When Dr. Grohol and I started discussing possibilities for a new blog here at Psych Central, one thought popped into my mind: celebrities.
I’d already spent the last year and a half blogging about mental health in general – advocacy, education, stigma busting – you name it, and I probably blogged about it (at Mental Health Notes, if you’re interested). I wasn’t losing my passion for mental health advocacy, but I was looking for a new avenue. One that would help me help others better understand mental illness, how to take care of our mental health, and how not to promote stigma.
How in the world did I think celebrities were going to help me do that? I mean, with all the questionable behavior displayed on and off the red carpet, did I really think celebrities would be assets to mental health advocacy?
Yes. Yes I did. I still do. That’s why I’m here.
You see, celebrities are people, just like us. They have mental health issues, just like us. They suffer the ridicule mental health stigma carries, just like us. And they deal with the ups and downs of life that affect a human’s mental wellness – just like us.
However, unlike most of us, celebrities are better situated to really bring to light important issues.
Every now and then, a celebrity will come forward about his or her mental health problem and, honestly, I feel gratitude. I feel proud of that particular person for choosing to face the issue head on rather than try to sweep it under the rug like a dirty secret. I feel the same way when a television show, movie, or book covers a mental health topic in an informative, respectful way, and you’ll probably see a lot of that here at Celebrity Psychings, too.
Like them or not, celebrities are in the spotlight. Why not learn a thing or two from them?
Let me be clear: I am not interested in diagnosing any celebrity’s mental health. I am not a doctor and I am not a gossip (not often, anyway). I am not interested in exposing anyone, or glamorizing mental illness. I value privacy. My goal with Celebrity Psychings is to help educate readers about the mental health issues they hear about in the media – whether it’s celebrities, entertainment, or news – and say to folks, “Hey, look at that. You’re not alone. You’re not doomed. And you’re not crazy.”
And if there’s some chatter along the way, so be it.