In one of the worst depressive episodes of my life, I woke up from sleep because I was choking. I was choking because I had involuntarily stopped breathing for a few seconds. Just like that. Later, I figured that my brain was working slowly due to the overwhelming sadness and couldn't give any orders to the organs of my body.

I am sharing this because it is important, and I get the courage to do that because people before me, people I look up to, did the same with much more at stake. 

depression
Source: Unsplash

However, more often than not, this act is met with so much dismissal, if not straight-up scrutiny, that one wonders what kind of world we are living in. Here are a few examples of the same.

1. Naomi Osaka being cornered into withdrawing from French Open 2021 because she decided to not attend the press-conferences to protect her mental health.

Yes, the decision to quit was hers, but the way things panned out, she did not have much choice in the matter. Everyone who follows sports and knows even one thing about the press conferences, is aware how toxic they can be. Plus, when you have social anxiety, even the healthiest situations turn into a nightmare. 

Now what does one do when informed by a player about the same? Not levying a fine is what. As a start. But what happened was exactly the opposite. French Open fined Osaka citing 'rules' and the Grand Slams wrote a press release asking her what her issues were. 

Get this, the four Grand Slams joining forces to counter a 23-year-old athlete, who was simply trying to make a very valid point. On the surface, they made it look like they cared, but if you punish someone for a personal decision and then ask them to elaborate on the problem, chances are that they won't. It's a no-brainer.  

2. Media's consistent disregard for Princess Diana's mental health, leading to her ultimate demise in a car accident while being followed by paparrazi. 

Princess Diana suffered from post-natal depression and bulimia (which is an eating disorder where one has a lot of food in one go because it brings comfort. However, they soon start feeling guilty about it and try to puke it out or not eat anything for a long time later).

princess diana
Source: Good Housekeeping

Diana talked about these in her BBC interview. She explained, in detail, how it affected her. The media, though, did not flinch once before writing gossip columns about her. Nor did she get much help from the royal family. Her family. In fact, to date, mental health isn't the biggest takeaway from that interview, when it should be. We lost her, but maybe we could save someone else.

princess diana's mental health
Source: BBC

3. Meghan Markle being ridiculed by people an ignored by the royals after she shared that she was depressed and contemplated ending her life at one point. 

Much like Princess Diana, Meghan Markle underwent extreme scrutiny for speaking out against the culture in the royal household. People called her 'dramatic" and even "fake" for making the allegations that she did. Not to mention, the classic "she manipulated Prince Harry".  

There was some support for her too, which indicated a shift in general mentality, but the criticism was way more in comparison, which is simply unfortunate. 

4. Deepika Padukone made fun of, for openly talking about her struggles with mental health.

People underestimate how difficult it is to tell others about these challenges. It's body numbing, I can vouch for it. Moreover, many mental illnesses affect person's self-worth. So, in their head, they already don't deserve help. In some cases, they get over that feeling, but are still petrified of the idea. And if neither of these two, they don't have the energy to talk about their struggles.

It's a very vulnerable position to be in and needs to be met with immense love, care and sensitivity. But this is what Deepika has to go through, to date.

That's insensitive towards both women involved. Amir Khan's daughter Ira is a young woman, and trolling is the last thing she needs after opening up about something so private.

And then, there is stuff like this. This is the level the world is operating at.

5. Prince Harry being reminded that he is not fulfilling his duties as a part of the royal household, with no regard to his mental health, something he has been extremely vocal about.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been at the centre of controversy since the time they got married. Their wedding was talked about a lot, and often in a disrespectful manner. Later, when they left the family to live separately, people got another reason to hate on them. 

Which hasn't changed after their interview to Oprah and subsequent acknowledgment regarding challenges related to mental health. People are still fixated on their roles and responsibilities as the royals and leave no chance to remind Harry that he has wronged the Queen. 

With regard to the last tweet, the person causing issues to someone can also be struggling themselves, that's a fact. But it doesn't mean they shouldn't be held accountable for their actions, because if that is not done, the chain of mistreatment will never break. 

depression in people
Source: Unsplash

6. Amy Winehouse, who was struggling with addiction, being followed by paparazzi to the point that she had to file a case in the court for the same.

The court ruling stated that photographers had to be 100 meters away from Amy and were not allowed to take pictures of her outside her house in London. This is how bad things were for the star, before she succumbed to alcohol poisoning in 2011.

7. Britney Spears being villified and hounded by the media every step of the way even though everyone could see her struggling.

She had public breakdowns, she was pictured crying in a restaraunt while carrying her baby, she told people in clear words that she was suffering from bipolar disorder - and it still did not stop the media from harassing her. 

People wanted to know everything about Britney and the press did everything in its capacity to get them what they desired. No one cared about the woman, though, or how she is dealing with the trauma caused by constant gaze.

There are many examples of celebrities not being taken seriously after they have opened up about illnesses like depression and anxiety. What's worse, they are often mocked for the same. Stuff like this helps no one, and for so many, makes an already difficult existence, challenging for new reasons - because for someone who is facing the same issues, it's triggering to watch others being met with indifference.

Having said that, if you, or someone you know is going through such problems, please know that there is love in the world even when it seems like there isn't. There are people who'll be kind to you if you open up. That's a promise from someone who has.