This is sort of an awkward topic for me to write about, given that I’m a low-grade celebrity stalker myself (kidding, kidding! unless you’re into that sort of thing, Misters Miller, Weatherly, and most recently, Pattinson – nope, nope, I’m still just kidding), but when I read what former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin said in a FOXNews.com article about celebrity stalkers, I couldn’t stay quiet.
The article, Celebrities’ Stalker Menace: ‘It’s Tough To Control Crazy’, which takes its title from Hostin’s quote (and you can pretty much guess which part of it got me going), discusses statistics regarding celebrity stalkings, some minimal advice on how to handle it (what works and what doesn’t), and highlights some celebrities who’ve had to deal with stalkers (Alyssa Milano, Jennifer Garner, Gwyneth Paltrow, and most recently Paula Abdul, to name a few).
Overall, fine information.
But for someone who should clearly have a tad bit more political correctness under her belt to come out and say “it’s tough to control crazy”… That is just not cool, Ms. Hostin. Not cool, and very stigmatizing. Did you just not have enough time to come up with something like, oh, I don’t know, “It’s tough to deal with the unpredictable and often delusional behavior of people who’ve become obsessed with celebrities”? I wouldn’t think so. I mean, I just came up with it in three seconds.
“Crazy.” The word bothers me. I’m not totally opposed to using it – I say “crazy” all the time. The fact that my two-and-a-half-year-old dog is still as hyper as a three-month-old puppy is crazy. My reaction to Warner Bros.’s decision to postpone the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for almost a year was crazy.
Calling someone who could very well be struggling with mental illness “crazy”? I’m not down with it.
Sadly, not everyone really gets the effect stigma has on people with mental health issues. I’m positive I didn’t really understand it until I got involved in the world of mental health. The Mental Health Works page on stigma and mental illness states:
The stigma attached to mental illness is so pervasive that people who suspect that they might be mentally ill are unwilling to seek help for fear of what others may think.
Yeah. Because that’s really the goal we’re trying for, right? Making people afraid to seek treatment?
What do you think? Has something someone has said to you – a family member or friend, perhaps – affected how you think about yourself and mental health? What about something you’ve heard in the media? Sound off!
In the meantime, you can learn more about stigma and its relationship with mental health treatment at the following sources:
- World Psychiatry – Understanding the Impact of Stigma on People with Mental Illness
- Mayo Clinic – Mental Health: Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness
- Psych Central – Eliminating the Stigma of Mental Illness