-old son loves Demi! How is that you say? Well, the kids were watching “Camp Rock” on Netflix and it was obvious that our boy loves him some Demi. For months, he would watch the “Camp Rock” movies.. all the time! And that little man is a music lover, and with her catchy songs on the radio, well it is quite easy to become a fan. My daughter too is a fan of her music. I personally love her song Confident and with lyrics empowering women, I love that is a favorite of my daughter. I think Demi is gorgeous, her curvy body is fab, and she has some great music. So… what gives?
We were watching one of her videos on YouTube and I mentioned to my daughter that she had been hospitalized due to an apparent overdose.
“What’s an overdose mommy?” – she asked
“Is when someone takes way more medicine than what the doctor prescribed and they get really sick.” – I responded (remember she is only 6 and I think this can be a good way to describe it)
“Can we go to the hospital and bring her balloons? That will make her feel better mommy. We should do that!’ – she suggested
“Well… that would be nice but she is in NY so it’s too far for us. But we can send her good thoughts.’ – I responded
Since the incident happened in late July, Demi has only posted one picture on her Instagram account where she explains that she has always been transparent with her addiction, thanks her fans, family, friends, and informs us that she will be focusing in overcoming once more her addiction. So I thought to myself: the chances that she will ever read MY comment on her post are rather non-existent; nevertheless, I will leave a comment with my daughter’s wishes to her because I think that is a genuine good wish and there is nothing wrong with that. So, I did it. Many celebrities have left supporting comments for Demi on that post, but what got me aggravated was to see non-famous folks responding to the good vibes comments with such negativity. It was beyond me! Why are people so cruel?
All the negative comments were along these lines:
- Why are you supporting a drug addict?
- Why wishing her good stuff when she is a drug addict?
- Why are people supporting someone who is so weak as to use drugs?
- She should of done it right and just die!
- If someone famous is addicted to drugs, then people support him/her, but if it were a regular person, then they are called scum.
And the list goes on. It got me thinking? Is it really that we only care because she is famous or are people really opening their minds to the fact that substance abuse and depression are serious things and anyone suffering from it requires a lot of support to overcome it? Tough one… don’t you think?
Notice that I added depression to the equation. With famous people like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain committing suicide and coming to the light that they had been battling depression, there has been more talk about this subject. And I know I shouldn’t but I also read many of the negative comments left around this subject:
- They are so weak.
- They don’t deserve to live.
- Why someone who has money and fame be sad/depressed about anything? Not sorry!
- They need to get busy! Ain’t nobody got time to be depressed!
And just as the comments for overdose, the list goes on. But the same thing intrigues me… are we supportive and more open-minded to the struggles behind these problems because famous people are openly talking about it and we only care about them? Or do we care the same about anyone we know who is going through this?
I am no master in psychiatry but anyone can do some research. Both depression and addiction are considered mental illnesses. Most people going through this don’t dare to admit they have a problem when the word “mental” is in it. They will be called crazy, and who wants to be considered odd? Nobody! (Remember society tells us we have to fit in) So more often than not, people who are having mental disorders will just hide it. I mean, think about it… we walk to end breast cancer, we ride our bikes to find a cure for multiple sclerosis, we run to improve the health of mommies and babies who are born prematurely, we wear a read nose to end child poverty, we have parades to support pride, but what do we do for mental disorders? Most people are really good at just judging and not doing anything about it. We raise funds for all those other great causes and that is great, but how about we aim for more? Sadly there are more people who are willing to spend their money in St. Patty’s drinks or a slutty costume for Halloween rather than donating for a greater cause like it is the research for better treatments for mental illnesses.
And I heard also more than one who would argue that back in the day there wasn’t such a thing as being depressed, or suffer from postpartum depression, or PTSD, or addiction, or any of those things because people were healthier and with less stress. This might be partially right, maybe peer pressure wasn’t as high as it is now because whether you want to admit or not, feeling obligated to have the newest iPhone because everyone else has it and you want to fit in is peer pressure. Again, just partially right because it is not that the problem did not exist before but now we dare to talk about this openly. Does pride ring a bell? So it is nothing new, but it is definitely something that we need to talk about openly and help those going through this. The mind is so powerful. Just in the same way you can convince yourself that you can do anything, you can also convince yourself that your life is worthless. Helping those whose mind is playing tricks on them is something positive and I personally don’t think the people who left negative comments are open minded to the actual issue here: mental illness.
So please, pretty please, don’t be the jerk who is mean to others when they are going through a rough patch. I understand that it is not like leukemia and perhaps they were not born with it, but whatever reason they have had to get started in this path is beyond them often times and is beyond you and me. Not everyone copes with stress and problems the same way. Not everyone is perfect. Do not judge or be harsh about this. Be supportive. Remember: a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. – James Keller.
Mama Bear Kim