Would you like to know how many times “Whitney Houston” and “demons” appear together in a Google search?

27,100,000.

That’s a lot of demons for a woman who had none. Whitney Houston was mentally ill. She had the disease of addiction. She was not possessed. She was very, very sick. I afford her the same compassion and sympathy as I would someone who is slowly dying from cancer or some other progressive, fatal illness.

Addicts and alcoholics – like me – do not have demons. We have illnesses.

To the folks in Salem in the 1600′s we probably seemed possessed because, let’s be honest, some of us do some pretty wicked things when we are under the influence – especially those of us, like me, who are dual-diagnosed and who – like me – have other mental illnesses, such as bipolar.

We stigmatize addiction and alcoholism every time we use the word “demons” to describe our illnesses. We take a step backwards in the relentless effort to convince others that these are “real” medical conditions. The American Medical Association has recognized alcoholism as a legitimate illness for decades. Why can’t we?

Critics will say “having demons” is a figure of speech. Lighten up. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Well, “retard,” “gimp” and my father’s favorite “as handy as a club foot” are just figures of speech, too. But we think twice about using them today.

We don’t even know what killed Whitney Houston or how she died, yet we are convinced it must have been her “demons.” There are many unanswered questions. This I know: you will not find the word “demons” in her autopsy report or on her death certificate.

“Demons” did not kill Whitney Houston.

 

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 12 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.

Trackbacks

No trackbacks yet to this post.






    Last reviewed: 18 Feb 2012

APA Reference
Stapleton, C. (2012). Whitney Had No Demons. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/depression/2012/02/rant-o-rama-whitney-had-no-demons/

 

Hoping for a Happy Ending
Check out Christine's book!
Hope for a Happy Ending: A Journalist's
Story of Depression, Bipolar and Alcoholism
Christine Stapleton

Subscribe to this Blog: Feed

Recent Comments
  • Elizabeth: I would be interested in participating in further studies in this area should anyone have information on...
  • Elizabeth: Thank you very much for this post. I am 40 and have had depression all of my life. It is just part of who...
  • youngjude: I’ve been clinically depressed for 28 years..yup, I count each and every non-productive year that...
  • PBNYC: As for the wife of the obnoxious man you wrote about–I would not iron his shirts–I’d stitch...
  • Colleen: Thank you so much for this. It always helps to know I’m not the Only one experiencing this. My bully...
Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!