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Amanda Bynes has been a hot mess lately. An ugly- look-the-other-way, it’s-easier-to-poke-fun-than-to-understand- kind of mess. If you are a part of social media you have probably seen the downward spiral that has become of Amanda Bynes’s life. You may have even gotten a kick out of the jokes that have been made off of the back of Amanda Bynes’s. Jokes made by the likes of: Jimmy Fallon, Jason Biggs, and David Allan Grier. Her peers, whether through celebrity or humanity, are making fun of her at the very point when she needs compassion. By comparison, we cried at the death of Robin Williams and there would have been an outcry if any had poked fun of his mental illness or his unfortunate death.
I don’t know Amanda’s diagnosis (and neither do you) but I do know that repeatedly attacking anyone can weaken their emotional state. And what happens when the person’s emotional state is already what could be considered sub-par? You beat them a little further- for your own pleasure, or so that you can lighten the situation, or further yourself from being anywhere like her?!
- It affects 2.6% of the population over the age of 18 per year
- Median age of onset is 25 years old
- Bipolar Disorder is the 6th leading cause of disability in the United States
- 1 in 5 with Bipolar Disorder commit suicide (for those that like percentages that is 20% of those diagnosed per year)
- Typically takes 10 years of someone living with symptoms before they are accurately diagnosed.
But the good news is that like many/most/if not all mental illnesses, Bipolar Disorder is manageable through medication, therapy, and support groups.
Now I ask, do you feel good about yourself cracking on someone that’s ill? Should we start making fun of anyone that deals with a potentially life ending diagnosis? Have you thought about how cracking jokes at situations like this perpetuates the thought process of those that don’t seek help- because they want to be “normal” and not the butt of jokes?
Every time a joke is made at the expense of mental illness- you are putting a nail in the coffin of someone that is LIVING and has a mental illness. Instead of nailing the coffin shut shouldn’t we be prying it open with our encouragement for those to seek help?
Liz Snell has over 10 years experience working and volunteering with organizations that address the needs of military families and veterans. Known for her advocacy and dedication to the military spouse community, Liz presently volunteers many hours daily providing support and resources in areas of family readiness, educational scholarship opportunities, and career mobility. In 2012, she co-founded a non-profit organization, Military Spouses of Michigan, dedicated to providing a network of military family support services including educational guidance, career development and legal assistance